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Old 1st February 2009
DrJ DrJ is offline
ISO Quartermaster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gold Country, CA
Posts: 507

On the Antec case you would like to buy, I'd ask CS. If he has had success using it, then by all means go for it. I tend to reuse equipment for many years, and having the extra capability of the Solo is worth it to me. For example, I am reusing one to put together a "new" computer from existing parts. It will have a bunch of SCSI drives in it, and they really vibrate like mad. The Solo will really help for that. Such a thing may not be important to you.

Bear in mind that our household and my small company have about a dozen active computers and a bunch of spares and parts. Buying things that are more long lived and flexible is important here. It may be less so for you, and that's fine.

On the power supply, modular cables help to keep things clean by using only the cables you need at the moment. If you add new components, you then add another cable. That's very convenient, but it may not be worth it to you. I also go for the most quiet components I can (SCSI drives excepted), so the noise profile is important to me. It may not be as important for you.

Also, I build these myself, so I can buy things on sale. The Solos I bought for between $50 and $60, the 520W Corsair for $70, and an Antec Designer (the Solo + Antec 500W PS) for $100. I have that flexibility. If you buy from someone else, like CS, you don't really have that option. You gain other things, of course, and for you that may be more attractive.

On the disk issue, computer people tend to make a big deal about small performance differences. I'd bet you could not tell the difference in performance between any of the SATA drives you are considering if they are of comparable vintage and rotational speed. The differences really come when you compare those drives with SCSI, SAS or the 10K RPM SATA drives like the Raptor family. Within a particular drive class, I'd look for longevity/reliability, warranty, and noise. The differences in power consumption are not that big a deal for a desktop, and the performance differences usually are not large.

Last, I think you are over-thinking your decision. One benefit with purchasing from a systems integrator like CS (you are still doing that, right?) is that they have a lot of experience. A lot more than vermaden or I likely have, since they have had the chance to work with a greater range of hardware. You are in part paying for their advice. Use it! I've known CS through the boards for many years now, and I believe him to be honest and with very good knowledge about computers. If he recommends this component or that, and it fits with your overall goals, I'd listen to him.
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