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Best FullATX GameCases:Antec900,TJ09,Kandalf,CMStacker830/1

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With an unlimited budget, which is your DREAM case?

Total: 119 votes (7 blank votes)

  • Thermaltake Kandalf/ Armor Series +LCS
  • 20 %
  • Thermaltake Tai Chi Series +LCS
  • 4 %
  • Thermaltake Eureka/Shark +LCS
  • 2 %
  • NZXT Zero +LCS
  • 2 %
  • Antec Nine Hundred +LCS
  • 23 %
  • Lian Li Memorial 20th Anniv PC-777 Series +LCS
  • 8 %
  • Silverstone TJ07 (SST series! if you want) +LCS
  • 8 %
  • Silverstone TJ09 +LCS
  • 24 %
  • CM Stacker 830 Series +LCS
  • 15 %
November 1, 2006 10:57:58 AM

***Edited November 7, 2006 11:00 PM (Thailand time)
Vote for your "Dream Case". If you had an unlimited budget or someone said that they would buy you ANY case you wanted. Which case would you ask for? Also imagine that you could get any watercooling setup you wanted as well! :lol:  (So you have to choose a case that will accomodate your cooling system) :D  YaY!

Note: I put LCS for Liquid Cooling System. It is optional. Some of you might say you hate LCS and want Air-cooling. It's up to you. Vote for your DREAM case!
If you don't know how each case looks like, go to newegg.com and search for "ATX computer cases" sorted by "Highest Price" :lol: 

**If the case you are dreaming of is not included in the poll, pls reply in the forum and tell me your case. I'm sorry I can't put more poll options. I wanted to include the TT MozartTx, Antec P180/P190 and many others. :wink:
Thanks for taking part!

Fred



What do you think of the CM Stacker 830?

CM Stacker 830

Questions for the general public.
1. Is this the best "air-cooled" case?
2. Any other suggestions of cases that
a) have good airflow
b) stong and sturdy but not too heavy (less than 20lbs)
c) good looking
d) has a lot of space
3. Must be able to fit the new gen of Graphic Cards (8800GTX/R600) **edited/added 5:30 AM Thailand time)**
***imagine (only imagine) that I have an unlimited budget***

Questions for those who have experience with this case.
1. If I put in 4 side-fans, will the sound be unbearable?
2. How heavy is it now(after you have added in all your components)?Can you carry that to a LAN party by yourself?

Any other opinions....pls put down.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2006 2:11:23 PM

I didn't use that case but I did some reading on it.

I personally dont know why you would use that side pannel with the fans. I think that 2 X 120 MM intake with 1X exhaust and 1X top would cool anything you throw at it pretty damn well!

Still you have to buy some quality silent 120mm fan if you want to use that side pannel, last I check the Vantec Stealth and the Panaflo were highly rated.(never tryed panaflo).

The stacker is the biggest case out there my friend that work at the same computer shop as me, assembled two of them and said it was a charm.

Another incredible case is this one:
Tj-09

Innovative airflow, big case, looks like nice cooling!
Waiting for some more reviews!
November 1, 2006 2:12:25 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

2 25cm fans and one 120mm exhaust...

I'd still say the CM Stacker 830 is probably better, but 4 120mm fans will make quite a bit of noise (unless you get quieter ones)

You might also want to look at the TT Tai Chi, not as many fans, but its design helps dissipate heat. Also looks damn nice.
November 1, 2006 2:33:48 PM

antec nine hundred
silverstone TJ09
antec P190
stacker 831

in term of air flows, i think these are the top guns.

No, a case with high speed fan have more noise than stacker 830 with lots of fans but all low speed.

that is my opinion.
a c 79 ) Power supply
November 1, 2006 2:44:58 PM

P190.... WOW.....thats allot of cooling.....

November 1, 2006 3:00:50 PM

http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=94402...
A serious case...out of your weight range but you can always start working out! Probably horrible for packing long distances, but it has real handles and you can stack everyone else's computers on top of it at the LAN party without damage or blocking airflow...and the add-in card hold-downs keep everything secure on the road. If you start carrying this thing any distance, I'm sure the FBI or local police will show up to help you out. 8)(may as well use that Homeland Security paranoia to your advantage). I threw a fan speed controller in because the stock fans in this thing will exchange the air in your house every minute and a half - but it'll be well filtered air!. Roomy, easy to work on, totally reconfigurable, comes with a real power supply, and you're definitely going to be the only one with one of these at a gathering. Just eat your Wheaties and don't drop it on any living creatures. With the speed controller it's quiet and menacing at the same time...like the MIB dropped by and forgot to take their machinery home. You could just host the LAN parties and forget packing this thing around if you are concerned about the weight, don't have a strong friend, or don't have a vehicle...lol. I'm an ox so the weight doesn't bother me much - but my gf refuses to even try to move it - she doesn't do Wheaties. :D 
November 1, 2006 3:09:41 PM

Yeah, thats a nice case, I was actually looking at it. Some of the negatives were the fact it has no drive rails so it's not really a tooless installation, and there are no 3.5" external bays (which I like, no use for those these days)...

