Originally Posted by assassin
I think you may be a little bit in left field here.
A quality PSU absolutely DOES make a huge difference. Have you ever lost components to a cheap PSU while trying to cut corners? Well I, and many others, have. To tell someone that using a quality PSU is "rubbish" just isn't sound advice. In fact, many would argue that getting a quality PSU is one of the best pieces of advice to give a builder. You have been lucky in choosing cheap (notice I didn't say inexpensive) PSUs in some of your personal builds.
The Antec is a "green" PSU meaning that among other things it doesn't ship with a power cord on purpose since the company figures that many/most people have an extra lying around and this cuts down on e-waste. The Antec also is made by Seasonic which is the best PSU manufacturer across the board.
Personally I think the Coolermaster Elites are horribly ugly compared to the Three Hundred. Not sure where you are seeing where the the Coolermaster is vastly superior. I think they are both good budget cases.
Your right about the PSU quality, but since I have been lucky I discredit it.
And- I am not saying get the cheapest thing out there- but a name brand Corsair or Coolermaster or Rosewill for $20-$30 is fine in my book for basic builds.
This guy is obviously concerned with costs- and if so- and provided we are talking cheap equiptment here- My idea I was trying to give is that a cheaper PSU is ok to use in a budget build.
I think these things should be relative. A $30 PSU is more than good enough for a $300 total cost HTPC, and too often I see people thinking that a higher end PSU will provide them piece of mind- or more insurance- against failure. While it's possible- it's not certain. You could buy the best PSU made and still have crap luck and get that 1 out of 100 that just blows up.
But- I have never had a PSU fail in 20+ PC's I build. I think I had an OCZ crap out once in socket 939 days- but it did not ruin anything.
He has a $35 motherboard, a sub $50 CPU and $20 ram. I can't in good faith recommend anything but a basic sub $30 PSU for this application. The Corsair or Coolermaster rebadge models that sell for $17 bucks I mentioned are more than appropriate. The Antec of Seasonic might be considered better but for $50 or $60 it's not needed. I don't think it's really much better either in the big picture.
I might be unique in thinking this- but for the price of a cheap HTPC I would rather keep an inexpensive PSU and take the chance of losing the whole thing than overspend or blow my budget on an expensive PSU. It's unlikely that even a sub $20 PSU is going to have any issues in the first few years of use provided you choose a brand name with a decent track record.
And- Antec leaving out the cord for the price they charge for that PSU, as well as the lack of mounting screws and substandard packaging is not a good trait at all in my book. I still think it's a great PSU and I got a great deal on mine- if you found it for $30 or so- pull the trigger by all means. But- I mean come on- does it really cost much to include a power cable? If you bought one and did not know better and build a PC you could not plug it in and test it. Assuming someone has one is an excuse for being cheap, and even though I have 5 extra laying around somewhere- I still was slightly offended and put off by lack of it's inclusion.
regarding the case-
The antec I got was broken. I ended up RMA a motherboard thinking it was DOA. Not a bad thing- I ended up with a Z68 Extreme Asrock for $80 after it was all done.
But- the Antec300 does not impress me much. The power button on mine was defective. You press it and it does not turn on the motherboard. If I hit the on button directly on the board it powers right up.
Yes I know how to connect a system header panel. And it works in another case- and multiple motherboards did not work in the Antec300.
That is strike 1 for me.
Second- I took pictures of both builds and would be happy to post in another thread demonstrating the superiority of the Coolemaster case. (I paid the same $39 shipped for both)
The coolermaster was quieter.
The coolermaster was not defective.
I think it actually looks better in person. In my photos it looks much different and better than online on the newegg pictures. Likewise- the Antec looks worse. But- In reality they look about the same so it would be pretty tough to like one and not find the other at least acceptable.
The coolermaster is actually sprayed and coated smooth inside and out- the inside of the case is nice.
In contrast the Antec is bare metal and evidence of black paint overspray is inside the case on the bare metal. not my mark of quality.
The worst part of the Antec300 is the reset button. It's hidden and you must press it in. But they protect it with very small button depressed so it does not get pressed easily.
For a normal male hand- this means your fingers are too large and you must find a pencil or screw driver to depress the button. Total annoying.
Any product that assumes I am too stupid and tried to protect me from myself by trying to be smarter than me in design gets a flunking "F" for a grade from me.
I won't accidently press the reset reset button, so when I want to do it it should be as easy as pressing a button- not searching for a tool to do it.
The coolermaster also has an additional HDD space over the Antec- while still being neater and smaller overall. Plus you can use tooless connections or easily remove for standard. All the cages are powdercoated smooth black and it's much quieter and more solid than the flimsy metal in the Antec.
Same story on the back panel.
it might just be personal preference - But I do like the coolermaster.
Neither is at the level of my main machine case (COSMOS II) but clearly the coolermaster is closer in the stuff that is important to me.
Thermal performance should be acceptable on both. You can add more fans in more locations on the coolermaster- but the Antec is not lacking here so it's a wash. Also the Antec did include a top fan- and the fans include speed control if you need this feature.
To me that was the only two things that were better on the Antec.
I am not bashing it. I like both the Antec300 and the Eco PSU, and I am very happy with both.
But my point is- I am also happy (happier) with other products too. Specifically to this guy- The $17 Coolermaster PSU 430watt or same Corsair and I was actually trying to suggest either the Antec300 or Coolermaster Elite as a nice capable case.
I will make sure I post some pics and give a thorough review of both cases side by side with same boards in them.
There was at least 10 times I said to myself "I like how coolemaster does this better" while building two PC's side by side.