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View Full Version : Looking for a new case - bewildering



Digby
21-04-2014, 05:29 AM
Hi Guys

Its that time again that seems to come around every 3 years, when I need to build a new desktop PC.

My present one (Windows 7) is getting a bit slow for me.
So I am going to get a faster mboard, cpu, hard drive and more RAM and Windows 8 (64 bit)

I thought I'd keep my present setup as a back up machine.

When it comes to the case, there is such a vast range of them that it is hard to know where to start.
I see many good reviews but often with one feature that puts me off.

Any suggestions?

I'd like a midi tower
One that looks a bit avant garde
One with a couple of fans (not for gaming)
One that has easy access to the hard drives (most important as I do a lot of swapping)
One that has plenty of room for cable management.
Some top mounted USB slots etc.
One that is easy to work on, open case etc.

Budget around $200

pctek
21-04-2014, 08:20 AM
As you say, there's heaps........so no, I can't suggest one.

I suggest you just look at reviews of your initial choices....you probably want a removable drive bay and for the budget I'm not sure you'll get LIAN Li or such.


My last case cost me $900ish. (Admittedly part of that was the bling) It did also have extra stuff, modular PSU, CPU Cooler and so on, which I onsold.

Greg
21-04-2014, 09:35 AM
My last case cost me $900ish. (Admittedly part of that was the bling) It did also have extra stuff, modular PSU, CPU Cooler and so on, which I onsold.Crikey pctek... that's a bit ott init? Last time I bought a case, +/- 6 years ago, a Lian Li, full of bling with transparent panel, blue led's etc, it cost me less than $400 including power supply. (One of my customers likened it to a fluorescent fish tank!)

Speedy Gonzales
21-04-2014, 09:47 AM
The case I brought for the other PC was only $55 inc $7.95 freight from DTC systems in Auckland.

Front USB 3, you can put 5 fans in it (comes with one red LED fan on the front), you can put 2 fans on top (up to 200 mm one on the back (120mm),one on the bottom (up to 120mm), and there's a slot or something on the bottom for an SSD..

Enough room in it. You can hide some or most of the cable behind the side cover

CliveM
21-04-2014, 10:20 AM
I used a Coolermaster Silenceo 650n mid tower for my last build $229 from memory at PB Tech. I am very happy with it. Very quiet, good ventilation and easy to use.

Digby
21-04-2014, 11:18 AM
I used a Coolermaster Silenceo 650n mid tower for my last build $229 from memory at PB Tech. I am very happy with it. Very quiet, good ventilation and easy to use.

That case looked great for me (until I saw that you probably have to take off both side panels to put in hard drives and connect up their cables.)

dugimodo
21-04-2014, 11:35 AM
Yeah there are so many choices and internally all the good ones are very similar so you can almost just pick the one that looks the best to you from the outside and be safe.
I thought I'd mention my favourites but then realised there are still dozens :) so I just picked one to suggest http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=16502

Personally my cases kept getting bigger and more expensive, the one before my current build was this http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=19893 and outside your price but I loved it to work on.
Now I've decided to go the other way and get smaller, the only reasons I can see to go over itx for a PC now is if you need more than 1 Graphics or expansion card or need to use a lot of hard drives.

My current case is http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=20870 available in several different colours and I really like it.
Edit: oops wrong one but that is actually not a bad choice, mine is the itx version and CL don't list it except in green http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=19935 looks the smae outside but totally different internally.

Brands I like case wise are:
Antec
Cooler Master
Bitfenix
corsair
Lian Li

Digby
21-04-2014, 12:23 PM
I've just upped my specs

I'd like a midi tower

One that has easy access to the hard drives (most important as I do a lot of swapping) and plenty of room for the Sata cables (from the drive to the side panel)
Handles would be great - to carry to and from my work bench)
One that looks a bit avant garde (a clear side panel would be nice but not essential)
One with a couple of fans (not for gaming)
One that has plenty of room for cable management.
Some top mounted USB slots etc.
One that is easy to work on, open case etc.
Also plenty of room to be able to access the new style of mounting HD sata plugs vertically.

May be I need to go for a full tower and up my budget.

DeSade
21-04-2014, 12:43 PM
If you go full tower look at the HAF10
beautiful case but quite heavy.

pctek
21-04-2014, 02:24 PM
Crikey pctek... that's a bit ott init?

