Now, I'm sure you guys get asked this by n00bs like me all the time, so I apologize in advance, but...
I'm building a system, and I can't decide which case to buy. I intend to eventually go with dual GTS8800s, so it needs to be relatively spacious, and I'm hoping for something that will cool well with fans. I've also thought about upgrading to water cooling, but that would be down the line, so it would need good air cooling to start with, at least.
I've been looking at a few different cases, and a couple have caught my eye.
the ThermalTake Armor8000
the Gigabyte 3d Aurora 570
the Antec 900
and the Coolermaster Stacker 830, but only if the benefits are good because its almost a hundred more than any of the other ones.
I'm also planning to have at least a couple hard drives, I'm going to go with the EVGA nForce 680i SLI board, with (eventually) all memory slots filled and possibly a sound card if the onboard sound isnt that great. And then, of course, DVD burners and such.
Also, slightly off topic... I've been looking at the OCZ GameXstream 850 and the PC Power and Cooling Quad Silencer 750. Any thoughts on those? or a different power supply that anyone would suggest for around the price of those ones? The 750 is looking really attractive because everything I've read about it has said its rock solid.
Anyways, any suggestions you guys might have, or info/experiences with the cases or power supplies I've mentioned would be great.
Also, if anybody had any other ideas of different cases or power supplies I could check out that might perform better, that would be great as well.
Thanks a lot
Oh yeah, what kind of fans are quality? Like, what manufacturers or models or anything would be worth taking a look at as opossed to stock coolers/fans?
I like this one its good looking and it has room to play with. however, if you are planing to run the 8800GTX's then this case may not be big enough for your needs. The Antec 900 is an ok case, lots of air flow but may be a bit too noisy. I can't say much about thermal take as I have never own nor will I own one. the same goes for the gigabyte case.
OCZ has made a good reputation for itself but in my opinion PC Power and Cooling if far better. But to be honest either one would be fine, it all depends on your budget.
As of now the two best CPU air coolers on the market are the Tuniq Tower 120 and the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme. (the thermalright is the better of the two right now) Panaflo, now Panasonic, and Scythe Silent X fans are some of the best, there are many more to choose from though.
Best bang for the buck....call the toll free phone number and talk with a Tech as they can sale you a unit for only $169 USD.
If you use a CM Stacker T01 then you can even mount TWO of these for 1,500 Watts constant/ultra clean power for less than the KW models sale for if you wished.
The TO1 case will also let you install the optional Crossflow fan that sends a end-to-end wave of fresh OUTSIDE case air over the MB/Ram/Chipset/Regulators.
When building out the case remove the rear exit fan grill for up to 70% more airflow.
Add a Silverstone FM-121 110QFM fan (comes with speed controller) and use stock fan for CPU cooler,or another Silverstone.
Place the HD cage/fan box inline with cases exit fan.
I built many AMD Optron systems this way with 30-50% OC (every thing @ stock volts thanks to PSU) on the cpu and only 2C over room temps.
Pwnage took the words right out of my mouth. So to speak. That case, the Lian-Li PC-A12 is flat out beautiful. It was one of the "finalists" that I considered for my new, just completed, system. The Gigabyte Aurora 570 was also a finalist. These are superb cases.
The case I wound up buying was the Lian-Li PC-A10A (Natural Aluminum color), and I can certainly vouch for Lian-Li quality. I've never seen a case so well designed or made. Well worth the money. Here is a link to it:
If you want room, I think the Gigabyte Aurora and the Lian-Li PC-A10 will give you all you need, as they are the biggest of the bunch we're kicking around here. The A10 has a removable motherboard tray which is more than long enough for the biggest graphics card you can find. Believe me, I am not kidding. Which leads to . . .
Take a look at the Swiftech H2O-120 water cooling kit if you want to take about 12 to 15 degrees C off of the temps the stock cooler will yield. How does the size of the PC-A10's motherboard tray lead to this? Because I have my Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 motherboard mounted to the tray, along with the whole Swiftech cooling system. Reservoir, pump, radiator (on the outside of the tray), everything. I can pull the whole system, water cooling included, out without disconnecting a single hose! There is still plenty of room there for the largest GPU card you can find.
