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Which case should I buy? antec 902? haf 922? cm sniper?

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September 28, 2009 3:20:29 PM

Hello All,

I'm currently on the market for mid-tower gaming case. I've done some preliminary research and narrowed it down to 3 options:

Antec 900 two (902) Price 109.99
Cooler Master HAF 922 Price 99.99
Cooler Master Sniper Black Price 119.99

So far as I can tell these are the pros and cons of each option.

Antec 902:
Pros: Dust filters, all black interior, you can control the speed of most fans (no central controler)
Cons: Hard drives are parallel with the case, I prefer Perpendicular for cable management. The cable management sucks compared to the cooler master. In my opinion it is kind of ugly, and I don't think think we can turn off the blue led fan lights. Also it is a pain to change harddrives because you must remove the rack with 4 thumb screws and then slide out the bay. It has a partial side window, I don't like those.

CM HAF 922:
Pros: The best looking of the three, Good cable management, 3 200mm fans, perpendicular harddrives. Tool less HDD and OD installation. Ventilation for the bottom mounted PSU. LED Light control.
Cons: Some fan ports don't have dust filters, 1 200mm fan not included, No central fan controller. The interior is not all black.

CM Black Sniper: Central Fan controller, Dust covers on all fan ports, 3 200mm fan spots, perpendicular harddrives. Tool less HDD and OD installation. Ventilation for bottom monunted PSU. LED light control and Handles for moving the case easily.
Cons: Looks kind of ugly 1 200 mm fan not included. Most expensive of the three.

These are what I can tell so far, and in my mind there is no front runner. Any thoughts or inputs would be appreciated. If anyone owns any of these particular cases, the first hand intel would be most appreciated.
a c 248 ) Power supply
September 28, 2009 3:49:00 PM

They are all very good cases so it will boil down to a matter of personal preference. Buy the one you like.
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a b ) Power supply
September 28, 2009 5:47:28 PM

I would say the antec. (although I am fanboy)

Dust filters are unnesesary luxury

Fan controllers are USELESS. Connect fans to mobo and set in bios to optimal, and it will regulate fan speed according to temperature. (and I assume mobo can do that better than you can let's be honest), keeps system silent

HDD toolless is a pain, unless with rubber padding. Otherwise it will rattle. If given a choice, always use screws.

How often are you going to need to take out the HDD rack?

You could turn off the leds, but that would make most cases uglier, I like them shiny.

ALL THE CASES HAVE A SIDE WINDOW, get the shiniest one.

All comes to personal preference in the end.

My advice, buy a case of quality, you will not regret it. I've made the mistake of buying a crap case, and regretted it as soon as i started my build.

Still need an excuse to get a new case....

Anyways, I suggest the Antec. Built a system a while back with the similar case, (older 900 series) and it was very pleasant to build with, despite the HDD rack. When finished, it looks beautiful. Just don't put it on your desk.
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September 28, 2009 11:14:05 PM

cm haf 922
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September 29, 2009 12:20:57 AM

All of the 3 cases are good for cooling but damn ugly! The sniper is the best regarding the PSU cooling but also ugliest out of them! 902's looking is the best out of these cases, but the noisiest as well. I would get sniper for the prices listed!
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September 29, 2009 12:59:00 AM

I don't think you would be disappointed with any of those cases, just choose the one that you like aesthetically. If I may add a fourth option.

LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Midtower made by Lian Li, rather sharp looking case, good cable management, window on the side panel, black interior, some really nice tool less features, and blue LED fans, maybe that isn't your thing though.

But if the Lancool isn't your cup of tea, I'd go with the HAF, as you've said that was most pleasing to the eye.
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September 29, 2009 2:07:33 AM

Thanks for all the replies so far!!! I'm stilling trying to make up my mind, but I'm getting there. The Lian Li case is definitely being looked into.

@xbeater - Dust filter to me are a necessity, if I don't have them they balls of dust will build up in my rig quickly. Unless you have a air filter in your room, with that volume of air being fluxed dust is bound to build up.

I was reading the CM forums, and they said that they may start selling dust filters for the side 200mm fan due to popular demand. Which only leaves the bottom vent in the HAF 922, someone posted a guide to make one for that spot using woman's underwear LOL.

My mind is not made up yet, so any additional comments will be most appreciated.
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September 29, 2009 3:16:40 AM

Here's a review on the Lian Li: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4XCT9yibwQ

And a review of the HAF 922: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bszPOf0U6KI

And a review of the CM Sniper: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdXog4d2eqs&feature=play...

(Video's are a bit more entertaining than reading a bunch of info IMO)

Dust filers are certainly nice, over years dust can accumulate something awful. Ever open up a 5 year old PC that has never been cleaned? Those dust bunnies aren't bunnies at that point. So I definitely agree with you on the dust filters.

