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Thread: Case Help & Advice

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    Case Help & Advice

    Hey again

    You guys must be sick of me by now

    Anyway, I'm trying to make my mind up between three different cases for my new build and because you guys know your stuff better then anyone else I know I thought here would be the best place to ask for advice so here goes.

    The three cases that I have been looking at are:

    ThermalTake Lv.10 GTS - £89.98
    Coolmaster 690 II Advanced nVidia edition - £93.23
    NZXT Phantom 410 - £79.69

    All seem well made and offer just about everything one could want in a mid tower case but which is the "best" case from the bunch??

    Hope you guys can help me with this, thanks a lot!
    Rookie
    Last edited by Rookie1986; 29-04-2012 at 10:53 PM.

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Case Help & Advice

    Depends, all are decent, personally I'm not a big fan of that tt case, the easy access hard drive bays are nice and it is a sane price unlike the lv10 and lv10 GT
    but at the same time it's a bit ugly to my eyes, lacking the design flare that made the lv10 so nice looking.

    I'd not bother with the Coolmaster 690 II Advanced nVidia edition, go for the basic lite version instead http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coole...e-sata-w-o-psu far cheaper and just lacks the additional stock fans and the hotswap top tray or the basic advanced version for blue led fan or the black and white advanced version for white led fans.
    Although none come with a full set of fans still they are cheaper than paying extra to have nvidia branding on your case.

    Will depend on what your after in a case.
    Air or water cooling?
    size?
    air flow? (as in how much are you actually going to need?, will depend on what you plan to put in it)
    Number of drives?
    Looks?

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    Re: Case Help & Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Rookie1986 View Post
    ...
    Coolmaster 690 II Advanced nVidia edition - £93.23
    ...
    I have older, lite version of this one and it serve me pretty well. It is good quality, big enough for latest GPUs or tall air coolers (mine - Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme). You can add additional fans if required. I modded my for better air flow.

    Pob255 is absolutely right - go with lite version http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coole...e-sata-w-o-psu

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Case Help & Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by konrad13x View Post
    I have older, lite version of this one and it serve me pretty well. It is good quality, big enough for latest GPUs or tall air coolers (mine - Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme). You can add additional fans if required. I modded my for better air flow.
    Hate to say this but nether of those claims are anything special, the TRUE is no taller than any other 120mm fan based tower cpu cooler, and apart from the top end of any range cards, graphics cards have actually been getting shorter.
    My current gtx560ti is shorter than my older gtx260 which was slightly shorter than my 9800gtx before that, all of which I've had inside my rather small casecom KM-6788, yes they where a tight fit but they did fit.
    That's not to say the old 690 dominator was bad or the new 690 II is bad, it's just these claims are not that special these days.

    nice thing to sell the 690II on is support for two 240 rads without modification, improved cable management options with the space to back it up (one thing the casecom seriously lacks is space to run all your cables)

    EDIT: although ebuyer is getting in a new casecom case https://forums.ebuyer.com/showthread...ay-interesting not sure what it's going to be like but on the face of it it's looking very good and a decent price, but it's hard to say without seeing a detailed review/look at it.

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    Re: Case Help & Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    Depends, all are decent, personally I'm not a big fan of that tt case, the easy access hard drive bays are nice and it is a sane price unlike the lv10 and lv10 GT
    but at the same time it's a bit ugly to my eyes, lacking the design flare that made the lv10 so nice looking.

    I'd not bother with the Coolmaster 690 II Advanced nVidia edition, go for the basic lite version instead http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coole...e-sata-w-o-psu far cheaper and just lacks the additional stock fans and the hotswap top tray or the basic advanced version for blue led fan or the black and white advanced version for white led fans.
    Although none come with a full set of fans still they are cheaper than paying extra to have nvidia branding on your case.

    Will depend on what your after in a case.
    Air or water cooling?
    size?
    air flow? (as in how much are you actually going to need?, will depend on what you plan to put in it)
    Number of drives?
    Looks?
    Ok, so far my build is looking something like this:

    I5 3570K CPU.
    Corsair H100 Cooler.
    Ivy Bridge z77 Motherboard (having trouble decided on which one lol!).
    Blu-ray read/writer.
    DVD read/writer.
    Radeon 7970 or GTX 670 (Depending on how the 670 performs/price).
    2TB SATA III Seagate 7200rpm HDD (Media Storage).
    Crucial M4 64Gb SSD (Boot Drive with Office and Anti-Virus on).
    Crucial M4 256Gb SSD (Games).
    8Gb DDR3 Dual Channel RAM (1600) (Corsair Vengeance colour coded to Motherboard/Parts).
    Corsair 600w-750w PSU (Most likely a one that is modular).
    Dell UltraSharp 2412M Monitor.