Cooling wise, it has one of the best systems i've seen to date... You can also use the 3.5" drive cages as wind tunnels for your cpu or gpu (as long as there are no HDD's in them)..

Definitly check it out...

Also there is the NZXT Zero which is equivalent to the CM Stacker 830...
November 1, 2006 3:16:26 PM

I vote for the Antec Nine Hundred. It is a great case and has great cooling. Get good fans and this baby is very quiet. I know you have a "unlimited budget" but at the price of the 900 vs. the Stacker, I don't see $100 worth of improvements in the Stacker over the 900.
November 1, 2006 3:23:56 PM

Nice.

I have one question on this topic that may influence a purchase:

If someone is looking for a mid-tower, which ones may fit the new 8800 vid cards?? Or is a full tower needed? Assuming 12" long (the card....get your minds out of the gutter ;)  ), what will house it without hitting the drive bay cage?

Is P180 considered full tower? Will the 900 work?

For anyone (including myself) considering a move to G80/R600, getting a case that isn't a monster would be ideal...........
November 1, 2006 3:24:02 PM

Actually it has 2 external 3.5" bays...they are vertical in the middle. All the cages are removable-both of the 5.25"x3 on each side and the center 3.5". I have 2 HDDs behind the 120mm fan-it comes with rails to put 3.5" drives in the 5.25" slots, and one suspended from the hold down bar.
(Edit - tried to add an image...didn't work) :oops: 
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2006 3:33:03 PM

The P180 is a "super mid-tower" according to Antec that is!

I think the G80 will fit, if you remove the drive cage next to the PCIe slot...

You don't need a Full-tower, you just need a long one (hehe). You should look at cases that are ~580 mm deep. the P180 is 'only' 507, it might be to short!
November 1, 2006 5:23:58 PM

Ah... I see... eh, 3.5" bays are pretty much useless anyways... still don't know why people support floppy drives and PS/2 connections... Serial, I can understand in some cases... but I'd still like to see anything thats obsolete not on my computer...
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2006 5:38:52 PM

Raid setup can be a hassle without a floppy...
My experience with USB floppy drive/US memory stick are less than stellar in this depertement. Good old floppy, still dont need a whole in my case for that, just need a connector So i can hook it up long enough!
November 1, 2006 5:59:00 PM

Yeah, thats part of the reason, manufacturers don't want to add support for USB on mobo's like they do for floppy, but if we could seamlessly use usb drives like we use floppy right now, then it should definitly disappear. It's not that the tech isin't there, its the companies are too lazy to change to allow it to take over...

I mean, why can't I boot windows off a 8 gig flash drive (beside the obvious fact that windows wouldn't want me doing that)? MS is doing the right thing by ridding us of IDE slots (a step in the right direction)... and mobo's are already removing serial (they need to get rid of PS/2...)

meh, enough ranting, back to your regularly sheduled programming.
November 1, 2006 6:03:25 PM

you want a really good case? I got the solution for you. The NZXT Zero.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811146029

And if you're worried about noisy fans, here's your solution...seven of these bad boys...

http://xoxide.com/thunderblade4.html


As for the 80mm top exhaust fan, I just got an 80mm to 120mm adapter. Cools my computer down amazingly. I have my x2 4800+ clocked at 2.63 ghz per core, and it idles at 27C and loads at 42C.

Just as good as the Stacker 830, and 100 dollars less.
Same price as the Antec NineHundred, but it's bigger (much bigger) and mores a lot more air.

And lastly, don't be fooled by those huge 25cm fans. They operate at only 800RPM and move less air than a Thermaltake Thunderblade.

