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Which Case should i buy?

Last response: in Components
April 1, 2009 7:16:43 PM

the CM HAF 932


the Antec 902

price is a very important factor
i was considering buying the HAF 932 and swapping the top and side 230mm fans with 7 120mm fans
but that will be costly, but hopefully should give me good airflow

but the antec 902 is a cheap case for such good airflow
which would you recommend the most
Stock Antec 902
Antec 902 with all fan slots occupied
CM HAF 932 with stock fans
HAF 932 with just one of the 230mm's replaced by 120mm (specify whether top or side fan to be replaced)

More about : case buy

April 1, 2009 7:35:01 PM

Personally, I'd go for the Antec case. I like both my present Antec 900 and 1200 cases, so I'm a bit biased, but the cooling is very good on both and the price for the Antec is that you listed is better, plus you wouldn't have to spend anything on fans.
April 1, 2009 7:37:07 PM

i was thinking the same tbh, cos of the price
i will be adding the 120mm fan at teh back of one of the HDD cages
but i heard a side fan ruins airflow
is this true?
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April 1, 2009 7:38:07 PM

Antec 902
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 1, 2009 7:38:09 PM

El_Mayo said:
price is a very important factor
Do you have some extra-ordinary cooling requirement?
Antec 900 £78.75 inc VAT should be able to give you more cooling than you'd ever use. No need for stock fan replacement either.

April 1, 2009 7:40:46 PM

that does sound damn good
what about SLI in the future?
should i just sell and upgrade card instead of SLI cos tbh my screen res is only 1680x1050
SLI is only good for gaming @ 1920x1200
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 1, 2009 7:43:40 PM

SLI might be good for gaming @ 1680x1050 too - but its usually not required.
What GPU do you have now?
April 1, 2009 7:45:55 PM

i'm planning for a new build
i've currently got a VERY outdated nVidia 7 Series card
i'm considering getting a GTX 260 216SP
a c 248 ) Power supply
April 1, 2009 7:48:08 PM

I purchased the CoolerMaster HAF 932 last August. I am using the large stock fans. Ventilation, airflow, and cooling are excellent. The cpu and core temperatures are excellent. CoolerMaster did a good job of designing this case. There is no need to swap out the fans. In fact, adding seven 120mm case fans will make the pc case sound like a jumbo jet.

There have been a lot of misunderstandings about ventilation, airflow, and cooling lately. It doesn't take a lot of high volume fans to obtain good results. It can be done with low volume 600 rpm fans, unimpeded airflow, a high quality cpu heatsink, and high quality thermal compound. The biggest problem I see is the emphasis on having a lot of fans while other proven techniques are not even mentioned.
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 1, 2009 7:51:04 PM

GTX 260/216 is a very good graphics card.
What motherboard do you have? SLI or CF capable?
And while you're listing stuff.. what power supply do have?
a b ) Power supply
April 1, 2009 7:55:02 PM

Haf supports EATX so it has more room between the HDD cages and the mobo. This is ideal for setups with lots of HDDs and high end video hardware.
April 1, 2009 7:56:21 PM

yeah i'm thinking of getting an Asus Rampage II
and not sure about what power supply yet
600W or 700W?
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 1, 2009 8:04:39 PM

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 instead -
and for 2x 260/216s probably a good 750W PSU as a minimum
April 1, 2009 8:06:21 PM

don't need 260/216 x2
only one :p 
so 600W should be fine?
April 1, 2009 8:24:11 PM

El_Mayo said:
i'm planning for a new build
i've currently got a VERY outdated nVidia 7 Series card
i'm considering getting a GTX 260 216SP

One of my computers has a 260-216 card and it does fine with a 1680x1050 monitor. If games get more demanding in graphics, a second card might be required, but I suspect that such time will be awhile from now and by that time, you might want a newer, better card anyway.
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 1, 2009 8:26:40 PM

