I've been slaving over server builds and general hardware mess for the past few months, and I think it's about time I did something fun for myself. I really like the aesthetics of my new SB mobo, I'm thinking about adding a swank new cooler to replace the stock one, and I'd like to put it all in a case where I can ogle the hardware whenever I feel like it.
I do really like the Chenming case but it's got way more space than I need, and it's not all that ogle-worthy. Not that I want the case to be the center of attention, what I'd really like is something that puts the visual focus on the components themselves. Since I'm using a microATX board and only a few drives the full tower kinda seems like overkill, I think a smaller PC might be more... "fun". I'm kind of bored of all the super-serious, super-masculine designs coming out. I'm actually kind of thinking that a more cute, even girly appeal might be a nice change. I'm not talking hello kitty or anything but it doesn't need to look like a big rectangular weapon that just marched out of Planet Dude. So far one of my favorite choices is the Apevia, due to its multiple windows and "fun" factor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Functionally, well-placed front USB 3.0 would be nice but is not mandatory. At least 4 easily swappable 3.5" bays would be a huge plus for me, I'm always switching drives in and out. I only need one 5.25" bay.
Finally, heat dissipation is a prime concern because I don't want to have case fans running everywhere, I'd like this to be as close to silent as possible. I know that conflicts with small and windowed, but silence is an absolute must as this is in my bedroom. At most I want the CPU and PSU fans running, everything else should be able to take care of itself silently. Not so much of a problem in my huge tower case but in a smaller case there will be a need for well designed passive ventilation.
Good suggestion, I actually was checking that one out and quickly dismissed it because it offers no protection to the PC, and I immediately pictured myself dumping a glass of water into it and frying everything. But, taking another look, I've got to say I'm tempted to go with that one, it does meet pretty much all of my stated wishes.
Here's another one I found that seems to have a much nicer fit and finish than the Apevia for about the same price:
I've got the SG02 and it's a great case, apart from the fact heat dissipation can be a problem. I use it as a HTPC and and aftermarket CPU heatsink (NT06-E with a fan modded onto it) solved the issue, but if it's going to be used for anything intense you may need to consider that issue.