EDIT: The Antec NineHundred is a nice case, but it is REALLY SMALL. I went to install a 7900GTX in there, and there as not even an inch between the card and the hard drives. If you want good air flow at a cheap price in a big case, the NZXT Zero gets my vote.
November 1, 2006 6:11:04 PM

I like my floppy 8) ...even if it is the sexier multiple hard drives that keep 'em coming back! :D 
sorry...probably should have let that one pass.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2006 6:43:46 PM

Heheh
:lol: 
November 1, 2006 7:32:42 PM

Hrm...I have a p180...it does pretty well. I think the p180 does better then my other cases...despite my attempts to upstage it.
P180:
5 -120mm fans (1 vent top, 1 vent rear CPU, 2 intake front, 1 internal pushing over psu)

I also have a couple of full tower antec cases that i've modded a bit...

White Tower:
8-80mm fans (1 vent psu, 2 rear vent, 3 intake front side, 1 cut for intake for psu with vent shaft)
1-92mm fans (intake, cut for cpu with vent shaft)
3-120mm fans (2 top vents, 1 intake over sli cards)

Black Tower:
5-80mm fans (1 vent psu, 2 rear vent, 2 intake front)
4-120mm fans (2 cut vent top, 1 cut cpu intake, 1 cut sli intake)

I'm sorry i can't hear you...I'm deaf.
November 1, 2006 8:17:36 PM

Replying to tool462:

No...i do not have an unlimited budget (just wanted to know "if i had an unlimited budget") :oops: 
November 1, 2006 8:20:49 PM

Thanks about the info on the suggested length of the case....didn't know that.... :oops:  i've been reading (self-educate) about computers for over 2 years now and still feel so Noobish! :wink:
November 1, 2006 8:32:37 PM

replying to skyguy:

your consideration has been noted and added..thanks! :) 
November 1, 2006 8:34:33 PM

Are there any large differences between the Armor and Kandalf series?
:wink:
November 1, 2006 8:41:50 PM

After I get a lot of suggestions...i'm thinking of starting a poll. Any other suggestions?

Until now...the most suggested ones are:
Stacker 830 (mostly from me ...LOL)
Stacker 831 (??)
Silverstone TJ09
Thermaltake Armor/Kandalf
Antec Nine Hundred
Antec P180/190
NZXT Zero

will edit these later when more suggestions are given.

Thanks all for replying! :D  :D  :D 
November 1, 2006 8:42:47 PM

You should go with the ThermalTake Mozart TX its a MONSTER of a case actually designed to hold 2 pc setups and thermal seperate chambers and for gods sake you can get a 7" flip out LCD screen for a drive bay. its expensive I think arounf $350 and definately not 20 pounds but my oh my it is a sight to behold I think the thing is 362 x 330 x 726mm and can hold 10 count em 10 120mm fans and not look out of place.
November 1, 2006 8:44:41 PM

trust me, you'd be happy with the LIAN LI PC-V1200Aplus II

it definately satifies your need for containing the DX10 beasts

and it is around the price of the CM stacker
November 1, 2006 9:00:38 PM

How loud is that NZXT Zero, seeing as it has 8 fans!?! Seriously, it looks awesome, but I don't need a jet engine in my house ;) 

Any specs/reviews?



You SHOULD start a poll....but start 2: 1 for unlimited budget and 1 for limited......high end cases and mid-range. And which of those can house DX10 cards should be considered ;) 
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
November 1, 2006 10:52:59 PM

The stacker 831 is the same as the 830 but I think it has wheels :o  and some other little feature like an optional see thru HD cage for those Raptor X with a window...

About the case lenght, that was a rule of thumb based on my knowledge/observation, it might not always apply and dont go throwing that number around because people will wonder how you came up with that =).

It's just the general size of roomy Case is -30mm/+60mm++...

I've just read a french review(wich happen to be my 1st language) and they said the TJ09 was incredible, but somewhat loud case. Especially from HD vibration that rippled thru the aluminuim. It has little rubber padding but it does'nt work as well as the P180.

Over all temps were really good translated page
November 2, 2006 2:16:00 PM

I think the NZXT Zero wins when it comes to performance at price since I haven't seen any other case with as much cooling power (except the CM Stacker 830) especially at that price. It has my vote.

