As a few of you may know, I’ve been gathering parts for a new computer for 6 weeks or so now. Why so slow? I’m cheap!
I’ve been investigating a few budget parts that were new to me, and have been waiting for sales/rebates/end of patience with everything else.
I started this little adventure by finding a good quality Corsair power supply with a nice rebate offer. It is the CMPSU-400CX 400w and cost $29.99 after the rebate. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008 I’ve seen it for $10 less one time, but that price hasn’t shown up since.
The next piece of the puzzle was a case. There aren’t a great many good cases under $50 so this was definitely experiment/try your luck time. I found a Silverstone case with rebate and free shipping that was too tempting to pass up. Cost: $34 after rebate. http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Tower-Case-PS02B-Black/dp/B002RX269Q/ref=sr_1_46?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1278005303&sr=8-46
Silverstone is known for solid cases with great finishes, good cooling and innovative interiors. This particular one is undoubtedly the least impressive, most pedestrian case they have ever sold to the public, but for a budget case it is not too bad. The painted finish is good, and overall appearance is nice as well. The side panels are thin, which I have had to deal with to prevent resonation, and it comes with a good quality 120mm fan. This case is large enough to accommodate very tall cpu coolers and is long enough for even the biggest video cards.
The case is not without problems however. I used a dremel to remove the punched out fan cover on the front (behind the bezel) to improve air flow from the bottom front of the case. I stiffened the sides using Elmer’s Foamboard, which is both light and rigid and helps deaden sound within the case. The top has a 140mm grill for a fan (not included), and I personally don’t like top fans…oh well. The case is solid enough and has room to route cables behind the motherboard.
Silverstone includes a very nice 120mm fan, but it has LED’s in the thing which I can’t stand, so I replaced it and added two more fans. Their positions are: one on the back, one at the bottom front and one at the top blowhole. All are Yate Loon 120mm, a good quality, fairly quiet fan, though not cutting edge in low dB output.
Here are a few pictures of the case and power supply:
You’ll notice that I’m trying out the quick release mechanisms supplied by Silverstone in this case. They seem to work very well for the optical drives, but the hard drives are far too loose for my taste. I will attach them with screws and some small rubber washers to reduce vibration.