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Case with less dust?

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June 21, 2009 9:48:31 PM

I'm reading the 'case topics' but still undecided on a case. I want to build a cheap system and use my current Antec Solo case for that.

My current system is a Quad Core Q6600 with 4GB of DDR2 RAM with a sound card and Geforce 7950 GT video card but I'm looking at upgrading the video card to a 9800GTX+, Geforce 260 or ATI 4870 Radeon. Most of the video cards are 10.5in. in length so I'd need a case that has enough room/space for the video card. Since I am building a 2nd cheap system that would need a case, I'm going to use the Solo and upgrade my other system with a new video card and probably a full-size case.

Okay, so which case then? I believe that dust is one of the worst enemies to a system and keeping it cool requires good ventilation and avoiding being in a warm/hot environment. I am not sure how many fans are needed or at which size so I am open to most cases but I want to buy locally since shipping cancels out any deals online.

Thus, I would like opinions on the following cases and your perspective regarding cooling, dust and space for the longer video cards:

CoolerMaster Stacker 820

CoolerMaster HAF 932 (I know, no dust filters but does that cause major problems with dust?)

CoolerMaster Storm Sniper

Antec 1200

Antec 900 (& 2: 902?)

All of the above cases I can find locally and so they're easily available to me. Most are full-size although I am open to either mid-size or full-size as long as there is sufficient room for the bigger video cards. I just want the option. I like the 932 HAF especially but the lack of dust filters is a concern. However, with proper cable management , perhaps there wouldn't be a dust problem?

The cases I mentioned above are also popular and widely available so hopefully enough owners will commment and offer their opinions. I want to avoid dust issues since I think that can cause problems later on. I think any of the cases above can provide adequate cooling and low noise but how good are they at keeping dust build-up to a low level?

Thanks in advance for any replies/recommendations/advice.

Btw, feel free to offer other cases (I didn't mention Thermaltake) but I particularly chose the ones above because A) I can buy these locally and B) they are under $200 before tax which is the budget. Thanks.

More about : case dust

June 21, 2009 10:20:00 PM

For modding potential and general ease-of-use Stacker 820 or 1200 would be my choice.
For fan filter you can either buy pre-made ones or use panty hose cut to size then stretch it over the fan.
June 22, 2009 1:06:25 AM

wuzy said:
For modding potential and general ease-of-use Stacker 820 or 1200 would be my choice.
For fan filter you can either buy pre-made ones or use panty hose cut to size then stretch it over the fan.

Between those two, I'd probably choose the Stacker 820 since it's a bit cheaper. Do you prefer it over the HAF 932?

The Stacker 820 and HAF 932 are around the same price, about $5 difference (buying locally).

I think the Stacker 820 would be a good pick since it probably has a lot of the features of both the HAF 932 and the newer 830/840 series or at least I'd hope it would contain mostly the 'pro' features. ;) 
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June 22, 2009 3:27:43 AM

If you're looking for a case that stays relatively dust-free inside, I'll recommend the Antec 1200, clean the filters every 2 weeks or so, maybe every month if you're in a really dust-free environment, and you'll have a nice clean and cool case.
June 22, 2009 12:14:19 PM

You will have to completely seal off the computer before dust stops becoming a problem. Even fan filters only do so much. You still have to clean it out every once in a while. I have filters on my case and I need to dust it every couple months. In fact, I probably tear apart the whole thing about twice a year because dust builds up in places you can't really reach normally.
June 22, 2009 4:04:18 PM



People do know where dust comes from - right....
June 22, 2009 5:46:04 PM

Quote:
Cases dont come with dust. The dust comes from you dirty house.


LOL......

I just keep mine off the floor to keep dust down and helps with cooling.

I have an Antec 900.
June 22, 2009 7:00:10 PM

leo2kp said:
You will have to completely seal off the computer before dust stops becoming a problem. Even fan filters only do so much. You still have to clean it out every once in a while. I have filters on my case and I need to dust it every couple months. In fact, I probably tear apart the whole thing about twice a year because dust builds up in places you can't really reach normally.

I understand some dusting is necessary. But, I was under the impression that the HAF 932 and the Antec 900 may be prone to acquire dust more frequently than the other cases. The HAF 932 has no dust filters.

I am guessing that it is better to have all the side panels on the case (right?)?

Is it better to have it cramped in there but have fans going and good cable management or lots of room and good air flow? The CoolerMaster 840 ATCS got mixed reviews but the tests showed the temps were higher than other cases tested. The HAF 932 incidentally did the best in terms of cooling and performance although none of the reviewers looked at dust collection or issues.

I don't think my place will be a problem when it comes to dust. Perhaps, I should have asked about how convenient it is to work with each case (I listed) and obtain opinions?

Some people who have tried more than one case have claimed that the Antec cases aren't as easy to work with since they don't have the popular 'tool free' features with the hard drive compartments. I was curious about that.

Also, I was wondering if I should eliminate mid-size cases because I want plenty of space for a video card in case the one I am shopping for is one of the longer video cards. There needs to be room for a 10.5 in. video card but I believe all the cases I listed in the original post has room for any of those so it it is just a matter of how much more room and whether you have to 'move' any fans near the hard drive or some hard drive cages themselves. I think it's good to include some cooling for the hard drives so I'd rather not mess with the default setup of the case. Thus, I'm inclined to pursue a full-size case because of that. Any comments about that?

