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Cases for a gaming PC

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February 25, 2013 2:26:58 AM

Hello people of toms hardware. I have been recently putting together a checklist for a gaming pc and have come down to everything I need other than a case for it all. I have on here that is in budget but also has a nice finish and looks pretty sweet. http://www.walmart.com/ip/16318535?wmlspartner=wlpa&adi... . Do cases really matter for this sort of thing? I will be running an i5 3570k (might switch to an i7 3770k). Any advice? its my first time doing this sort of thing, so throw anything you want at me. Thanks!

More about : cases gaming

a b ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
February 25, 2013 2:53:59 AM

A lot of choosing a case is aesthetics. Personally I think that case is pretty nasty looking, but it's not me who has to live with it.
Cases do matter, and there are a lot of things to consider.

- Build quality - You are unlikely to be able to tell this from a picture but reviews will give you an idea. Lower quality materials or extensive use of plastics can result in a case that is creaky or awkward to work with.
- Airflow - Is it supplied with quality fans, how is the airflow set up, is it well vented. Is airflow even important to you?
- Clearances - Cases will have a limit to the length of graphics card, height of CPU cooler and sometimes the length of PSU they support. If you plan on using larger versions of any of these components, it's worth checking.
- Interface support - Most motherboards now have a USB3.0 internal header, this will support front USB3.0. Depending on your preferences, a large number of front USB might be preferable.
- Size - Cases vary a lot in size, if you have limited space this is worth checking out.
- Motherboard support - Most cases support all motherboards below their maximum size, so a case supporting standard ATX boards will usually support mATX and ITX (as they use the same standoffs)

All of that is significant, but in reality a lot of mainstream mid-tower cases will answer a lot of these questions for you by providing support for pretty much everything. I don't know anything about the case you linked, but in general I'm familiar with Raidmax budget cases. A range that seems superficially similar but is usually well reviewed is the Coolermaster HAF range (912/922)
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February 25, 2013 2:58:59 AM

Rammy said:
A lot of choosing a case is aesthetics. Personally I think that case is pretty nasty looking, but it's not me who has to live with it.
Cases do matter, and there are a lot of things to consider.

- Build quality - You are unlikely to be able to tell this from a picture but reviews will give you an idea. Lower quality materials or extensive use of plastics can result in a case that is creaky or awkward to work with.
- Airflow - Is it supplied with quality fans, how is the airflow set up, is it well vented. Is airflow even important to you?
- Clearances - Cases will have a limit to the length of graphics card, height of CPU cooler and sometimes the length of PSU they support. If you plan on using larger versions of any of these components, it's worth checking.
- Interface support - Most motherboards now have a USB3.0 internal header, this will support front USB3.0. Depending on your preferences, a large number of front USB might be preferable.
- Size - Cases vary a lot in size, if you have limited space this is worth checking out.
- Motherboard support - Most cases support all motherboards below their maximum size, so a case supporting standard ATX boards will usually support mATX and ITX (as they use the same standoffs)

All of that is significant, but in reality a lot of mainstream mid-tower cases will answer a lot of these questions for you by providing support for pretty much everything. I don't know anything about the case you linked, but in general I'm familiar with Raidmax budget cases. A range that seems superficially similar but is usually well reviewed is the Coolermaster HAF range (912/922)


Thanks for the quick response. Are there any cases which you would recommend for a budget? Its not really an issue however it would be nice to save some money. I'm not going with water cooling so airflow is important. also can you recommend some cases in the 0-100$ range?
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a b ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
February 25, 2013 3:15:55 AM

A lot of it is really subjective (aesthetics). Personally I don't think I'd do a new build without front USB3.0, and that instantly rules out a lot of budget options. (The Raidmax has it, but only a single port)

I'd have a look at Coolermaster for sure. They have a lot of different cases and most of them are really well reviewed.
I used an Antec Three Hundred Two in a budget build last year for a friend, great case if a bit basic in looks/features. Solid though.
Bitfenix Shinobi is a nice mid range case too. Pretty much anything by Fractal Design, though they tend to be very expensive. NZXT cases are also well received though the aesthetics tend to be love or hate.

One thing I didn't mention in the first reply was that any case with a load of fans(and vents) will be an absolute dust magnet. Some cases will give you a removable dust filter for the PSU, others won't provide any. Most of the ones I've mentioned do pretty well in this regard.
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February 25, 2013 3:21:25 AM

Best answer selected by irishooligan.
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