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Need help picking case (I've done a lot of research on my own)

Last response: in Components
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August 1, 2012 3:25:33 PM

I'm for sure not spending more than $100, I'm hoping to keep my budget around the $50 mark, but I've noticed there's some pretty sweet looking cases closer to that $100 mark. I'm hoping for pretty good cable management, but it's not a necessity (I mean most cases at least have SOME options). LED fans are very enticing, and I would REALLY like a case with them. I would PREFER 4 USB ports on the case, but that's also not a necessity. Drive bays really don't matter much, since I only have, and pretty much will only ever use, my 1TB HDD and my 64GB SSD, and then of course an optical drive. And finally, I would like a window, either acrylic, or mesh, but that's also not a necessity but it almost is lol.

ALSO MUST BE BOTTOM-MOUNTING FOR PSU!


I've already looked lots of reviews and I'm just kind of trying to make the final decision. I'll list the cases I'm looking at, their price, link, and my personal pros/cons.
The cases I'm looking at:

ZALMAN Z9 PLUS (I'm almost positive this is the case I want to go with)
Price: $49.99
Link: http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=57910&vpn=Z9%20Plus&ma...
Pros
-LOTS of fans, 3 of which are LEDs!
-Side window
-4 USB ports
-LED temperature gauge and fan control
-Great cable management
-Looks pretty cool
-Rubber grommets for HDD to reduce vibration and allow for easy installation (slide into place)

Cons
-I've never actually heard of the company before, but they're certainly reputable (in a good way).
-No Fan filter for PSU


THERMALTAKE COMMANDER
Price: $55.47
Link: http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=63282&vpn=VN400A1W2N&m...
Pros
-Side Window
-Looks pretty awesome
-USB 3.0 port
-PSU fan filter

Cons
-Only ONE fan, but it IS LED
-Only 2 USB Ports, even though one is 3.0
-Not very good cable management behind mobo tray


COOLERMASTER HAF 912
Price: $59.98
Link: http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=55583&vpn=RC-912-KKN1&...
Pros
-Rugged look
-Grill on side for fan, but I'd just keep it as a small grill window
-Dust filters
-Good cable management
-The 2 120mm fans are probably sufficient for cooling (I've never really had an issue with heat in my computer anyway, because I don't game for REALLY long sessions)
-fan filter for PSU

Cons
-Only 2 USB ports
-No LED fans
-No TRUE side window


ANTEC 600 V1
Price: $50, may get it a little cheaper
Link: N/A, buying off Kijiji
Pros
-FOUR fans! Some with LEDs
-Switches for the LEDs on the fans, so you can turn them off
-Really cool look
-Antec is a very trusted brand in the case/PSU industry
-Window
-3 USB ports

Cons
-Not really tooless design (I think all the other cases are, so there was no need to mention that as a pro for them all)
-Buying second hand, but it's in good condition


NOW, MOVING UP TO A LITTLE PRICIER, AND I NEED TO KNOW IF IT'S WORTH IT:

NZXT LEXA S
Price: $89.99
Link: http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=43210&vpn=LEXA%20S&man...
Pros
-VERY sleek look
-Big side window
-LED fans
-Fan filters
-Excellent cable management
-Fan controller
-Dust filter for PSU

Cons
-Only 2 USB ports
-Price

MSI INTERCEPTOR SERIES RAVAGER
Price: $89.99
Link: http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=70593&vpn=IN-623&manuf...
Pros
-Cool decal on the side
-4 USB ports (2 of which are 3.0!)
-Awesome blue/black interior
-Front LED fan, 2 included
-PSU fan filter
-REALLY nice and simple, 2.5"/3.5" sleds

Cons
-Price


I have also looked at the Zalman Z11/Z11 Plus, but I think if I go with a Zalman, it'll be the Z9 Plus, and as I indicated, it's very appealing right now, unless you guys can sway me to buy something else from the above list.
August 1, 2012 5:11:08 PM

Zalman is well known for heat sink coolers. Antec 900 I have seen for around $60 on sale from Newegg.
a b ) Power supply
August 1, 2012 5:55:46 PM

Cooler Master Storm Enforcer, check it
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August 1, 2012 6:55:17 PM

@Price th, are you talking about Newegg.com? Because in Canada, I've NEVER seen the 900 that cheap.

Also, ilysaml, I did look at that case, but idk the curved look at the front just doesn't appeal to me.
August 1, 2012 7:33:24 PM

Ya I know, it's just that I would like something a LITTLE more fancier than the standard rectangular design. Cooling really hasn't been an issue with me and computers and I've never really run into issues where I can't fit everything, sometimes it's more work, but I don't mind spend a little extra time for things if I save money :) 

All-in-all, I'd appreciate it if you guys would help me pick out of the cases I have selected, I mean, after all, I selected them for a reason, and as I mentioned I already looked at both the cases you guys have recommended so far, and there's a reason why they're not on the list.
a c 147 ) Power supply
August 1, 2012 7:48:21 PM

paul7799 said:
Ya I know, it's just that I would like something a LITTLE more fancier than the standard rectangular design. Cooling really hasn't been an issue with me and computers and I've never really run into issues where I can't fit everything, sometimes it's more work, but I don't mind spend a little extra time for things if I save money :) 

All-in-all, I'd appreciate it if you guys would help me pick out of the cases I have selected, I mean, after all, I selected them for a reason, and as I mentioned I already looked at both the cases you guys have recommended so far, and there's a reason why they're not on the list.


Sorry, I think a case is a selection only YOU can make.
YOU have the means to evaluate value, and YOU know what you like.

My suggestion is to ignore the price tag, and buy the case you lust after. You will be looking at it for a long time.
Bust your budget if you need to.
a b ) Power supply
August 1, 2012 7:49:58 PM

Actually the Storm Enforcer's got pretty poor cooling.Especially when compared to some of the cases above.

If you want a good, cheap case go for the Zalman Z11 Plus.It's a trully amazing deal.

I also suggest you take a look at this Bitfenix case.It's currently 30$ off at ncix and its one of the most stylish cases ive ever seen.It just doesnt have any real cons.At that price it really is the case i'd get.
http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=65970&vpn=BFC-RDR-300-...

The Antec 300 Illusion is basicly an Antec 300 with additional fans.It's still a pretty good case but not the best in its class really.It did get some pretty good reviews but so did the Zalman.
August 1, 2012 8:09:08 PM

If you like the Zalman, go for it. It looks like a pretty nice case, and as long as it has a fan on the front, side, back, and top you cant go that wrong. Your computer case is what everyone is gonna see especially you. So you might as well get something your gonna like looking at for the next few years.
August 1, 2012 9:36:56 PM

Alright thanks for the input guys, I'm going with my first choice and the one that I keep coming back to is the Zalman Z9 Plus. Thanks
August 1, 2012 9:48:12 PM

I wouldnt do the Z9. the HAF 912 does better for wire tucks and is a wider case. You can put a 200mm in front and on top of case for a quitier system. I just built one for my cousin. I been wanting to get my hands on one of those cases and it was just my luck he picked that one. I put a nice window on side and it just looks sick.
!