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Mid-tower case recommendations for under $100

Wow are there many choices for mid-tower cases nowadays! It's been a while since I've been in the market for one, and I could really use some help... I've been using Cooler Master Centurion 5 for the last 7-8 years (through few builds), and I REALLY love its look. Getting ready to do a new build, and I thought it might be time to get a case upgrade too. Perhaps something with USB 3.0, a little quieter, etc.

Here are the things/features I'm interested in:

Must-have features:
- Under $100
- Sleek, clean design, somewhat minimalist. Black. Not bulky. Not a fan of LED fans, but not the end of the world if it comes with some. Already mentioned that I loved the Centurion 5 design.
- Reasonably quiet and reasonably good airflow (I don't intend to OC, but do play games from time to time)
- At least some decent cable management features
- Bottom position for PSU
- Able to accommodate at least 10" GPU cards.

Much-desired (but not absolutely necessary) features:
- USB 3.0
- No 80mm fans
- Side-window, but not overly flashy
- Side-loading HDD/SDD slots
- Good, solid build material
- No open/close panel in the front, but I might be persuaded otherwise if everything else is to my liking
- Tool-less mounting of drives, gpu

Nice-to-have (but can live without) features:
- 1394 connector

To give you examples of the cases I found good-looking thus far:
Zalman Z9
Cougar Evolution
CM 690

Designs I don't find attractive (no offense to others, this is my personal taste):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119194
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811108395
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146070
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811517016

Hopefully, you get the idea...
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112337

    On a crazy sale atm too, 79.99 with an extra 20% off that with promo code.

    I personally use the antec 300 illusion and its also on sale atm for 59.99 (49.99 with MIR):

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

    Either are good choices, the antec with slightly better cooling performance (because of the top fan) but the lian li is a very good value for a case with a side window that large.
  2. Also, (if this matters to you) i would personally remove the top HDD cage in the lian li for better airflow the the GPU. Both cases also have filtered front intakes (a deal breaker for me).
  3. Thanks. Of the two, I'd say I like the Lian Li better, overall. I like the 300's front mesh look a little better, but I think the Lian Li wins overall for me. I've added it to my list of closer choices.
  4. Oh, i see there's also a 302 from antec. USB 3.0 and other upgraded features from 300. Hmmm... Getting closer. :-)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129180
  5. Scotty99 said:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112337

    On a crazy sale atm too, 79.99 with an extra 20% off that with promo code.

    I personally use the antec 300 illusion and its also on sale atm for 59.99 (49.99 with MIR):

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

    Either are good choices, the antec with slightly better cooling performance (because of the top fan) but the lian li is a very good value for a case with a side window that large.


    I agree with this ^.. ive been using the lian li case for a few months and love it... i got it when it was 89.99 on a shell shocker. Its an insane deal now and wouldnt pass it up.
  6. Hmm... I'm really digging the Antec Eleven Hundred
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129178

    But I like the Lian-Li too. How do the two compare? Which one would you prefer and why?
  7. lian li = quality ...antec = ????
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352014 another thott for you ... I have a lian li full tower and can vouch for the quality .. the one posted is a lancool version which is there gamer oriented subsidiary but aluminium is good and the reviews are as well ... happy hunting :)
  8. thanks. yeah, I've been reading about the Fractal R3 as it keeps coming up in my searches... I'm not sure how I feel about the front panel door and about the fact that it puts me above my $100 case limit. Do those ever go on sale (MIR, whatever)?
  9. I just ordered this one:

    LIAN LI PC-9F Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112304

    With promo code its only $72 including shipping. Very sleek looking; hopefully the quality is as good as others say.

    I think it hits all of your requirements, except the side window (I didn't want that personally).
  10. Pretty much decided on the Lian Li Lancool PC-K9WX.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112337

    The deal is just too good to pass on, the features are there, and it looks pretty good.

    Thanks everyone for helping out!
  11. Good luck with your build :)
  12. Best answer selected by the_jiveman.
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