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Best Of The Best, Part 1: Who Makes The Most Elite PC Case?

Which ATX tower is the most elite? We invited more than two dozen brands to compete. Today, Azza, In Win, Rosewill, and SilverStone (the first four to respond), face off in a battle to out-do each other in price, features, performance, and pizzazz.

Best Of The Best, Part 1: Who Makes The Most Elite PC Case? : Read more
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  1. Does elite mean most unattainable purchase prices?
  2. blackmagnum said:
    Does elite mean most unattainable purchase prices?
    We would have been happy if In Win could deliver that case for under $300. Unfortunately, I think the company budgets $300 of its $800 MSRP just for replacement glass and glass shipping.
  3. Oh please! What rubbish is this?!?! One can't abuse the word "elite" when talking about a case! It depends on the individual and each individual's needs and, perhaps most importantly, aesthetic taste!

    **go to heat and noise page and then the last page from the first page**
    I really don't have the inclination to read each - and - every - page in this article based on a piece of rubbish idea. Really Tom's, what on earth possessed you to do thi...**sees the picture of the In Win Tou**

    Hmmm...

    **reads to the In Win Tou pages**

    Wow. Ok, that case is quite the looker. Gee, that construction kinda justifies the stratospheric pricing. What a beautiful case! With some nice watercooling this case will be quiet AND cool AND cool-looking! I agree with you that this is the most elite, erm, showboat-iest case of these four!

    Thanks for making your readers aware of products that they would've otherwise missed Tom's! :-)
  4. Did Rosewill copy from CM 690 II Advance or the other way around?
  5. Will wait for something from NZXT might miss something..
  6. AndrewJacksonZA said:
    Oh please! What rubbish is this?!?! One can't abuse the word "elite" when talking about a case! It depends on the individual and each individual's needs and, perhaps most importantly, aesthetic taste!

    **go to heat and noise page and then the last page from the first page**
    I really don't have the inclination to read each - and - every - page in this article based on a piece of rubbish idea. Really Tom's, what on earth possessed you to do thi...**sees the picture of the In Win Tou**

    Hmmm...

    **reads to the In Win Tou pages**

    Wow. Ok, that case is quite the looker. Gee, that construction kinda justifies the stratospheric pricing. What a beautiful case! With some nice watercooling this case will be quiet AND cool AND cool-looking! I agree with you that this is the most elite, erm, showboat-iest case of these four!

    Thanks for making your readers aware of products that they would've otherwise missed Tom's! :-)
    The article was actually conceived as a showcase for two different cases, one of which didn't show up and the other arrived late enough to be reserved for Part 2 of this 2-part series :)
    Anonymous said:
    Did Rosewill copy from CM 690 II Advance or the other way around?
    Rosewill buys its cases...I'm not even certain it has a mechanical designer. Most other case brands design a case based on an existing case, so there's always the possibility of two different products coming from the same supplier and sharing some stampings.
  7. Sees cases. (Yeah, not to bad) Sees pricing. Sees Win Tou pricing. Picks jaw up off ground.
  8. Dear lord that In Win thing is an abominable turd. The only case here with any pedigree is the Silverstone, and that's easily the ugliest object they've produced. Please, NZXT and Corsair, put us out of our misery.
  9. Since we are talking for the best of the best,... Where is the Silverstone's TJ11?
  10. Memnarchon said:
    Since we are talking for the best of the best,... Where is the Silverstone's TJ11?
    Great question, since they sent a cheaper model! It was probably neglected due to age.
  11. The most elite is one which you cant find commercially available.

    http://www.forbes.com/pictures/fkim45flf/1-dark-blade-2/

    20 of the most elite
  12. Since many are going to water cooling that needs to be addressed in the build possibilities of these cases and not just the CLC capabilities they all can handle, but complete kits of today as well.

    What size radiators can be fit into these cases?

    With all due respect, there's a whole lot more regarding a case review, than has been covered.
  13. I would argue the Phanteks Enthoo Primo needs a top spot. Darn good case!
  14. While we're throwing out suggestions, I vote for the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 and Deep Silence 6 cases: Understated elegance with cool and very quiet performance.

    However, they have almost zero bling, so I guess they might not fit this series. For me though, they're the cases I want to own right now. I don't do much showing off of my computers.
  15. I like how the In Win case looks, but I could never forgive myself for spending that much money on a case. Now a couple of video cards?... Heck yeah! But a case? No.

    The NZXT Phantom 630 (aside from some of the angles), in my opinion, is the most practical case I've had the pleasure of working with to this point. The innards and internal case design just make sense.

    'Elite' definitely doesn't mean practical.
  16. It seems to me all these case have an inefficient design for airflow. They need to be designed with open air flow from the front to the back. So that you get a solid wall of air moving across. Which is why I modded a PowerMac G5 case for ATX components.
  17. crash nice work mate ... as always.