A high quality 500W PSU would be enough.
April 1, 2009 9:14:06 PM

High Quality = ?
a c 248 ) Power supply
April 1, 2009 9:29:31 PM


High Quality = Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, or Seasonic.
April 1, 2009 10:53:00 PM

ahh right... i heard of these brands.. but OCZ sounded cool and was bronze certified
80% efficiency+ right?
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 1, 2009 11:02:00 PM

Got a link to the OCZ model? They make LOTS of different versions.
April 1, 2009 11:26:33 PM

If you want good airflow get the Cooler Master CM690. It has room for 7 120mm or 7 140mm fans. It also has an optional fan slot on the back of the CPU heatsink for an 80mm fan but it needs a thinner one than 25mm. I loaded mine up with 7 120mm fans all maxed out via 12v molex and I have the CPU fan maxed out all the time. I was able to overclock my Q6600 to 3.5GHZ and I idle at get this, 82 Fahrenheit!!!!!!
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 1, 2009 11:46:18 PM

Looks like it gets passing a grade: OCZ ModXstream 500w review It's 80+ rated, but not Bronze.
I don't think its quite up to the quality of the other parts you're considering so I'd revisit the PSU choice once you have all your other parts selected.

April 2, 2009 7:00:19 AM

CM690 + 7 120mm = LOUD?
i'll still take a look however cos i believe that case is quite cheap.
April 2, 2009 7:12:18 AM

right.. i looked at the CM 690
doesnt look too good
the prospect of 7 fans sounds good
but there are some flaws apparently,review-29609...
btw i'm aware that this test was used with about 3 fans
but tbh i'd rather have the Antec 902
it should provide better cooling than the CM 690
plus.. clear side window :D 
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 2, 2009 3:42:17 PM

Flaws? Did you read the test method and purpose? Two non-standard fan arrangements used.
Did you read the conclusion? You know the Antec 900 has the SAME flaws?

How much faster will your system be with the "better" cooling and clear side window?

If you like a side window a much smarter move would be to get the Antec 900 (not 2) and upgrade your PSU.
April 2, 2009 8:54:55 PM

*** , not counting the extra cost for fans (probably about 30 quid for good fans, 60 quid (for case) plus 30-40 quid for good fans = 100 quid. 100 pounds ----> antec 902
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 2, 2009 10:26:20 PM

Zero extra fans required for excellent cooling.
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 2, 2009 11:01:18 PM

El_Mayo said:
not counting the extra cost for fans (probably about 30 quid for good fans, 60 quid (for case) plus 30-40 quid for good fans = 100 quid. 100 pounds ----> antec 902
Why would you add the cost of extra fans to the RC-690 but not the Antec 902? The 902 only has 1 fan more than the RC-690.
And the Antec 900 has the exact same fans as the 902 for about £16 less.

Now it's OK to say you want the Antec 902.
But don't try and fool yourself that it cools "better" than the Antec 900 or CM RC-690. All three cases provide more than enough cooling to keep temps inside the case under control.

April 2, 2009 11:33:34 PM

sorry about using your entire quote, dunno how to use just snippets
the antec 902 comes with one more fan than the CM 690.. but it's a 200mm fan (190mm blades if you're picky)
also.. the cost of extra fans for the CM 690 is high, also i have to buy dust filters too
the antec 902 comes with enough fans, with options for increasing the amount to 6 fans i believe, not as many as the CM 690, but it's probably quieter
so.. for a fanned out CM690 price, you can get a stock Antec 902 and upgrade those
so tbh the Antec 902 has built in fan controller, dust filters, side window, better construction, and looks better than the CM 690, for realistically the same price. (including buying fans for the CM690, fan controllers, and dust filters)
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 3, 2009 12:16:42 AM

Why would you add fans to a case that needs no more fans?
a c 248 ) Power supply
April 3, 2009 2:09:21 AM

WR2 - Beats the heck out of me. We've had too many threads like that. Other important factors and techniques are totally ignored. There's no rhyme or reason to it.

