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Need a nice looking, cool running case with good SSD support

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September 25, 2013 12:02:30 PM

I'm looking to upgrade my case because it doesn't have much room for cooling and I wouldn't mind a window and some better looks. The front panel USB ports also cause a USB over-current notice when I boot my PC.

So my requirements are:
Preferably mid, but full is okay
Width requirement: If down-mounted PSU ONLY the base width must be 8.5" or less, if PSU can be upward-mounted then other widths are okay too.
Space on the side(s) for 200-230 mm fan(s) while still using the Hyper 212 EVO
Adequate overall cooling
Support for atleast two SSDs and one HDD
Support for 11.5" GPU
Decent cable management
side window if possible

Specs:
i5-3570k
Hyper 212 EVO
ASUS P8Z77-V LE Plus
OCT ZT 650W
Crucial VLP 1600mhz 8GB
EVGA GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB (Want to get a certain GPU which is 11.5")
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB
Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB
LITE-ON iHAS124-04

If the case requires add-on parts to accommodate multiple SSDs, please include those. The problem with my Rosewill Challenger is that there isn't much room between the board and the case, where the sata ports face outward from the edge of the board. There's also no way to use right-angle sata connectors on the SSD because they are so close together on the hard drive rack that the two cables physically cannot be plugged in. It's almost impossible to plug the cables into the motherboard because of the very limited room and the way ASUS placed the sata ports on the board.

Also wouldn't mind a fan controller, because my board doesn't support as many fans as I'd like to use. A touch screen would look nice, and I'd be interested as long as it functions well. One with knobs or sliders would be fine, functionality is more important than looks.
September 25, 2013 12:22:42 PM

I had a challenger and I had the same issues.

Have a look at Coolermaster, Corsair, NZXT, Fractal Design for HIGH quality cases.
September 25, 2013 12:33:33 PM

Corsair just released the 750D, looks like a solid case. Its tagged as a full tower, but its only 1" bigger than the 650d which is tagged as mid.
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September 25, 2013 7:07:40 PM

Sorry, I forgot to mention I have a case budget of $100. I would be willing to spend a little more for necessary cooling fans.
September 25, 2013 7:53:40 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... This case looks very nice, I saw a video by Linus and it seems to have real nice features, including dedicated SSD mounts behind the motherboard.

The fan controller supports up to 10 fans, and the case comes with 3x 200mm and 1x 140mm fans. You can customize the hard drive cages and even completely remove them. I would be able to leave 1 hard drive cage in, and mount my two SSDs behind the motherboard.
September 25, 2013 7:55:27 PM

That is full tower, which is huge. You don't need one unless you are building a custom water loop.

I would get the mid tower version of the same case. It is a very good case.
September 25, 2013 8:04:45 PM

As long as it has the features I just mentioned I'm cool with that. It looks like it's missing some fans compared to the full tower.
September 25, 2013 8:08:23 PM

I would honestly save the money and get the mid-tower. Still has all the same strong points, and use the extra money too get a better quality PSU and a better GPU.
September 25, 2013 8:21:35 PM

PSU is fine, GPU is already planned to upgrade ($265 currently).. I can afford better cases but don't want to spend much more than $100
September 25, 2013 8:32:01 PM

Honestly the PSU is not that great. The OEM isn't the best. the PSU is the most important part of a PC by far.

An xfx 650w unit would be considerably better
September 25, 2013 8:52:06 PM

It's just about the same by specs and reviews.. it's done fine for me since around April.. I have no need to change the PSU.
September 25, 2013 8:58:51 PM

The OEM of your PSU is Great Wall, which is not good by any means. i would not trust it to keep your system safe. If it fails, it can likely over-volt and ruin your components. the PSU is the most important component.
September 25, 2013 9:12:48 PM

either way, mostly interested in finding a decent case.. there are several quality psus out there I can take a look at.. I bought this along with the rest of my system when I was on a very tight budget
September 25, 2013 9:16:57 PM

For a case, Look at the brands I previously listed. The NZXT you are looking at is good.
September 26, 2013 6:44:42 AM

Well I know which brands are good, I came because I have specific needs and wanted to see if anyone had the same experiences and could contribute an exact model.
September 26, 2013 9:55:47 AM

The NZXT phantom 410 is a very good case.

My personal pick for a very high quality case would be the Corsair 300r.
September 26, 2013 10:04:57 AM

I want some big fans, a bigger fan would push more air without having to spin as fast.. so ideally would be quieter and cooler in comparison to the equivalent cooling with multiple smaller fans
September 26, 2013 10:26:30 AM

That is not always true. Generally 120mm fans are what you want. Get some of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

They will move ALOT of air and be quiet. honestly, moving a crazy amount of air isn't what you really need. Just as long as air is circulating. You want front intake, top exhaust and rear exhaust. The Corsair fans I linked will be very good. I would go with the Corsair 300r and 3-4 of these fans.
September 26, 2013 10:59:24 AM

yeah I understand the circulation idea and I was checking out those fans in the past.. they do look pretty interesting. That case supports 4 SSDs without adapters? And won't have the same problem as my Challenger?