    And I think thats about it, maybe a few extra fans and other small additions (Fan controller, coloured wire braiding, lighting kits etc... you know how it goes). If I have missed anything major out though please tell me lol or I'm going to end up way out on my budget!

    I guess the only other thing is looks which is really hard to specify online, I wouldn't say I'm a case snob but I do like something with a little bit of flare and style to it. Nothing OTT but I'm sure from the three cases that I've been looking at you get an idea of my preferences. The case is going to be sat under a desk with no sides against anything which will give full 360 degrees of airflow. The main side of the case will be visible most of the time unless someone is actually using it although this might change over the coming year as we alter the rooms layout.

    My original budget was around the £100-£1200 area but as I seem to go with things its slowly creeping up and up, I think I last priced it at closer to £1700 which is fine as long as its going to kick ass and still be doing so for years to come!

    I'm due to go for an operation in the next 4-6 weeks (just waiting on my letter with my date) so this is going to be my project for over the 6 weeks recovery time

    Rookie

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    Re: Case Help & Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    ...
    That's not to say the old 690 dominator was bad or the new 690 II is bad, it's just these claims are not that special these days.
    ...
    "...these days" - you probably right as I bought my case 4 years ago and haven't look on newer cases since then. I'm still happy with my box and plant to use it in new build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rookie1986 View Post
    ...
    The case is going to be sat under a desk with no sides against anything which will give full 360 degrees of airflow.
    ...
    If you are going to keep your PC close to the floor level it is a good idea to look for a case with easy removable air filters. It's much easier to wash filters then clean whole PC inside.
    Last edited by konrad13x; 30-04-2012 at 08:05 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Case Help & Advice

    Ok if you plan on an H100 then you need something which can support a dual rad.

    I agree with konrad13x on the easy to access dust filters, even if you kept your pc on top of your desk, the higher the air flow the more important you'll find that.

    Good little look here at the sizes of both the gtx680 and 7970 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyXvhdN9ljQ if nvidia follows their normal form then the gtx670 will probably have the same pcb as the gtx680, the x70 is normally the same gpu as the x80 with a bad cluster masked off.
    So you'll need 10 to 11 inches of gpu room, as many cases now feature a hard drive bay in two cages with the upper cage removable to make room for longer cards it's probably not going to be a major issue unless you're looking at a real budget case.
    This does have a down side in greatly reducing the number of drive you can fit in it of course.

    Here's some other cases to have a look at
    Coolermaster Storm Enforcer/HAF 912+ http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coole...su-new-version
    The two are the exact same internal frame, the only difference is the outter looks, the enforcer has a half door (covering the 5.25" bays only) and a windowed side panel.
    + nice and spacious, the extra width means loads of room behind the motherboard tray to hide cables and still get the side panel on easily.
    3 drive cage layout, in addition to a removable or rotatable cage (so you can have it pointing side ways or front to back) there's a 2nd 2.5" cage of SSD's that can be put on top of the bottom cage or beside it. Although I use the term cage loosely, it's a simple U shaped bit of metal that screws in, I'd not put laptop HDD's in it as there's no vibration damping, but that's not an issue for an SSD
    space for H100 in the top, although I don't think you could go with push+pull fan setup.
    Good 200mmx38mm front fan gives good air flow at low noise.
    Extra vertical pci slot, this doesn't connect to the motherboard but would let you fit a pci slot fan controller or lighting controller or similar in the back of the case without using up a pci slot off the motherboard.
    - filtering, the front and psu vent are filtered, however they are not easy access, the filters on the HAF 912+ are a not great thin metal mesh, the holes aren't that numerous and rather large, it'll keep out fluff and hair but not fine dust.
    On the enforcer they replaced the front filter with a finer nylon mesh, it's a better filter but harder to get out, ontop of this you have to remove the front bezel to get to it.
    Still solid cases for the cost and a more funky if miltech look to them.