The last couple of days I've been toying with the idea of building my own case from scratch with just two 600 rpm fans at the bottom front and two 600 rpm fans at the top rear. With all the other ventilation, air flow, and cooling techniques I'll bet it would produce very respectable results.
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 3, 2009 2:37:17 AM

That would get the job done.
I still like the intake front low - exhaust back high 2 fan formula.

But yeah, most two fan gaming oriented cases are a good match to his hardware (CM Centurion 590 or Antec 300 for example).

DIY case fan dust filters are 50 cents or less. Fan speed controllers get used for about a week and then left alone when they figure out low speed (quiet mode) is just as good as high speed (jet engine mode).

I'm not against anyone spending their money on something that makes them feel good.
I just don't like to see them spend a lot one item and neglect another more important part.
a c 248 ) Power supply
April 3, 2009 3:12:50 AM

WR2 - Funny you mentioned the CoolerMaster Centurion 590. I did half a dozen builds for friends using that case. I got very good results with two fans at the bottom front and two fans at the top rear. Classic air flow design!!!

For the case I am thinking about building it's going to be a horizontal desktop case to fit on a shelf next to my desk. It will have to be taller than typical HTPC cases in order to get the bottom front to top rear air flow. Line up one set of fans with the cpu and a second set with the video card. Separate compartment for a drive cage and psu. All cables totally out of the way of the air flow.
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 3, 2009 3:45:35 AM

It wasn't all that long ago we could get away with heatsinks and convection cooling alone. And you could have any color case as long as it was beige.

Your custom case might not need to be much taller than the usual horizontal desktop size - as long as you can be flexible where you put the fans. With under a cubic foot of air to change out even 4 80mm 600rpm fans should exchange the air evey few seconds.
April 3, 2009 6:30:39 AM

WR2 said:
Why would you add fans to a case that needs no more fans?

Which case are you talking about?
i'm not really aware of the "airflow" pattern or whatever..
the antec 902, without side and the extra fan behind the HDD gets excellent thermal results
the price difference of the CM 690 and the Antec 902 is not enough to discourage me from the Antec 902.
despite how noobish i sound, i really want that side window and the massive top fan ^_^
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 3, 2009 2:53:39 PM

El_Mayo said:
i really want that side window and the massive top fan ^_^
We knew that Ages ago.
All the extra stuff like "excellent thermal results" and "it's probably quieter"*** or "buying fans for the CM690, fan controllers, and dust filters" was just camouflage to hide the real reason you wanted the Antec 902.

*** This from some reviewers that liked the 902!
"Sadly though this awesome cooling comes at a price and that’s the ludicrously loud noise of the combined cooling fans at full speed. We’ve thrown the term "wind tunnel," around in the past but the 902 really is a full blown fan powered shriek machine and sounds like a rack mounted server being tortured with the cooling fans all set to maximum. Frankly we just couldn’t stand the 902 on a desk next to us with its fans at full speed, whether we were busy gaming or not – it’s simply far too intrusive."

Luckily the low fan settings cool just about as good as the high fan settings
April 3, 2009 7:42:30 PM

aha! i've been outed! hehehe..
i actually did some RATIONAL thinking, and i'm going to buy the more practical case, (i threw out nooby sentiments like LED's and side windows)
CM 690 might not be such a bad idea after all...
it's cheaper and more spacious, and hopefully it'll cool just as good as the Antec 902.
i think i'm gonna get that.
is it possible to use "Speedfan" to reduce the speed of fans on the case, even if they're not connected to the motherboard?
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 4, 2009 12:06:00 AM

Was it the free next day shipping that sealed the deal?
Seriously, I thought you'd end up going for the Antec 900 as a compromise.

Speedfan can read & adjust case fans plugged into the mobo if the motherboard supports that feature.
I think Asus has a utility program included with the motherboard that lets you do fan control. And probably BIOS fan options too. One common option is to have fan speed regulated by temperature.