Newegg: "Built-in compatibility for SSDs in the four hard drive bays gives you the flexibility you need."
September 26, 2013 11:39:45 AM

the 500r looks good, but I'm seeing alot about it catching on fire (the front panel). Corsair seems to send a "replacement kit" to users who complain but I wonder if that kit resolves the issue or is just another fail front panel..

edit: nevermind that, they don't use the standard fan connectors :/ 
September 26, 2013 3:01:32 PM

That wasn't the concern, the problem is not having enough space from the edge of the board being up against the hard drive cages. In this picture it looks like there's a few extra inches of space between the two. In my Rosewill Challenger I barely have enough space for my finger to get in there and connect the cables. If that's a standard sized ATX board then the case should be fine, and also allow for a long enough GPU.
September 26, 2013 3:02:36 PM

There will be plenty of space. That board is standard ATX. You will be perfectly fine.
September 26, 2013 3:07:14 PM

oh great, sounds good and looks like it's less than the max I was wanting to spend. The 500R white seems alot nicer but the front panel burnout is really disappointing as well as the proprietary fan connectors :/ 

I'll do some looking around a little more and probably at a psu too but I'm looking at atleast $265 more for a GTX 760
September 26, 2013 3:18:05 PM

yeah with a rebate.. I was wanting to go for the gigabyte one, which is why I had GPU length concerns.. Unsure if I should go for the 4GB one, bf4 supposedly would make use of 3GB of RAM.
September 26, 2013 3:20:54 PM

The Gigabyte is a very good card.

for a single monitor 2gb Vram is plenty. The only way to take advantage of more than 2gb would be with 3 monitors.
September 26, 2013 3:25:24 PM

I was specifically talking about BF4 on one monitor, but I probably won't play it anyway..

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September 26, 2013 3:28:10 PM
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It will be perfectly fine with 2gb for BF4. If you have only 1 monitor, definitely go with a 2gb card.

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=GA-N760OC2&c=C... if you buy it before the 30th, you get it for $245 with code: IRENA3315
September 26, 2013 3:37:57 PM

cool.. as for any part I like to look around a little before making a decision..

checking these out for psu, some are available for even less at certain vendors but newegg has nice details on them :) 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

haven't read any reviews yet or anything
September 26, 2013 3:39:40 PM

All except the EVGA are great and will work amazingly.
September 26, 2013 5:19:32 PM

what do you have against EVGA? not mainstream enough for you :) ?
September 26, 2013 5:31:54 PM

That PSU doesn't have the best OEM and the protection circuit was pointed out as its weak spot. A Seasonic is definitely the way to go. Or XFX
September 26, 2013 5:45:58 PM

That is an amazing unit. Get it for sure.
September 26, 2013 5:55:54 PM

Fractal Design Define R4 (with window option if you want it). I believe it covers the majority of what you are looking for, + some sound-dampening foam to take away some of the noise.

As far as ssd support, there are supposed to be 2 ssd slots behind the motherboard I think, and the hdd caddies I believe have screw holes that can be used for an ssd as well.
September 26, 2013 7:21:39 PM

so now I'm trying to figure out the fan situation but I'm a bit confused. I don't see where there are 10 fan mount locations like it says.

"Keep your system cool with up to 10 fan mount locations (four 120mm, six 120mm/140mm)"

two top 120/140mm fan locations
two side 120/140mm
one back 120/140mm
2 front 120mm
1 bottom 120/140mm

This is, to my knowledge the possible fan mounting choices. I want to figure this out so I can order necessary fans, and other things I may need to use all those fans like splitters or a fan controller. I want to setup better cooling than what I currently have (140mm, 120mm, 120mm).

The case comes with the two front 120mms and the one rear 120mm, so I'd have a total of 5 120mm and 1 140mm in my possession to use with the new case.
September 26, 2013 7:53:00 PM

You DO NOT want that many fans. It will hurt airflow and not cool as well.

You should have 2 front intake, 2 top exhaust, 1 rear exhaust. That's all.

A side intake will mess up air flow. MY GPUs and cPU run about 3 degrees hotter with a side fan.

September 26, 2013 8:26:27 PM

Okay, my mobo supports 3 case fans and 1 cpu fan, I want to run a 2nd cpu fan on my heatsink for push/pull and 5 case fans.. what do you think is the best way to do so?
September 26, 2013 8:32:00 PM

Buy a fan controller or plug them into the PSU via molex connectors.

For the CPU heatsink second fan, MAKE SURE it is a PWM fan. This is important. You will also need a PWM fan splitter.
September 26, 2013 9:21:46 PM

Haven't been able to find very good controllers.. they all have real negative reviews.. this is the best one I've found: http://www.amazon.com/AeroCool-EN55529-X-Vision-Tempera...

but doesn't necessarily mean it's good because not many reviews.

May be best to just use the psu
September 26, 2013 9:36:35 PM

Yes, that is exactly what you will need. Don't forget to get PWM fans for the CPU cooler. You should get 2, not just one so they operate at the same speeds and move the same amount of air. How much are you planning to overclock?
September 26, 2013 9:39:28 PM

yea ofcourse. I'm running 4.2Ghz right now.. don't care a bunch about making it even higher.. just want to run it cooler and add some better looks inside.. so I was going to go for LED PWM fans for the heatsink like two of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 26, 2013 9:41:18 PM

They should be good for the CPU cooler.
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