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Thread: Cases: Are they getting better or worse?

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Arrow Cases: Are they getting better or worse?

    Every week I see a vast number of new case reviews on the Internet. In the last couple of years, the designs of cases has broadened. From subtle, small SFF boxes, to large, pre-modded "gaming cases". Case prices are also increasingly favourable these days. I can pick up a cheap and cheerful chassis for £10 that has more features than a case I could have bought three years ago for £40. So, with all this in mind, I thought I'd see what the rest of the world thinks of the new case era...

    Is the broad range of choice good for the market? Are there too many pre-modded cases out there? I see a huge number of pre-modded cases that, quite frankly, I feel are garish, plasticky and just plain ugly. I'd much rather make a few personal touches to a well finished aluminium case than purchase a case full of "mod", but divoid of true "personality". However, perhaps such cases are ideal for those who can't, or rather don't want to put in the time to make something of their own.

    It's clear that there are a huge number of case manufacturers out there, all fighting for a piece of the market. All have to find something to attract the customers. So, in this competitive market, are we, the consumer, subject to shortcuts - at risk of cheap parts, poor construction and shoddy gimmicks? Or, is the competition good, sifting out the good from the bad, and the great from the downright terrible?

    On top of all this, do tell everyone what your favourite case is, or what is missing from current cases that you'd like to see... perhaps something nobody has thought of yet.

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    Worst imho. there are so many tacky cases out there its silly.

    Look at the g5 case by apple, lianli copied it to some degree but done this with class.... head to scan.co.uk and look at there version well omg it's awful. im sorry but if your going to copy something do it correctly!

    Then you see there tacky cases with plastic bits hanging off the sides etc. yes i used to want windows etc. now im more of a blowhole kinda guy. i like clean lines with either alu or black effects to boot.

    Only way i can sum this up really is you pay for quality. silverstone, lianli mountain mods etc all gods.

    A case needs to look the part but more importantly be functional. Some mods just go to far.

    The latest breed of cpu (a64) is seeing users buying psu's kicking clean 500+watts of power, add water pelts and lighting you need a large case that is functional. quirky cases just dont cut it when it comes to real computing!

    FAV CASE
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    Last edited by Gav2000uk; 16-10-2004 at 06:29 PM. Reason: forgot my fave case!

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    Hey Gav, welcome to HEXUS Forums! You raise another issue there: cases that "impersonate" other cases. That's something I'm not over-fond of. Ironically, I myself have just bought this case by Beantech:



    http://www.beantech.com/products/alu...ses-igloo1.htm

    ...looks a lot like a Lian-Li!

    Still, regardless of that fact, it is well made and well designed, and will make a great chassis for my next system.
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    Thankyou for the welcome (I Promise im not a noob)

    Yes there are some cases out there that are good ripoff's so to speak. beantech have some nice cases.

    I think the biggest issues are when good cases are copied badly and people get confused between the two!

    Another thing that annoys me is cheap cases coming with a psu. with that stupid P4 Approved sticker on the side. lol A real case comes with no psu not unless its a supermicro server case or such like which should come with a redundent psu setup for a reason!

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    First things first, very nice thread here Kez.

    Personally when I look for a new case I want something that is functional and fits a purpose. For example when I bought my Antec Lanboy I wanted something easy to transport and has a decent psu. Antec are one of the few companies that can offer a decent case/psu combo.

    The last few months I have been looking for a case that is bigger, as i generally don't need the transportability any more and would like the option of water-cooling in the future. The problem I have encountered is that there seems to be a lack of innovation at the high-end. All the cases that cost £100+ seem to offer little more than cases that cost £50-80. Lian Li have there v1000/2000 series with its seperate compartments but I see this as no more than a gimmick.

    I feel as though I want to spend a decent amount on a case that will last for years but at the same time can't see anything that is truely worth the money.
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    Gordy Gordy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kez
    Hey Gav, welcome to HEXUS Forums! You raise another issue there: cases that "impersonate" other cases. That's something I'm not over-fond of. Ironically, I myself have just bought this case by Beantech:



    http://www.beantech.com/products/alu...ses-igloo1.htm

    ...looks a lot like a Lian-Li!