    Fractal design Arc midi http://www.scan.co.uk/products/fract...e-case-w-o-psu
    +nice and wide so lots of space for cables behind the motherboard
    140mm fan mounting for all fans inc rear instead of 120mm
    Easy access bottom mesh filter which is full length not just the psu vent, top filter and front filter are foam.
    very nice hard drive cages and trays, the top tray is rotatable but you will lose graphics card length if it's front to back orientated side to side it's just over 11" card length with the cage in.
    The trays are some of the best, metal not plastic thick rubber grommets to damp vibration (thicker than most companies use)
    offset top 240 radiator mounting, this is really simple but cleaver instead of mounting a rad in the centre of the top panel, it's actually mounter off the left, this means you can use the thickest rads on the market with 120mmx38mm fans in push+pull and still be clear of the motherboard.
    extra vertical pci slot and a pci slot fan controller to go in it.

    -Front filter not that easy to get too, to get to it you have to remove the front bezel, which is designed to come off from the front without having to open the case and all the front connectors are on the chassis body so it's not held on by wires after you remove it, the problem is that the front fans clip into the bezel behind the filter so you'd have to disconnect the fans all to the filter. (I think you can screw 120mm fans into the front of the frame instead of using 140mm fans in the bezel)
    -no side vent filter or cover plate, which make all the other filtering a bit pointless, it's made worse by the fact that it's a 180mm vent, the only people I know who make a 180mm filter is silverstone and they don't sell them separately

    =(netural) the front bezel is not aluminium, it's plastic with a textured finish to make it look like aluminium.
    Good case for the money with some great options, a bit plane looking some like some don't.

    Corasir Carbide 400r http://www.scan.co.uk/products/corsa...g-case-w-o-psu budget from corsair, but not budget compared to other makes.
    +solid construction, corsair seem to be using steel that's a little thicker making their cases a bit more solid.
    Good paint work, it's a graphite dark grey (ie pencil lead) slight metallic sheen to it and they paint the front plastic bezel the same colour as the panels so it all matches and looks like it's the same material.
    Designed to fit the H100 in the top with the single set of stock 120mmx25mm fans (not for push+pull)
    Again lots of width for cables and the option for a 140mm rear fan (comes with 120mm rear fan)
    Rubber grommets on fan holes (nice idea I've not seen of cases before off hand)
    Lots of graphics card room, but does mean it's a bit longer overall

    -cost, and that is the big one, it doesn't do much wrong but it's not a massive stand out to warrant the cost apart from a notch up in build quality, not that the others are bad because they are not and this doesn't take it to another level, just up a notch.
    No filters on the side panel vent, although two standard 140mm fan filters could be fitted to cover it.
    Minor pick, the front filter is not really much easier to access than on the others in this list.

    Corsair Obsidian 550d http://www.scan.co.uk/products/corsa...30-atx-w-o-psu
    Not a cheap or funky looking option but it does have a nice bunch of small features that add up.
    The same internal frame as the carbide but with a change to the drive cage to make half of it removable for long cards (that's over 11" or 12" not with the cage in place and more with it removed) so all the poitn about the carbide hold true except the following additional changes; aluminium door with sound damping foam, easy access magnetic filters on ALL vents, blanking plates for both top and side vents, push button release side panels.
    http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/chassi...n-series-550d/
    Although it's very plane looking, big black box. (some like some don't)
    The cost is probably the major issue.

    But the Phantom 410 does have it for unique looks and is still a good case.
    the NZXT Tempest 410 Elite is also worth a look, http://www.scan.co.uk/products/nzxt-...-usb30-w-o-psu
    Some nice features there, you would have to lose some hard drive trays due to a long graphics card, probably 3.
    http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/chassi...est-410-elite/
    nice custom rad bay, easy removable fan/filter units.

    Personally speaking the hard drive bays put me off, I prefer 90 degree cages, easier to get the drives in and out.

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    Rookie1986 (30-04-2012)

  9. #8
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    Re: Case Help & Advice

    Arrrrgh!!! Just when I thought I had made my mind up..... Damn you Pob255, DAMN YOU!!!

  10. #9
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Case Help & Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Rookie1986 View Post
    Arrrrgh!!! Just when I thought I had made my mind up..... Damn you Pob255, DAMN YOU!!!
    My work here in done

    Cases are a hard thing as the looks can be very personal, many of the options can be as well, filters and lower noise have been going up in importance on my personal list atm.

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