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Best budget case

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July 12, 2012 12:22:14 AM

I'm looking for the best case for my new build.
My priorities are good cooling/airflow, fans included, bottom mounted PSU with filter for intake, filters for intake fans, I don't really care how loud it is.

My build is:
i5 3570k
Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H
Hyper 212+
Still buying:
750w PSU for future SLI/Crossfire
6870 Radeon
2 x 4GB Ram
500 GB HDD

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on which one is the best and why and any personal experience. Thanks.

Here are the main ones I'm considering with pros and cons, and I'm wondering which best match up with my goals.
Rosewill Challenger U3 - $51 @ Newegg
+3 fans and filters for front intake and PSU intake
+USB 3.0
+Dust filter on both PSU (easy to remove) and Front,
+Water cooler holes preinstalled, but on top of rear panel
+Fits GPUs up to 11 3/8"
-Thinner steel
18.5D" x 7.48W" x 17.08H"
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout - $45 @ NCIX
+1 front, rear, top fan
+Handle
+Dust filter on bottom PSU, but on inside of case
+Huge front air filter
-Fit GPUs up to 10.5"
-USB 2.0
-No water cooler grommets
(D)19.2 x (W)8.6 x (H)19.5 inch
zalman Z9 / Z9+ - $40 @ NCIX
+Filter on front and bottom (Not the PSU, separate space for fan)
+4 fans, top, front, side, rear (Plus, only 2 fans in the regular one)
+2 Channel fan control and temperature readout (not on regular one)
+Water cooler holes preinstalled
-Vent for PSU w/o filter, not even mesh, just slotted vent
-Fits GPUs up to 11.4"
-USB 2.0
19.84D" x 8.15W" x 18.27H"
Cooler Master HAF 912 - $55 @ Best Buy/NCIX
+Front and Rear fans
+PSU and Front filters
+Top Vent space for fan
+Water cooler holes preinstalled
+Removable bay for longer GPUs, (11.5" and longer)
-Bottom filter not easily removable, only real negative
-USB 2.0
19.50D" x 9.10W" x 18.90H"

Here are some others I've thought about:
Rosewill Challenger - $50 @ Newegg
3 fans and filters for front intake and PSU intake
Antec One Illusion - $58 @ Newegg
4 fans, front, side, rear, top
Filter on PSU, No filter on front

bit fenix outlaw - $47+shipping
shinobi - only 1 fan
NZXT Source 210 - $48 @ Newegg
No PSU dust filter
Only 1 fan
Antec 300 $55 @ Amazon
No bottom intake for the PSU
Front fan filter
No intake fans
1 Top and 1 Rear fan
NZXT Gamma $46
Front and PSU filters
1 rear fan

More about : budget case

July 12, 2012 12:35:21 AM

I'm also wondering if the case fans will be able to be connected and controlled by the motherboard.
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July 12, 2012 2:44:34 AM

it seems your motherboard has 4 fan headers but i am unsure if they are 4 pin or 3 pin

paperdoc explains it pretty well in this post http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/330959-28-fans-3pin-c...

your case fans on all of those cases will be 3 pin fans.

you could also look at the antec one with the blue fans with no from filter but bottom mount psu and psu filter

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

or the reg one with one less fan and no blue leds

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

hope that helps a little
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July 12, 2012 3:22:58 AM

Thanks for that thread, very informative.

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

That's my motherboard and if you look at the images it seems like the fan connectors are four pin (and there are four fan ports), so based on the info in that thread the motherboard BIOS would need to recognize the 3 pin fans and be able to adapt accordingly to adjust fan speed based on temperature.
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July 12, 2012 3:27:36 AM

askarig said:
it seems your motherboard has 4 fan headers but i am unsure if they are 4 pin or 3 pin

paperdoc explains it pretty well in this post http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/330959-28-fans-3pin-c...

your case fans on all of those cases will be 3 pin fans.

you could also look at the antec one with the blue fans with no from filter but bottom mount psu and psu filter

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

or the reg one with one less fan and no blue leds

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

hope that helps a little


sorry if this is a dumb question, but how can you tell how many pins the case fans have?
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July 12, 2012 4:22:21 AM

its not a dumb question most cheap case fans will be 3pin if you want supreme control and the motherboard does have 4 pin you could look into getting some 4 pin fans.

but since you dont care how loud the case is you will be ok with using 3 pin fans on 4 pin headers
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July 12, 2012 12:02:42 PM



There seems like there are some many options below $60, that I can't justify spending $80+ on a case. What extras am I getting for that $20?
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