I'm not a gamer, so I won't need top-of-the-line cooling, but I'm not at the other end of the spectrum, either. Here's what matters to me in a case...
1. Sufficient cooling for my setup
3. Aesthetics not too important (flashy lights and transparent doors aren't necessary at all)
I haven't decided on the exact specs yet, but here's what I'm looking to build...
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 (125W)
MOBO: 790GX Motherboard with Sideport RAM (haven't decided which one)
RAM: 4GB RAM
VIDEO: (integrated 790gx for now, but maybe a mid-tier single GPU later)
HDD: 2 WD Caviar Black 750GB HDDs
Got any good suggestions for a case that would meet my needs?
That has good cooling, more than enough for your needs, and remains very quiet. Is quite understated, yet very classy. It also has a removable motherboard tray, dust filters, and is made of steel and aluminum so it is very light.
It is also made by Lian Li, who are known for the highest quality computer cases in the industry.
Completely fair question. I guess I don't have a hard budget on this, and I was hoping just to get some recommendations all across the scale and then decide for myself what seemed to the best bang for the buck.
Ideally, I'd rather stay near or below $100, but I'd consider up to $150 I guess.
I'm partial to Antec (though totally open to other manufacturers) and was looking at the following 3 cases...
- Antec Sonata III 500
- Antec Three Hundred
- Antec Nine Hundred
I know the Sonata will be quiet, but not sure if it will cool sufficiently. How noisy is the Three Hundred? Will it give me sufficient cooling?
the antec 300 can have good cooling. It has 2 fans that come with it, 1 140mm top fan and 1 120mm fan at the rear. It has optional 2 120mm fans at the front which i would add and 1 optional 120mm side fan. As for noise depends on the person I guess, but you could always add a fan controller if you wanted to.
You could also look at the Antec P183 which is on sale at newegg for 129.99 sale ends on the 15th though.
If you haven't chosen a case yet, I would vote for the Sonata III. Despite having a single fan, its cooling is adequate and will suit your needs fine; it also comes with a quality 500W PSU, and for $120 (on Newegg) the case + PSU is a steal for non-gamers. The Lancool and A900 are more for budget gamers, but the P183 is good option if you find the price justifiable ($145 before rebate for case alone).
On a side note, if you haven't bought your parts already, I would suggest you get the PII 955 over the 965. The $20 difference is not worth the 200MHz, even if you don't plan on taking advantage of the OC-ability of black edition CPUs. A 3.2GHz quad should be more than sufficient for what I'm assuming is a non-gaming, non-production (e.g. workstation) build. Also, have a look at the Samsung Spinpoint F3s; not only are they faster than WD drives, but they are more power efficient and cheaper (in price) as well.