Although somewhat regular maintenance with a can of pressurized air can help tremendously against dust build up.

Also, dust filters will need to be cleaned somewhat regularly as well, because if they get clogged they will restrict airflow, restricted airflow, warmer components, blue screens of death/crashes/bad things will happen, maybe.

And the woman's underwear mod sounds interesting as well as amusing, hope to see a work log if you go that route. :lol: 
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September 29, 2009 3:37:17 AM

I just unboxed the sniper and it is huge as hell.
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September 29, 2009 4:04:02 AM

daship said:
I just unboxed the sniper and it is huge as hell.


Yes! it is huge and as you unboxed it, with that Gaming case (not being biased here)
It embodies the title of those countless reviews and countless awards posted all over the net
around the world that says..."IT IS TRULY AN AWESOME GAMING CASE!".. No doubt!
For more info about that click the link: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/267354-28-help-decide...
Look for my replies, hope ill will help you in order to maximize your Sniper's performance. :) 
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October 4, 2009 3:35:02 PM

N.Broekhuijsen said:
I would say the antec. (although I am fanboy)

Dust filters are unnesesary luxury

Fan controllers are USELESS. Connect fans to mobo and set in bios to optimal, and it will regulate fan speed according to temperature. (and I assume mobo can do that better than you can let's be honest), keeps system silent

HDD toolless is a pain, unless with rubber padding. Otherwise it will rattle. If given a choice, always use screws.

How often are you going to need to take out the HDD rack?

You could turn off the leds, but that would make most cases uglier, I like them shiny.

ALL THE CASES HAVE A SIDE WINDOW, get the shiniest one.

All comes to personal preference in the end.

My advice, buy a case of quality, you will not regret it. I've made the mistake of buying a crap case, and regretted it as soon as i started my build.

Still need an excuse to get a new case....

Anyways, I suggest the Antec. Built a system a while back with the similar case, (older 900 series) and it was very pleasant to build with, despite the HDD rack. When finished, it looks beautiful. Just don't put it on your desk.


Being a fanboy, you sure have come to appreciate the quality of the case a lot as well. Yeah I like the Antec 902 as a mid-tower case, for both airflow and look. I personally don't like LED fans, but I'm sure they can be unplugged. Worst case scenario is that you will have to replace the stock fans, and control the fans with whatever means you need (mobo, 5.25" fan controllers, etc.) It should be an easy and great build. However, if you are asking about a full tower, I will go for the HAF 932 rather than the Antec 1200.
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October 4, 2009 5:04:05 PM

If only Coolermaster added a dust filter on the HAF 932, it will surely be one hell of an awesome gaming case that will beat many others, except for the CM Storm Sniper which has gained countless awards, top recommended reviews and high ratings for its performance. Though its a mid tower case, but IMO, looks like a full tower...
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December 22, 2009 12:43:49 AM

Well I've owned my Antec 902 for a few months now. Your right about the interior being a sexy black, which makes that side window more appealing in my mind. The cable management isn't to bad behind the motherboard tray. The only real complain I guess I could make is that if your gpu is a bit long you wont be able to have a hard drive in that bay acrose from it. Not the biggest deal considering you have so many others but yeah just something to point out. Id also like to point out that the blue case lights can be turned off from switches in the back as control of the fan speeds. The drive cages are held in with four thrumb screws but you could just screw the side with the window in to hold it in place. Not really a big enough problem to knock the product. All in all i dont regret buying this case at all. Its got top notch air flow with the two front 120mm fans, another in the back and a giant 200mm fan on top pulling air out. Its a nice solid heavy duty case as well.

One other thing ill note is the fact that the cases psu is on the bottom so I had to buy an 8pin extension so i could run the cord behind the mobo an keep the case lookin clean. I donno about the other cases but Id def. recommend the antec 902


Setup:
Antec 902
Intel I5 CPU
H50 CPU Cooler
4gb (2x2gb) G Skulls DDR3 RAM
WD 500GB HD
SG 1TB HD
MSI P55 GD65 MOBO
GTX 260 superclocked ed. GPU
26in. Sony Bravia

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December 23, 2009 6:57:35 AM

the storm sniper is massive. not as tall as a full tower, but as long, and an 1" wider than a CM 932. that means it fits everything easly

go for the CM storm sniper BE:
also, the BE has a massive intake for GPUs. 200mm fan, pushing 142CFM. well worth it
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December 30, 2009 6:00:52 PM

Seems like this topic came up through the wood work :) 

Since I made this post I went ahead and bought the CM HAF 922, at the time mainly because of the price (95 - 35 rebate = 68 USD after rebate, the antec 902 was around 110 at this time). I have no regrets buying the HAF 922, the cable management is quite superior to the 902 because of well positioned holes in the motherboard tray, large space behind the back plate, and the harddrives being turned so that they face backwards. People who want to have good cable management with the 902 must cut holes in the metal of their case. The concern about dust filters I had when I made this topic was a bit unnecessary as it turns out. Due to the cable management and high air flow no dust builds up in the case. One small note on this point, the front panel has filters and those are my only intakes, I did not get the extra side fan yet and I'm not sure if having an unfiltered intake will cause dust build up. I have 5 HDDS and a EVGA GTX 260 vid card, I realize now that if I had a 902 they would not all fit due to the removal of a HDD cage. So for me I think I made a good choice, the only thing I regret is not having that sexy sexy black interior that the 902 has.


Also to be fair I do have to mention the cons on the 922 I've noticed so far:
-Front panel removal requires taking out 6 small screws (pain in the ass)
-Both side panels are difficult to close and screw back in (requires a lot of force)
-The feet of the case is a short, they don't do well with carpet floors (i put a small piece of wood underneath works fine)
-No removable motherboard tray, and the cpu backplate cutout is not made for a socket 1366 or 1156 cpu. (I knew both of these things going in)
-The HAF 922 feels flimsy compared to the 902 in terms of rigidity, but i think this is due to the front panel support of the 902 which also doesn't allow for rotated HDDs and longer video cards. Its a trade off.
-No black interior :( 

On the whole, I would definitely buy this case again. The 902 is a good case from what i hear, but too expensive and ugly in my opinion, and cable management is really important to me.

Check out this guy mod a CM HAF 922
http://www.overclock.net/case-mod-work-logs/569118-project-haf-envy-water-cooled-haf.html#post7098154
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December 30, 2009 9:58:59 PM

BetaCase nailed it with his comments on the 922, echoing what I have heard from many of its owners.

I was leaning towards the CM HAF 932 for an upcoming build, thinking the 922 might not have the cooling of the 932. Unsure, I tracked down the following temperature testing of cases at Bit Tech:

Note: the graphs only show delta or change in temp, not the full temp.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2009/06/03/cooler-master-haf-922-review/4

If one looks at the CPU stress test, the 922 is only 2 degrees warmer than the 932, and the 922 is a few degrees lower than the Sniper. The surprise on that chart was Antec Nine Hundred Two at full speed looks to be the lowest if one is just looking at CPU temp. change on that chart.

If anyone has other temperature tests for the 922, please post them. Anyway, the 922 looks to me like it can hold its own when it comes to cooling.

The only reason I still like the 932 over the 922 is the 932 has a lot of space on that mobo panel. I am planning on putting one of the Asus 1366 boards on it, and I have heard they are or almost are extended ATX (eATX) boards (bigger than standard size). Plus, I want to be able to rig a Scythe Mugen 2 to blow up into the top exhaust.

I am still researching the Asus 1366 in the 922 and may just go that route.

In any case, as the link above shows, all the cases mentioned in this thread get the job done when it comes to cooling, even the good ole Antecs
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Best solution

a b ) Power supply
December 31, 2009 12:07:06 AM

JohnnyLucky said:
They are all very good cases so it will boil down to a matter of personal preference. Buy the one you like.

+1 agreed.

Quote:
Dust filters are unnesesary luxury

lol. try leaving your PC for a long time on carpet.
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a b ) Power supply
December 31, 2009 12:08:38 AM

DAMN IT! DO NOT BRING UP DEAD THREADS!

I should have noticed OP post date earlier.
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a b ) Power supply
December 31, 2009 12:15:23 AM

i hate it when that happens shadow
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January 2, 2010 10:43:48 AM

Shadow703793 said:
+1 agreed.

Quote:
Dust filters are unnesesary luxury

lol. try leaving your PC for a long time on carpet.


I may have spoken too soon about the dust issue. I did a close up inspection of my case and I have noticed dust build up in some areas. I know all the intakes are filtered, but the entire build is on carpet so I probably need some additonal filtering. I looked online for filter options, there are plenty for 120/140 mm fan ports but none really for 200mm fan ports. I saw a very very nice custom filter set for the HAF 922 by a company call DEMCiflex but its way too expensive but they look really nice (Pics: http://forum.coolermaster.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12389&start=30). Site that sells the filters (http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=36_463_500_514&products_id=26197). I think I'm going to try the pantyhose solution some people posted on the cooler master website. It costs a couple of dollars and should do the trick, I'll report back on my findings ;) .


Front Intake (these are filters come with the case)



V8 CPU Cooler dust build up



Overall shot for anyone that cares

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a b ) Power supply
January 2, 2010 2:03:55 PM

Told ya.
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June 16, 2010 11:09:46 AM

You can get cheap filters to put over fans very cheaply.
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Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
June 17, 2010 11:40:33 AM

Might I ask where you got that price for the CM Sniper?
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