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Which in your opinion is the best case under $60?

Last response: in Components
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April 16, 2010 4:05:41 AM

I'm looking to upgrade my older PC, starting off by replacing the case with one that has more air-ventilation. Here is what I came up with thus far:

  • APEX Vortex 3620 SGCC - $39.99

  • COOLER MASTER ELITE 335 - $49.99

  • COOLER MASTER Centurion 541 - $54.99

  • Antec Three Hundred - $59.95

    I'm looking for the case that provides the best bang for my buck as well as the best air ventilation if possible.
    Other suggestions are also welcome.

    Thanks in advance.
  • More about : opinion case

    a b ) Power supply
    April 16, 2010 4:08:45 AM

    The Antec three hundred hands down winner.
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    a b ) Power supply
    April 16, 2010 8:18:34 AM

    I have had great experience with Coolermaster, though not those particular models. Antec has excellent also, but I dont like their styling. Apex also makes fine cases, though they usually serve the oem market.

    I think you will be happy with any of them. Pick the one that looks best to you. They are all very functional. And your the one who has to look at it every day. Might as well like what you look at.
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    April 16, 2010 9:00:19 AM

    I don't know about the others, but I doubt you'd regret going with the Antec three hundred. A bit too much mesh on the front for me, but with a nice 140mm vent in the back, two 120mm on the front, and a 120mm side-panel vent, you can get some air moving for sure. You'll need to buy the two front fans and side fan separately. The PSU is on the bottom, and though not huge (which is bad for airflow) it's spacious enough for most big components and has lots of room for drives. You probably won't be too happy if installing two large graphics cards. Comes already with two fans, each with three speed settings. The steel construction probably helps reduce vibration and noise compared to Al cases, but the mesh front probably lets lots of fan noise out. Besides the two USB ports and audio jacks on the front, it doesn't have many frills, like no external 3.5" bays and no eSATA. Not especially exciting to look at, but solid and hey it comes at a nice price.

    I chose this case for a system I'm designing for my dad. Have a look at a 2008 Tom's article where it's reviewed against more expensive cases.

    Since you're especially concerned about airflow, look what this review has to say about it (be sure to read the comments):
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3439

    Check out reviews of the other cases, especially Cooler Master has a good rep.
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    April 16, 2010 9:01:44 AM

    ntrisKKT said:
    I'm looking to upgrade my older PC, starting off by replacing the case with one that has more air-ventilation. Here is what I came up with thus far:

  • APEX Vortex 3620 SGCC - $39.99

  • COOLER MASTER ELITE 335 - $49.99

  • COOLER MASTER Centurion 541 - $54.99

  • Antec Three Hundred - $59.95

    I'm looking for the case that provides the best bang for my buck as well as the best air ventilation if possible.
    Other suggestions are also welcome.

    Thanks in advance.

  • By elimination, the vortex is an ABS (plastic, so poor grounding) case, the centurion is a microat case, and the Antec has the psu on the bottom, which leads to extra heat.
    I guess that leaves the elite
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    April 16, 2010 9:14:11 AM

    endyen said:
    By elimination, the vortex is an ABS (plastic, so poor grounding) case, the centurion is a microat case, and the Antec has the psu on the bottom, which leads to extra heat.
    I guess that leaves the elite


    Regarding "PSU on bottom = extra heat"
    It's not so simple. This point is moot given the airflow created by so many fans (back, top, side, 2xfront). If you preferred few fans or had low airflow, like with watercooling, this could be an issue. But the three hundred case has high airflow and is rather cramped for watercooling, so it's a non-issue.

    If you're setting the case on carpet, you might get a higher dust intake through the PSU. But with so much ventilation that's going to happen anyway, you just have a to stay on top of it by cleaning the case once or twice a year.
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    a b ) Power supply
    April 16, 2010 9:31:55 AM

    I never tried the top one.

    I do have experience with Cooler Master and I don't think the quality is there.

    Antec, I have an opinion on the power supply being on the bottom also, but not for the reason mentioned above. Heat is NOT an issue but the orientation of the power supply. Antec should have placed holes in the bottom of the case to mount the PSU properly.

