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Recommended case for a new build

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October 23, 2009 5:03:35 AM

I'm looking for some recommendations on a case with good airflow (I'll be doing some overclocking) but with low dust accumulation. Anyone here who has used their case for a while and find that it tends to stay relatively dust-free (whether it's due to filters, positive airflow instead of negative, or what have you)?

This is my first ever build, but I am an electrical engineer and have been reading up extensively for a month or so. Currently, the case I have picked out is the Cooler Master HAF 932 for the great airflow, but it has an open design (lots of vents all over the place) and no filters, so I'd like something with better dust control. Alternatively, anyone have a HAF 932 converted to positive airflow (and would you suggest it)?


The rest of the build (feel free to comment/add suggestions on these components as well):

AsRock x58 Extreme
WD Velociraptor 300GB 10,000RPM SATA
Intel Core i7-920 (2.66GHz) LGA 1366
ATI Radeon HD 5850 (ASUS, Sapphire, XFX, doesn't matter..)
Mushkin 3x2GB DDR3 1600 (timing 6-7-6-18)
Cooler Master Silent Pro 700W
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
MASSCOOL SYTRIN Kuformula SHF1 Ultra HDD Cooler
COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler (but I could use something else if there's not enough clearance in a different case)

[by the way, total for the rig is about $1600]

More about : recommended case build

October 23, 2009 6:25:36 AM

Forgot to add, I'd prefer something high-end, looks don't matter nearly as much as performance (airflow/dust control), and I'm looking to spend up to $250 on this case.
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October 23, 2009 6:35:48 AM

Take a look at the Antec 1200 at Newegg and see if that may be one you would like to use.
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October 23, 2009 8:14:26 AM

Since you mentioned Airflow / Dust Control, I highly recommend the
Coolermaster's CM Storm Sniper case, This gaming case has gathered unbiased
countless awards given by those top tech review sites and they say the same thing "it is truly an awesome gaming case".. here's why:
http://www.cmstorm.com/en/products/chassis/sniper/


Hope this helps :) 
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a b ) Power supply
October 23, 2009 2:51:14 PM

Antec 1200, Silverstone Temjin TJ07, something Lian Li or Lancool (subsidiary).

Nice system spec but dump the Coolermaster V8 if you're overclocking - it doesn't perform. If you want cooling and looks, go Thermalright TRUE Black Rev. C (and make sure it's a Rev. C - it has a boomerange-shaped hole cut into the bottom) or Prolimatech Mega Shadow. Strap 1 or 2 120mm fans to it and you're set for the best overclocking you can get on air.

If looks aren't as much of a concern, Scythe Mugen 2, Cogage True Spirit and Thermolab Baram will all perform brilliantly with heavy overclocking too.
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a b ) Power supply
October 23, 2009 2:52:07 PM

Love my Antec 1200. Effective dust filters and plenty airflow.
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October 23, 2009 4:55:51 PM

I really like my SilverStone Forterss and here ius a pic I just took (for this post) of the inside to show the dust buildup that has accumulated since I built it in February this year. I have not cleaned the inside yet just a monthly cleaning of the filters. there is some dust but it is still relatively clean for that amount of time.



And here is an earlier outside shot.




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a c 248 ) Power supply
October 23, 2009 5:07:50 PM

I have the Coolermaster HAF 932. I also modded a 932 last year.

I've seen a lot of heated discussions over the years about positive and negative air pressure. As near as I can tell a slight negative pressure will produce good results.

Another case you might want to consider is the new Lian Li Lancool Dragon Lord series. There are half a dozen models to chose from - with and without windows. The cases come with air filters.

http://www.lancoolpc.com/en/microsite/01/

Here is a link to a video review done by the guys at mnpctech.com:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2MdUGxWEcU&feature=rela...
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October 23, 2009 7:11:05 PM

@ janxta, mi1ez:

I looked at the Antec 1200 before, airflow seems nice (though some say not as good as the HAF 932) and it has filters, but they're described as "rather screens than filters" (comments at newegg). The same reviewer noted that "if you use all 3 front 120mm fans and cages and plan to clean the filters regularly, there's 28 thumbscrews to deal with." Yuck!

Still, the Antec 1200 does seem a decent choice, I'm certainly putting it on the list of possibilities.

@LePhuronn:
Ok, I'd be willing to look at the other CPU coolers you listed, but if I understand correctly, the'll all be about the same height (in other words, all will require a case of a certain width), so I'll tackle that problem after I settle on a case.

@ Rock_n_Rolla and JohnnyLucky
Thanks for your suggestions, but since I've seen you post the same things on more than 10 different threads, I can't really believe you are objective in your choices. I'll still look at those cases, but you both seem pretty biased...

@ Ancient_1:
Thanks for the pictures! It's impressive how little dust you is in the case after 8 months. I looked at this case before but wasn't sure if the airflow would be good enough. The fans are

1 x180mm intake fan 700 RPM
1 x120mm exhaust fan 900RPM
1 x180mm intake fan 700RPM

compared to on the HAF 932:
1 x 140mm rear fan
1 x 230mm front red LED fan
1 x 230mm top fan
1 x 230mm side fan

Can more fans be added to the FT01? What is your take on the airflow in this case?

