Plain looking case w /great airflow, cable mgmt, and layout < $150
Would anyone be so kind as to recommend a plain looking case with suitable airflow size for a OC'd (on air) Q6600, largish HSF, and a GTX 260? By plain I mean without a window or a half dozen LED fans. Just a nice black or maybe even silver case. I'd like to stay around $100, but will go to $150 for the right case. I know everyone recommends the Antec 900, but I'm just too old (and apparently old fashioned) to appreciate the wonders of blue LEDs.
-Industry leading build quality
-Great cooling if you put better fans in
-Sleek and classy looking
-Wide for large heatsinks, but not too tall or long so it is easy to store
-It's a f%&king Lian-Li, did I mention the build quality?!
Just used it in a build with an overclocked E5200 @ 3.5 and 2 4830 OC'd to 710/2200 and it cooled them perfectly with 3 Scythe 70 CFM Slipstream 120mm fans:
I mean, 7 fan slots + another fan behind the MESH 5.25" bays just above the front fan, how many more could you possibly fit/?? INSANE cooling!
plus i like it's simple but elegant looks, sleek lines and sheer MODDABILITY! i think theres a 39 page modding cm690 thread or something over at XS
Anyone have any thoughts on the Antec Three Hundred? Seems like this might fit the bill. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042
The Lian-Li has better cooling thanks to a supreme design, but the 300 is decent. The 300 still looks a little... gamerish. I like classy cases that doesn't make the PC look like a toy and not a tool. Case and point, I own a Silver TJ07 WITHOUT the window on the side, it is a beautiful case to be sure.
The Antec 300 is a pretty staightforward case. I like it better than any others mentioned so far.
1. The hard drive cage is a front to back configuration. Cables in some of the sideway configurations can be a pain in the butt.
2. The case is configured for a bottom mount psu with an air intake grill in the bottom case panel. My Corsair psu can be oriented fan side down to pull in cool air from below and exhaust warm air out the back of the case. The psu takes care of it's own cooling leaving case fans to handle the rest of the components. I made a custom pc stand so carpeting does not interfere with psu cooling.
3. You can configure the case for classic bottom front to top rear air flow using two fans in front and two fans in back.
I do not know if one of those big tower style heatsinks will fit in the case. Perhaps someone else has the answer.
I distinctly remember looking at the Antec 300 last year at Fry's Electronics while looking at cases for builds. I build pc's for friends, neighbors, and girlfriends. I wound up buying four of the Coolermaster Centurian 590 cases:
Yeah my case is insanely priced, but I got a good deal off ebay. The Lian-Li is entirely hand crafted, meaning there is someone actively making sure the quality of the case is up to high standards. Lian-Li is the Bentley of computer cases because they are entirely unmatched in the quality of their cases. Though, plain, their cases are very nice looking, it is just hard to tell from the online pictures you have to see it in person to fully appreciate it. The cooling properties of their cases are carefully configured to give the best cooling results with the least amount of fans to reduce noise.
Better pictures from this site:
There were no "gotchas" with the CM 590. I actually had the opportunity to look at a lot of cases at a Fry's Electronics store. I even took the side panel off to get a good look at the interior. I knew exactly what I was getting.
There may be a "gotcha" or two for you. The CM Centurian 590 and the Antec 300 are both mid-tower cases. The newer, 10.5 inch long video cards will probably fit but it would be a close call. Might depend on what components are in the lower part of the drive cage and layout of motherboard. I also don't know if those new tower style cpu heatsinks will fit. Something like the Ultra 120 Exterme will probably fit but it would be another close call. When I built the pc's I installed third party after market cpu heatsinks with fans but they weren't monster size.
dpicm said:Anyone have any thoughts on the Antec Three Hundred? Seems like this might fit the bill. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042
It's a cheap but decent little case. Good airflow, fans are relatively quiet and a good amount of room for expansion cards (longer video cards). I haven't had the chance to replace the stock Intel cooler yet, so I can't say whether something like the Thermalright Ultra 120 would fit, but something like the Artic Cooling Freezer 7 should be fine. The only 2 downsides in my mind would be that it feels a tad flimsy (but I can't expect much for 60 bucks) and there isn't a whole lot in the way of cable management (2 tie downs on the far side of the HDD cage). That and I didn't get any extra screws for the additional 120mm fan they include but don't install.
Toms Hardware just did a review of mid-tower ATX cases. The Antec 300 did well: