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Please recommend me a good case

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October 11, 2011 1:16:02 AM

Hello, I'm looking to buy a new case, but I have no idea where to start. Some things to have in mind:

1. It should have a lot of fan slots (front, back, side, top, bottom).
2. It should have ability for good cable organization (and thus good airflow).
3. It should be available on this site and no more than ~400 kn: http://www.nabava.net/
4. I will be using Core i5 2500k overclocked to 4 GHz (or so) and most likely Zalman CNPS10X Quiet CPU fan.
5. Side window and bottom mounted PSU are optional, but welcome.

The best I could find was Thermaltake V4 Black Edition, but after reading feedback on NewEgg, I'm not so sure any more.

Antec Three Hundred looks nice, but a bit out of my budget so I'm looking for more recommendations.

Bonus question: How useful are fans on the bottom of the case?

More about : recommend good case

a b ) Power supply
October 11, 2011 2:14:24 AM

Bottom fans aren't all that useful (especially if the machine is sitting on carpet), and they tend to suck up dust and fluff.

If you can use a Micro ATX motherboard (which can be a good option), then I'd suggest you consider the Fractal Design Define Mini - it's a very nicely built case, not expensive, that has plenty of fan mounts. Unused fan mounts are blocked off with foam, and both side panels are lined to deaden sound (no windows, but I don't like windows!). It will hold up to six hard drives. It does have a bottom mounted PSU.

I am using one of these with an i7 2600K on an ASUS Maximus IV GENE-Z. I have a Noctua U12P SE2 cooler on the CPU, and it's maintaining nice low temperatures on the CPU. I have removed one of the two drive bays (3 hard drive trays) to increase air flow, because I am only using two drives. I can always put it back if needed.

One of the neatest features of this case is that the motherboard mounting plate is a fair distance from the side panel, so there's a lot of room to route cables between them (and there are rubber grommets on the holes you route cables through. I am quite pleased with the neatness of the result.

If you need a full-size ATX motherboard, then go for its big brother, the Define.
October 11, 2011 2:22:13 AM

Looks good, but unfortunately it's 275 kn ($50) over my budget. :( 
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October 11, 2011 12:36:58 PM

Anyone?
a c 274 ) Power supply
October 11, 2011 1:28:16 PM

Value wise the Antec DF10 is a bargain it's a $90 case in N.A..
The 100($55) and 200($45) cost much less over here not more.
Yeah i've never been impressed with Thermaltake cases.
The V3/4 are flimsy and cheaply built(no standoffs) and cost $30-40 in Canada.
I've personally owned only Antec and Coolermaster cases.
Both are good with a slight edge in quality to Antec imo.
Recently went to look at a V4 and a CM 430 Elite for a budget build.
Both cost under $40 here.
The CM 430 is a much better case then the V3/4.
You'd be happy with the DF10 if it's styling is for you.
Personally i don't like the Dark Fleet look.
The DF10 is a better case then the CM 430 though quality wise..
Like i said it cost $90 here in Canada i bought my 430 for $35.
October 11, 2011 1:37:02 PM

Antec 100
Antec 200
Antec 300
Antec DF-10
Thermaltake V4
Cooler Master 430

All of these cases are within my budget with the exception of Antec 100 which exceeds it by $9.

I will read reviews and user feedback on all of them later today. By then, I'd be glad to get some input from people here. :) 
October 11, 2011 1:49:29 PM

davcon said:
Value wise the Antec DF10 is a bargain it's a $90 case in N.A..
The 100($55) and 200($45) cost much less over here not more.
Yeah i've never been impressed with Thermaltake cases.
The V3/4 are flimsy and cheaply built(no standoffs) and cost $30-40 in Canada.
I've personally owned only Antec and Coolermaster cases.
Both are good with a slight edge in quality to Antec imo.
Recently went to look at a V4 and a CM 430 Elite for a budget build.
Both cost under $40 here.
The CM 430 is a much better case then the V3/4.
You'd be happy with the DF10 if it's styling is for you.
Personally i don't like the Dark Fleet look.
The DF10 is a better case then the CM 430 though quality wise..
Like i said it cost $90 here in Canada i bought my 430 for $35.

