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Best Midtower PC Case?

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March 8, 2010 7:37:53 PM

Hello, I'm looking to build a new PC and am in need of a PC case. However, I can't seem to decide as there seem to be a lot of good ones. I was looking for a midtower case with a black interior, great airflow, dust filters, good appearance, and affordable. Should fit at least a Radeon 5870 and have potential for a cooling system. I'm not really looking modify my case otherwise (other than to change to red LEDs if it doesn't bring them).

So I came up with a bunch of cases that people say are really good. I wanted to hear some opinions on which of these cases is best. Its in order of price, i.e. going from cheapest to most expensive (preferably choose the cheaper ones).

CM 690 II Advanced
LanCool DragonLord PC-K62
NZXT TEMPEST EVO
CM HAF 922 (No black interior...)
Thermaltake Element S
Antec Nine Hundred Two
Thermaltake Element G
CM Storm Sniper™ Black Edition
Antec P183
Antec P193

I myself am leaning towards the NZXT Tempest EVO or the CM 690 II Advanced. Both supposedly have great airflow and are priced at about $100. They also look pretty decent. I've read that the Tempest Evo is like a better Antec 902. So, what do you think?

More about : midtower case

a b ) Power supply
March 8, 2010 8:06:29 PM

I'm not a fan of the P183. I don't like the chasis fan setup.

I like the Element G, and HAF 922. All have good airflow, except probably the P183. The rest is your personal taste, dimension restrictions, and budget.
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a b ) Power supply
March 8, 2010 10:06:54 PM

+1 haf 922.

The airflow is insane.

Btw I'm not saying the haf 922 is the best, just showing the love. :) 
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March 9, 2010 6:27:56 AM

I'm going to stop considering the Antec P183/193. They're just too expensive and I can get great airflow, performance, and features with the other ones mentioned. I'm also removing the HAF 922 because it doesn't have a black interior, isn't the best looking case, and doesn't have filters. I'm also removing the Sniper Black because its too expensive and is pretty ugly. Plus, some of the other cases can perform just as well if not better than the HAF and the Sniper... So this is what I'm considering right now:

CM 690 II Advanced
LanCool DragonLord PC-K62
NZXT TEMPEST EVO
Thermaltake Element S
Antec Nine Hundred Two
Thermaltake Element G

Anyone know anything about the LanCool? I haven't really researched it, just heard it was good and there's always one person in every PC Case topic that seems to recommend it...
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a b ) Power supply
March 9, 2010 7:10:14 AM

902 is a pretty nice case. lots of airflow, black interior, good cable management.
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a b ) Power supply
March 9, 2010 7:15:57 AM

This site should have most all those reviewed.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/page/case

Really, once you get into the price range you're looking at, go with what you love the looks of. Those are all going to do the job of cooling and holding your stuff great. Its not like the case choice is going to get you another 300mhz overclock or anything.

As far as personally, I like the storm scout. Has all the features you want except it doesn't look like a reference 5870 will fit. I love having a handle on my case. Super convenient even for small moves when I take it out to clean.
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March 9, 2010 9:47:22 AM

i have the LanCool DragonLord PC-K62 and im really happy w/ it. the only prob with the k62 is when you go water-cooling. well at leasts thats what i read. and imo, its the only downside of the k62. and btw its pretty heavy. its got a steel body instead of aluminum. i don't go to LAN parties so yeah..

just a few things a liked about the k62:
good airflow, tool free(cept for when you twist the hdd cages), hardware security, black interior, and its really cheap compared to the other casings in its category.

the other cases you listed were also my alternate choices.
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March 9, 2010 10:23:28 AM

I have the HAF 922. It's HUGE and it cools like crazy. If I were you, I would get that. It's a great case.
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March 9, 2010 1:18:23 PM

In terms of airflow, out of your remaining cases, I'd go for the CM 690 II Advanced.

Check out this review if you already haven't:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGvBjEmXJnI

The antec 902 is great too. It fixed everything that was lacking with the original 900 (Which I have). TBh as someone says, once you pick a budget, it just comes down to what you like the look of. Good Mid towers tend to have pretty similar features.

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March 9, 2010 2:26:16 PM

Thats the problem, the first three I listed can all be bought for around $100. The last three don't cross over $120. So the price range is between $100-120. This is also my budget. (This is for my revised list...) Thats why I'm having a hard time figuring out which to pick.

