I am a little concerned about the effect this might have on proper air flow through the case. Having lots of fans does not in itself guarantee the best cooling setup. And of course I'd be interested in hearing how noisy this case is with everything powered on.
Any thoughts or suggestions of good alternatives?
Sex is great but its no substitite for the real thing.....
I just recently bought a Lian-li PC60usb case and I like it a lot. I know my case has nothing to do with you considering this case, but I just thought I'd compare the two because before I bought that case I thought about buying one similar to the one you're looking at right now. Right off the bat I can already tell you a couple things:
1. The case is designed for the tweaker/power user/case modder in mind.
2. The case does not provide efficient airflow. Airflow may be okay, but the fans are not utilized well enough to make up for their noise level.
3. The cathode light is very, very bright. Maybe brighter than you'd like it to be.
There are a few things that made me buy the Lian-li instead of a case like this, with a light/window/multiple fans. First of all, my case was extremely light, made from aluminum. Also aluminum is a good heat conductor, so the case is like a giant heat sink. The LL also has a built-in 3 speed fan system for the front two fans which is controlled by a temperature sensor (to control fan noise), which is important because air intake from the front many people agree is best off being a little bit stronger than air outtake, but I also wanted to be able to control the noise created by these two fans. When more air is coming in than going out you can create a little bit of air pressure, and what this does is force air to go out through the easiest direction, and if properly sealed and ventillated, that would be the fan in the back. This ensures that you create airflow that comes in, swooshes over your components and CPU, and then goes out, rather than coming in and swirling around in random directions.
That being said, there are several problems I can note by looking at this particular case:
- There are no fans for intake! Instead you have two fans pointed at the drive bays. Why? Does your hard drive really need two fans? At most it will need one fan, and even then the position of the fans aren't very good because it's best to have it cooling the underside of the drive, whereas these will simply be pointed at the very front of the drive, which will deflect most of the air above and beneath the metal casing of the drive.
- This one will probably bother you a lot... this case has no less than six (6!) 80mm Sunon fans... holy crap. Each of these fans is about 40 decibels, and has a whine to them, although not as bad as the deltas. You will be covering your ears.
- The fan on the side of the case is almost worthless. It cools an area usually occupied by some PCI slots and jumpers, and nothing more. You will also have PCI cards there that will block the flow, making this a useless and noisy addition to the case.
- The two fans on the back give more noise than they're worth. Because there is so much air inside of the case at any given time, no fan should reasonably be expected to be able to cool anything inside the case by sucking the air out as opposed to pushing air onto it, which is the purpose of the intake fans. Unfortunately that's what this whole case lacks, intake fans. Perhaps these fans could cool some of the capacitors on the mainboard that get really hot, but that's about it.
- Do you really want a cathode light? Like I said, these things are BRIGHT.. you may find yourself just getting rid of it. Unless you are a real case mod enthusiast, you'll most likely grow tired of it. Besides, it uses up another plug in your power supply, and as a general rule of thumb it's best to plug in as few things into your power supply so that it can develop less irregularities in output.
- it cools well, but in terms of efficiency it really sucks. Remember, the only reason why it cools well is because it uses 6 40 decibel fans. That's going to be very annoying to your ears. If you used slower and quieter fans, this case's temps will start to rise fast, as opposed to a case with better fan placement.
- all fans are pre-installed. I think it's better to buy a case with fewer fans and add more if you need them. A lot of these pre-modded cases add way more fans than are necessary mostly because people are paranoid about overheating. The problem is that these cases are just way too loud.
Anyway, hope I didn't discourage you too much. If you don't care for noise then it looks like a nice case. It has a nice design, and it's black, which is quite a popular color nowadays. But I would urge you to go with something quieter. Another thing to keep in mind is that with a case that has more properly placed fan mounts, you may be able to replace the fans in the near future with quieter ones. There are some fan technologies being researched right now that try to eliminate noise from the turbulence caused at the tips of the fan blades, which amounts for around 60% or more of the total fan noise.
As for a personal recommendation, I just recently bought my Lian-li for a really nice price, and it should suit you pretty well. It's built extremely nicely and it looks very artistic on its own. The vendor I got it from was Ajump.com. They have good ratings at resellerratings.com. I'll give you the link to the rating and the actual product. I think it's about $141 total including shipping, which is an amazing price.
I agree the LL is probably a better option. The only real attraction about the other case is the ventilation at the top of the case, although I think a simple ventilation duct would suffice instead of a fan.
I'm being careful when selecting components because I want a reasonably quiet PC (hence my new 400W Enermax whisper PSU), so your points about noise are appreciated.
Pity more case manufacturers don't put some ventilation or heat outlet on top of cases though - seems like a good way to lose a few degrees.
Sex is great but its no substitite for the real thing.....