The Antec nine-hundred might be small, but I think its very well designed... not to mention if you have too room of a case then your not going to be cooling anything, you want the air to blow over the heatsinks and out the exhaust as much as possible...
November 2, 2006 2:31:47 PM

antec nine hundred have a few problems.

the power supply at the bottom, my power supply have a 120mm fan facing downwards, it does not work with this casing.

antec do not have dvd/cdrom becel, which like silverstone, totally unforgivable.

antec nine hundred also made of steel ( total downgrade from my last lian li casing)

other than that. it is best cooling designed mid tower casing in the market right now.

from the design, if you have the right PSU, it will be cooler than coolermaster stacker 830. superior design.
November 2, 2006 3:06:12 PM

Eh, I like steel, not adverse to a heavy case, but I want something that can take a pounding... and if someone wants to cap my ass, I can hide behind my case and my 1kg hunk of CPU cooler...

I wonder about the bottom mounted PSU, Can't you just turn the PSU upside down so the fan pulls air from the top... shrug... I would think so...

Either way, I've yet to see cases with better cooling (Unless you stick an obscene number of fans in there, which is just overkill)
November 2, 2006 3:18:18 PM

No it does not seem to be able to rotate it.
are you sure you want to rotate your psu upside down,
i would think not. it is design to work best in one position, not inverted.

the huge heat sink on power amp will snap one day and blow up your whole computer.

never invert it.


Antec nine hundred - excellent airflow

not the number of fans. but the position of the fans and airflows.

it is super design.

I mean top notch design.
pls antec make an all aluminium[/quote] , after lian li case, i cannot go back to steel. no no no.


antec pls add filter in the front too

also make a mesh below the power supply place. and please put a disclaimer to the people who want to invert their power supply, thanks antec.
November 2, 2006 3:18:47 PM

Yeah, the PSU's with the fans on the bottom can be modded to work in the Nine Hundred.

Steps:
1) Turn off the PC.
2) Turn it back on.
3) Open the side.
4) Grab the PSU and touch as much metal stuff as you can.
5) Flip the PSU over.
6) Be done modding.
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
November 2, 2006 4:18:31 PM

I think ~kg cooler with a good mounting macnism is fine. You just have to carry your case horizontally, no biggy.

If you dont carry your case around, Steel is fine, seems to absorb more sound/vibration/elctromagnetism then Aluminium...

Im positive you can invert you PSU, usually it's symetrical and your 120mm will act as a bottom exhaust.

I like the TJ09 they have a little grill for air intake for the bottom PSU, nice touch.I saw a review where they stated that you could use it normally or inverted depending on your preference... I dont particularly care for front bezel, get a black case, get black drives. and its all good =)
November 2, 2006 5:11:20 PM

I was kind of thinking that, but I'm sure a high quality PSU would be able to function upside down, I'll shoot some of the PSU companies an email and see... I really don't like having a fan doing intake 2 inches from the bottom of my case...

And I don't know any PSU's with a top mounted fan... shrug...
November 2, 2006 7:33:28 PM

for antec nine hundred
they want to use the traditional fan at the back of the power supply or fansless type.
November 2, 2006 8:03:07 PM

Quote:
BEST CASE EVAR! imo

Silverstone TJO9


X2, only the best case ever made & not steel or plastic.
November 2, 2006 8:19:07 PM

Thermaltake Kandalf would be a good one as well. I like the CM Stacker but it doesn't have the pimp look compare to my Kandalf.

November 2, 2006 8:32:51 PM

That's some serious blingaging going on there. Looks like Xmas and Easter colliding in that time-tunnel thing from Doctor Who. Cool.
November 2, 2006 9:25:50 PM

the hole at the back of casing probably does not allow to place psu upside down.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article676-page3.html

look at this psu for example

the power transistors have huge heat sink attached
and power transistors only have 3 small tiny legs, solder onto the board

by putting it upside down
all the weight of heatsink on those poor legs

you are reducing the life span of the PSU

it is not design to work upside down
dun do it.

also i need dust filters and glommets to reduce hd vibration
November 2, 2006 9:47:56 PM

Hi all. This is my first post. I have a Stacker 830. It is not the super-case I thought it would be, but it is a good case. My previous case was a Chenming 601 variant that ran about 2 degrees Centigrade cooler than I have now. Today my room is 26C, my idle CPU temperature is 34C, and the motherboard is 42C*. All of my fans are turned on low (about 5V) using my fanbus and the system is stable during load (CPU 42C, MB 42C) and still quiet. I do not use the side fan tray. My testing with the tray did not reduce my system temperatures and it blocks the view of the components. I also have the case in a standard orientation rather than inverted. My CPU temps are 2-3 degrees lower when the CPU is between the video card and PSU. One feature the ads do not mention is that the fan caddies that fit into the side fan tray also fit into the front drive bay cover slots. This is what allows the placement of 2 120mm fans in the front of the case. The lower of the two fans has more of an effect on the case temps than the upper one. As for the weight, this case if heavy when loaded. Applying pressure on the mesh makes it bend easily, so be careful when you carry it. It may seem that I am unhappy with my case;however, I like my Stacker, especially with my lightbus; I like the way the case looks with two white CCFL acting as the IDE activity lights. I hope my experience with this case helps you with your decision.
*the ASUS A8N32 is a hot mobo, ASUS techsupport said its operating range is 40C-60C
November 2, 2006 11:11:38 PM

But do any of these mid-tower solutions have enough room for G80/R600? Some of us simply can't fit a full tower under our desk/whatever.

