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Computer Case suggestions

G3N3R4L

TRIBE Member
So I am looking for a computer case for a computer I am building.

I have a couple ideas, but have been looking around and nothing is really jumping out at me for options. It's been a long time since I built a PC.


I am looking for an ATX case, I need 1 or 2 x 5.25 bays and probably 3 or 4 x 3.5 bays at most.

I don't see a huge need for upgrading space.



Should I be looking at a bigger case for cooling purposes? or do the smaller ATX cases work just fine?


Some of the ones I was looking at:

Thermaltake Versa I ATX Mid Tower Case Black 3X5.25 1X3.5 5X3.5INT Front USB3.0 Audio No PSU

Antec One Mid-Tower Gaming ATX Case Black 3X5.25 5X3.5 2X2.5 Front USB3.0 Top Rear 120mm Fans No PSU


This one is a bit more expensive:

Antec P280 XL-ATX Tower Case Black 3X5.25 2X2.5 6X3.5IN 2X120MM Top 1X120MM Rear Front USB3.0 No PSU

but I like that it has dedicated 2.5" bays for SSD.


Any cases that you prefer? suggestions etc.

Or should I just find one that is aesthetically pleasing and call it a day, since they are all the same anyways.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
This is my wheelhouse!

I have owned Lian-Li cases before and I think their time to shine was 5 or so years ago, when they were one of only people putting out reliable high-end designs.

Since then I think they have slipped a bit and are being outmatched by Silverstone/Corsair/Antec and even coolermaster in terms of functionality (LL can be poorer in SSD placement, cable routing, and other ease-of-use features).

I have really become enamoured with Silverstone, and these guys have the top marks IMO for me.

I would consider mATX if only cause some cases, like the Silverstone FT03 (soon to get one myself actually for my HTPC) or smaller towers like the NZXT Vulcan offer most of functionality of bigger towers without many sacrifices!

If you are looking for full tower my top reco still is the Silverstone FT02 but you may get more mileage out of the corsair designs (650D is nice) as they were released later and may have a few more trimmings (though I understand FT02 has USB 3 now).

My advice actually is to take your case pretty seriously. I know people cheaping out and getting "whatever" but if you invest in a high quality case you can situate your next 2-3 computers in there and get 10 years out of it!

I invested $600 into an Silverstone TJ11, and have amazing air cooling now and potential for easy water cooling later on with a giant 4x140mm radiator if I want! This is likely 200$ more than a sane person should spend on a case, but point being that money spent in a case can be thought of as a "more than just the next computer" kind of thing...

A good compromise between that ferrari and low end case would be in the Corsair line

Also some of the other recent silverstone designs are getting good marks (there are lots of fans of their Raven series and the recent TJ-08E), and the FT04 is just around the corner!

Also this was well liked, NZXT makes some nice cases too but check reviews first...

Out of cases you listed I would stick with antec - in general - over anything from thermaltake!
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Are you still out in BC too?

I will be replacing my NZXT Vulcan with that FT03 I mentioned - great case actually! Just a bit too "gamerish" for an HTPC sitting beside the TV..;)

But if you're out in BC might still cost me a bit to ship it, nevertheless willing to let it go for not much more than shipping if you're out there!
 
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G3N3R4L

TRIBE Member
Yeah I am in New Westminster area.

See what you want for shipping and we can maybe work something out.


A buddy of mine has this one and highly recommended it.

Fractal Design Define R4 ATX Tower Case Black Pearl 2X5.25 8X3.5INT No PSU Front 2XUSB3.0 Audio

It's nice and simple sleek.


I don't mind the full tower as I have a lot of space for it. But if I don't fill up the drive bays I worry that it just becomes a big dust collector.

That silverstone one you got totally isolates the drives and the mobo. Very interesting.


A side question:

Does anyone really need "Nine uninterrupted 5.25” drive bays". I can think of maybe needing one or two optical drives at most.

Are there other things people put into those slots or something? Seems like overkill to me.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Ya so I have way more 5.25 slots than I need however:

- 1 of the ones near bottom is now replaced with a fader-style fan controller
- if I went water cooling I could keep the rad in the bottom compartment, then take up 2-4 of the drive bays with a reservoir/pump combo that is designed to fit in space of multiple drive bays (cool thing about this is seeing reservoir levels and having some controls right in your front panel)
- people can go fancy with their controllers, some take up two slots and have touch screens, but that's overkill for me.
- with optical and two 5.25 hotswap and the controller I am already using 4 slots, and could use 2-4 more for WCing when I pull the trigger on that

So for me?

The pile of 5.25 slots, and even the room in bottom I can use for hard drives - is pretty much redundant. I have a NAS w/ all my hard drives anyway and that is always my recommendation: get your big pile of storage into a little box that ONLY serves content.

Then you dont have to have your power hungry computer ON to access shit and you can have more space in your case for components, or simply less shit generating heat and needing cables...But that's if you use that space for actual hard drives and 5.25 devices - maybe you can leverage that space to put other equipment in.... (some people have taken apart xbox 360s for instance, and embedded them in a larger computer case to have essentially their computer AND 360 all in one case!)

