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CASE

     The case which is also called a chassis, is going to be the first thing that you will want to have in order to build your new pc. Without it where do you expect to put all of your components? The most important thing to ask about when getting your case is: "Does it come with a power supply?" Without a power supply you will not be able to give any of your components the electricity that they need. The most common type of power supply that is a standard for PCs is ATX. When you buy a power supply make sure that it is an ATX power supply, ATX is not a brand of power supplies but rather the type of power supply. There are a couple of other factors that you need to look out for on the power supply. First, ask yourself how much electricity will you be using? Will you have three optical drives, or just one? (e.g. DVD, CD Rom, CD-RW) Next how many hard drives will you be using are you going to have just one, or will you have two of them hooked up in a RAID configuration? This can also take more power away from you. If you are not sure then just go with an average power supply of 300 watts, if you only want a few drives in your computer you will be fine with a 250 watt power supply. If you are planning on making a huge computer with a ton of drives installed in it, you should look at something more than a 300w, like 350w or 400w. The last thing that you need to know about the power supply is only for Pentium 4 owners like me. The Intel Pentium 4 processor uses a new power supply ATX12V which means that along with the 20 pin connector that goes to your motherboard you will also have an additional 4 pin connector that will plug into your motherboard as well, which will give your Pentium 4 the additional 12 volts of power that it needs to run correctly.

     The case shown here is an ANTEC case and it came with 300w ATX power supply. It is a good case and it only cost me $80 at Office Depot. The one problem with this case is that it did not have the ATX12V power supply that I needed for my Pentium 4. I am running it without the extra 12v connector and I must say that it runs just fine. Although I do not suggest doing this. Intel strongly suggests that you have the correct power supply that is made for the Pentium 4 processor and motherboard. It will work without it, but I'm sure that you would be better off with the correct power supply.

     I give this ANTEC case an 85% on overall greatness. It could have gotten a bit higher if it had outside access to more of the 3 1/2" drive bays. It is very sturdy, and has a nice sleek design. It is also very easy to take apart, and could easily be painted to customize your style. At $80 you just can't find a better price.