Holiday Case and Power Supply Guide

by Wesley Fink on 12/16/2008 12:00 PM EST


Back to Article

  • nukeman8 - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    bit harsh on the comments, its hardly a bad guide.

    I personally dont agree on the case section especially the higher end of it and recommending a PSU that isn't out yet is a bit iffy but its all down to opinions.
  • Christoph Katzer - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    Yeah sorry about that. Actually Enermax wanted to have it ready right after our review but things got tight up and the PSU was delayed. But why not recommending it? It comes in a week or two, or three so why buying a crappy one now? Reply
  • SphinxnihpS - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    It's a holiday buying guide. What use is there to including products no one can buy for the holidays?

    Also, I have read both this site and HardOCP for years. You guys should simply stay out of the PSU reviewing business. Over the years you have recommended quite a few PSUs based on the box specs rather than actual testing, and even when you do test, your methods are thoroughly unsound and resoundingly un-thorough.

    I take extreme issue that you would include high end cases without even making reference to Lian LI. Even Tagan puts out a massive aluminum beast that outpaces the Silverstone you put up there. Which begs the question, were you paid for this recommendation?

    Finally, I am astonished with a supposedly "professional journalist's" inability to write well. If you want to make a living from writing you should at least be able to do it well.

    You think my crit was harsh? My crit would be harsh if this was some casual review site being run out of the basement of a teenager, but many many people trust and respect AT, and expect to be able to take the recommendations here to the store without further research. AT is a professional organization, but this article lacks that professionalism its patrons have come to expect.

    Apparently too, I am not alone. There are several negative comments attached to this piece. I may just have less superego than most people, but that doesn't mean what I am saying isn't being thought by many.

    My crit is my present to you. You should say, thank you. You're welcome!
  • StraightPipe - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    I agree. While I dont really agree with the recommendations, the article is still somewhat useful.

    There are a couple areas where it really needs improvements.
    (I mentioned earlier how the PSU recommendations go from 300W, 400W all the way to 750W, then recommend a bigger unit that's not even on the market, as if you'll be able to use it this holiday season)

    But I dont really agree with the way the case recos are laid out either.

    For example, budget cases dont have to be Small Form Factor. Personally, I see the case as a pretty low priority when building an enthusiast system for playing games. I prefer tool-less because I'm changing out components regularly, but I still dont see myself paying more that $100 for a full size case. die cut aluminum is nice, but why on earth do i need a $200+ box to hold my system? HTPC's are a bit different as they often implement LCD displays or remote controls, but for you average gaming rig, it just needs god airflow and a simple layout.

    I think Anandtech is doing a great job, I just like to add constructive criticism. One of the reasons I love AT is the fact that they tell it like it is. they're not afraid to review a product and say "well the manufacturer had a great ideal, but they screwed it up bad by failing to implement XXXXXX."

    Keep up the good work!
  • StraightPipe - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    I guess what I'm trying to say is if you're going to make a guide for PSU's, try to cover power supplies on a regular interval from high to low. Getting 80+ effeciency and a power rating that is appropriate shold be the first concern, and the price tag should be secondary.

    If you're going to make case reccomendations, why not break it down by form factor. If you want to subdivide by price too, that's cool.
    I've never met anyone that went out and said, "I really need a case that is in the $100-200 range." Instead they say, "I need a case that can hold all my gear, it's gotta be fullATX" or "it's gotta be microATX." Then they go looking at whats available, usually looking at features like: toolless, airflow, PSU included (hopefully not), front panel, design, etc. That said, I'm from the camp that prefers plain simple cases, not dayglow see-through flashy cases.

    I just think the PSU guides should be broken down by power supplied, and cases should be broken down by form factor.
  • SphinxnihpS - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    also... COMMAS! Reply
  • SphinxnihpS - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    this has to be my favorite part...

