Your Ideal PC


A

Ablang

Your Ideal PC

The Components--Cases: Different Shapes, Different Sizes

Cases: Different Shapes, Different Sizes When you choose a case,
you're buying a home for your PC. The right one can make working with
your system a dream, but picking the wrong one will come back to haunt
you. Though you can find a case plus power supply for less than $50,
we recommend that you invest a bit more to obtain a case that will
last through many upgrades and that you'll enjoy looking at.

Pick the right form factor: Most cases and motherboards use the ATX
form factor--a set of design standards that specify things such as the
size of the motherboard and the connectors on the power supply. It's
critical that your motherboard match the form factor of your case. Be
aware of other standards--for example, Shuttle-style cube-shaped
systems that come with their own custom motherboard.

What's it made of? Steel cases weigh more than aluminum ones, they
cost less, and they muffle the noise from components such as hard
drives better than aluminum cases do. On the other hand, aluminum
boxes tend to be more stylish, and they are certainly easier to carry
around.

It's what's inside that counts: Even the best-looking case will seem
ugly if installing your components becomes a pain. Look for helpful
features like a removable motherboard tray, tool-less drive carriers,
and multiple fan locations for cooling the system.

Does this come with a power supply? Cheaper cases often come with
cut-rate power supplies that may not be up to the task of powering a
high-end PC. Some expensive cases don't come with a power supply,
which lets you choose your own.

Power Picks and Upgrades--Choose the Right Power Supply

Chart: Component -- Wattage requiredIf you've added a lot of new
components to your PC, you may be overtaxing your existing power
supply, so look at getting a bigger, better one. Power supplies can
cause problems--including random crashes or even component failure--if
they are asked to produce more power than they are designed to
generate.

Most power supplies are rated according to their maximum output (in
watts). Online tools such as PC Power and Cooling's Power Supply
Selector can provide a quick ballpark estimate of the wattage you
need, based on the components in your system. To calculate your
wattage requirements more precisely, use the table at right to tally
the power drawn by all your components; then tack on at least 30
percent more for headroom and the upgrades that you'll add over time.
For more details, see "Power to Your PC."

Our Picks

* Power PC: Aspire X-Alien ATXA7AW ($91). This alien-inspired
aluminum tower case includes a 420-watt power supply, six lighted case
fans, and a window that shows off all of the expensive components.
* Quiet PC: Antec P160 ($110). This case, specifically designed
for quiet computing, uses rubber mountings to help muffle the hard
drive. We paired it with a 400-watt fanless power supply from Coolmax
(the Coolmax CF-400, $120) that runs silently.
* Value PC: Antec SLK3700-BQE ($90). This moderately priced case
comes with a good power supply and plenty of drive bays; its design is
easy to work with, too.
* Media PC: Shuttle XPC SN41G2V2 ($270). It's pricey, but this
compact case includes a motherboard and a power supply.



Next Page: CPU: AMD or Intel
http://www.pcworld.com/howto/article/0,aid,116993,pg,2,tk,ur,00.asp


==
"Politicians are the same all over: They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river."
-- Nikita Khrushchev
 
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J

JAD

you can keep all that crap


Ablang said:
Your Ideal PC

The Components--Cases: Different Shapes, Different Sizes

Cases: Different Shapes, Different Sizes When you choose a case,
you're buying a home for your PC. The right one can make working with
your system a dream, but picking the wrong one will come back to haunt
you. Though you can find a case plus power supply for less than $50,
we recommend that you invest a bit more to obtain a case that will
last through many upgrades and that you'll enjoy looking at.

Pick the right form factor: Most cases and motherboards use the ATX
form factor--a set of design standards that specify things such as the
size of the motherboard and the connectors on the power supply. It's
critical that your motherboard match the form factor of your case. Be
aware of other standards--for example, Shuttle-style cube-shaped
systems that come with their own custom motherboard.

What's it made of? Steel cases weigh more than aluminum ones, they
cost less, and they muffle the noise from components such as hard
drives better than aluminum cases do. On the other hand, aluminum
boxes tend to be more stylish, and they are certainly easier to carry
around.