The Antec 900 or 902 is at a good price (well, the original 900) though and is about $30 or $40 cheaper than the cheapest full-size case I listed. The Cooler Master 820, however is not much more and the HAF 932 is around the same price and has lots of buyers who insist it's a good choice. I like the look of the Antec 1200 and have a Solo so I do think Antec does a decent job with cases. However, it also seems that many are old style and not as advance with newer features that Cooler Master has already picked up.

So, anyone have anything to say about all that? Am I accurate about any of that or is there something that I missed or any idea I should reconsider?
June 22, 2009 7:12:46 PM


The Cooler Master and Antec's are good cases.

Have a look at the Antec 1200 they have dust filters.



Also dust and hoover your room more where the pc is stored and dust the front of the machine too.
a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
June 22, 2009 7:29:06 PM

The coolermaster cases are e-atx so they'll have the most room for longer video cards. Right now I have a antec 1200 w/ a gtx285. It barely fits inside with a HDD in front of it. If the power plugs weren't on top of the video card then it wouldn't fit at all.

My vote would go toward the cooler master haf. But I will say that the orginal cooler master cosmos is the most dust resistant case i've ever used.
June 22, 2009 8:20:04 PM

PsyKhiqZero said:
The coolermaster cases are e-atx so they'll have the most room for longer video cards. Right now I have a antec 1200 w/ a gtx285. It barely fits inside with a HDD in front of it. If the power plugs weren't on top of the video card then it wouldn't fit at all.

My vote would go toward the cooler master haf. But I will say that the orginal cooler master cosmos is the most dust resistant case i've ever used.

Very interesting. Thanks for that perspective! I am also leaning towards a Cooler Master case since the ones I'm considering are cheaper than the 1200, Well two of three of them are.

I was wondering how the Stacker 820, HAF 932 and Storm Sniper compare. The HAF 932 is still the cheaper of them all out of the full size cases and has good reviews as far as cooling goes. I guess I would just need a can of compressed air, a duster and a vaccuum handy to get rid of the dust on a regular basis.
June 22, 2009 8:40:33 PM

The Silverstone Fortress FT01 uses the top fan as an intake to create positive pressure in the case. This prevents dust from coming in through the front mesh or the back ventilation holes. It won't stop all dust, nothing will, but it means the dust can only come in via the dust filter covered intake fans.
June 22, 2009 8:47:54 PM

Every time I build a new system, I shop around alot of different vendors for cases and some always end up with a CoolerMaster. They just seen to have the best build quality at almost every price point. They also release new models constantly, so they tend to have a form factor that is friendly to the newest hardware. A friend of mine has an Antec 900, and it seems incredibly cramped inside to me. The 1200 is taller, but it's still short and shallow. Filters restrict airflow, better cooling is always going to mean more dust IMO. I usually remove any filters and just dust out my case often.
a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
June 23, 2009 5:40:30 AM

Also with the antec 1200 and the antec 900 v2. you have to remove both sides of the case, then unscrew the 8 thumb screws that hold the drive bays in place. This makes for a total of 24 thumb screws that need to be removed in order to take the dust filters out and clean them. Very poor design IMO. I've taken to using a dust buster and sucking the dust from the front.

The stacker 820 is a bit old. cooling won't be as great as the antec 1200 but you do have the e-atx support.

I said before the haf has the best cooling with the least amount of fan noise. So it gets my vote. No dust filters though.

The storm sniper looks as it would create a lot of negative pressure. with the 2x 200mm exhaust fans vs. the 1 x 120mm intake. Given the arrangement I would say this would be more dust free then the HAF but does not support e-atx boards. So you will lose the extra space for long cards. As long as next gen cards don't get any longer I think you would still be fine.

June 23, 2009 2:18:09 PM

In my 1200 I just took out the thumbscrews on the hard drive cages and left them ount, the case doesn't get moved (because it's just too damn heavy), and the cages are a snug fit anyway so they don't move about generating excess noise.

That way, I just have to open the side with the window, push out the cages about an inch, and remove the filters (along with the one in the door).
September 20, 2011 9:52:33 AM

Canuck1 said:

Antec 900 (& 2: 902?)

I have a 900 and it's the dustier case ever used. I use plenty and cleaning it every month or so still make it dustier than an unbranded one cleaned every couple of years with same type of hardware inside.
Any opening at the top, regardless of it being intake or exhaust should have a filter. It is easier to clean a case with filters than without. Over-sizing cases and fans can help compensate reduced air flow. Any intake fan should have a filter. If there is negative pressure, air will come into the case from almost everywhere and you'll need filters there, too.
The airflow should go from one place to the opposite one for each zone your case is organised as.
Too often I saw people putting intake and exhaust fans side by side and all the fresh air coming in is taken out before being able to cool anything.
Given a certain resulting temperature on the various parts, the exhausts who work harder are the warmer ones. It means they are actually taking air out.
Last month I forgot to clean my 900 and now I need new MB and PSU. Of course, changing MB means changing CPU, Ram etc.
I'm going for either HAF X or ThermalTake Level 10 LG (not sure, yet).
Currently on my unbranded case (customised with an extra fan and a few extra openings) I am on 35C CPU e 26C motherboard. The 900 did almost as well with fans at full speed.
Other issue with the 900 is fans not being controllable by software (unless you use adapters).
Good luck.
!