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Last response: in Components
March 1, 2006 1:46:41 PM

Hey everyone, I have a real crap case and need to upgrade. Just wanted to know which is the best for myself.

It will be mainly for gaming.
I'll be running a AMD with no more than 2 HDD, and I already have a good PSU. Won't be using SLI, and have a sound card.

-probable no window is better for me
-won't be moving the case, so weight doesn't matter
-overclocking and want something with nice airflow
-noise isn't a major factor for me
-need filters inside cause I'm living on an old farm that has a ton of dust and long-ass dog hairs kicking around.

-Price is a huge factor though, I'm leaning towards the Raidmax X1.

I've been looking at:

Antec P180
Aspire X-Dreamer
Aspire X-Cruiser
Cooler Master Centurion
Raidmax X1
and ThermalTake models.

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a b ) Power supply
March 1, 2006 2:40:58 PM

You don't have to spend a truckload of money for a case, but I would suggest that it has plenty of holes in BOTH side panels to help move lots of air.
March 1, 2006 3:08:27 PM

I'm looking for a new case too and here are some the deals that I've found:

$64 at - Coolermaster Wavemaster TAC-01

$59.99 after rebate at - Ultra Products ULT31825 Aluminus Blue High-Gloss Case , also available in silver

Various prices at - this guy coolerplanet at ebay has a ton of refurbished Coolermaster cases. Check his feedback for all the satisfied customers and you can also see the cheap prices some of the cases have been sold for. I've lost 2 auctions on this guys cases and they both went for $1 more than my max. Good luck on finding what you need.
March 1, 2006 3:48:10 PM

I personally like the looks, design and performance of the P-180. I plan on getting one (hopefully soon)!

Antec P180

March 2, 2006 12:00:42 AM

Yeah I really like the P-180, I have heard that some cords/connections don't reach because its a big size, mainly the PSU. Also I heard that if you have longer cards that its kind of hard to fit it inside.
March 2, 2006 4:06:13 AM

-probable no window is better for me
-won't be moving the case, so weight doesn't matter
-overclocking and want something with nice airflow
-noise isn't a major factor for me
-need filters inside cause I'm living on an old farm that has a ton of dust and long-ass dog hairs kicking around.

I have a big dust and dog hair problem too so I decided to get a case with a filter. Maybe I didn't shop around enough, but I was short on time and the local PC Club had the steel Thermaltake Armor on sale so I got it. This case is probably way larger than you need and might be over your budget. I wanted to fit 6 or 7 HDs and have airflow over them and the Armor can do that just fine. But the thing is pretty huge.

Here's the thing - due to my heavy dust load, I have to clean the filters about once a month and it's kind of a pain. I pull out seven bay covers, pluck the foam out of each, wash them in water and dry. Then I have to get the filters back into the bay covers and already, the process is beginning to take its toll on the filter elements after just 3 cleanings. The foam is just too wimpy but on the good side, they do stop the dust very well. I recently found a source for metal filter mesh that will be tough enough to last a long time. I'm working with a machinist and once he finishes a frame that fits into that 7-bay space, I'll have a nice custom filter that is easy to pull out and clean.

The Armor breathes very well. I'm running an AMD 4400+ and so far have only mildly OC'ed it but the CPU stays down in the low 40C range when gaming. The graphics card runs a few degrees hotter at most. I haven't pushed the HDs hard enough to generate much heat. I did buy an extra HD fan cage, so there are two 12cm fans on the front, one exhausting out the back, another 8cm fan in back and an 8cm on the blowhole. I'm using the upright Zalman CPU cooler. I replaced the 12cm fans with (forgot the brand name) 14dB fans and it's not all that loud. Completely tolerable since I always have tunes or other audio playing. Once I put quiet 8cm fans in, it'll really be quiet. The two of them are louder than all three of the 12s, even though two of the 12s are right up front.

If computer gaming lasts at the current popularity level for another decade, I expect to see significant improvements in case design and active cooling technology. But I don't expect the good designs to be cheap.
March 3, 2006 6:44:18 AM

Hey, Abeck. Im currently getting the parts for my first build and have asked the same question to the group of guys/gals that I attend LAN Parties with.

EVERY single one told me to purchase a Lian Li case. Each listed reasons why:

1. Removable mobo trays. From what I understand, these should be standard in every case, but are not. Most, probably all, Lian Li cases have removable motherboard trays.

2. Very high quality construction. They are sturdy, tough, and pleasing to the eye. Tooless for the most part.

3. Most come with filter screens for the fans, so this would help with your dog hair problem.

4. Did I say high quality construction?

Here is the link to Lian Li cases at New Egg. Check em out.

Lian Li Cases at NewEgg
March 3, 2006 11:38:31 AM

Hey, Abeck. Im currently getting the parts for my first build and have asked the same question to the group of guys/gals that I attend LAN Parties with.