It's what's inside that counts: Even the best-looking case will seem
ugly if installing your components becomes a pain. Look for helpful
features like a removable motherboard tray, tool-less drive carriers,
and multiple fan locations for cooling the system.

Does this come with a power supply? Cheaper cases often come with
cut-rate power supplies that may not be up to the task of powering a
high-end PC. Some expensive cases don't come with a power supply,
which lets you choose your own.

Power Picks and Upgrades--Choose the Right Power Supply

Chart: Component -- Wattage requiredIf you've added a lot of new
components to your PC, you may be overtaxing your existing power
supply, so look at getting a bigger, better one. Power supplies can
cause problems--including random crashes or even component failure--if
they are asked to produce more power than they are designed to
generate.

Most power supplies are rated according to their maximum output (in
watts). Online tools such as PC Power and Cooling's Power Supply
Selector can provide a quick ballpark estimate of the wattage you
need, based on the components in your system. To calculate your
wattage requirements more precisely, use the table at right to tally
the power drawn by all your components; then tack on at least 30
percent more for headroom and the upgrades that you'll add over time.
For more details, see "Power to Your PC."

Our Picks

* Power PC: Aspire X-Alien ATXA7AW ($91). This alien-inspired
aluminum tower case includes a 420-watt power supply, six lighted case
fans, and a window that shows off all of the expensive components.
* Quiet PC: Antec P160 ($110). This case, specifically designed
for quiet computing, uses rubber mountings to help muffle the hard
drive. We paired it with a 400-watt fanless power supply from Coolmax
(the Coolmax CF-400, $120) that runs silently.
* Value PC: Antec SLK3700-BQE ($90). This moderately priced case
comes with a good power supply and plenty of drive bays; its design is
easy to work with, too.
* Media PC: Shuttle XPC SN41G2V2 ($270). It's pricey, but this
compact case includes a motherboard and a power supply.



Next Page: CPU: AMD or Intel
http://www.pcworld.com/howto/article/0,aid,116993,pg,2,tk,ur,00.asp


==
"Politicians are the same all over: They promise to build a
bridge even where there is no river."
 
C

Chris Simpson

Tough question... I can't answer that until 64 bit programs are out in
the real world...
 
A

AJ

Ablang said:
Your Ideal PC
Our Picks

Well y'all sure won't be picking anything for me! Read on...
* Power PC: Aspire X-Alien ATXA7AW ($91). This alien-inspired
aluminum tower case includes a 420-watt power supply, six lighted case
fans, and a window that shows off all of the expensive components.

Completely undesireable, unimportant: kids-toy-like-visuals. Appeals only
to adolescents. If someone owns something like that and is not embarassed
by it, then they surely will be in a few years (when they grow up). Would fit
right in a teen's room with the other toys and postered walls I guess.
(Did the poster indicate that his picks were for the perfect "teen PC"?).

Aluminum, noisey but light weight (as if weight was an
issue). 6 fans? (!) wow, must have spent days "engineering" that.
6 fans are only acceptable in "junk yard" home-built stuff that you make
with spare parts, not on a well thought out new box.
* Quiet PC: Antec P160 ($110). This case, specifically designed
for quiet computing, uses rubber mountings to help muffle the hard
drive. We paired it with a 400-watt fanless power supply from Coolmax
(the Coolmax CF-400, $120) that runs silently.

Sounds good, quiet is paramount. I'm not familiar with these pieces though.
Not enamoured with Antec (see below for a common design/engineering
flaw). $120 power supply? I don't think so. The current trend is 12 cm fanned
units for about 50 bucks at that wattage: simple effective design.
* Value PC: Antec SLK3700-BQE ($90). This moderately priced case
comes with a good power supply and plenty of drive bays; its design is
easy to work with, too.

That's the one with the flimsy door hiding the external drive bays right?
Cheapo crap. The display models at the local retailer here are all broken
already (Sonata). And who needs a door on a standalone anyway? Doors are for
servers and security mostly. It's a hassle to have a door when so many times
a CD needs to be inserted on a daily use machine. Doors on personal PCs: just
say no thank you.
* Media PC: Shuttle XPC SN41G2V2 ($270). It's pricey, but this
compact case includes a motherboard and a power supply.

Proprietary. I need not say more.


Your picks suck!

AJ
 
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