Yeah...was a bit...LOL. BUt I did sell the extras and get a bit money back.

http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=361452

This above doesn't seem to have them, but it had some fancy Coolermaster CPU cooler, and a Coolermaster PSu as well.....one of the items was sold to a PF1 member....
I didn't use the wheels as mine sits up on a desk, bad idea to be so easily movable.
I didn't use the ugly multi-fan thing on the side either.

I did keep the BTX converter bits.

It had loads of bits come with it...

I had a large case previously, but it was cheap and I got tired of fixing bits on it and I needed the room as the HD5970 I had at the time was enormously long. So long it only just fit in the last one - jammed right up against the drive bays.

Since then I changed the GPU and the newer one not so long but WTF, I also liked the pretty pics on the case too. I figured it would be the last case I bought so why not? And I got it trade too...

Digby
06-05-2014, 12:06 PM
What is the term for the case having the hard drives mounted sideways ?

So that when you open the case side you can access the cables easily? and slide out a drive ?

wratterus
06-05-2014, 02:50 PM
I would recommend one of these for the requirements that you've given.

http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=20048

http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=18022

In fact I have that R4 on my desk at the moment - very nice case. Quiet, USB ports easily accessible, plenty of cable management. I could take some pics if you like

dugimodo
06-05-2014, 03:52 PM
I don't think there's a term for it, you just have to look up a case and see what features it has. Side facing drive cages are very common in mid tower and larger cases now as is tool free drive installation. Some have the cables and the mounts on the same side, some are opposite, and some are reversible and it may not be obvious. What this means is they may mount from one side and cable from the other, or do both on the same side, or do either.

My Bitfenix Prodigy (an itx case) for example defaults to installing from the left and cabling from the right (although you can mount the drive backwards and cable from the left) but the whole drive cage can be removed and turned around, which I've done, so that it all happens on the right. In my case (heh) I did it so that I can leave the cage installed and still use a full size graphics card, otherwise they conflict.

Digby
07-05-2014, 09:02 AM
I would recommend one of these for the requirements that you've given.

http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=20048

http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=18022

In fact I have that R4 on my desk at the moment - very nice case. Quiet, USB ports easily accessible, plenty of cable management. I could take some pics if you like

That R4 looks very nice and is in my budget.

My only question is that as one of my prime needs is to be able to get down on my hands and knees and insert and remove hard drives by taking the side cover off.

Can you confirm that if I mount the hard drives in sideways that the cable connectors are at the open side of the case (I have seen some cases where the connectors are on the motherboard side which would be a real pain for me.

That is why I thought case handles would be good so that I could lift it up easily to put it on a work bench. As I tend to do swap hard drives every 2 months.

A pic of your R4 case inside would be great, just with the case side off so I can see your hard drive area.

Thanks

Speedy Gonzales
07-05-2014, 09:23 AM
This case, you can put hdd's in the side. I replaced the other PC's case with this one (http://www.dtconline.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=12230)

Info about it is here (http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=329)

You can put 5 fans in it. It only comes with one. Only thing is the mobo doesnt support USB3. So the shop above had to send an adapter, so I could connect the front to the USB 2 ports

wratterus
07-05-2014, 01:36 PM
5707
That R4 looks very nice and is in my budget.

Can you confirm that if I mount the hard drives in sideways that the cable connectors are at the open side of the case

I believe they will work either way, but the case I had here had the cables on the easily accessible side.

Isn't my R4 sorry, and it's gone now, but I can guarantee the drive cages will do what you want.

1101
07-05-2014, 02:50 PM
You cant assume any case is designed by someone who gives a crap, unfortunately.
My expensive Case has the sideways/vertical mounted drives. The end of the drive sits far to high so the side panel would push against
the SATA power connector. Not good. I had to mod it a bit to make it usable

Previous Thermaltake case, to remove the PSU was a major, had to remove the CPU heatsink 1st.:groan:

These are bigish tower cases with heaps of room so cant understand how they can get basic things so wrong.

Digby
07-05-2014, 04:11 PM
You cant assume any case is designed by someone who gives a crap, unfortunately.
My expensive Case has the sideways/vertical mounted drives. The end of the drive sits far to high so the side panel would push against
the SATA power connector. Not good. I had to mod it a bit to make it usable

Previous Thermaltake case, to remove the PSU was a major, had to remove the CPU heatsink 1st.:groan:

These are bigish tower cases with heaps of room so cant understand how they can get basic things so wrong.

Yes you would think that after 30 years of making computer cases that the manufacturers would have all the bases covered and that cases would not have glaring shortcomings.

Just about every review I read or see on Youtube has one or two things that put me off the case.

wratterus
07-05-2014, 04:58 PM
What specifically?