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Mid-tower similar to NZXT Switch 810?

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April 14, 2012 4:47:23 PM

Hello all!

I'm very close to purchasing the gear for my first gaming build, and the old and busted HP that I'm on is nearing it's end of life :( 

My apologies for the long wall of text. I have lots of questions, and haven't found the answers yet.

Cooler Master HAF X Blue Edition:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I love the airflow in this case, but it's too "rugged" and doens't match anything in my office. I'm amazed they have a "Blue" version available, which is the color that I'm going for. The ruggedness (and price tag) kills it for me though.


Corsair Carbide Series 500R Black Steel

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Recommended to me through the forums here, and the price is better than the HAF X. But I'd like to have a window on the side to view all of the components that I'm putting into it.

The side fan is not filtered (where all other intakes are?!), so I'd rather not blow dust all around my case, especially on the video cards. I live in the desert...so I get the "belly button lint" dust bunnies, but also get the horrible "red dust" from dirt in the air. I can get some filtering material to glue/tape/bolt back there on that fan, but without a window to see inside the case, why bother?


NZXT Switch 810
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This. Case. Is. Gorgeous! Only a few downsides for me, though:

The design/window is beautiful, but with no side fan, I fear that the video cards would get too hot. This can be remedied by the internal fans on the back of the drive cages, but...

The front dual 120mm/140mm intake fans seem to be blocked by the front panel...which makes me wonder if I'm missing something. Why put fans on the inside of the case, supposedly to cool the video cards, but impede the airflow at it's source? I can't imagine that they would have made a mistake like that, which is why I think I may be missing something at that front panel's pictures (and videos that I've seen).


With all that being said, I'd like to know if someone knows about a mid-tower (or a smaller full-tower) that has the sleek beauty of the Switch 810, but with a side fan and airflow to cover the video cards like the HAF X and Carbide 500R.

Just a note, but I will not be using a large heatsink/fan combo like the Nactua D-14 or the Cooler Master 212+. I'll be going with a Corsair H60 or C80 (haven't decided yet). I know some people who are using them and we've been impressed with their functionality, while not taking up a huge amount of space in the case. Plus...giant heat sinks are just flat ugly, in my opinion.

If there isn't a mid-tower or smaller full-tower like the Switch 810, if anyone can comment on the air flow to the video cards, i would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!
a b ) Power supply
April 14, 2012 6:10:39 PM

The front panel does NOT block the intake of the front fans. Look up some review vids. The air is not really pulled through the front panel, but "the sides".

You could easily mod the Corsairs side panel to include a window. Did that to my NZXT H2 recently and it only cost about 7€ for the acrylic, some quick jigsaw action coupled with double sided tape to fit in the window and voila. Just make sure you tape your side panel and acrylic before you cut it. ;) 

Besides, the Switch won't give you heat issues at all, anyway! The only "downside" of it, is it's size (to big for me to fit under my desk) and it's slightly more expansive than the 500R. Another case to look at would be the Corsair 600T, it comes with a solid side window and an optional side panel mesh. Again, you don't need a side fan to cool your graphic cards, at least not if you do not run something like triple/quad CrossFire/SLI.
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April 14, 2012 7:23:51 PM

Hello, I will answer some questions for you, hopefully, lol.
Oh, and I don't think side fans is a big deal if you have the GPU heatsinks fans on max. As long as there is good airflow in the case, that is.

First, I do not like the HAF X's rugged design either, so I will leave it at this - it's a great case for air cooling but the exterior is a huge turn off for me, and the build quality is good but not excellent. -1 on HAF X for you in my opinion

For the 500r, it's a great case with side fan ports, and it's a nice looker as well, has great build quality from corsair. The mesh panel can be covered by a cheap dust filter that you can get several places - amazon, newegg, ncix, frys, microcenter, etc. With a little dremel work and some acrylic you could fairly easily make a side window beside the fan ports. Just do some resaerch, there are guides for case modding like this. You can get acrylic on sites like xoxide, frozencpu, and several others. +1 for this case.

NZXT has pretty sleek looking cases. The first problem you mentioned is no side fan mounts, but you could probably make your own if you are capable of some case modding. Although this case is quite nice, and has pretty good build quality, I don't know if it is the right case for you, which you can decide. Just know that you will need case modding to get this case the way you want.

An alternative to these cases would be the Silverstone Raven RV03, it's a really nice case with almost all the features you need, it has the side window and a fan on the side panel on the other side. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think the 500r is the best fit, just my opinion though.
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April 16, 2012 9:02:47 PM

cyansnow said:
Hello, I will answer some questions for you, hopefully, lol.
Oh, and I don't think side fans is a big deal if you have the GPU heatsinks fans on max. As long as there is good airflow in the case, that is.

First, I do not like the HAF X's rugged design either, so I will leave it at this - it's a great case for air cooling but the exterior is a huge turn off for me, and the build quality is good but not excellent. -1 on HAF X for you in my opinion

For the 500r, it's a great case with side fan ports, and it's a nice looker as well, has great build quality from corsair. The mesh panel can be covered by a cheap dust filter that you can get several places - amazon, newegg, ncix, frys, microcenter, etc. With a little dremel work and some acrylic you could fairly easily make a side window beside the fan ports. Just do some resaerch, there are guides for case modding like this. You can get acrylic on sites like xoxide, frozencpu, and several others. +1 for this case.

NZXT has pretty sleek looking cases. The first problem you mentioned is no side fan mounts, but you could probably make your own if you are capable of some case modding. Although this case is quite nice, and has pretty good build quality, I don't know if it is the right case for you, which you can decide. Just know that you will need case modding to get this case the way you want.

An alternative to these cases would be the Silverstone Raven RV03, it's a really nice case with almost all the features you need, it has the side window and a fan on the side panel on the other side. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think the 500r is the best fit, just my opinion though.



This is what I ended up going with.

It was finally a toss up between the Corsair 550D and the NZXT Switch 810. Both have filters on all intake fans, both have lots of room, and both are great looking cases without a ton of 'ruggedness' or 'bling'. I chose the Switch over the 550D purely because I wanted a window. The case was also paired with something else (I think it was the motherboard?) for a $20 discount, which brought the Switch to just $10 more than the 550D, if I remember correctly. I figured...yea, I'm not liquid cooling (other than the Corsair H100 for the CPU, which is closed-loop to begin with), but what if I DO get into it...now I have plenty of room for anything in the next couple of years ;-)

I think I can also fit my daughter's hamster in there, too.... :ouch: 

Case: NZXT Switch 810 Black Steel
MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H LGA 1155
CPU: Intel Core i5-2550K SB 3.4GHz
CPU: Corsair H100 Extreme Liquid Cooler
Fans: 10x NZXT 140mm (FX-140LB)
GPU: ASUS HD 7850 2GB @ 1.2Ghz
PSU: Corsair Pro/Gold AX750
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) 1600
SWAG: 2x LogiSys SuperBright Red 18 LED SunStick





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April 16, 2012 9:02:55 PM

Best answer selected by Nebulocity.
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