Full Tower Case

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Full Tower Case

Postby mooresmsr » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:10 pm

I'm building my second PC in 11 years (last one was late 2002). I want a full tower case, but everything looks like it's built for gamers with ego. I would like a plain ol' case. I plan on having a DVD drive (maybe blue ray, but not required), a couple of enterprise level hard drives (1-4 TB, depending on final costs), a 256 GB SSD, a reasonable video card supporting good HD (tired of start/stop youtube just because my video card is so slow), a wireless network connector (with a wire connector so I can quickly get my stuff off my old machine), and as many USB 3.0 slots as I can get. I'm planning on a pretty good power supply, since I've replaced the one in my old PC 3 times -- looking for 800+ watts, maybe enterprise level.

I don't think I'm too extravagant, just a whole lot better than my current workhorse. I don't need neon lights, clear covers, etc. etc. -- just a nice plain fan-cooled case.

Recommendations?

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Postby evasive » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:17 am

Thoughts/questions:

Youtube stops can be caused by a slow internet connection as well. Did you check that with another more modern system (a recent laptop from a friend maybe)?

Any preferred brands for the components?

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Postby Karlsweldt » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:11 am

tired of start/stop you tube just because my video card is so slow

Evasive has a good point.. most likely the Internet connection is bogging down, not a problem with the video card. If indeed a video card problem, then you would note stuttering effects.. but no actual pause in video. While DSL Internet service is decent, it bogs down with HD video feeds. Only CATV or FiOS services have good high-speed data rates.
Yes, all too many PC cases are intended for flashy looks.. not the older "plain Jane" appearance. New Egg offers the Antec 300 case in mid-tower form, have seen the Antec One listed as a full-tower case. Other brands should have similar models. A mid-tower case is not that much smaller than a full-tower case.. and will accept anything you throw into it. As long as it is a "standard" design, not needing specialized parts! You could even consider a server case.. for a bit higher price.
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Postby mooresmsr » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:16 am

Thanks to you both for the response. I have a high speed cable modem that checks out with speakeasy test at 30-40 MB consistently. I have an ethernet wire running across the floor, because my wireless in the PC is WEP security (best it can do), and the modem is WPA only. The modem works fine with my blu-ray player and netflix, so I really don't think it's the line speed. The youtube symptoms are small display box in youtube page is OK (not great, does have dropout/stuttering), but full screen HD or even low def starts and stops, has artifacts on the picture, skips segments even when the feed bar shows plenty of source already transmitted, so I really feel like it's the video card. It's pretty darn old (just like me), and not ready for prime time.

Just as a side question, is there any GOOD way to find/save the flash file sent to my system from youtube and other video feeds? I've looked at some recommends for drag-and-drop packages, and most reviews say the things are so full of bloat-ware and subversion-of-your-machine-ware they aren't worth it. I can't find any in-depth tech info about how flash works for these feeds today, just old stuff from 2005-2008. I used to brute-force the process, running the entire youtube viewing, then going to internet temp files on my machine and finding the latest big file, doing a rename and copy, and viola, there's my flash. Doesn't seem to work that way anymore. Suggestions?

I'm going to look at the Antec line and see what they have for cases. I know I don't want to cram a lot inside the box, but the full tower has been my preference because of the wide-open space for working. However, I'll look at the "mid" offerings and see what they have. This isn't so much a price-point decision as it is aesthetics -- I just don't want the fins on that 57 Chevy, and that is what appears to be available.

As far as preferences on suppliers, I have an ASUS board today that's run like a bloomin' tank for many moons, so that's where I'm starting my MB search. I have both Seagate and WD hard drives, but my venture into the enterprise level of these may lead me to different places. I have an NVidia card, and will probably go with a mid-high end offering, but I want to read some reviews, primarily because there are a bunch of add-on suppliers that didn't exist when last I bought a video card.

Oh, and one last thing -- my current PC doesn't have PCI-e slots. At all. I can't even find a wireless connector supporting WPA that doesn't require PCI-e. This is the type of roadblock I'm hitting when I think about keeping my current box and trying some hop-up improvements.

Another Oh -- budget. I'm trying to keep it under 2000-2500. I think the enterprise-level HD/power supply/SSD will up my total costs, maybe quite a bit, but I'd rather get something that lasts another 10 years than shell out $800 and then do it again and again and again.

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Postby Roach412 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:41 am

for 2000-2500 you're going to have a screaming computer.

i'd also just say get a midtower - they have plenty of room to work in. a full will be 50-75% empty unless you have some extra toys.

combo bluray drive won't do much to your budget.
each TB of HDD will cost you a bit, but again nothing in comparison to a 2k budget.
your solid state will be about as much as your HDD budget
a "reasonable" GPU with nvidia for 5 year future-proofing will need to be around a 560 or 570. "future-proofing" is difficult in this space.
wireless connectors are a dime-a-dozen at this point.
your PSU you should plan for 150+, but again not much against your budget.

without even looking up prices on the components above i would wager without cpu/mobo you'll be sitting around 1000, 1200 for the top end of most everything. if i had 2k to spend i would have a pretty wicked setup...

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Postby bdub » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:20 pm

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/video_cache_view.html
...that's what i used to get youtube stuff.
youtube has been changing the way they stream, but i think videocacheview is keeping up with it. they put out a new release quite often... it's compact, and no malware.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:29 am

As to "keeping" feeds from sites, Firefox and most browsers will delete the cache when you close the session. You could "save page as" but possibly not a video file. However, if you right-click the video image, you can copy the URL source for reference. With almost all on-line videos, they could have copyright protection.. and unlawful copying or distribution would be considered a criminal offense.. same as audio files.
IE does save whatever comes down, and you have to delete those files after a session yourself.. or set for automatic deletion. Anyone who uses IE would be surprised at the amount of cache size saved.. sometimes into the hundreds of gigs!!
As to playback of most video types, VLC is a good universal program.. and free. Get it from a trusted site, not a third-party offering!
If your system has an AGP video card, having at least 256 MB of memory should give decent results. 512 MB would be really good. But the card has to be compatible with the slot, up to an 8X standard.
One other issue with large data downloads slowing is that your antivirus program is doing a 'screen scan' of data before it is presented.. for your protection. With all the nasty viruses about, good to have an active scanner.
New Egg does have PCI WPA cards listed. But with any wireless setup, line-of-sight is important. Hidden behind a steel PC case, signals can become very erratic. An extension for the antenna so it is in clear view would be best. Ensure it has the 802.11n rating or near that, for the highest speed available. That should give around 300 Mb/s ideal speed.

I, too, have some older systems.. but they still do a daily grind very nicely.
Only one is actually the daily working unit. "If it still works good, why upgrade"? 2 x F@H routines is its regimen.
My main"toy":
Windows XP Pro with sp3.
Pentium 4 Prescott 2.80 Ghz 1 Mb L2, 800 FSB w/HT (Socket 775, 520J)
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nVidia GeF 7600GS AGP 8x 512 Mb
Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM 120 Gb SATA II
Motherboard: ASRock Conroe 865PE Socket 775 [2006]
650 watt Coolermaster Extreme PSU in ATX full tower
Audigy (SB 0090) Digital PCI card, with surround speakers
NEC MultiSync LCD 1700V monitor
Pioneer DVD-RW (DVR-116D)
Toshiba 16x DVD reader
Plus KVM switching for multiple systems.
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