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Rank these cases!

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April 1, 2011 7:48:20 PM

Hey guys,

I'm interested in your opinions on the following cases. Please rank in order from best to worst what you would get (this is very subjective, but I want to make sure I'm not overlooking something...or looking at something the wrong way...personally I'm looking for the best bang for the buck). Also, please include any cases you would include in this range. I'll include the current prices (no rebates or promos) at Newegg, and the lowest price I've seen them for at some point in time (will try to include link for where I saw it). Also, I plan to probably use a Scythe SCMG-2100 (Scythe Mugen 2 Rev. B), so hopefully all these cases will be able to fit it...I'd prefer to also use side fans if the case has a spot for them along with the heatsink although I don't know if that will be a possibility.

Here's what I would think would be the average ranking if price/best bang for the buck was not a consideration (based mostly on Newegg current price from highest to lowest, but might possibly change to favorite values/price range?). I'm hoping your lists will include value/best bang for the buck as a big consideration. I'll try to update this list periodically too based on your feedback...maybe this will become one of those cool guides? :) 

1. COOLER MASTER HAF 932 for $159.98+$19.99 shipping (seen for $89.99 free shipping here 11/24/10?)

2. Antec DF-85 for $155.99+$4.99 shipping (kind of out of my price range...and personally prefer blue leds over red, but seen for $129.99 w/free shipping here at one point)

3. Antec DF-35 for $119.99+$8.99 shipping (white leds make this kind of interesting...seen for $89.99 here at one point)

4. Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 for $109.99+$19.99 shipping (seen for $69.99 on 11/29/11 Black Tues.)

5. COOLER MASTER HAF 922 BLUE for $99.99+$18.99 shipping (this has blue leds and a side panel window)

6. LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 for $99.99 free shipping (seen for $69.99 here 11/22/10)

7. COOLER MASTER HAF 922 for $99.98 (seen for $59.98 free shipping here 11/29/09...personally prefer blue leds over red)

8. COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced for $89.99 (bought for $49 on 11/23/11 from Newegg)

9. COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP for $79.99+$9.99 shipping (seen for $39.99 free shipping here 11/24/10?...I believe this is the basic version of the CM690II Advanced...looks like one heck of a price)

10. COOLER MASTER Storm Scout for $79.99 (seen for $49.99...personally prefer blue leds over red)

11. Antec Three Hundred Illusion for $69.99 (seen for $39.99 + free shipping here on 8/24/10)

12. COOLER MASTER HAF 912 for $59.99 (seen for $49.99)

13. COOLER MASTER Elite 430 for $49.99 free shipping (seen for $24.99 free shipping here 11/24/10?...wow, a ton of features (review here) for a super low price...only thing missing are some extra case fans...I can't tell for sure if it includes 1 rear 120mm fan or not...I've read both ways)

More about : rank cases

a c 165 ) Power supply
April 1, 2011 7:54:29 PM

i would put the scout at the bottom of my list the antec 300 as the best "bang for the buck" case but they are all good cases. get the case you enjoy looking at the most since you will be living with it. the rest of the stuff is often minor details. my personal pickof the litter would be the antec 900 v3.

my personal pick in that price range...the new NZXT H2 although I don't think it's out yet to purchase.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/NZXT-H2-Case-Rev...
http://www.nzxt.com/new/products/classic_series/h2

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a c 266 ) Power supply
April 1, 2011 8:03:58 PM

^ +1

Antec 300 Illusion is the best "bang for your buck" and the 902 v3 would be my personal choice as best case. I have an Antec 1200 and use the 300 Illusion as my "go to" case for friends and family so I might be biased though.
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Related resources
April 1, 2011 8:20:22 PM

I pretty much feel the same way as you two.

You guys know of any super cheap ways to mod in a case window and black interior/back to the 300 Illusion by any chance (links?)?
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a c 165 ) Power supply
April 1, 2011 8:23:46 PM

mnpctech has been installing case windows in three hundreds for a while. its not expensive but not "super cheap" either. you can contact them.

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April 1, 2011 8:24:08 PM

anort3 said:
^ +1

Antec 300 Illusion is the best "bang for your buck" and the 902 v3 would be my personal choice as best case. I have an Antec 1200 and use the 300 Illusion as my "go to" case for friends and family so I might be biased though.


I see you have a Scythe Mugen 2 Rev B in your sig...do you have any idea how that plays with a 300 and its spot for a side fan?
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April 1, 2011 8:45:45 PM

antec 902 (have my rig in it now with a scythe mugen rv2)note-there are many very simple mods all over youtube for the 900/902/1200 most notable being the hdd cage that let's you flip your drives and hide all the wires
Haf 922 nice case but harder to keep clean(i'm a smoker)
cm690II if you get the kwn model you get a side panel window(a must for myself)this may be your#2 because it's blue
Storm Scout I've actually had one of these very nice except as with all the cm's listed...no fan filters(modding the lights to blue costs about 3 bucks and takes about an hour if you're soldering iron savvy)the handle is rock solid for moving it, be careful with side panel fans as overtightening=verrrrrr bad
Cooler master 912 It's a haf so it has more room than the antec 300 cable managment is better as well
antec 300 you'll have to mod for both a window and cable management the interior is unpainted it is by far the lightest.

