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Thread: Need opinions on a few cases...

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    Need opinions on a few cases...

    First off, is there no cheapish case that won't light up like the Blackpool Illuminations?! I want something unobtrusive and quiet. I don't want to hear it, but at the same time I don't want to SEE it either. If it's lighting up the corner of the living room it's going to annoy me.

    I'm building a box to act as a TV server backend for MediaPortal, a fileserver for MP and XBMC, a music server for my logitech doo-dah, a video encoding machine and a few other always-on services. Mostly very low usage apart from a few bursts of activity each day for maybe 30 minutes at a time while it's encoding something.

    I have PSU/CPU/RAM/Drives/MOBO but now I need a case to put it all in.

    The box will be in the living room, so I want it to be as quiet as possible. This means good airflow, probably with large-ish fans at low rpm.

    I've set a budget of £40-ish for the case.

    I've narrowed it down to a few at scan.

    Xclio Godspeed One Advanced Black Mid Tower Case with 2 x180mm Side Fans, w/o PSU - £36.04



    This has speed controls for the fans, looks go have pretty good airflow options (2x18cm in the side which will be sucking in and 2x8cm at the top which will be sucking out)

    Xclio Godspeed Two Full Black Mid Tower Case with 80mm Side Fan w/o PSU - £30.07



    This is the same as the first one, but with a single 8cm side fan instead of the two 18cm side fans.

    Xclio NightHawk Extreme, Mid Tower Case, Black, 10 Front Bays, 18cm Side Fan - £41.54



    18cm fan at the top, 18cm fan at the side, twin 12cm at the front.

    Z7-PLUS - Zalman Z7 Plus (inc Side Fan) ATX Mid Tower PC Case - £44.63



    Speed controlled side fan. Much better looking case, but with only one fan, and more expensive...

    To be honest, the looks aren't important. It'll be hidden from view for its entire life. I just want something that I can setup and forget all about.

    I want something I can put one optical drive and 6+ 3.5" drives into. I have a spare coolermaster 4in3 so if the case doesn't have enough 3.5" bays but has 3 5.25" bays I can convert, that's fine.

    The thing that bothers me most is the noise. These cases have speed adjustable fans, but will they go low enough to be more or less silent?

    I've got a Shuttle SG33G5M-Deluxe in the bedroom, and it's more or less silent. You can hear a very low hum from the fans, but it's at its loudest when accessing the HDDs. That's what I want for the server.

    Does anyone have any experience of any of these cases? Or can recommend an equivalently sized case with comparable cooling options, within my budget?

    I'm considering getting the Corsair H50-1 or the Noctua NH-U12P to cool the CPU. These are both meant to be pretty quiet. I'd expect the rest of the system to be no louder.

    If I did get the Corsair, I'd need to have the PSU at the top of the case. Corsair recommend having the fans on it sucking into the case, so if the PSU was blowing out hot air below it...

    See, I've gone and rambled on when all I wanted was to know if anyone had experience with these cases.
    Quote Originally Posted by w3bbo View Post
    Scan, like any other busty retailer...

  2. #2
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    What's the machine spec? That'll help us know how much heat you need to get rid of!

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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    Good point. Q6600, lowest power video card I can find, a few TV tuners, a half dozen hard drives.

    Only thing that'll be generating serious heat is the CPU really, the tuners run fairly cool and the drives will be set to spin down when inactive.
    Quote Originally Posted by w3bbo View Post
    Scan, like any other busty retailer...

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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    shame as there is the new Antec on Today only on Scan for a very respectable £49 ish delivered.

    For the bundle it looks pretty good - not only that but its also got a hot swap HDD caddy built in - handy for major file transfers to avoid network issues.
    Please do not message me about Scan Free shipping, I no longer work for HEXUS.net

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    Quote Originally Posted by weegie.geek View Post
    First off, is there no cheapish case that won't light up like the Blackpool Illuminations?! I want something unobtrusive and quiet. I don't want to hear it, but at the same time I don't want to SEE it either. If it's lighting up the corner of the living room it's going to annoy me.
    Plenty


    £29.10


    £29.34


    £43.44

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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    I'd literally never use the hot swap caddy so it's overpriced for me. Looks a bit cheap and nasty too imo. If I was spending £50 I'd probably go for this xigmatech:



    for £53.

    edit: @ kalniel - out of those the only one I'd touch is the Antec 300, and it's slightly over budget, so I'd be as well getting the Zalman.
    Last edited by weegie.geek; 29-04-2010 at 03:47 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by w3bbo View Post
    Scan, like any other busty retailer...

