Looking for a $200 Case that says 'OMG, I want one'

I have been challenged by a supervisor to build a PC with my students. He suggested it have lots of bling and gets kids (high school age) excited about custom pc building. I have never built a computer before but have been given a new GTX 480 on which I am to build the system around. I intend to make it an Intel build with the P67 chipset. I would like some feedback about what case I purchase. My budget for the case is $200 or less. Personally, I like the Corsair Graphite Series™ 600T Mid-Tower Case but was told it wasn't cool enough.
I am looking for a case; full or mid-tower, with a window, lights (CFL or LED fans), that is easy to build in, and has good wire management. I like the following (but am open to suggestions):

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced - $160
Corsair Obsidian Series 650D - $200
Antec Twelve Hundred V3 - $160
LIAN LI PC-P50WB Black Aluminum - $200

Details of the build:

Approximate Purchase Date: April 2011

Budget Range: < $2500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: CAD development, animation, some gaming

Parts Not Required: GPU, our FIRST team was given an unbranded GeForce GTX 480 from Nvidia

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, P67 express chipset

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Future (Maybe)

Monitor Resolution: min. 1920x1080, prefer 1920x1200

Additional Comments: This will be a classroom PC and should have a wow factor (bling?) to get students excited about building their own PC.


Parts I am proposing to buy:

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz

Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series AX850 850W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM

Boot Drive: OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - This item is currently out of stock. Would consider options.

Storage Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Optical Drive (bu-ray): LG WH10LS30 10X Blu-ray Burner - LightScribe Support - Bulk - OEM

optical drive: ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

Case: See Above. Please Help.

Monitor: ASUS PA246Q Black 24" 6ms P-IPS Height/Swivel/Pivot Adjustable LCD Monitor w/2 USB hub, Card Reader & Display port 400cd/m2 50000:1 DCR

CPU Fan: I have no idea. I like the big Noctua but don't know if it will fit.

Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about looking case
  1. Best answer
    The 1200v3 or HAF 932 will accomplish the wow factor as far as cases go.
    Both are very good cases.
    Lots of better thermal paste then AS5 and many cpu coolers come supplied with very good paste.
    I doubt you'll need more the a 212+ to cool a 2600K sufficiently.
    It's easy to install and a good affordable upgrade.
  2. Try getting an Alienware case from somewhere.. Nothing else would give you that 'WOW' look.. The Antec 1200 V3 is the backup option.. Another backup option with a high WOW appeal is the Silverstone Raven RV01 (a little over your budget though)..
  3. Thanks for the info about the thermal goo. I just selected what seemed popular. I will probably get the Arctic Cooling MX-2 and the hyper 212. Thanks again.
  4. I'd easily go for the 650D just cuz i prefer a midtower. Or wait for the Corsair 600t Special Edition white! Or...Silverstone Raven 03 which is already advertised on their website who knows when it comes out.
  5. If you haven't gotten a cooler yet, and plan on doing major overclocking, you could use the Noctua NH-D14. It is simply the best cooler, period. I have even seen charts where quite a lot of water setups can't even cool as well, and the paste that comes with is also the best. It will take up a lot of room, so mid-tower would have to be at least 9 1/2 wide for it to fit and still have side fans. Also, your RAM, if it has heat sink ribs on top might get in the way. But that is an easy fix, just dremel them off. I got a 7* to 10* difference on my overclock temps using the Noctua and has never gone over 54* in any benchmark I throw at it. And I am using a cheap AMD Phenom II 965 @ 125w and 1.4v. It could go higher, but I am happy with it the way it is.

    Your case, look at some of the Raidmax here > .

    Happy building and post back once your up and running. Like to see some bench marks. :sol:
  6. +1 for the NZXT Phantom, thats a very nice case, it has a gamer look.
    Antec Twelve Hundred V3 is also a good choice [and even might be a better one because of its light fans].

    You can always add some LED Lights to the Phantom [or any other case], they will make them look even more awesome ! :)
  7. Yeah the Phantom has a pretty cool look. The RV02 would fit nicely as well, cools better then any of the cases mentioned, and you could even get it in White if you wanted. And they come with windows. You might even win some extra "wow" because it's rotated 90 degrees.

    the "Wow" factor is kind of subjective though. I'm much more impressed by cases like the FT02 or the 650/700/800D Series, but some people love their HAF and Antec cases. Make everything look clean and run some lighting and any case can look pretty sharp.
  8. Hey have you checked the newly launched CooletMastet Storm Enforcer..?? Looks pretty cool..
  9. Best answer selected by froutson.
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