The mugen fits in a 902 with a side fan as long as you shave the upper most interior corner of the fan housing(easy) this is the only case listed with intake filters
The stormscout will not support side fans with the mugen at least not in the uppermost slot
Installing a window costs about 10 bucks and is easy to do...it's also easy to screw up.
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April 1, 2011 8:50:00 PM

in the low end range the coolermaster elite rc 310 is worth considering as well.
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a c 266 ) Power supply
April 1, 2011 9:04:34 PM

TopGun said:
I see you have a Scythe Mugen 2 Rev B in your sig...do you have any idea how that plays with a 300 and its spot for a side fan?



I had to mod my side fan with a Dremel tool to make it fit with the Mugen 2. Took about 2 minutes. Just had to cut off a small corner. I use Antec TriCool fans. That is in a 1200. I imagine the same would work for the 300.
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April 1, 2011 9:14:22 PM

This is some good info guys. Can you tell me how to save/track/follow this thread so I can find it again easily at a later time? I looked, but sometimes I can be blind.

I'm thinking the 300 modded with a side window, black paint, and a PSU bottom hole w/ filter is sounding pretty fun. At the same time though it would probably cost me $20ish more dollars which I could upgrade to the 902 anyway. I'll probably end up getting whichever deal comes along first (or just end up forking over regular price if it doesn't by the time I'm ready to build).
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a c 266 ) Power supply
April 1, 2011 9:25:35 PM

Just save the email you should have received from anyone posting in this thread for an easy way to return to it. Good luck with whatever you decide. Post again if you need more help.
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a c 142 ) Power supply
April 1, 2011 9:30:05 PM

Favorite cases, no restrictions:

1. Antec DF-85
2. HAF-X

Favorite mid tower cases

1. DF-35
2. Antec 902V3
3. HAF922

Favorite Budget cases

1. Antec 300 Illusion
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a c 142 ) Power supply
April 1, 2011 9:30:46 PM

anort3 said:
I had to mod my side fan with a Dremel tool to make it fit with the Mugen 2. Took about 2 minutes. Just had to cut off a small corner. I use Antec TriCool fans. That is in a 1200. I imagine the same would work for the 300.


Did same on the 1200 w/ Megahalems
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a c 266 ) Power supply
April 1, 2011 9:34:22 PM

^ I agree with Jack on the DF-85 BTW. If I was buying new today that would be what I would get. I love the features.
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a b ) Power supply
April 1, 2011 9:34:42 PM

When i went to go choose my case i always look at how wide the case is.The larger the width the larger the cooler you can fit.I went with the HAF 922 and it's 10" and i have no problem fitting the Thermaltake Frio.Theirs like 3-4" of clearnace and i really like that.

Go for the HAF 922.
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April 1, 2011 11:45:31 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
Favorite cases, no restrictions:

1. Antec DF-85
2. HAF-X

Favorite mid tower cases

1. DF-35
2. Antec 902V3
3. HAF922

Favorite Budget cases

1. Antec 300 Illusion


Are there any other differences between the Antec DF-35 and Antec DF-30 besides the white or blue leds (and price)? The white leds do kind of give the 35 a little different look.
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a c 266 ) Power supply
April 2, 2011 12:02:38 AM

i believe that the DF-30 = 300, DF-35 = 900, DF-85 = 1200 in size.
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April 5, 2011 11:02:28 PM

I added a few cases.

The 300 Illusion is on sale right now (4/5/11) for $54.99 free shipping.

The CM Elite 430 is on sale now for $39.99 after MIR + free shipping.

I really want to pounce on one of these deals and get started modding, but I think I'm going to wait for around Black Friday-ish time. There seem to be a ton of deals around that time.

I do have a few questions for you guys though...

Does the 430 come with a rear 120mm case fan or not? It says...

"Peerless Cooling Performance The Cooler Master Elite 430 case features one 120mm front blue LED fan, one 120 mm rear fan, front mesh holes and side ventilation holes for exceptional cooling performance." under the overview tab, and...

"Front 120mm fan with brilliant Blue LED provides the best airflow to HDDs.

Rear 120mm fan for high-efficiency ventilation."
under details tab/features, but then...

"Cooling System

120mm Fans 1 x 120mm front blue LED fan"
and I didn't see any pics of it...which is correct?


