Which case to buy ($100)?

Hello everyone!

I'm building a new enthusiast gaming rig for about $1200, and I'm looking for a good $100(ish) ATX mid-tower case to hold it. It gotta have good airflow, 2+ fans, CPU hole, decent cable management, decent build quality, etc (everything a good case should have)... oh, and it gotta be able to fit a HUGE 6950 GPU (those things are massive).

So far I've looked at some options and these are my favorites:

ANTEC 300 Illusion (not sure it would fit a 6950 though...)
ANTEC Dark Fleet DF-30
ANTEC 900 Two V3
COOLER MASTER CM 690 II Advanced (RC-692-KKN2)
LIAN-LI PC-K63 (I know it is fugly, but a $50 discount on a great-but-fugly case is hard to ignore).

Those are the ones I got so far. Feel free to add your recommendation if you have any, and I'll look into it... any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance! :D

P.D: anyone could tell me what's the difference between the HAF 912 and the HAF 922? Only different thing I see is an extra fan on the 922, but I don't think that would explain a $40 difference in price.
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about which case
  1. The Antec 300 whould fit the 6950, barely.
    Here is a photo with a 6970:

    If you think a case is ugly, DON'T buy it. You will forever hate it.
    Buy a case you love.

    Antec makes good quality cases, I have used several, but I think they are sort of ordinary.

    More recently, I have been impressed with the quality of the lian li cases.
    Is there any reason why you need a full atx motherboard?
    Consider getting a micro-atx motherboard like the asus p8p67-m pro, , and the lian li V354 case:
    It has great ventilation, and can fit any size graphics card made today.
  2. Had you not mentioned the 'ugly' word, my recommendation would have been the PC K63. It has got everything you need. But I agree with Geofelt's comments of "don't like it, don't get it". Here's an excellent alternative -

    The HAF 922 has bit more space compared to the HAF 912.
  3. Like all case recommendation questions in the sub-$100 category, it's hard to beat the CM 690 II Advanced, especially if you have any extra 120/140MM fans you can put into the case.

    It's got dust filters, HDD caddies and an SSD bracket, black interior, good cable management, easy to work with, bottom mount PSU, room for up to 10 fans, and you can usually find it from $70-80 or lower.
  4. That 6970 in that Antec 300 is an awful tight squeeze. The main difference between the Haf 912 and the Haf 922 is the Haf 922 has a 200mm led fan mounted in the front, an optional one can be mounted in the door, the 922 has room for an optional 120mm fan in the bottom and it's somewhat bigger than the 912.
    Personally, I'd spend the extra $50.00 and go for the Haf 932 Advanced which is a full tower with black interior and absolutely no "will this fit" worries. Plus room to evolve.
  5. without even looking at the rest Antec 900v3. If you would like something a little cooler looking and temp cooler too as well as 8 expansion slots with a ton of other good features for $130 (till the end of June 2011) check out the In Win DRAGON RIDER. it is a full tower w/ 22 inches of height and 22" deep here is a good video review of it (the one on newegg kinda sukkx:

    The CPU fan sold it for me - I bought 2 of them COOLING is what it's ALL about:



    or add 120mm fans:

    if this case didn't exist for the price range ($130 right now and $150 off sale) I would Definitely go with the Antec 900 series
  6. Most people seem to recommend the COOLER MASTER 690 II Advanced as the best choice around $ 100. Think I'll go with it.

    The IWIN Dragon Rider is a nice looking model, but it is too much for what I'm looking for. I don't need a full tower, neither a 220 mm fan lol. Nor do I wish to spend $ 150 bucks on a case. Still, great tower though.

    So, what... can't go wrong with the 690 II Advanced, right?
  7. Best answer
    i just re-read what I just wrote (what you're about to read) for editing/condensing reasons. My apologies if it too much in any way. I hope this is helps you to decide on a good case for yourself.

    First off i don't care WHAT it is - if it is cooler master - it is good stuff. very reliable products and they do as advertised and intended.

    i am assuming this is the CM690 II Advanced you're talking about?

    Next i don't know what your immediate or future planed intentions are for your system.

    Depending if you are you going to overclock, run 2 GPU's, speed of RAM, and will you be running an AMD chipset or nForce chipset. all of these things factor in heat and heat is yours and mines enemy.

    if you're running stock for the most part; a single mid ranged-lower GPU no overclock and some 1333 RAM, this case will do you fine with no other investments required.