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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    Quote Originally Posted by weegie.geek View Post
    edit: @ kalniel - out of those the only one I'd touch is the Antec 300, and it's slightly over budget, so I'd be as well getting the Zalman.
    Not a fan of coolermaster then? They're usually my 'go to' for cheap cases in builds actually, far better than other brands at that price it seems.

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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    A "value" Antec VSK-2000 then?

    http://www.scan.co.uk/product.aspx?ProductId=31023

    Currently 28 quid on Scan Today Only (yeah, that's only a quid off but still nice).

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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    +1 for the antec 300
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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Not a fan of coolermaster then? They're usually my 'go to' for cheap cases in builds actually, far better than other brands at that price it seems.
    I don't dislike any brand really, but the 334 and 335 don't look great cooling-wise. A maximum of 2x120mm fans. I want it running as close to silent as I can, so I question how well only 2 12cm fans will do the job without having to crank them up.

    I've only just noticed the Xigmatek Asgard Black... for £30.43



    That looks like a go-er. Cable management, room for 4x120mm fans, psu at the top, decent looking case... I'll get 10 3.5" drives in it (with a 4in3) and one 5.25".
    Quote Originally Posted by w3bbo View Post
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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    Quote Originally Posted by weegie.geek View Post
    I don't dislike any brand really, but the 334 and 335 don't look great cooling-wise. A maximum of 2x120mm fans. I want it running as close to silent as I can, so I question how well only 2 12cm fans will do the job without having to crank them up.
    Really well actually - the front of the cases are mesh so with a bit of thought on the PSU/CPU cooler front you can get a really nice airflow scheme - you don't even need the front fan to be honest, the rear exhausting one is enough.

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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Really well actually - the front of the cases are mesh so with a bit of thought on the PSU/CPU cooler front you can get a really nice airflow scheme - you don't even need the front fan to be honest, the rear exhausting one is enough.
    More fans = more airflow surely, and more airflow enables me to run the fans slower and quieter for less noise.

    The Asgard in my last post has an all mesh front, a potential 4x120mm fans and cable routing behind the mobo tray, so airflow should be obstructed by cables much less. I'm not sure I'll do better than that for the money.
    Quote Originally Posted by w3bbo View Post
    Scan, like any other busty retailer...

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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    more fans is amost always more noise.
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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    Quote Originally Posted by nibbler View Post
    more fans is amost always more noise.
    Of course, which is why I intend to undervolt them and run them slower therefore quieter.
    Quote Originally Posted by w3bbo View Post
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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    2 medium fans is better both for cooling and also for noise thatn 3 low
    Unless you fork out for silent eagles or something which isn't really worth it.
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    Re: Need opinions on a few cases...

    No, more fans does not = good air flow
    good air flow = good air flow (Key word here "flow")

    Quite often stuffing a buch of fans on the side of the case will only resault in less air flow from the front of the case as the fans at the front have to fight back pressure of the side draft.

    Otherwise loads of poeple would have this http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Xclio...e-Pane-w-o-PSU

    now in all seriousness, as a file server the cpu is not going to be under much load for most of the time so it'll not need that much cooling.
    I would keep some air flow over the harddrives.

    Shame your budget wouldn't stretch to the fractal case that would be ideal.

    PS limited to Scan only?

    I'd sugest a Sharkoon rebel 9 (as you cannot afford the rebel12 which would exellent choise for a file server) http://www.sharkoon.com/html/produkt...ml?id=r9proeco
    (I cannot find the new rebel 9 Pro economy for sale any where shame it's looks very good)
    Best I can find is the rebel9 value http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductID=590763
    Or Sliverstone Precision PS01 http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Silve...-Panel-w-o-PSU
    review http://www.unlimitpc.com/index.php?n...owpage&pid=112

    Both of these low cost case work in the same way as the antec 900, ie the front is just a full set of filtered 5.25" bays and hard drives are added via cages
    For additional cages, the raven ones are ideal, low cost, drives not too tightly spaced and fully vibration damped. http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Silve...n-series-black
    They don't have fans or mounts for fans however fanns could be added by drilling a couple of holes or simular simple mod.
    If you want the fan preinstalled and the drives hot swappable then this on instead http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Silve...wap-black-RoHS

    Note the sharkoon rebel cases don't come with a removable cage, instead it comes with some hard drive rails (these http://www.au-ja.de/bilder/2008/shar...bel9ee-tn4.jpg ) and a fan frame http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Shark...r-120mm-fan%29

    personally I'd go for that Precision and raven drive cage and some good low rpm fans

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