I don't really care about how the case looks as long as it has good air flow and cable organization, those 2 are top priorities.

I also don't mind the look of DF-10. With that said, how's its cable organization? If it's good, we might have a winner. :) 
a c 274 ) Power supply
October 11, 2011 2:08:54 PM

I've personally built in two of those cases.
The 300 with a fixed cable psu and it leaves much to be desired cablemanagement wise.
It wasn't a huge concern since it has no side window.
My CM 430 build included a semi-modular psu so cablemanagement was much easier.
With any of the above mentioned cases a semi-modular psu would go along way in that department.
Something to consider if the case you choose has a side window.
Otherwise it doesn't matter a whole lot.
October 11, 2011 4:29:08 PM

I will be using XFX Core Edition 80 550W which is not modular as far as I know.

After reading reviews, I decided to go with Antec 300 or DF-10, but I'm still trying to find which one has better cable organization.

There are not many reviews for DF-10, but there are plenty of reviews (and positive at that) for 300, but it seems one of its main drawbacks is lack of cable organization.
October 11, 2011 4:42:16 PM

First off, I've personally built or overseen the building of over 70 computers from base parts. 30 or so of those have been Antec 300's in their various revisions. I would recommend that case to anyone doing a budget build. It is true, cable management "features" are not bountiful in that case. There is no option to drag cables behind the motherboard, and have them appear elsewhere.

However, this case by no means has a cable management problem that would impact airflow. If you take the time to keep cables low to the motherboard and out of the airflow, it will keep things cool no problem for your price range. Excess cables can be pulled into the gap behind the HDD bays and secured there. Excess PSU cables can either be hidden behind the drive bays, or tightly coiled at the bottom of the case.

If you want to increase cooling later, there are mounts for intake fans at the front and a fan on the side for graphics.

You won't regret getting a 300 :) 

Edit: Oh, and I've built variants of the CM 430. Not a very nice build quality. The metal feels flimsy on the lower cooler master models. Also, don't be fooled by the top exhaust grills. Depending on the cooler you get, there is no way to fit a top exhaust fan after (almost all tower coolers are too big). Your stuck with less fans, a smaller case, and the same options for cable management.
a c 274 ) Power supply
October 11, 2011 5:57:17 PM

Go to Antec's website as far as i can tell the 100 looks to have the best cable management features.
DF 10 would be 2nd best.
300 not so much but like woomba says it's doable i've built in them too without a modular psu and it won't effect airflow.
Other then some minor differences all three cases feature the exact same stock fan set-up.
The 300 has thumbscrew pci slots the two others are punchouts.
The 300 has an unpainted interior the others painted.
Like i said price wise where you are the DF10 is the best value.
Windowed/easily accessible fan filters/black interior.
October 11, 2011 6:02:10 PM

davcon said:
Go to Antec's website as far as i can tell the 100 looks to have the best cable management features.
DF 10 would be 2nd best.
300 not so much but like woomba says it's doable i've built in them too without a modular psu and it won't effect airflow.

I've read some reviews about Antec 100 and people say they can't fit Cooler Master Hyper 212+ in it. My rig will use Zalman CNPS10X Quiet, which also uses a 12mm fan so I don't want any problems with it.

woomba said:
First off, I've personally built or overseen the building of over 70 computers from base parts. 30 or so of those have been Antec 300's in their various revisions. I would recommend that case to anyone doing a budget build. It is true, cable management "features" are not bountiful in that case. There is no option to drag cables behind the motherboard, and have them appear elsewhere.

However, this case by no means has a cable management problem that would impact airflow. If you take the time to keep cables low to the motherboard and out of the airflow, it will keep things cool no problem for your price range. Excess cables can be pulled into the gap behind the HDD bays and secured there. Excess PSU cables can either be hidden behind the drive bays, or tightly coiled at the bottom of the case.