Thanks for the link Clinomaniac, i'll check it out. Seems to me like your last statement might hold for the remaining cases too. Maybe I should just pick the best looking one and call it a day...
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March 9, 2010 4:12:07 PM

Does anyone run that HAF 922 case with a bigger CPU cooler setup?? If so what cooler and does it have enough clearance to keep the fan on the side panel?
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a b ) Power supply
March 9, 2010 8:21:36 PM

I have the Core-Contact Freezer 120mm CPU cooler with my HAF 922. I also run two side panel case fans, they dont even come close to touch the Core-contact freezer. I will make measurements once I get home.

If you need absolutely high air flow on a midtower case. All the while it has great amount of room inside the case for mobility then the HAF 922 is for you.

HAF 922 is undisputed with cooling in the Midtower arena, the Antec 900/902/1200 are quite frankly a joke with the lack of features.


The CM 690 II Advanced case has a really weird design I just noticed after looking at it. The two side panels are too far to the left pushing one of them directly above the rear exhaust fan. Airflow fail much? If it wasn't for that particular grudge it could have bested the HAF 922's cooling after investing in 4-5 fans into the CM 690 (The HAF 922 only really needs 3 additional fans).

One thing you need to know however that a lot of fans is not always better. There's few times that so many fans are required and thats when your overclocking on air, having a multi gpu setup+Over clocking the gpu's as well as overclocking the ram.


In all honestly your best bets are with the Lancool Dragonlord K62, HAF 922.

Also you dont need to take a dremel to the HAF 922 it has cable management holes and 1 1/2-2 inches of space between motherboard tray/ right side panel.

I think I am going to do more cable management once I get home.
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March 9, 2010 8:41:00 PM

I'd say the Storm Sniper personally. (I like the way it looks, I don't know about you.)

It has better airflow than the 922, doesn't it?
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March 9, 2010 8:52:16 PM

No one seems to recommend the Tempest Evo. Whats wrong with that case? Right from the get go it brings 6 fans too. I've heard a lot of great things about it. I also read a review that said it was like a better Antec 902. Anyways, thanks for all your suggestions people. I've narrowed it down to these four cases (I found the Element S lacking in features and the Antec 902 too short to hold large video cards) :

CM 690 II Advanced
NZXT TEMPEST EVO
LanCool DragonLord PC-K62
Thermaltake Element G

Everyone says the HAF 922 is the best thing in the world but I dont like how it looks, and it doesnt have filters which is important for me. I checked out the Lancool, it looks pretty slick and seems to have super easy installation features. Looks like it has good airflow too. However, its not the greatest case if I decide to add a cooling system to my PC. And so I'm down to four cases...
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March 9, 2010 8:59:00 PM

I'm actually quite fond of the Tempest EVO. My top three favorite cases right now are the EVO, Scout, and Sniper.
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March 9, 2010 9:24:38 PM

oh, another thing that the k62 lacks is a fan controller. would have been awesome if k62 was able to turn off all its LED fans.
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Best solution

a b ) Power supply
March 9, 2010 9:57:19 PM

madscientist24 said:
No one seems to recommend the Tempest Evo. Whats wrong with that case? Right from the get go it brings 6 fans too. I've heard a lot of great things about it. I also read a review that said it was like a better Antec 902. Anyways, thanks for all your suggestions people. I've narrowed it down to these four cases (I found the Element S lacking in features and the Antec 902 too short to hold large video cards) :

CM 690 II Advanced
NZXT TEMPEST EVO
LanCool DragonLord PC-K62
Thermaltake Element G

Everyone says the HAF 922 is the best thing in the world but I dont like how it looks, and it doesnt have filters which is important for me. I checked out the Lancool, it looks pretty slick and seems to have super easy installation features. Looks like it has good airflow too. However, its not the greatest case if I decide to add a cooling system to my PC. And so I'm down to four cases...


The Tempest Evo case is a very decent case, however compared to quality/feature freak (Lian Li) Lancool's series Dragonlord K62, and tool-less features/better quality on the HAF 922 (better cooling on the haf 922 once you invest in 3 additional fans), you get to see the it doesnt compare. HAF 922 has a total of 6 fans also once the additional ones are installed but boasts 2x 200mm, 1 120mm and 3 optional 140mm, or 120mm fans.

I find the Antec 900/1200 to be quite frankly overrated, I have seen Sony VAIO's have better built/more feature cases then the Antec 900/1200.

Like I mentioned HAF 922/Lancool K62 are gonna be your best options with a $100 budget)
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March 10, 2010 5:34:55 AM

I think i'm sold on the Lancool. however, there are some issues that i need to get out the way first. 1) water cooling, 2) what are the fan expansion capabilities for the case (i.e., one more in intake fan in the front and one on the side), 3) can i add dust filters to the fans.
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a b ) Power supply
March 10, 2010 1:21:41 PM

madscientist24 said:
I think i'm sold on the Lancool. however, there are some issues that i need to get out the way first. 1) water cooling, 2) what are the fan expansion capabilities for the case (i.e., one more in intake fan in the front and one on the side), 3) can i add dust filters to the fans.