    The case is top notch in it's category, and if you want to read on I can explain why some of the below mentioned points are key in shopping for a good chassis.

    1] it has what appears to be an 80mm fan for exhaust behind the motherboard plate where the CPU will be which creates a cross draft which is something usually costs quite a bit more for a feature like this. Great choice on that!

    2] It looks to have the ability to cable route and with the thickness of an 80mm fan setting the minimum width in this case, there is a good idea of what kind of room you will be able to work with. Again great choice.

    3] 140mm intake fan @ the front is a VERY good place to start for serious air intake, plus the option for 2 more 120 or 140mm fans on the side to help with GPU cooling is always a nice feature to have at your disposal. Another great choice whether you use 120's or 140's. with 120's you'll get a little but of a mesh effect for venting with the 140's just pure outside air in.

    4] Bottom mounted PSU gives the top 140's directly above the CPU is a big plus for removing heat efficiently. Plus you have a 120 at the back for helping dissipate heat or to help pull big amounts of heat off pretty much any after market heatsink.

    5] the PSU can be mounted in either way. Use the PSU to allow for more removal of heat from withing the case (which I would recommend if you decide to not get any extra fans your first fly by) or you can mount it so it pulls fresh air from the underside of the chassis if you're gonna go for the overclock, big bad GPU or 2, or some hot running 1600+ RAM.

    and the 6th good reason this case is a great choice is it's BLACK! Not ONLY black, but black on the inside which is a plus because there is no bare metal if ever there is to be a naked wire of any kind to create a short on your system.

    To utilize all the fans in this case, you will need to buy 3 more 120mm fans or on the hotter end, 3 more 140mm fans. That will range you from $21-$30 more out of pocket either now or in the future, again depending on intentions and that just pushed the price from $80 to $100-110 investment overall or in the long run. What else could you get in this price range that will come fully equipped, or better yet better cooling.

    Here's a few chassis I found that are great deals with many favored features such as cable management, black interiors, SSD drive bays, large/long GPU support and my personal favorite; dual 120-140mm front intake fans. These are the best cases in the price range you are interested in. I hope I don't come off as too much here, but I just got done for the last month building a new rig for myself, and I found these cases to be of the highest and featured quality at

    RAIDMAX ICEBERG ATX-012WS 3mm Aluminum Mid Tower
    $29.99 after mail-in rebate (unfortunatly out of stock @ the moment - I have seen this exact case on the net for $200)
    This is a KILLER deal for a 3mm all aluminum case.

    Cooling: (@ this price you could put 2x120mm fans w/ meshing on the side in replace of the clear acrylic!)
    3 x 120mm Blue LED fan (1 front, 2 top)
    1 x 120mm exhaust fan
    PSU: Is top mount

    Sentey Black Box Series BX2-4291 Mid Tower
    I can't BELIEVE newegg removed the description of this chassis!!! a month and a 1/2 ago when I started my current build this was going to be the case I was going to get. It was $69 reduced to $54.
    Sentey make some very good products. Check out their website.

    Cooling: (I remember it by heart - you can pack 7 x 120mm fans in this chassis; 4 x intake, 3 x exhaust)
    3 x 120mm blue LED's (1 front, 2 side)
    1 x 120mm (1 of 2 available 120mm slots @ top has fan)
    1 x 120mm (1 rear)
    1 x 120mm (optional 1 bottom)

    Here's a couple more Sentey's; HERE and HERE for $49.99 each ALL having the same cooling as the above one - one has fan speed controls on it.

    RAIDMAX Helios ATX-819WB
    $69.99 after mail-in rebate
    16.9 inches interior depth for long GPU

    2 x 120 mm Blue LED Front Fans
    1 x 120 mm Rear Fan
    2 x 120 mm Top Fans
    1 x 120 mm Side (optional)

    Antec Nine Hundred Mid Tower
    $79.99 after mail-in rebate

    1 x 120mm TriCool rear fan + 3-speed control switch
    2 x 120mm TriCool blue LED front fans + 3-speed control switch
    1 x 200mm top fan
    Other features:
    Perforated front bezel
    Two front loaded HDD cages for up to 6 hard disk
    9 Drive Bays

    ENERMAX SPINEREX ECA5010M-B-B Black on Black Full Tower
    $79.99 after mail-in rebate card
    Front Ports: USB 3.0 x 1, USB 2.0 x 3, eSATA x 1, HD / AC'97 Audio
    Dust Filters: All around
    2 x 120mm Front Blue/Red combo-LED VEGAS fans
    1 x 250mm Side Blue/Red combo-LED fan
    2 x 140 or 120mm exhaust fan (optional) + has adjustable vent
    1 x 120mm rear exhaust fan (optional)