If you want to increase cooling later, there are mounts for intake fans at the front and a fan on the side for graphics.

You won't regret getting a 300 :) 

Edit: Oh, and I've built variants of the CM 430. Not a very nice build quality. The metal feels flimsy on the lower cooler master models. Also, don't be fooled by the top exhaust grills. Depending on the cooler you get, there is no way to fit a top exhaust fan after (almost all tower coolers are too big). Your stuck with less fans, a smaller case, and the same options for cable management.

Great reply, thanks. :)  Like I said, Antec 300 has a lot of reviews on NewEgg and most of them are 4-5 eggs, it seems that particular case is very popular, probably for a good reason.

Anyway, just to make things clear, I'm not building a budget rig, it's in $900 range on NewEgg, without the case

So the thing is, I don't really want to spend additional $200+ for a case if I can do just fine with ~$80 one.

In any case, I'll trust the two of you that Antec 300 can have good air flow because it seems for that money, cable management is the only shortcoming of Antec 300.
October 11, 2011 6:10:57 PM

I've used several different tower coolers equipped with 120mm fans, dual or single in the 300 without issue. However, mount it to exhaust out the back. I was curious and did testing with a vertical configuration to blow out the top of the case and it messed up the airflow giving higher CPU temps.

As for build price, I've recommended this case for builds ranging from $600-1000. Anything higher than that and I'd want to dump more money on a better case. However, you can pimp this out still. With 3 intake fans on the front, suddenly you have a positive airflow set up...bit depending on the fans it can be loud..
a c 274 ) Power supply
October 11, 2011 6:16:23 PM

I have no idea how someone can't fit a 212+ in the 100 or DF10 for that matter,they're both 7.8" wide.
People manage to squeeze them into cases 7.5" wide all day long the Rosewill Challenger for example.
That being said the 300 is 8.1" W affording you a little more room for your cooler.
October 11, 2011 6:29:29 PM

luv mah antec 300 :love:  very easy to mod too. did a side window + bottom intake for psu & some new feet on to raise height, only took a couple hours with a dremmel, drill & saw :D 
October 11, 2011 10:49:25 PM

woomba said:
I've used several different tower coolers equipped with 120mm fans, dual or single in the 300 without issue. However, mount it to exhaust out the back. I was curious and did testing with a vertical configuration to blow out the top of the case and it messed up the airflow giving higher CPU temps.

As for build price, I've recommended this case for builds ranging from $600-1000. Anything higher than that and I'd want to dump more money on a better case. However, you can pimp this out still. With 3 intake fans on the front, suddenly you have a positive airflow set up...bit depending on the fans it can be loud..

I was thinking of 3 intake fans (2 front, 1 side) and 2 exhaust fans (1 rear, 1 top), do you think that would work?

jpoos said:
luv mah antec 300 :love:  very easy to mod too. did a side window + bottom intake for psu & some new feet on to raise height, only took a couple hours with a dremmel, drill & saw :D 

I was considering adding a window myself. :) 

Anyway, I watched some YouTube videos and Antec 300 looks like a very very good case for that money, I'll go with it after all.
a c 274 ) Power supply
October 11, 2011 11:13:26 PM

I doubt you'll like or need an unfiltered side fan.
All it does is introduce dust and provides negligible cooling difference.
Two front intakes(which are filtered) are definitely recommended.
March 30, 2014 1:07:58 AM

If You Want A Good Cabinet And Under Low Budget Then Go For
Cooler Master K380
Its Good And Have Capacity To Hold 4 Fans And Comes With 1 RED LED Fan
Has A Side Window And Is Very Good Looking .
Even I Also Have That.
It Has Enough Ventilation.
Very Spacious And Its Real Good If You Want A Low Budget Cabinet. And Its Only 40$.
Hope You Like It. :D  :D 
March 30, 2014 4:04:54 AM

You do realize this is a thread from 2011, right?
!