What is the cheapest case I can get away with?

I am looking to spend as little coin as possible. Just picked up this deal from newegg: $120 for an x3 445 + BIOSTAR TA785G3HD combo.

I had a Dell e521 that I was going to upgrade, but the BTX mobo and Dell proprietary case would not do the job. I'm going to take everything from the Dell and put it in my new system.

I don't care about looks of the case at all. I'm not looking to marry it. Right now I have the Rosewill blackbone in my cart, but I'm thinking $35 is still too much.

Also, I just want to make sure I'm covering all my bases. I will be purchasing this new case, already got the mobo, cpu, and gpu. I will be using the dvdr, hd, and I also already purchased a 700w ocz psu.

Will I need anything else to finish the build? Is thermal grease necessary? Will I need to purchase any misc. parts like screws? Will I need anything besides a screwdriver?
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  1. Personally I never like to spend much on cases, like you I do not care about looks. I just need something that does the job well. Having said that, I would not go any lower than $35, any lower and you have a weak case and there is a good chance the fans will be too annoying to have hooked up. I had a cheap case that the fan jst made a real irritating squeeking sound.

    I don't see RAM mentioned, you'll be wanting 4gb of that ideally. 2gb at the very least
  2. asteldian said:
    Personally I never like to spend much on cases, like you I do not care about looks. I just need something that does the job well. Having said that, I would not go any lower than $35, any lower and you have a weak case and there is a good chance the fans will be too annoying to have hooked up. I had a cheap case that the fan jst made a real irritating squeeking sound.

    I don't see RAM mentioned, you'll be wanting 4gb of that ideally. 2gb at the very least



    Sounds good. I will also be taking the RAM from the e521.
  3. Toms just put as their recommended best buy the Rosewill Challenger, which is $45

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153

    Iyt has a number of nice combos as well for other things you might need (PSUs, Windows 7, drives, etc)
  4. ScrewySqrl said:
    Toms just put as their recommended best buy the Rosewill Challenger, which is $45

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153

    Iyt has a number of nice combos as well for other things you might need (PSUs, Windows 7, drives, etc)


    Thanks, I switched the Blackbone for the Challanger, and it was only $5 more because shipping for the Blackbone was $10, and the Challanger was $5. I figure, why not.

    Thanks for the combo deals, but like I said, I'm taking everything from the Dell and using it in the new system, minus the stuff I already bought (x3 445, 5770, ocz 700, biostar mobo).
  5. If you get a retail motherboard, it should come with the cables and brass mounts.

    If the x3 445 was retail, it should come with a HSF that has thermal paste already applied.

    You shouldn't need much, other than screwdrivers. Other tools are nice to have, but usually not essential.

    You usually get what you pay for when it comes to cases. Cheap cases usually have a single 80mm fan, or none at all. They have cheap fans, so some are loud, or sqeal (as already mentioned). The panels are usually light and easily damaged.
  6. The Rosewill Challenger was the top choice in Tom's recent <$50 test. It comes with 2 120mm fans and 1 140mm fan, which are reasonably quiet.
  7. Yep, it's a decent case. Though, with shipping it's $50. I was thinking of cases that were around or under $35, that was mentioned in the first post.
  8. aford10 said:
    Yep, it's a decent case. Though, with shipping it's $50. I was thinking of cases that were around or under $35, that was mentioned in the first post.


    I ended up going with the Challanger because it was $50 shipped, compared to $45 shipped for the Blackbone.
  9. Personally if you want a REALLY cheap case, go to any locally owned computer shop and haggle a cheap case down to like 10-15 bucks. If you really want to go that cheap lol, other wise these guys have some great recommendations
  10. I would set a min 2 x 120mm capable intake/exhaust case then price if gaming were on the table 80mm for a mid tower is way too retro :P
  11. kurtcrosbie said:
    I will also be taking the RAM from the e521.

    You cant. The e520 has DDR2 RAM and your new motherboard uses DDR3 RAM.
  12. dndhatcher said:
    You cant. The e520 has DDR2 RAM and your new motherboard uses DDR3 RAM.



    Hmmm
  13. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226154
    Best ram to get, and it's also the cheapest at this performance level. 2x2gb.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820144262
    cheapest reliable 2x2gb ram.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820144454
    If you don't want to spend that much this is a good substitute. It's recommended not to go lower than this, and to buy another stick asap.
  14. Hmm actually how much DDR2 RAMs u have on hand? If it's just 1-2GB consider selling them away and go with a DDR3 platform?
  15. dndhatcher said:
    You cant. The e520 has DDR2 RAM and your new motherboard uses DDR3 RAM.

    Does this mean that that if I put ddr2 in that it wouldn't even work, or ddr3 is just preferred?
  16. it won't even fit.

    DDR2 and DDR3 are the same size, but have a notch in a different place
  17. If you REALLY want to use your old RAM, look at an AMD CPU/motherboard. The AM2+ sockets can use DDR2 RAM.
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