I'm wondering if there are some out there that have removable drive cages that are mid-tower. Remember, 12" clearance from rear of case to drive cages, MINIMUM, is needed.

I'm digging the Thermaltake Armor Jr but I can't tell if it will have enough clearance. Or what about getting an adapter to put a HDD in a 5.25 bay?

Need a mid-tower that's DX10 capable that won't break the bank!!!!
November 2, 2006 11:32:57 PM

I have the 830, it's just awsome. More room than most people will ever need. Plenty of hd bays, the hd modules are very nice. I only have 1 fan in front and 1 in back with 2 hd's x1800xt oc'd, 550w ps, athlon 3700+. Cool as ice.

I took the front panel off as it got in my way a bit when burning discs, but even with it off it still looks great. The 4 usb and 1 firewire port up front are much handier than most cases. And the built in handles make it easy to carry, and it's very lite for it's size, of course it's much heavier when filled up. :) 

I built a system with a silverstone TJ09 last week for a friend, sturdier and slightly better fit for some parts, but overall I'd say it's just about equal, more sophisticated appearance though. I really like the futuristic design of the 830 though. The side's aren't very weak in my opinion, like any other aluminum sides, they just look better.
November 2, 2006 11:35:11 PM

I guess nvidia could start selling stretched limo cases and mega-wattage PSUs as a bundle with their new cards. "DX10 compatible" cases? Bleah. Maybe a server case and use the redundant supply for the video next.
November 3, 2006 12:50:14 AM

Hi Al :) 

Your case is AWESOME!! Nice modding! For looks....the Kandalf really looks great! Do you think the Kandalf and Armor series have good cooling (if i use only air-cooling)? Also, do you think the Dx10 cards will fit?

What is the major difference between the Kandalf and Armor? Why did you go for the Kandalf (your opinion pls :D  )

Also, the fan that i see mounted on the side...is it a 140mm or 160 or 300mm fan? Air in or air out? I know its probably out but just asking :oops:  hehe!

Some people say that having side fans "disrupt" the flow of air from the front to the back. Is this true?

Fred
November 3, 2006 12:56:22 AM

replying to Plankton12 and Michaelahess:

Cool! Thanks for sharing your experiences. I was really hyped up about the side fans and all. :oops:  but it seems to not be so good. Have any you tried putting in all 4 fans and turning them on low, moderate, and high speed? How loud are they?

and Michaelahess.....does the TJ09 have a see-through side panel(full or partial)? It does look very sturdy.
November 3, 2006 1:03:25 AM

Personally, I would rather go for a mid-tower as well. However, the new cards are very long. Most components are getting larger and hotter! When the companies start "shrinking" their components, I will definitely get a mid-tower. Going with the size of the present-day components, i'd say most of us would have to get full-tower cases.

:D 
November 3, 2006 1:11:45 AM

Any more suggestions? I'll wait another 24-48 hours before putting up a poll. Need more suggestions. (Remember: Good airflow & Long enough for the Dx10). Thanks 8)

When will Tom's Hardware give us a review of medium-tower and full-tower cases? Would be nice if they had a "TOP 5 Tomshardware Recommendations List" (make it a sticky that is updated every month or two.... :oops:  i know you guys here have a LOT of work and stuff to review) for Cases, PSU, CPU, GPU, Mobo, Speakers, Mice, Keyboards, etc.

Anyways....not complaining or anything. Love your reviews! Looking forward to reading everyday!! (I login "almost" everyday!) :lol: 
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
November 3, 2006 1:23:09 AM

The windowed version of the TJ09 is apparently underway, before the end of november (from [h]ardforums thread, some guy emailed SS).

Dont bother not many/not any people from THG comes in THGC...We could do a sticky with best case in different price category with strength and problems with a bunch of review...
Who's up for it? I can help =)
!