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Good quiet, low-bright, high air-flow case?

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May 15, 2012 2:42:15 AM

I currently have a really old case that's loud and has bright LEDs. I'm looking to upgrade to a high air-flow, quiet, and non-bright case so I can leave it on when I sleep if I choose, and so it won't be annoying :) .

There are SO many cases I can't decide! Can someone tell me which case to get?

I've been looking at cases with the largest fans as I assume they are quietest and still provide lots of airflow.

Here are a few I found:

COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper SGC-6000-KXN1-GP - $140:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler Master HAF 932 - $130:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EPUQAE/ref=ox_sc_a...

Thermaltake Element G VL10001W2Z - $145:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermaltake Element V Black Edition - $160:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Fractal Design Arc Midi Black - $100:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP - $80:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II - $80:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill R5 Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Case - $90:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower - $50:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I'm leaning towards the high priced ones due to their large fans - ie. quiet, or the Fractal Design since it seems like it has lots of flow for the price and won't be bright. Any opinions?

More about : good quiet low bright high air flow case

May 15, 2012 6:23:29 AM

You really cannot beat the antec 300 illusion for its price point, the LED's are not bright at all:

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

It has (by far) the best cooling on the market in the 50 dollar price range. Also helps that it looks good! The front fans also have a really well designed filter, i taped a dryer sheet to the side vent and they work very welll as a dust filter, but you can order fan filters for that for around 8-10 dollars as well.
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May 15, 2012 6:55:18 AM

Scotty99 said:
You really cannot beat the antec 300 illusion for its price point, the LED's are not bright at all:

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

It has (by far) the best cooling on the market in the 50 dollar price range. Also helps that it looks good! The front fans also have a really well designed filter, i taped a dryer sheet to the side vent and they work very welll as a dust filter, but you can order fan filters for that for around 8-10 dollars as well.


I like everything about the 300 except it doesn't have good cable management (which I forgot to list as a feature I would like) and for some reason any case without a painted interior just turns me off these days.. even without a window :D .
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May 15, 2012 6:59:35 AM

It actually does have cable management, if you look closely there is a compartment behind the HDD cage that you stuff your cables into, if i wasnt so lazy i would upload a picture of the inside of my case to show you how clean it looks lol.

As for the painted interior, that is how they keep this case so reasonably priced, and like you said you cannot see it without a window : )

I have a 2500k running at 4.2ghz with a cooler master 212+ cooler, ive never seen my CPU go above 59c. Also, i run a gtx 465 which run notoriously hot and it never goes above 72c in my case (normal temps for these cards are 80c-90c range). That just speaks volumes about how well this case does at cooling.
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May 15, 2012 7:03:55 AM

Hmm I may change my mind, but are any of the other cases with painted interiors and holes to route cables behind the motherboard tray comparable in cooling performance? I just built my friend a computer using the Rosewill Challenger and for the same pricepoint looks nice and has cable management. I actually really like it, so I may get one too, but kind of wanted to be different ;) 
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May 15, 2012 7:15:57 AM

There is not a single case i could personally recommend for the same or less money than the antec 300 illusion, but for around 65.00 bucks with promo code this lian li is a very good value:

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

You wont find a better case for the money than this thing (with promo code). It has an enormous window and good airflow (dual 140's in the front, both filtered). I would remove the top HDD cage to make for even better airflow to the GPU.
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May 15, 2012 7:18:19 AM

Scotty99 said:
There is not a single case i could personally recommend for the same or less money than the antec 300 illusion, but for around 65.00 bucks with promo code this lian li is a very good value:

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

You wont find a better case for the money than this thing (with promo code). It has an enormous window and good airflow (dual 140's in the front, both filtered). I would remove the top HDD cage to make for even better airflow to the GPU.


Oh I like that one. I forgot to post that as well. Should I be worried about not having a top fan? Do they help much?
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May 15, 2012 7:24:57 AM

Only slightly, maybe 2-3c cooler by having a top fan. There is also the fact you dont have to worry about dropping things (or spilling things) into the case without a top fan : )

I actually just ordered one of these because they are on such a good special right now, i plan on giving my antec to my sister about 6 months from now whenever i build my new rig. It would cost you at least the price of this case to take a case to a local custom PC shop to have that sized window put in, its a spectacular deal for this case.

I love the fact this case only has front intake, and no venting elsewhere. This makes sure you are going to have a dust free case as well as another benefit others dont realize, when you have more intakes than exhaust fans this gives the case a slightly pressurized effect ( you want this) so all the little cracks in the case will not be slowly accumulating dust over time because small amounts of air will be pushing against those cracks.
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May 15, 2012 7:27:55 AM

Scotty99 said:
Only slightly, maybe 2-3c cooler by having a top fan. There is also the fact you dont have to worry about dropping things (or spilling things) into the case without a top fan : )

I actually just ordered one of these because they are on such a good special right now, i plan on giving my antec to my sister about 6 months from now whenever i build my new rig. It would cost you at least the price of this case to take a case to a local custom PC shop to have that sized window put in, its a spectacular deal for this case.

I love the fact this case only has front intake, and no venting elsewhere. This makes sure you are going to have a dust free case as well as another benefit others dont realize, when you have more intakes than exhaust fans this gives the case a slightly pressurized effect ( you want this) so all the little cracks in the case will not be slowly accumulating dust over time because small amounts of air will be pushing against those cracks.


Okay cool! It's hard to tell from the pictures but is there an opening for the power supply to draw/blow air from the bottom?
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May 15, 2012 7:30:18 AM

One more thing of note about the lian li i linked (well two):

1. Like i said above, remove the top HDD cage for better airflow to the GPU. I mean really, who in the hell uses more than 1-2 HDD's anyways?

2. If your graphics card vents exhaust into the case, point the power supply fan up, power supplies were originally designed as exhaust fans for your case, and usually have the longest warranty of any part in your system. If your graphics card is a blower style cooler that exhausts the majority of air out the back of the case its safe to put the PSU fan down (it has a filtered intake for the PSU).
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May 15, 2012 7:32:37 AM

I've got a EVGA GTX580 Superclocked which vents to the rear so I would like to have my power supply pointed downward (it's the Corsair HX850)
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May 15, 2012 7:35:18 AM

Ya that would work real good then : ) Ideal actually, as when you take out the top HDD cage the top 140mm would blow air directly to the intake of your 580 with no restrictions of airflow.
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May 15, 2012 7:37:28 AM

Okay great. Thanks for your help Scotty99! I will wait a day or so and if no one else comes in with a better option, I will mark your Lian Li suggestion as best answer :) 
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May 15, 2012 7:39:19 AM

Here is a video review in HD so you can see the quality of the case, and the brushed aluminum side panels.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zMyIIhYHWM

This is the model without window and unpainted interior, but its exactly the same otherwise.
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May 21, 2012 5:41:00 AM

I ended up ordering an Antec 1100 because I like the looks and doesn't look too bright. I ordered some extra fans and hopefully it won't be too loud :) 
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May 23, 2012 5:59:46 PM

Thought I'd share some pictures :) 


I like the LED because I can turn it off

And I can look at all the purtiness inside
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