Can the 430 fit the Scythe Mugen 2 Rev B or not (what about with a case fan or 2 on top)? It looked like there wasn't much room for it towards the top of the case.
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a b ) Power supply
April 5, 2011 11:37:59 PM

The CM Elite 430 only comes with 1 fan which is for the front.But it has great expandability.x2 120mm's at the top,x1 120mm at the rear, x1 120mm on the bottom and x1 120mm on the side.The case is only 7.5" so you will have a hard time fitting a big aftermarket cooler like the Scythe Mugen 2,you will likely not be able to install the side 120mm fan with that heatsink installed.
Like i was saying before go with the wider cases's.

The Antec 300 Illusion comes fully loaded with tons of fans and their not the cheap ones either their actually good case fans.It's only a inch wider than the CM Elite 430 but it might be suffiecent enough to mount a 120 on the side with the Scythe Mugen 2.

Both the cases are a very good deal at the price but if i had to choose one i'd get the 300 illusion because it's wider.Personally i would buy my own fans but it is a good deal.Only disadvantage goiing with the 300 Illusion is that it's not painted on the inside which looks cheap.

But if you have the money i don't see a point in getting a cheaper case.The case is the one thing that will last the longest,outlasting every compoent in your build.I would get a Full tower or something that comes fully loaded and looks good.Their are plenty of really good cases out their for $100.
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April 5, 2011 11:53:51 PM

purple stank said:
The CM Elite 430 only comes with 1 fan which is for the front.But it has great expandability.x2 120mm's at the top,x1 120mm at the rear, x1 120mm on the bottom and x1 120mm on the side.The case is only 7.5" so you will have a hard time fitting a big aftermarket cooler like the Scythe Mugen 2,you will likely not be able to install the side 120mm fan with that heatsink installed.
Like i was saying before go with the wider cases's.

The Antec 300 Illusion comes fully loaded with tons of fans and their not the cheap ones either their actually good case fans.It's only a inch wider than the CM Elite 430 but it might be suffiecent enough to mount a 120 on the side with the Scythe Mugen 2.


On the 430 review it said "CPU Heatsink Support: up to 163mm/6.4" in height".

The Scythe Mugen 2-Heatsink Dimensions-> 130 x 100 x 158 mm (assuming 158mm is height)

So, I think it should fit width-wise in the case. The spot for the fan on the side of the case looks like the top of it starts at about where the graphics card would be placed...which should be well below the Heatsink. I think the only issue would be towards the top.

You can also put a 140mm fan in the front instead of the 120mm.


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a c 266 ) Power supply
April 6, 2011 12:18:07 AM

For $55 shipped the 300 Illusion is almost an unbeatable deal.
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April 6, 2011 12:35:14 AM

purple stank said:
But if you have the money i don't see a point in getting a cheaper case.The case is the one thing that will last the longest,outlasting every compoent in your build.I would get a Full tower or something that comes fully loaded and looks good.Their are plenty of really good cases out their for $100.


That does make sense, but I'm really trying to cut the costs as much as possible and I feel the case is going to be one of the biggest areas where I can skimp a little without affecting the performance too much.
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April 6, 2011 12:38:28 AM

anort3 said:
For $55 shipped the 300 Illusion is almost an unbeatable deal.


I know, lol...I'm VERY tempted not to wait. The "almost" part is the only thing that's holding me back.
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a c 266 ) Power supply
April 6, 2011 12:41:02 AM

If you want that case it will not be cheaper ever.....That is as low as they run it. I buy that case for builds with some regularity. It's the best case for the price at $70 IMO and at $55 is a steal.
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a b ) Power supply
April 6, 2011 12:55:26 AM

TopGun said:
On the 430 review it said "CPU Heatsink Support: up to 163mm/6.4" in height".

The Scythe Mugen 2-Heatsink Dimensions-> 130 x 100 x 158 mm (assuming 158mm is height)

So, I think it should fit width-wise in the case. The spot for the fan on the side of the case looks like the top of it starts at about where the graphics card would be placed...which should be well below the Heatsink. I think the only issue would be towards the top.

You can also put a 140mm fan in the front instead of the 120mm.


5mm is really really small.Definitly no room for a fan.And when you go to shut the case the endge will be touching the top of the heatsink.
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April 6, 2011 1:24:55 AM

anort3 said:
If you want that case it will not be cheaper ever.....That is as low as they run it. I buy that case for builds with some regularity. It's the best case for the price at $70 IMO and at $55 is a steal.


Did you see that link I posted for $39.99 + free shipping?...here on 8/24/10ish...it looks like here too.

also you have to scroll down a little... for $44.99 on around 12/19/10.

That $15 can go into some black paint and plexi for modding. :) 

I do agree though even at $54.99 it's still a steal.
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a c 266 ) Power supply
April 6, 2011 1:33:59 AM

Wow I have bought over a dozen of these things and never paid less than $55. If I ever see it for $40 with free shipping I am going to buy 3 or 4.
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April 6, 2011 1:39:52 AM

anort3 said:
Wow I have bought over a dozen of these things and never paid less than $55. If I ever see it for $40 with free shipping I am going to buy 3 or 4.


Save some (or at least 1) for me please. :p 
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