One caveat: really look at the measurements of the cases before you buy. Not only do you need room inside, but you are going to have to put it somewhere when you get it. You can almost make a vacation home out of the Gigabyte and bigger Lian-Li (PC-A10).
Edit, added: Hate to steer you away from Newegg, as they are truely great, but if you are interested in the PC-A10, you can get a better price at Directron.com. I got mine for $208 plus shipping. Don't bother paying the $5 for double boxing. They don't do it anyway, and the thing is boxed so well you don't need it.
Case is a personal preference. Do your freakin' homework and look at pictures, and read reviews. In truth a cheap CoolerMaster Centurion case would work fine for most people. For my future builds I'm going cheaper on my cases, cases have gotten better anyway over the last few years and prices have gone down. Some $30 cases today are comparable to $100 cases a few years ago.
Thanks a lot to everyone's input, and to JohnnyDough, I have been.
If you've noticed, I've named several specific things in my post, and was just asking people here, some of which would undoubtedly know a lot more and possibly have experience with what I've mentioned, and asking their opinions.
I am currently using a Thermaltake Aguila Mid Tower case. My sig tells of most of the components inside. In addition I am using one optical drive. The case is a bit wider than my old Enermax Mid Tower, and better built. It has a steel mesh like front door (which can be locked), with steel mesh bay covers and a filter behind the steel mesh. There are two 120mm fans, one in the front and one in the rear, which provides adequate cooling and are pretty quiet. I was able to fit, two X1950 pro cards inside, which aren't by any means small (although they are single slot width). There is a hdd mounting rack that's accessible from the side panel, or you could mount them in the regular bays. It also has two usb ports, one firewire and mic and audio out on the top of the case, which works well for me, as I don't have to bend down risking falling out of my chair. I wanted one without the side window, but could not find it at the time, so I have the side window, which is easy access and a side vent built in. It's not flamboyant looking, but does does look good. I'm happy with it as performs its function well. I picked it up for about $128.00 USD from Newegg.com. [/img]I almost built full tower, and was looking at the Thermaltake Armour Series., but decided I didn't have space to spare in my room. Here are a few pics (I know my cable management stinks);
Yeah, I agree with you, Johnny, I'm definitely looking for something functional. The Kandalf did look pretty good, but it was a little out of my price range. Does anyone know if the Antec 900 will be able to fit 2 8800GTS with room in the front? Or would I have to cut anything. I've seen some photos, but they're of GTXs, and they are almost touching the drive in front.
Damn, also, I have two different houses that I go to every week or two, so this thing needs to be relatively portable... Yeah, yeah, I know, buy a laptop, but to get a good laptop with decent gaming perfomance I'd have to spend three grand, and still not have the performance of a two grand tower.
Yeah, I saw that earlier, but it was a little small for me. Same with the Lanboy and a few similar cases. I'm hoping to fit a couple GTSs in. What do you guys think of the Gagabyte 3D Aurora 570? I'm leaning quite heavily towards that one, it looks like it will fit everything and has gotten a lot of good reviews, but does anyone know how the cooling is?
Well yeah, it fits mATX. But a single GTX might be enough for you, especially if you OC it. I don't know what the best mATX boards are, but for portability man anything mid-tower or full gets to be heavy after awhile. If you do go with a mid, you might want to consider going with a cheaper steel case because thicker aluminum cases tend to get heavy. Also, doors can be a real pain. Furthermore, I don't know if anyone makes an SLI mATX board for 775, but I think Biostar(?) has one for 939.
Haha ok, I meant I can afford none of them EXCEPT the p182... Which actually looks pretty good, thanks for the suggestion... shortlisted. One question though. It says it has mounts for side fans? I didn't see any exhaust/intake ports, what happens with the fans?