1. Now the Dragonlord K62 does have a serious issue with the water cooling, It can fit a 120mm radiator on the rear exhaust, but anything more will require a radiator mounting bracket (120mm to whatever size radiator you get). The only issue is that the water pipes will probably be blocked by the radiator.

2. You dont need a lot of fans unless your doing air cooling, nor will it help. Lancool's stock fans are enough for water cooling.

3. It has dust filters for all the equipped fans, power supplies etc.
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March 10, 2010 3:22:34 PM

Thanks for the replies guys. But for number two, i meant air cooling. I know the stock fans bring filters, but if i was to add fans, could i put filters on those too. In the case of air cooling, it is possible to add a side fan and a another front fan, right?
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a b ) Power supply
March 10, 2010 5:42:47 PM

madscientist24 said:
Thanks for the replies guys. But for number two, i meant air cooling. I know the stock fans bring filters, but if i was to add fans, could i put filters on those too. In the case of air cooling, it is possible to add a side fan and a another front fan, right?


It does not sport more fan options. It comes already with 4 fans. 3 are 140mm, and 1 is a 120mm. Also the Dragon lord has air filters on every single fan (Including one for the power supply). As far as I saw when I was messing with the case it does not have room for another fan in the front.. The side panel=a clear window so no you can't install fans there.

Like I mentioned earlier if your serious about going the water cooling way, the fans included with the case are good enough (actually overkill).

Even on the HAF 922/Dragonlord K62, the stock fans used are enough even for CPU overclocking (staying below 4 ghz AMD/Intel) with a single non over clocked GPU. It's only when you get into the overclocked multi GPU, high CPU clocks (4 ghz or higher cooled on air of course) that you may require some serious air inside the case to feed all the components.
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March 10, 2010 11:38:49 PM

I know the K62 brings filters for all its fans. I was wondering if extra added fans would also have filters. However, i'm pretty sure, for any case, extra added fans don't come with filters... I could have sworn lancool had an optional side window with spots for two 140 mm fans somewhere. Can't seem to find it in the accessory section for the PC-K62 on the website though. I also saw a video where someone had put another fan in the front... So your pretty much telling me you can't add extra fans on it like on the CM 690 II Advanced (That one could actually sport up to 10 fans!)?
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a b ) Power supply
March 11, 2010 1:35:10 AM

madscientist24 said:
I know the K62 brings filters for all its fans. I was wondering if extra added fans would also have filters. However, i'm pretty sure, for any case, extra added fans don't come with filters... I could have sworn lancool had an optional side window with spots for two 140 mm fans somewhere. Can't seem to find it in the accessory section for the PC-K62 on the website though. I also saw a video where someone had put another fan in the front... So your pretty much telling me you can't add extra fans on it like on the CM 690 II Advanced (That one could actually sport up to 10 fans!)?



I see. It appears 2x 120mm can be install but requires removing one of the hard drive cages, can't believe I forgot that. Even so the front filter on the front expands the whole length of it on the front so there is no need to add a dust filter. There is a side panel available for additional fans but requires sacrificing the window, instead you get a grid mesh...

May I ask exactly why you need so many fans. Really there is no upside to having many fans unless your doing what I have explained above. Or unless your taking an i7 to 4 ghz+ on air. If anything at all you will just have more sound.
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March 11, 2010 2:59:53 AM

This is pretty much the system I have in mind:

LanCool DragonLord PC-K62
Intel Core i7 920
XFX Radeon HD 5850
OCZ DDR3 PC3-12800 Gold Triple Channel
ASRock X58 Extreme
XFX 750W Black Edition Modular PSU

Extra fans and all that stuff is just me trying to future proof my setup in case of Crossfire/SLI, overclocking CPU and/or GPU, and other such variables. Pretty much, I want a case that I can stick with for a long, long time (considering the fact that computers are practically obsolete in two to four years for gaming PCs). Thanks for your help, I think I'll get the Lancool. Good features, good size, good price, good performance.
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March 11, 2010 10:55:33 PM

actually if you add fans you dont need filters for each fan. the fron panel of the k62 is filtered. i mounted another 120mm on top of the 140mm using cable ties.

imo you dont need to add new fans, i just added 1 coz i jsut wanted extra lighting hehe.
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March 12, 2010 12:21:42 AM

Best answer selected by madscientist24.
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