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Where are teh Full Towers

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March 25, 2003 9:28:25 AM

I'm shopping around for a new case and although there seem to be a lot of very nice midi towers, every full tower I see is about as basic as possible.

I've always preferred full towers for the additional room they give when tinkering but I want to move up from my old box to something a little more up-to-date.

Does anyone know of any full towers that have things such as :
side-panel fans
additional fan mount areas
front panel USB/firewire
motherboard tray

anyone??

More about : teh full towers

March 25, 2003 10:05:11 AM

A couple of places to get you started:

<A HREF="http://www.directron.com/fullall.html" target="_new">Full Towers - Directron.com</A>

<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?catalog=7&DEP..." target="_new">Full Towers - newegg.com</A>

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
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March 25, 2003 12:33:14 PM

thanks fo those. Had a brief look before. I was quite surprised how difficult it is proving to find a case with a slide out tray for the motherboard.

In case anyone else is after a similar sort of thing, the closest I have managed to find is a case by a company called "Kingwin".
Alluminium alloy case
4 Front USB Port
1 Front Firewire Port
1 Front Microphone Jack
1 Front Earphone Jack
5 x Ball Bearing Case Fans
Slide Out Mother Board Plate
plus a good number of bays.
Unfortunately it is only a midi tower so 500mm tall. If they stretched it to a ful tower it would be perfect. (also having trouble finding a dealer as I am in the UK)

wonder how noisy those fans are and whether they would foil my plans for a quiet PC...
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March 25, 2003 7:58:33 PM

Take a look at <A HREF="http://www.addtronics.com" target="_new">Addtronics</A>. I've got their 6896A case and its pretty nice. I've had this case for about 5 years and have beat the hell out if it and its still holding up strong. They do have the slide out MB trays as well. Not sure about front ports (mine doesn't have any, but I don't use them anyway). Their cases also have some pretty nice fan placement options.
March 25, 2003 8:25:51 PM

<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?description=1..." target="_new">Lian-Li PC-70</A>

Quite possibly one of the nicest full towers available...unfortunately, it's also one of the more expensive full towers available. The text doesn't mention it, but it does have a slide out mobo tray.

BTW, I happen to have the <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?description=1..." target="_new">KingWin KT-436</A> case and must say that it is a very sweet case! The five fans are nice and they are not noisy at all. The only thing is, the top fan is a rainbow tri-LED fan (red,green,&blue) which I though was very ugly, but I have since replaced it with a quad-LED blue fan. Very happy with it...it's basically just a heavily modded Lian-Li PC-60. You can't go wrong with this case (in my opinion).
March 26, 2003 1:13:49 AM

I've got a Lian-Li PC-76 and I can definitely attest to the KICKASSNESS (hmm) of these cases!
March 26, 2003 11:39:03 AM

Javic > I'd had a quick look at the 6896 but didnt think it had side panel fans. After your prompting I spotted the optional extra fans. hmm, worth considering. In an attempt to get front mounted USB and firewire I was thinking of getting a panel to go in a 3.5" bay but the 6896 only had the one (for FDD), however, I've found some 5.25" bay panels so maybe this case would do. One reservation is the number of drive bays though. How is it that this full tower has LESS bays than the kingwin KT-436 which is only a midi??

mister_e > thanks for the tip about the lian li's mobo tray. I'll look into their full towers again. Although price seems a little steep....may be worth the investment though

mister_E/javic > I agree that the kingwin looks like a sexy piece of kit. Not too bothered about aesthetics in the long run though as it will be sitting under a desk. It has all the features I'm after too but no matter how hard I try I cant convince myself to go for a midi tower over a full tower.