    Still, regardless of that fact, it is well made and well designed, and will make a great chassis for my next system.
    Seeing as lian li did more copying than any other case company the can't exactly complain



    Overall case design has gone downhill imho. I will never own another normal case , custom cases or shuttles all the way tbh

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    If your 5555... Swafe's Avatar
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    so many more cases these days are becoming lian li rip offs

    ok, your not ever goin to get identical, but that silver one posted, i remember buying an almost identical one off ebuyer for 20 quid - it was silver plastic not aluminum like a lian but still nice and cheap

    as for range - and different styles yes - there are quite a few more designs, even of similar models



    as for build quality - yes and no - if its a top end then its always generally pretty good build quality, however if u go for a budget one, lately, ive found that they are really lacking, and give u a really 'cheap' and 'tacky' feel to them


    but for 10 quid, with a 300W PSU included, what can u expect?
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    All I can say is 120mm all the way! If it dont have a rear 120, I'm not buying it! Most cases today say they are designd to be cool! Much like the one posted above... but one rear 80! Give me a break! That aint doing squat!

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    The older coolermaster cases are better than the new ones imho. I love my ATC 220, looks great, feels great.

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    Overall, a broad range is indeed good for the market. Unfortunately, you also get a broad range of very poorly constructed cases. This isn't an entirely bad thing, though.

    Case prices and their value are relative to one's economy and what one earns. Thus, in my case, a CMStacker comes out costing almost a third of my monthly salary. And that's not to say I have a bad salary - I actually have a very nicely-sized cheque at the end of each month. But at the current salary : price ratio, the CMStacker comes out being a valuable case, and one that I would be very hesitant to mod. On the other hand, I have no qualms about cutting holes into my current case, a low-end cheap one that looks decent in its charcoal gray. So for this reason, cheap cases can be good, if you're looking for something to play around with. For Jim-bob at the local PC store, where price is everything, cheap cases are very bad.

    To the point on pre-modded cases, I go back again to the salary : price ratio - people will buy high-end pre-modded cases, because this ratio is comparatively high, and they don't want to wind up wasting their hard-earned cash on a case that they botch up when trying to mod. Personally modding a case doesn't just depend on whether or not you have time to do it, or want to - it also depends on how valuable the case is to you, and if you could afford making a mistake while modding it (And mistakes do happen, regardless of how careful you try to be).

    So yes, consumers are definately subject to shortcuts, poor workmanship, bad quality. And, unfortunately, I don't see this changing so long as price is a major factor when deciding what to buy.

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    Tbh I never really took much interest in the case market. I always forget the case when pricing a new system and then cant afford one when it comes to it . In fact I have never bought a case in my life. I certainly think cases are important but for me they have always either modded old ones (free) or built/modded them from scratch.

    There are certainly many commercial cases that look good but I have never been tempted to buy one. Saying that there is definately a place for pre-modded and aesthetically pleasing commercial cases. They are designed for people who either dont have the time, skill, or interest, to mod there own case but still wont something that looks good and, maybe, looks modded. There is nothing wrong with that, and I think the case companies are responding to a increasing market in this area. After all the case companies wouldnt be producing them if no one bought them.

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    mutantbass head Lee H's Avatar
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    I feel that the market is trying to aim more for the consumer.

    As you said there are a lot of cases that look similar etc but the prices vary between the two because lets face it there are a lot of people out there that do not want to pay 80 pounds for a case WITHOUT a power supply when most of the components used probably cost between 30-60 pounds each.

    High-end cases such as Silverstone, Akasa ( thanks David for the heads up on this case btw ), coolermaster are excellent buys once you have got over the initial hurdle of justifying the cases cost. There are also some cases ( pardon the pun ) where a cheaper case looks better and has the features of a more expensive version - i.e casetek 1018 and the thermaltake xasers.

    The only difference between the 2 cases named is the thermaltake comes with a fan controller, fans and a fancy front, but they are based on the same chassis and have the same internal giblets.

    As long as there is a demand for these "clones" at a cheaper price, then they will be available everywhere

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kez
    http://www.beantech.com/products/alu...ses-igloo1.htm

    ...looks a lot like a Lian-Li!

    Still, regardless of that fact, it is well made and well designed, and will make a great chassis for my next system.
    Well according to rumor Beantech was started by ex Lian-Li employees and Silverstone by ex coolermaster. How true that is I don't know but if you look at the designs it seems fairly possible

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    What about something like that?

    Looks alrightish and has 3 yes 3 120mm fans to keep it all cool.

    I agree there are some horrible pre-modded cases around but sometimes a premodded case can be good for points outlined above.
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    Looks alrightish and has 3 yes 3 120mm fans to keep it all cool.
    I am praying thats a joke, that is one of the ugliest cases I have ever seen.

    Personally I think case design is going down the pan a little. The older coolermasters and lian li's were much better imo, although I am fond of the new lian li's.

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    If you wait long enough - the older styles of case with become "retro" and be back on the market

    some of the cases nowadays are a little too premodded for my taste ,but then again I've always preferred function over form.
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