    AZZA Solano 1000R Black on Red Full Tower
    $94.99 after mail-in rebate

    Cooling: (a little better than the one above + 3-speed fan switch control)
    1 x 120mm Fan In Rear
    2 x 140mm red LED silent fans (19DBA) in front
    1 x 230mm red LED silent fan (24DBA) on top
    1 x 230mm red LED silent fan (24DBA) on the side

    LIAN LI Lancool PC-K63 Mid Tower
    $99.99 (was $149.99)
    Lian-Li is a high quality Taiwanese company that specializes in aluminum chassis - this ine is one of their steel chassis models.

    Front Ports: USB 3.0 x 1 / USB 2.0 x 1 / e-SATA x 1 / HD Audio
    1 x 120mm Blue LED Rear Fan
    2 x 140mm Blue LED Front Fans
    2 x 140mm Top Fans

    HERE is another great Lian-Li chassis for $99.99

    Thermaltake Armor A60 AMD LEO Edition

    Cooling: (7 max fans - 3 included; 2 LED)
    1 x 120mm Red LED fan, 1300rpm, 17dBA (Front) (+ extra 1 x 120mm optional)
    1 x 120mm TurboFan, 1000rpm, 16dBA (Rear)
    1 x 200mm Red LED fan, 800rpm, 15dBA (Top) (1 x 120mm or 1 x 200mm optional)
    1 x 120mm (Bottom - optional)
    1 x 120mm (Side - optional)
    Other Features:
    Front Ports: USB3.0 x 1, USB2.0 x 1, eSATA connector x 1 MIC & Speaker (support AC'97 & HD Audio)
    SideClick EasySwap features a hot-swappable HDD tray
    CPU cooler height limitation: 180mm
    Graphic card length limitation: 305mm (30.5 cm)

    AZZA Solano 1000 Full Tower
    $101.99 after mail-in rebate

    1 x 120mm fan in rear
    2 x 140mm blue LED silent fan (19DBA) in front
    1 x 230mm blue LED silent fan (24DBA) on top
    1 x 230mm blue LED silent fan (24DBA) on the side
    1 x 129mm fan at bottom (optional)

    Hope you've enjoyed the show!
  8. Majestic thanks a lot for the advice!

    Been doing some research and I think I have it narrowed to 2 possible choices:

    COOLER MASTER CM 690 II Advanced (RC-692-KKN2)

    To answer your question, I will be getting a huge SAPPHIRE 6950 2GB GPU (ref.), 1600 RAM, and will be overclocking an INTEL I5 2500K CPU. I guess my main concern when choosing a case should be air flow and dust accumulation, right?
  9. martinduque86 said:
    I guess my main concern when choosing a case should be air flow and dust accumulation, right?

    yes very much so... and both those cases you mentioned are missing half their fans!

    If you're gonna run it hot (OC'ing it) get a good case that has all the goodies AND is packed with fans. If you are going OC you will want lots of fresh air intake. Like I mentioned before, if your going to get one of the cases you just mentioned, you will definitely need to fill those empty fan slots w/ more fans, and if your going to spend that much more money, you might as well fork out for a better case. The HAF is one of the more popular ones, but I don't see why. No interior paint job or side panel fans.

    All the cases I mentioned above will all hold your 6950 with ease.

    It sounds like this new rig you got in the works is being built around the Sapphire 6950. You will need to keep that sweetie nice and cool by using side panel intake fans for sure. you wouldn't want to sacrifice her to the heat demons - that's a lot of money to burn up.

    Something else you will want to be sure and get yourself is an 80+ Certified power supply for sure too. There are PSU calculators around the net. I have even posted a couple of links here @ Tom's for people to use.

    Keep me posted, I would like to follow your build as you go along to see what you come up with (and don't worry, I won't spend 4 1/2 hours putting together a thread response next time - I promise!!!)

    I gotta get to bed, friend... it's been a long day. C-ya layderz.

  10. Thanks a lot Majestic for your valuable input. :)

    Here's a link to my rig, I would like your opinion:

    Thanks a lot!
  11. Best answer selected by martinduque86.
  12. martinduque86 said:
    Thanks a lot Majestic for your valuable input. :)

    Here's a link to my rig, I would like your opinion:

    Thanks a lot!

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