How awkward do you guys find working with a midi case as opposed to a full tower? Is it much more tricky? (to give you some idea of the number of components, I will have 2 HDD, 1 FDD, 2 CD-ROMs, (getting) DVD drive, graphics card and scsi controller

Could you guys give some idea of just how quiet the fans in the case are? Can you hear them? Only at present I am putting effort into getting a quiet PC. (I have a PSU from quietPC, globalwin TAK II 58 HSF, will shortly be getting a new quieter HDD and will be getting the new radeon 9700 Pro Ultimate http://www.sapphiretech.com/vga/9700proult.asp (with huge heatsink and no fan) the new graphics card is my reason for wanting a side panel fan to help with cooling)
March 26, 2003 11:51:47 AM

The lian li full towers were looking perfect and I was contemplating spending a wedge of cash until I realised...no side panel fan :o ( DOH!
March 26, 2003 1:08:25 PM

Regarding mid-tower vs. full-tower: I guess it's simply a matter of preference. Whatever you feel most confortable working with. I can say, however, that the Kingwin case is quite roomy and has plenty of room for the hardware you listed (you'd even have one 5.25 bay still open and many 3.5 bays open for future expansion).

Regarding the side case fan: If this is a priority for you, you're probably gonna have to cut a fan hole yourself regardless of which case you choose as neither of them have a side case fan. Hope you have a Dremel or hole-saw :smile: . Cutting the hole would be much easier on the Lian-Li case's side panel since it is simply a thin piece of aluminum and cuts rather easily. The Kingwin case, however, has an acrylic window on its' side panel and acrylic is trickier to cut since you have to take precautions to prevent the acrylic from melting from the heat cause by the cutting.

I would probably recommend the Lian-Li case to be honest with you. It sounds like it would be a better fit for you since you have stated you are more confortable with a full-tower and that you don't care too much about the windows and such offered by the Kingwin case.

PS - If you do decide yo go with the Kingwin case, don't worry about the fans, they're very quiet. Plus, you can easily remove some/all of them if you want, they're not welded to the case or anything :tongue: .

PPS - Oh yeah, if you decide you want a mid-tower and don't want the fans & windows of the Kingwin, just get a Lian-Li PC-60...it's the same layout without the afore mentioned pre-mods.
March 26, 2003 1:15:10 PM

You decided not to buy it just because it had to side panel fan? Come on. Put one in yourself.

War Eagle
March 26, 2003 1:27:45 PM

Thanks for all that good info mister_e. Your experience of the kingwin being roomy and the fans being quiet may well have tipped the balance for me.

The side panel fan is actually quite important. The graphics card I mentioned that I plan to get has a HUGE heatsink all around it but no fan so ideally I would like the side panel fan to be blowing straight at it.

And as you warn I was not having any luck at the kingwin website finding details of a case with a side panel fan but I was sure I had read a review of one somewhere. Sent an email off and struck gold. It turns out they did do a variant of the kt-436 without the clear panel and a side panel fan instead. According to kingwin they no longer produce that model....BUT

They did say my nearest dealer is based in belgium and once that dealer contacted me I checked their website http://www.elac.be/kingwin/priceform.htm
and it looks like they still have some old stock...including the side panel fan variant!!
I have sent an email off asking them to check they do have the side panel fan variant and if so what the price is.

If the reply says they can no longer supply the old variant then I may have to consider javic's first suggestion of the addtronics 6896 as it has the side panel fan and I think this will be quite important in my proposed setup. (and I've never modified a case before and dont trust myself not to make a complete balls-up wrecking an expensive Lian Li full tower trying to put in the fan, hmm...maybe my old man has a dremel somewhere...).

P.S I'll let you know if the belgium supplier is still stocking the side panel fan variant and its price in case anyone else is interested.
March 26, 2003 1:32:25 PM

Yes Auburn, guess I'm being a bit of a chicken but I would prefer a professionaly crafted whole made by the manufacturer than a rough attempt by myself...mind you I have a couple of very old cases stashed away. Maybe I'll lay my hands on some tools and have a practice on one of those...
March 26, 2003 1:59:44 PM

Sounds like great news about the Kingwin w/side fan! Hope everything works out for you :smile: .
March 26, 2003 2:20:57 PM

shadow_seeker > Yes I was quite interested in the chieftecs as they seemed to suit all my requirements but one that they didnt fulfill was the motherboard tray. I've always found it easier working with a tray in the case.

I figure it will be easier to cut a fan hole in a case with a tray than make a tray for a case with a fan. (easier still to find a large midi case that has both :o ) )
March 26, 2003 3:46:06 PM

As promised heres the info. Although there are still some cases with the side panel fan it is the end of the product line so they wont be getting more in. Just clearing old stock.