-------------------------

Anyone (LePhuronn maybe?) have any specific Lian Li or Lancool suggestions? Also, I'm looking more now at the SilverStone cases, I didn't really look at them much before. Can anyone comment on the TJ07 or TJ09, whether they have dust filters, whether they have a bunch of vents that could let dust in, and whether the air flow is good? I think I'll rule out the Raven models because of the 90 degree rotation thing, I think I'll stick with the standard configuration since this is my first build.
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a c 248 ) Power supply
October 23, 2009 7:49:16 PM

phantomwolf13 - You are absolutely, positively, 100% correct. I am biased. I only recommend a few pc cases based on consistent results in technical reviews and popularity with gamers.

Here's are the cases I have recommended over the past couple of years

Antec 300, 900, and 1200

Coolermaster 590, 690, HAF 932, and Storm Sniper.

Lancool Dragon Lord series.

PC Design Labs Qmicra (small form factor)

Recommendations are subject to change with the introduction of new models and requirements listed in threads.

FTR - My own personal case right now is the Coolermaster HAF 932. The all time best seller among gamers is the Antec 900.
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Best solution

October 23, 2009 11:14:50 PM

Quote:
I looked at this case before but wasn't sure if the airflow would be good enough.


I guess it depends on your needs/wants. The top intake fan blows directly on the warm parts of the motherboard and will keep cpu/hs ram and power circuits as cool as any case. As for the video card it will under heavy load I would guess run aprox 5~6°c warmer than those that have a fan on the side panel blowing directly on that area since it uses case air to cool (I have measured my case temp while running linx/p95 and it was as close as I could measure 8°f above ambient). Because of that I would never run a video card that doesn't exhaust out of the rear panel. Also my case temp will be a little higher than most since I am running 7 HDs which adds a little extra heat and restricts some of the flow of the front intake fan.

Quote:
Can more fans be added to the FT01?


There are no other places made to take more fans and the only place you could really mount your own would be to mod the side panel.

Quote:
What is your take on the airflow in this case?


The way I look at it is how much do you really need. Lets say the two fans actually deliver 80cfm total and the interior of the case is under 2 cubic feet, that means the air is replaced 40 times a minute which i feel is plenty to keep from getting any real heat buildup.

I will include a shot of hardware monitor to show my temps after a couple hours of C&C3 and a shot of my temps during a 10hr run of linx/p95 all with an ambient of 20°.



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October 23, 2009 11:17:17 PM

Hm, you're right, JohnnyLucky, I shouldn't have judged you for being consistent in your recommendations, I apologize.

In my defense, it seemed like every time anyone asked for a case suggestion, regardless of the price range or specific features the person was looking for, you seemed to say "Hey, look at these DragonMaster series, they're new, here's the link, check them out!!" -- in short, you seemed like an advertisement for the company :) 

Anyways, sorry about that, as I said I'll still take your recommendations under advisement. Do you have any thoughts on which case might be the best for my specific criteria (minimal dust/good airflow)? Thanks!
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October 24, 2009 6:27:53 AM

@ phantomwolf13


I Dunno what would you feel if someone here at Tom's Hardware suggested you a case that you cant even fit your cpu cooler and your long video card because its too damn small?

It would be so disappointing for you also if Me and JohnnyLucky suggested a very stupid gaming case that no one wants to buy and doesn't even have a decent review that you could at least see and read right? Its not being biased.. Its what you called "Tried and Tested" recommendations, In your case, the best gaming case that you could buy today which It may seem biased but, for a very strong reason, a reason that will benefit not just only you but to many other readers here who might looking a gaming case that will suit their needs too. That's why we recommended you based from my experience setting up gaming rigs and Johnylucky's experience on what is the best gaming case to buy with the point of some specific needs you specified. The choice is up to you to pick which is which on those "VERY GOOD" options.


-- Good luck on your Gaming Rig dude :) 
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October 26, 2009 3:09:10 AM

Thanks everyone who offered suggestions, advice, and comments. I've selected Ancient_1 as the best answer. He gave a much more thorough analysis of his setup than I asked for or expected! Thanks! His posts influenced me to look more into the Silverstone cases and the case I decided on in the end is the Silverstone TJ10B-WNV. This case has everything that I was looking for, plus an all-aluminum design, removable motherboard tray and drive bays, and solid craftsmanship (if the reviews on it are reliable). I also think it looks pretty damn cool, and I happen to not care that I'm putting an ATI graphics card in a case with an NVidia logo on it. Originally, this case was a bit out of my price range, but with it being discounted by $49 on Amazon and having an additional $50 rebate, it'll only be $231 (assuming I actually get the rebate).

newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
amazon: http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-TJ10B-WNV-NVIDIA-Alum...

Also, I'm taking LePhuronn's advice and getting the Thermalright Ultra-120 Rev C heatsink for my CPU.
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October 27, 2009 1:40:51 AM

Hey Phantomwolf a question about your Mushkin Ram and ASROCK X58 Extreme Combo you have going there.

I have the same mobo with Mushkin's Blackline 6 GB (3 x 2 GB) DDR3 1600 set right now. Timings are 7-8-7-20. Sounds like your RAM is at least similar if not the same to mine. I've been going through some nightmares with getting all 3 sticks recognized at 1600 with the correct timings. At times I have succeeded in the Bios, only to see my comp crash later in Windows a few minutes later. Right now Windows is only seeing 1 stick and its set at 1066 i think. According to a tech support person from ASRock, they have not tested this mobo with any of Mushkin's RAM so thats why it may not be working well. It sounded like a lame excuse though and doesn't help me much.

Any suggestions or thoughts you might have would be appreciated assuming you have put your computer together already.

Thanks
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