Main questions when buying a case should be:

- will I do air cooling or water cooling
- do I need to put all my hard drives in it
- what is the default performance of the case when it comes to cooling
- do I care about noise or not
- what is cable management like
- what is ease of use like: how hard to open up and tinker and add/remove components? (ie, do they have hot swap drives, removable slide-out motherboard tray, are the screws thumb screws or do you need a screwdriver
- what is build quality (ie, thickness of aluminium, aluminium vs steel vs formed plastic, strength of any mechanisms inside the case)

If you are into power then another question might be: do I have room for the longest video card, do i have room for that 2nd power supply, do I have room for 3 GPUs.... etc..;)
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Yeah I am in New Westminster area.

See what you want for shipping and we can maybe work something out.


A buddy of mine has this one and highly recommended it.

Fractal Design Define R4 ATX Tower Case Black Pearl 2X5.25 8X3.5INT No PSU Front 2XUSB3.0 Audio

It's nice and simple sleek.
This is definitely a quality option.:
I don't think Fractal Design's engineers were daring enough with the Define R4. This is by no means a bad case, but there are places where technology has improved that Fractal Design could definitely have adopted. For example, SilverStone's Temjin TJ04-E aligns the top fan mounts to the left side of the case in order to improve clearance for increasingly popular 240mm radiators. This is an easy enough change to institute that notably improves the usability of the case. Likewise, switching to hinged side panels allows for clearance for routing the AUX 12V line. Fractal Design could also save some width by introducing cabling channels in the motherboard tray similar to what Corsair did with the Vengeance C70. These aren't changes that are going to dramatically improve the R4, but they're easy ones to implement that make the case more usable without driving up the cost.

Speaking of cost, that's one place where I do think Fractal Design nailed the Define R4. While I wasn't supremely impressed by its thermal performance, I do think it's worth the $10 premium over the NZXT H2, and does a better job acoustically than the $10 pricier Antec P280. $109 is a great price for a case this feature rich and well built, and while the Corsair 550D is a generally better performer, it also has more trouble spots that give me some pause in regards to its longevity. Couple that with an extra $30 on the price tag, and the Define R4 looks a lot better.

Ultimately, I think if I were building a quiet system on a budget for someone, I'd have an awfully hard time finding a better choice than the Define R4. The case absolutely has room for improvement and I wonder if potentially more efficient case fans like SilverStone's AP121 or Corsair's new line wouldn't give us better thermal results, but the $109 price tag is very hard to argue with when you take into account what you get. The R4 isn't a slam dunk, but it's definitely worth your consideration.​

Think about the Vulcan. Happy to ship for 20 bones plus shipping cost... would just be a tad more expensive than mailing a normal thing just from dimensions and weight - would expect would be around 40 or so to ship?

Thats just me ballparking... also it is just mATX so you need the mATX board and maybe you are using ATX??
 

G3N3R4L

TRIBE Member
Oh I missed that part, yeah I already have the ATX board unfortunately.

Thanks for hooking me up with some options though. I think I have better ground to stand on while looking through cases now.

I think my main two options are the Fractal and the Antec P280.
 
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Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
I would love to have a water cooled PC. So neat. I'd also like someone to come in regularly to service it for me, cause fuck that shit.
 

derek

TRIBE Member
i've got a corsair graphite 600t. excellent cooling, quite, hands-free tooling, quick release bays, and removable dust trays for easy cleaning.

can easily handle two gpus (i only run one, not that nerdy)

very happy with it.

 

Vise

TRIBE Member
I'm a big fan of Antec cases as well, had several and currently using the latest Sonata model. Considered the P280 but it is overkill for my needs and also too tall for my desk. I mostly want something lowkey/quiet but well built and with enough space/flexibility, the Sonata series has worked very well for me as they are near dead silent.
 

derek

TRIBE Member
i had a bad experience with an antec case. in fairness though that was a long time ago. it was a bitch to fit components in.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Sonatas need a refresh badly but for their time the III was pretty sick and did great for keeping quiet!

Corsair cases are looking real nice to me I was pretty close to jumping on the 800D but the whole line is pretty solid down to the very affordable cases too!

The graphite def looks cool - I think G3N3R4L you should look up a few corsair options in your price range, I'd def be thinking about them in that market segment...
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
The nice thing about the 90 degree rotated design is that you get ALL your cables coming out the top of the case in a nice bunch - makes it easier to avoid that rats nest @ the back, you can just bundle them all right at the exit point and put that away somewhere clean and tidy..;)
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Ok, after going around and around, I decided to grab this one.

I watched unboxing videos galore, reviews and builds. Pretty pumped on it actually.
Exciting! Post a pic once you've got your build set up! PM me if you run into any problems...
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
NICE on the 680! And whole build looks GREAT!

The cable management makes your build look slick as hell man with those cutouts for you to ram the cables through!

I am rocking a 580 but may move that to my HTPC and pick up a geforce Titan for the main comp (releasing in a few weeks) - but might hold off too... thats me just getting extravagant..;)
 
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