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):
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)..
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.
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.
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.