A very nice case, lemme break it down for you, case wise. There are only 3 things that really matter in the end, everything else is just gravy
1) Does it fit what you want it to
2) Does its sense of aesthetics work for you
3) Does it have good air flow
Cable routing is all well and good, but any determined person can take even a terrible case and run the cables for a neat, clean build.
Don't so much agree with MIbs, with its capacity for overclocking the Q6600 is a pretty good buy, though you will get better(though slightly, and no idea exactly how much) performance with the Q9450. So if you're dead set on a quad, the Q6600 is a good buy.
I'm going to suggest you ditch the HD4850 cards and buy a single HD4870. Not only will performance be more consistent but you have the option of upgrading with another HD4870 in the future whereas with the two HD4850 cards you are pretty much maxed out in terms of PCI-E slot usage on the P5Q Pro.
I third the recommendation of the CM690. The 300 looks good to the uninitiated, I even drooled over it for a bit before I hit these forums, but the 690 is a much better and practical case. It's only drawback is no window. In fact I think it's funny that the 300 has a window while it's cable management is sooo bad you get to look at a rats nest of wires through it.
Here's a pic of mine with an ATI HD2900 in it. It's a long card and there is plenty of room since the HD's mount sideways, you'll get your 5 in no problem. Get the 120 yates for this case. If you want to go for broke look at the cooler master cosmos, but I'm sure you'll be impressed with this case, if you want to see more pics of mine go here
Oh and if you do get one, note that there is no little bag of screws, they are all screwed in along the drive bays, just take what you need from there. I didn't notice them that's why they are all still in... hehe
I did read the reviews and look at some detailed pics of the CM690 today though, and I am impressed with the design, especially like the grill for the powersupply being on the bottom, the feet that give it plenty of room for air, and the drive cage layout. One thing I do not like is the inclusion of so many 5.25" bays, I think 2 to 3 bays are more than enough, I would appreciate more 3.5" bays but its not an issue, if I run out of space after my 1280GB I will just move off my older 250s to a 1TB or probably a 2TB drive by then lol.
I have read people saying to use NCIX I have an account at both DC and NCIX but always found the prices are better at DC though stock is not always great, I do have direct wholesalers but they have limited selection vs online wholesalers, How exactly does one price match with ncix?
BTW I like the 690 its nice looking, and such, and heck I have spent a lot more money on my previous systems over the years, my first PC at 15 years old cost me 2500 back in 1995, and my system at 19 for univercity cost over 2000 also, since then I have had a 1.4T-Bird, a 1.6P4@2.2, a 2.4P4 and a 3.0Northwood, I have been holding off for good priced Quad, and a bonus has been the boom in cheap storage, and drop in ram prices. And I have probably priced out 10 systems over the past 2-3 years. This time is for sure and I am going to bite the bullet soon, should be really fun :)
I do not mind spending more money, I was just trying to get the best bang for buck in my first spec layout and get input after, I have really gotten some great advice here, and think that for the extra $45 so far I have really added a fair bit of quality to my build, I am not a gamer kid that needs a rad looking case, but the build quality, and cooling ability is important, I may order 10 of the 120 Loon fans just for backups when I need to replace over the next few years, and the CM960 is overriding the three hundred now.
Anyway, other than the case would you all say the build is solid for the rest of the parts? Skymtl did say to get one 4870 instead of the crossfire 4850 I choose, but I am not a hardcore gamer at all, well not anymore, I am just a programmer by trade, who likes to dabble in games, photoshop, no 3d rendering or other fancy graphics apps though. I do love my RTS games and I have been dying to play supreme commader at a decent speed too. But from the crossfire reviews I have read there does not seem to be a major improvement so far between the 4870/50, I wish I had more time to wait for driver improvements to expand upon that gap, but I want a new toy :)
Not trying to really push the Antec 300, but unless you prefer the looks of the CM, its a solid case. 3x 5.25" bays and 6x 3.5" allows for plenty of space to put in all the hdds I can ever see any one person needing(not to mention that you can buy a 3.5-5.25" adapter for just a few bucks.
The one thing it really lacks is the connectivity options up front, eSata and Firewire would have been nice, even if Firewire is as good as useless and eSata is undersupported.
I am going to look through ncix to see if I can get all of the same parts at similar prices, that way I can get the CM690.
Done NCIX and they are significantly more money. What does one do to have them price match DC? On average they are 12.5% more expensive for the matching items, not including the case, or CPU heatsink as they are items only availalbe on NCIX, and the ratpadz mouse pad is 2.66x the cost.
I suppose I could order the CM690 and Ultra-120 from ncix and the rest from DC.
Last edited by dualboy24; July 3, 2008 at 08:25 PM.