The price is 250€. Which is a little pricey but I'm sorely tempted. And theoretically the fact that it is a completely aluminium case instead of a large amount of perspex it should provide slightly better conductivity for cooling.
March 26, 2003 5:06:30 PM

One note, the Kingwin cases aren't completely aluminum (well, at least not the KT-436 cases), they're aluminum-magnesium alloy (sp?), which means they are a little stronger than pure aluminum, but should conduct heat better than steel. It's kind of like the best of both worlds :) .

BTW, my personal opinion is that aluminum cases don't make any real impact on the cooling of a case. It's really just hype. I mostly like aluminum because it's lighter and because it looks schweeeeeet :tongue: !!!
March 26, 2003 8:49:58 PM

Not that I'm suggesting <A HREF="http://www.ravaz.net/ravaz/computerpix/xpcbox_10_bay.ht..." target="_new">this</A> for you, but just an example that not all cases with alot of storage need be tall. This thing is a mid tower (only 17" high) yet holds 10 drives, and I've got 22 fans in it. Granted, this is far from the best case I've ever worked with, and I've got a Lian-Li PC-76 standing by to replace it, but its served it's purpose well. Best of all, I only paid $27 for this thing WITH a generic 450W PSU!

Right now, I have the following in this thing and it's jam packed.

Asus PC3 or something motherboard, dont' recall the model
PIII 600 MHz
512 PC100 RAM
Monster Fusion 16MB Vid Card
10/100 NIC
CD-ROM
Floppy
3Ware 7500-8 IDE RAID Controller
2 x WD800JB Drives in RAID1
6 x WD1200JB Drives in RAID5
Antec TruePower 55W Dual Fan PSU

22 Fans.

Believe it or not, this thing is actually relatively quiet considering what it has in it, and it stays pretty cool. BTW, this is a file server, not a performance machine.

I'm just waiting for the Canterwood and Prescott's to come out so I can rebuild my other machine and pass my dual PIII 850 to this server and rebuild it in the Lian-Li case.
March 26, 2003 10:43:10 PM

"not all cases with alot of storage need be tall"

Yes Javic I'm starting to come round to your way of thinking. I had assumed that midi towers were a bit fiddly but after mister_e saying he found them spacious and your (somewhat overloaded) setup description I am starting to believe that midi towers are spacious enough for my needs. Especially when the kingwin 436 had so many more bays than some of the full towers I've seen.

I am talking with the belgiun supplier now for details on how to purchase as I think I am going to go with the 436S.

Thanks for all the help in making this decision guys your responses have allayed any concerns I had about using midi cases. (now I just have to come up with 250€ :o O
March 27, 2003 5:38:54 AM

yeah but with a little imagination, you can turn a chieftec case into one with a removeable mobo tray... like i will be doing to mine next week... i'll post some pics :) 

<b>people are only idiots when they don't realize - when they do it just gets funnier, like a dog chasing its own tail, or like george bush's public address(es)</b>
March 27, 2003 7:53:24 AM

Now THAT I would be very interested to see. Maybe if you have enough time on your hands a few photos at different stages so we could see how you did it?
March 27, 2003 10:13:54 AM

Yes the Antecs are pretty nice. I was tempted by them but I really find it easier working in a chasis with a removeable motherboard tray and unfortunately *none* of the antec cases have a mobo tray (which frankly surprised me, I thought it was a basic piece of equipment). The tray is what swung me away from the antecs.

Other than that they probably would be ideal. However, the kingwin seems to offer everything I need and although they call it a midi its still fairly large. For example I think its only about 20mm shorter than the antec soho server. Yet somehow it manages to actually have more drive bays than the antec...wierd. Maybe the kingwins use somesort of tardis technology to make it bigger on the inside than on the outside :o )
March 27, 2003 6:18:12 PM

as long as i don't mess up to bad ;)  heh

<b>people are only idiots when they don't realize - when they do it just gets funnier, like a dog chasing its own tail, or like george bush's public address(es)</b>
!