EVERY single one told me to purchase a Lian Li case. Each listed reasons why: (snip)

I looked closely at the Lian Li's and thought they looked very good. Unfortunately, the ones I liked the most all that the front panel USB ports down low on the front panel. I've got a Vaio desktop that has a similar arraggement and I have never liked it. Then again, the TTake Armor I did buy has the USBs on top near the blow hole and I don't like that either, so I took the bus off of the top and am making my own cover plate out of aluminum to disquise the hole that was left behind. I got a all-in-one USB/firewire/memory reader/fan controller that fits in a 5.5" bay and put it between the two optical bays. Much better!

There will always be compromises to be made. i was real close to buying the Lian Li. They do have a very high quality look and feel and are priced very fairly.
March 3, 2006 12:11:02 PM

If lo-dollar is a priority look at the thrift stores. I picked a large ATX case capibile of holding everything one could possibily put in it for $5.00! Hope the weather is good this week end. Want to paint it!
More info Email me at :
March 3, 2006 11:14:46 PM

What are other people using in there case fan-wise?
How many fans and what size should I be looking for?
- noise isn't that much of a factor, I just don't want it to sound like a vacuum
March 4, 2006 1:53:11 AM

Is anybody using these cases:

Coolermaster Centurion 531
Thernaltake Tsunami
Antec P-180

Whats your review over them??
March 4, 2006 2:52:54 AM

What are other people using in there case fan-wise?
How many fans and what size should I be looking for?
- noise isn't that much of a factor, I just don't want it to sound like a vacuum

I picked up a 12cm SilenX fan that is listed at 14dB and for sure it is much quieter than the ~28dB Thermaltake fan it replaced. It moves a little less air than the TTake fan but it's not an issue because my case has so many fans. My box is a Thermaltake Armor so I have two 12cm fans in front of the HDs and another in the back. There's a 8cm fan alongside the PS and another pushing out the blowhole. I'm so impressed with the SilenX, I plan to replace all of my Thermaltake fans. Bummer is, the 12cm SilenX cost $30. I need to find a less expensive supplier. No luck yet.

Blowhole fans are a good thing because they keep the rising air from pooling at the PS. But having a hole on top also means that a spilled drink could run right down onto your goodies, so be careful.
March 4, 2006 9:55:12 PM

How many fans and what size should I be looking for?
- noise isn't that much of a factor, I just don't want it to sound like a vacuum

I have four generic 80mm case fans and it does sound like a vacuum cleaner :?
March 5, 2006 5:46:44 PM

I've got the Cooler Master 531, it's a great case when you take the fan out of the front and put it in back. It's an even better case if you simply add a second fan to the back. Some nice fellow already linked the review.
March 5, 2006 6:15:14 PM

I have the Tt Kandalf and I love it. It huge and spacious providing good ventilation and houses 3 hd and 3 more with the removable hd rack. I think its one of the best full tower out there but for the price will set you back but it's definitely worth it.
March 5, 2006 11:09:27 PM

the antec P180 - the aluminum warps and your case will look fugly, the door wont close correctly

yah would stay away,
March 5, 2006 11:16:01 PM

get a Tt Soprano or a Tsunami
March 6, 2006 1:23:46 PM

yah i've been looking into the Tsunami, but i was on other forums and ppl were bashing Thermaltake, i'm guessing because it was mainly a modding-case forum and they don't care much about a nice system and cooling.
March 6, 2006 2:26:05 PM

no the tsunami is a really good case unless u wanna spend money on like an antec go with the tsunami

If u go tmoney to spend try the Antec P160 or P150 stay away from the P180 i wanted the 180 my self but hear it warps and bends out of shape over a fe months time, the dorr wont close corectly and the aliminum will bend
March 6, 2006 2:28:07 PM

I use the Lian Li 6077, which is a good case, very well built, but only has room for 3hdds as standard, although the entire front of the case is completely customisable in terms of drive/power button positions etc

solid case, but id probably rather have an antec p180 or a coolermaster stacker
March 6, 2006 2:46:06 PM

ok first lian li's are for the rich and wealthy any of they "decent" cases are over 100 bucks

2 read reviews on the P180 it sgood for the first 6 months then the aluminum warps and bends then the door wont close correctly

the cooler master, yes its good but if you are rich and wealthy get the CM Stacker 830 with room for 9 120mm Fans u cna overclock all u want

but i would sugest the Thermaltake Armor/Kandalf
March 6, 2006 2:51:43 PM

lol well i live in taiwan, and things are cheaper here, lol, much cheaper than back in the uk, 10-20 percent
March 6, 2006 3:47:14 PM

I like your supported evidence, ThermalTake it is!
March 6, 2006 4:23:20 PM

I love mine. Good airflow, baby is big for maximum upgrades. (granted I am starting to use it all. Fans are great, temp is lower than normal do to it, looks cool.