    Having said that.... I have 2 antec cases right here right now.... with the power supplies facing up... ( the fan ) and both of them suck whatever "hot" air that's in that part of the case out the back of the case. Heat was never an issue with these. If you opt for that one pick up at least one fan for the front to blow air across your parts.

    Because the fan faces up.... whenever working on the case lay it on it's side to prevent dropping screws into it.
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    a b ) Power supply
    April 16, 2010 9:43:15 AM

    Forgot to mention.... the 541 gets very hot.
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    April 16, 2010 10:03:16 AM

    I'm very happy with my Antec 300 - I reckon you need to pay significantly more to do better, and I've seen a lot worse at the price. PSU at the bottom is actually fine, works tidily and leaves room up top for two big exhausts right next to the CPU sink. Just make sure you add a filter to the side fan.

    One warning though - if you have a long modern graphics card you may lose an HDD bay.
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    a b ) Power supply
    April 16, 2010 10:08:40 AM

    I would put a vote in for the Antec 300.
    It is an excellent budget case.
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    a c 144 ) Power supply
    April 16, 2010 1:37:40 PM

    swifty_morgan said:

    Because the fan faces up.... whenever working on the case lay it on it's side to prevent dropping screws into it.

    Or simply cover the PSU fan opening.
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    a b ) Power supply
    April 16, 2010 1:50:16 PM

    jonpaul37 said:
    Don't laugh at me on this, but this case is absolutely fantastic! i use it right now with my Q6600 @ 3.6 and 5870 @ 930/1275 and have had no temp issues, even on hot days... Also, this case is built SOLID!

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


    Perhaps but the $21 shipping puts it out of the price range when compared to the others with Free Shipping !!

    I'd side with those on the Antec 300. Though if you happen to have extra fans laying around the 2 coolermasters would be an option (just the Centurion includes none and the Elite has only 1 rear exhaust included and adding the extras if you do not have them already makes them more costly !)
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    a b ) Power supply
    April 16, 2010 2:59:28 PM

    JDFan said:
    Perhaps but the $21 shipping puts it out of the price range when compared to the others with Free Shipping !!

    I'd side with those on the Antec 300. Though if you happen to have extra fans laying around the 2 coolermasters would be an option (just the Centurion includes none and the Elite has only 1 rear exhaust included and adding the extras if you do not have them already makes them more costly !)



    Specifics JDFan, specifics... OP did not mention that he wanted free shipping or not, rather, he simply stated the retail cost of the item itself. But you're right, shipping sucks but if one waits a week or so, i'm sure they will see it offered with free shipping... as i did...
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    a b ) Power supply
    April 16, 2010 3:33:25 PM

    jonpaul37 said:
    Specifics JDFan, specifics... OP did not mention that he wanted free shipping or not, rather, he simply stated the retail cost of the item itself. But you're right, shipping sucks but if one waits a week or so, i'm sure they will see it offered with free shipping... as i did...


    Yep - on cases and a few other items you have to look at the cost of shipping when ordering online I mean a $21 cost added to a $50 - $60 item can really change whether it is a good buy or not -- Same goes for small items like thermal paste and fans where the shipping charge is sometimes more than the cost of the item --- on items like that alot of times you are better off going to a local retail shop (though then you have to consider the state sales tax as well) instead of ordering online (one of the few times I'd actually go to a best buy or similar)

    IF you increase the total cost to the $75 to $80 range like that case you linked would bring it to then I'd rather get the HAF 922 for $80 delivered after Rebate than pay the extra $20 in shipping fees !
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    April 16, 2010 3:59:25 PM

    Im using the cooler master 335 for my windows home server setup. Its a really nice case for the money. I will recommend buying two 120mm fans for the back and front bottom. The screwless design actually works well and with the addition of the two fans temps are way low.
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    a b ) Power supply
    April 16, 2010 9:42:17 PM

    In the end, cases end up being the most personal part of a build. Less about specs and more about personal preference.

    And whoever said Coolermaster has poor quality cases doesn't buy many Sub $60 cases. They are outstanding in that price range.
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    a c 248 ) Power supply
    April 19, 2010 1:24:25 AM

    The Antec Three Hundred is one of the most popular cases with gamers on a tight budget.
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    !