If the CM 690 doesnt cool quite as well as the Antec 902 it won't be far off - a few degrees at most.
And it will be "close enough". Not every one needs to get the best performing options (think i7 965 and GTX 295) to get excellent overall performance.
The only system build I've seen that needed extra cooling was a system with two single slot 4850s in Crossfire that just dumped the hot exhaust into the case.

CM 690 is like most other cases - there are some compromises. Not everyone will like the side mounted power and reset switches. Some don't like the top mounted USB and other ports. And the side panels are on the flimsy side when they're off the case (but OK with installed). If you go in and out of your case a lot it could be an issue with the side mounted fan. I'd suggest installing it as intake on the bottom of the case. Using an old about-to-be-binned nylon stocking and a rubber band works great as a dust filter. The front case fan has it's own stock dust filter.
April 4, 2009 11:57:33 AM

i COULD get the Antec 900 now that you mention it...
but now i see the error of my ways
the CM 690 > Antec 900
it's bigger i believe.
i think i'm going to get the CM-690, even if i can afford the Antec 902 (money can be spent on something better)
April 4, 2009 12:00:24 PM

With a 690 I went with a Sunbeam 5.25" controller because the M/B I chose is lacking in fan points. I've got extension cables for the 2 140mm side fans, (black stocking filters), for easy removal of the side panel. Pick what fans you want for the top carefully because removing the top requires 3 hands. I put the original side fan in the bottom, front and back are original. All the fans on the controller are at about half speed and my case temp stays at 25c, (20c ambient), regardless of load. The pretty blue knobs aren't as annoying as I thought they might be and my friends are all proud that I finally have some bling. ;) 
April 4, 2009 12:23:29 PM

let's say.. i wanted all fan mounts on the CM 690 in use
how loud would that be?
April 4, 2009 1:11:52 PM

It of course depends on what fans you get and if you can control them. That's the primary reason I got the fan controller. At full bore 4 140mm and 3 120mm fans setting next to my desk on a 24u rack could be heard over the fairly loaded, (3 servers, 2 NAS's, 3 routers, a switch, a PIX and 2 battery backups), 40u rack behind me. With all the fans at half speed all I hear is the wind tunnel behind me.
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 4, 2009 1:26:52 PM

It's a bit of a variable - based on your fan selection, the amount of air they move, and the speed they run.
3 Scythe fans
Scythe 120mm "Slipstream" 24 CFM 500 RPM, & 7.50 dBA
Scythe PWM 120mm Case Fan 12 - 52 CFM 310-1200 RPM & 0-24 dBA
Scythe 120mm "ULTRA KAZE" 133 CFM, 3000 RPM & 45 dBA

The average gaming case is about 1.5 cubic feet in volume. If your fans are moving enough CFM to change out the air about every second you'll keep the system temps under control.
I think the CM RC-690 stock fans are rated about 44CFM @ 1200rpm and 20 dBA.

edit; CFM = cubic feet a minute
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 4, 2009 1:36:17 PM

Here is a benchmark testing showing the difference with fans on High settings and Low settings for the Antec 902 case. Red is GPU (idle) and Blue is CPU under load. It shows that pumping more air into a case doesnt always give you the cooling results you'd expect.

Have you looked over your motherboard's user manual yet? It has several sections talking about case and CPU fan control options.

April 4, 2009 2:22:11 PM

well now that's brought up the option to buy the Antec 902
and keep the fans on low all the time.
(i'm always this indecisive)
a c 139 ) Power supply
April 4, 2009 2:33:22 PM

It's good to have options.
Think of your ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 motherboard as a fancy fan controller.
Set the Asus Fan Xpert to run in Silent mode.

April 4, 2009 2:37:45 PM

hmm.. do most motherboards support fan controls like this?
(i think i'm gonna get the CM-690, despite the lack of flashiness, massive fans or uber bright LED's. it's cheaper too!)