ASPIRE X-Navigator

Suprisingly the voltages have been tested and look decent, I'd still recommend upgrading the PSU for maxed out system/overclocking.
March 6, 2006 5:52:40 PM

noo see the armor and kandalf are HUGE they they are pricy

do u have a PSU already?

if not listen to aspire boy look for the Xnavigator with the dual 80mm in the back and 120M on the side that is a good case 154 with a 500w PSU no filters though

the most expensive X-Navigator can support 6 fans
2 front 80mm
1 top 80mm
2 rear 80mm
1 side 120mm

get that (no filters)

or the Tt Armor -

or the kandalf (danm this is a nice case)

now thermaltake makes good products BUT dunno if u wanna pay 40 bucks more for the kandalf, yes its purty but that 40 bucks...your choice
March 6, 2006 6:45:21 PM

yah no way i'm getting the kandalf way too expensive for my liking. I was looking at the tsunami mainly, but that aspire x-navigator looks perfect for me as well.

I have a PSU its the S12 but its only 380W, but thats good for me now, I'm gonna get a new one in the winter.

damn ur making this harder for me, thanks tons for the help tho, i was really set on blowing cash on the P180. I'm gonna do some comparing thanks a lot again.
March 6, 2006 7:20:06 PM

I'd still go with the Cooler Master Centurion 531, I've tested quite a few cases and simply cannot find a better case for under $100.
March 6, 2006 10:57:11 PM

awesome, i was getting carried away on spending too much when i just need a good case not a real expensive.
i've been comparing the coolermaster 531 and the p160
March 6, 2006 11:48:36 PM

ok its final the CoolerMaster Centurion 531, looks perfect for me and I can save the extra for something else.

Thanks a lot everyone that helped my lazy ass finally to pick a case
March 6, 2006 11:56:31 PM

now wait a sec lemme look at this "cooler Master"
March 7, 2006 3:55:57 AM

Gah, that Sonata, what an ugly case. All monolithic, with a door to get in the way, and no extruded aluminum face panel to brighten things up. It's almost as ugly as the case I actually USE!
March 7, 2006 7:42:47 PM

its not overbaring like Aspire cases which are flashy and bright
March 7, 2006 8:44:27 PM

It's the same chassis as the Centurion 531, underneath the armor. But it doesn't have that neat extruded aluminum face panel either. And it cost more!
March 7, 2006 11:04:41 PM

yah the cheaper one out of the two is my choice, the look of the case doesn't matter that much as long as it isn't like the sonata II or the asus vento.

i've read a bunch of reviews and it looks like the ammo is the best out of the centurion and cavalier
March 8, 2006 12:57:15 AM

i also just checked out the NZXT Nemesis, looks a little cheesy tho, but meh
March 8, 2006 6:32:14 PM

I have the Lian Li PC68 for a few years.
It is very easy to work with.
March 9, 2006 12:45:06 AM

Is there any difference between all of the Cooler Master Centurion 5, 531, 532, 534????
March 9, 2006 1:13:40 AM

the 532 looks nice

534 gets 2nd best looks

531 comes 3rd

and the 5 come slast :) 

same chasis dif flooks

go witht he 532 look spretty cool
March 9, 2006 9:46:05 AM

hahaha thanks a lot
a c 159 ) Power supply
March 9, 2006 2:30:03 PM

Crash: How does the 400W Hi-Power in the RC-531 mathc up to the Antec 450W Smartpower in the SonataII? Vs. this FSP 450W or this FSP 400W?

How does the RC-531 compare to the Sonata II in terms of quiet operation?

The reason I'm asking is that I'm looking at doing another build shortly and want a good quality, economical case/PSU. Used a Sonata II in my last build and I'm relatively happy with the case. I don't like the CPU duct - useless because it doesn't line up with my CPU and took up a lot of space...before I removed it. I'm seriously considering the RC-531 in the new build, but wanted your opinion on the above.
March 9, 2006 7:12:13 PM

Unlike the Antec and Fortron Source units, I doubt the Hi-Power unit exceeds its rating, in fact it's probably slightly below it. But I've replaced a few blown Hi-Power units, and they were all many years old.

They have a good life span for an inexpensive unit, and tend to blow nicely when they die, to preserve system components.
March 9, 2006 9:20:35 PM

yah i would get a sonata 2 but its too small for my liniing i like roomy things
a c 159 ) Power supply
March 10, 2006 11:14:24 AM

How would this TT TR2 W0070 compare to the HP and the FSP/Smartpower? I could get the RC-531 w/o PSu and add the TT in for slightly more than the HP - about $5 more. I'm not extremely confident in the TT and would feel better with the FSP 450W. Guess i'm really answering my own question here, but your opinion is appreciated.
March 10, 2006 7:37:09 PM

I'm not really sure what internals TT uses!
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