    "When it becomes available it will be one of the best performing high-end power supplies in the market.


    you guys have a few things to learn from (it did NOT used to be this way)
  • amtbr - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    I like the article but its a little over one week until christmas. Why so late? Reply
  • SphinxnihpS - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    worst review i have ever read here


    your mid and high end recommendations are astonishing

    are you guys now paid for your reviews? srsly
  • v12v12 - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    ***My Apologies for the rant...***
    I would like to see a review of the ACTUAL COST of production and marketing of these so-called "performance" cases. These boxes are simply that: CHEAP arse, LOW GRADE aluminum (recycled not even T6xxx) that are pressed and stamped with a few plasma cut-outs. Yet NOOBS will shell out $100s for a stupid box with cheap PLASTIC tool-less "innovations?" Some LEDs and even cheaper quality case fans... Please! It's always the fanboys (dullards), the rich (unconcerned), the spoiled brats (braggarts) that ruin things for all of us. They fuel the market for this overpriced junk.

    This is no diff in the PSU market: The ever growing demand for UBER wattage ratings, completely UNnecessary! 90% of you are NOT going to use a damn 750W PSU with in 70% of it's rated spec. Yet that's all that constantly gets reviewed: Kilowatt PSUs? It's 2008—why in the WORLD is the demand for PC power increasing Vs technological innovation decreasing the demand? Because people (stupid ones) WILL continue to pay for what they are falsely told they "need."

    Don't believe me? Check the previous charts from 3-5-7 years past and you'll see case and psu prices rising sharply. Partial blame directed toward the "new" "wonder" metal—Aluminum! Lian-Li leading the way from years past with near $200 cases. So ridiculous... You people know who you are, so please chill with the quick-to-take-offense flames. If you're a smart shopper, none of this vitriol applies to you... if you're a SHEEP, then baaaaahaaaa away and flame.

    Lets get a REAL review of the industry producing this mess, please. Notice nearly NONE of these cases/PSU etc are "made in America" so you KNOW the production costs are DIRT cheap, like a pair of nike shoes... $7 Jordan's made in Taiwan sold in USA for $170 and idiots gladly pay up! Lmfao, have a happy capitalistic Christmas.
  • ccd - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    You gave a holiday recommendation for an HTPC mobo, why not for a case as well??? Reply
  • ccd - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    You gave a holiday recommendation for an HTPC mobo, why not for a case as well??? Reply
  • Mastakilla - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    i'm missing a nice powersupply between 500-600W

    i'm gonna compose a nice budget desktop for my brother soon and i'm planning to use an overclocked Q6600 with a cheap ATI videocard

    I don't think the 400W will be enough for that
    and the 750W PC&P is just overkill and too expensive
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    My desktop system here at work uses a Q6600@3GHz, P35 chipset, 3GB RAM, and a NVIDIA 7300GT graphics card. Power draw at the wall is a little over 100W at idle IIRC, and max is under 200W. I built the system with a 650W Enermax Infiniti PSU as we were considering moving to much more powerful graphics cards to support the OpenGL work we were doing at the time. So I would guess the 400W might be OK, and through tomorrow at Newegg is $60 with a 20% off code and a $20 MIR, so $28 plus shipping after MIR. Reply
  • zebrax2 - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    same comment as you. it like they went from low end to higher low end then they skipped the midrange then went ahead with higher midrange and lastly hi-end. Reply
  • StraightPipe - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    That 1000W PSU is nice, but if it's not available yet, it's nto a very good recommendation.

    How about recommending a big daddy i can find on the market?

    Core2 Quad Q9300 - OC @ 3.6GHz
    Tuniq 120Tower
    4x1GB Corsair Dominator @ DDR2-800
    NVidia 8800GTS
    Areca 1220 RAID card:
    OS-2x150GB Raptor RAID0
    STORAGE-4x1TB Seagate RAID5
    Sound Blaster X-fi
    5 Case fans (120mm, 120mm, 90mm, 80mm, 80mm)
    Ear plugs (just kidding)

    I was using an OZC Elite 800Watt PSU, but it died after 2 months...waiting on RMA now, but think i might be better off with 1000W
  • StraightPipe - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    So in review, you've recommended a 300W, 400W and a 750W PSU.

    Lots of gaps left to fill. Instead of breaking the "Guide" down by price points, i'd think a breakdown by power supplied would be more appropriate. Maybe 100-150W intervals from 300-1200 would be good.

