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Old May 10, 2009, 02:22 PM
SpatulaCity SpatulaCity is offline
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Question I7 - Case Considerations

Hello,

I am building a strong I7 system and I am not 100% happy with any of the popular cases. They all have strengthens and weaknesses, but I am still not sure which one to choose. Specifically, I am concerned about the air cooling performance, cable management, CPU heatsink compatibility... I also have not chosen a heatsink yet because I am concerned that it may not fit in a case that I choose.

My System:
Intel I7 920 - Will overclock to 4Ghz
Heatsink - Considering Prolimatech Megahalems
Motherboard - ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution
Power Supply - Corsair 1000HX
Memory - OCZ 6GB DDR3 PC3 128000
Hard Drive - Western Digital Velociraptor 300GB 10000RPM
Video Cards - 2 MSI 260GTX cards in SLI

I am not interested in water cooling for this system. I have been considering 2 cases and I actually purchased both to see how my equipment fits in each.

Coolermaster Storm Sniper
I like the exterior looks of this case and I think the power button fan dial is a nice touch. The extra width of the case and the fact it has feet to bring the case up higher are nice too. I don't like the fact it's not painted inside, and how the carrying handle covers some of the top fan so that air can't evacuate the case as effeciaently. Also, the vent on the bottom for PSU fans is not large enough for my 1000HX to properly use. There is no dist filter on the power supply intake vent on the bottom of the case also. I also thought that the top fan needs to be moved to the rear of the case a little more so that it picks up more heat from my motherboard. The fact that the side door is all vent holes seems like an inefficient way to move air around the case. I'm worried that the fans would simply suck air straight from the side door air holes and bypass cooling critical components.

Antec 902 - Nine Hundred Two
This case has ok looks, but it is nicely painted black on the inside. (gets a few points in my book) The top fan is also free from obstructions and is centrally located over the motherboard so that it can suck up all the heat from all the heatsinks. It is more cramped inside with all the hardware. The case is not as wide and not as long. The height is ok, becasue I am not planning on needing a bunch of hard drives in this case. The main drawback is that there is no vent on the bottom of the case to support PSU fans. I would have to cut a hole in the bottom and get some case feet to raise the case up get get enough air into the PSU. I would also have to figure aout a filter system for that new vent. I'm also concerned that a large heatsink would not quite fit in the case.

Any suggestions? Which one would you choose? Any tips for a CPU cooler?

Thanks,

Dave
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