    I guess I'll just start digging through the Cases/Cooling/PSUs section.
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link">
    Your exact components are not on there, but using stuff that is close and picking some worst-case estimates for other components (chipset) it seems doubtful that your system draws over 450W max. So something in the 800W range would probably serve you well, so long as you were not anticipating an upgrade to an SLI/Crossfire setup. If you were, then 900-1000 watts might be justified, though you would probably still be OK with 800.
  • Crusty - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    While it's nice finally seeing some decent buying guides if these were done say for the first of December they would be far more useful. I've done all my shopping already, and even those that haven't will have a hard time getting the items shipped on time for Christmas. Reply
  • bovinda - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    Though I always enjoy reading your guys' guides, I have to agree, wish they'd been around about two weeks ago. :) Reply
  • gwolfman - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    What did you mean by "When we changed the direction of the fan we immediately saw higher cooling results."? So the positive air pressures made it worse? And when you moved the fan for negative air pressure the temps were lower? OR do you mean that in the not-so-standard positive air pressure configuration temps were lower than when switched? Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    Test results are available in the FT01 review at"> Best results were with the STOCK (Positive Pressure) Silverstone setup. We will revise the wording in the guide to make that cleare. Thanks for pointing it out. Reply
  • gwolfman - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    Thanks! Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    I love my P180, but the one downside I recall was that the power supply cables coming from the bottom interfered with the bottom part of the motherboard, including the USB connections, the lower expansion slots, and those little jumpers that hook up the case power/reset switches and LEDs.

    I'd strongly recommend either:
    - using a smaller motherboard
    - using a modular power supply
    - leaving the bottom one or two expansion slots empty
  • The0ne - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    Don't forgot the most important factor for the PS...cables long enough to reach your devices, including the 24V! Had to set aside 2 perfectly good PS because their cables weren't long enough. Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    But perhaps this has been improved in the P182 and in newer versions of the P180?">
  • spidey81 - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    I have been loving my build with the P182 that I did in Feb. I found that a modular PSU would definitely be a beneficial choice with the limited clearance between the PSU mounting area and the fan in the bottom chamber.
    Fortunately I was able to take advantage of space on the backside to route cables for a clean build (and was able to tuck extra cables back there since my Corsair 550VX isn't modular). My cables were plenty long to do this as well as some people have found some PSU's cable to be too short for this case.
    It's not as quiet as I was hoping, but it's definitely not as loud as my last case.
    As a bonus, I was able to find it on sale at back in Feb. for $120 with $40 rebate for a total of $80!
  • Vidmar - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    All three of these cases have major cons IMHO.

    First: Power supply at the bottom. I may be old-school, but just wait till your power supply fan bearings begin to give out since it was installed upside down from what the manufacturer intended.

    - The Antec 300 has no removable drive cage.
    - The Antec P182 does have a removable dive cage, but then it has a door on the front of the case. Plus the external connectors are too low.
    - The Silverstone Fortress FT01 drive cage is a problem for airflow.

    For my $$$ this Rosewill R6AR6-BK case has all of the features of any of these cases, cooler performance and a fraction of the cost!">
  • MamiyaOtaru - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    Don't weant your PSU upside down? Mount it right side up. Mine's at the bottom of my Coolermaster Stacker, but it sure as heck isn't upside down. It's in the normal orientation, and quietly drawing cool air from under the case Reply
  • Ksyder - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    You can mount the PSU any way you like in the P182... there are screw holes in the case that let you mount the PSU upside down or right side up depending on how you want the fans and/or wires to be.

    As an aside, as an owner of a P182, I actually wish the chassis didn't have the middle divider because it causes the hard drives to not get any benefit from the 2 top 120mm fans. Granted you can put a 120mm fan in the bottom but the space down there is tight and the PSU by itself doesn't do much to cool the hard drives in terms of moving air through the bottom chamber.

  • afkrotch - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link


    Here's something to look at. Standard case fans. Mounted in all sorts of fashions. Upside down, right side up, sideways, etc. Why would you assume that the fan being upside down would bother the fan at all?

  • ghd nz - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now