    A bit of advice ... don't feed the trolls !!

    Don't bother responding to the idiots with the stupid questions, and if they follow up with more tripe then let the mods clean up for you.

    You will get all worked up and then we have to come around with a bottle of Jacks and sedate you ...

    :)
  18. Reynod said:
    crash nice work mate ... as always.

    A bit of advice ... don't feed the trolls !!

    Don't bother responding to the idiots with the stupid questions, and if they follow up with more tripe then let the mods clean up for you.

    You will get all worked up and then we have to come around with a bottle of Jacks and sedate you ...


    :)
    So it's a go then? :p

    I used to mine in the Elitist Jerks pool, until I figured out that I was too good for them...
  19. :)

    I was scratching my head over what to call the front fan on the Win case as well ... almost like it was an afterthought.

    Can't wait to see part II.

    Back in the day the V1000 ... V6000 Thermaltake cases were pretty good ... huge great honking things. The 1000's were steel ... mine could have taken a 7.62 round and kept going. Reminded me of my Combi Van ... had fans everywhere. Heavy. I took to it with a bosche nibbler and improved it no end in terms of airflow.
  20. Crashman, Did you send any invitations to CaseLabs or Mountain Mods as these are the Best of the Best cases money can buy?

    I was wondering if they refused to participate?
  21. Quote:
    It seems to me all these case have an inefficient design for airflow. They need to be designed with open air flow from the front to the back. So that you get a solid wall of air moving across. Which is why I modded a PowerMac G5 case for ATX components.
    I have a question about that powermac g5, how hard was it to mod it for atx. I have a old one, and have most of the parts to create a working build. (other then mobo and graphics card) and wanted to make myself a server/backup build. Thanks,
    James
  22. Enthoo primo easily top 3
  23. 4Ryan6 said:
    Crashman, Did you send any invitations to CaseLabs or Mountain Mods as these are the Best of the Best cases money can buy?

    I was wondering if they refused to participate?
    Ah crap, they're not on my list. Do you know these any of these guys or do I need to make contact the long way?
  24. How many parts will there be ? Not impressed by anything so far.

    Agree with previous posters who said the Enthoo Primo (which took a "case of the year" award home from CES, should be on the list..... I'd add the Luxe version also. I'd also echo the request to addresses possible radiator mount locations (that is how many and of what thickness / length) and a line in the table for any otherwise uncategorized features of note. For example ..... PSU mounting and shrouds, locations and water cooling specific items like reservoir and pump mounts.
  25. Crashman said:
    4Ryan6 said:
    Crashman, Did you send any invitations to CaseLabs or Mountain Mods as these are the Best of the Best cases money can buy?

    I was wondering if they refused to participate?
    Ah crap, they're not on my list. Do you know these any of these guys or do I need to make contact the long way?



    As far as direct access No, you'll probably end up going through the front door, you might want to add a link to what you've already done so they can see what your intentions are.

    Tom's is a highly respected site so they just might jump on board, but you need to keep in mind their cases were basically water cooling oriented with major room inside for those type cooling setups.

    They both have some that work well for air cooling but the big boys in their lineup were designed for water cooling.
  26. I am not sure I would call the In Win production case due to its rarity. I was only able to find one for $1000, that price alone puts it out of the competition. I would like to see them compare the "Production Cases" to "Custom Cases" like CaseLabs. Personally I have owned a Silverstone Raven, Corsair 650D, NZXT Phantom (which was terrible POS), and CaseLabs Merlin SM8. Going by quality, value, and price CaseLabs is by far the best option. The powder coating in super rugged, two years and it still looks brand new. The size is impressive but it has the best cable management, so easy to build with and the quality is so great I will never need to buy another case in my lifetime. But it did cost $400
  27. Silverstone needs to update their FT02 case to modern standards (USB3.0, and I think it only has 7 PCIe slots?), and it will wreck this competition
  28. 4Ryan6 said:
    Crashman, Did you send any invitations to CaseLabs or Mountain Mods as these are the Best of the Best cases money can buy?

    I was wondering if they refused to participate?


    I agree they make great cases, I have an MM case and pedestal, but I wouldn't say they are the best of the best. Depends on what you want. If you want to drop $300+++ on a fully custom solution then both are great.

    I liked doing the full water build on my MM Ascension and pedestal and had a great time. I now am working a water build on the inWin Tou and also loving it (hard acrylic build). I love inWin cases for their originality and oddball looks (I built my son's case out of the H frame case - the blue one - ok now I think about it I am a bit of a inWin case fanboy :)).

    The obvious problem with deciding an elite case is it is all subjective and very much requires you to think X factor is what makes a case elite and then have everyone agree. MM/CL cases are elite due to the fact you can customize almost every facet of the build - awesome sauce. But if you need a more budget-oriented case, say $100ish, then those aren't elite for you. Water? Air? Sound? Visuals? etc. What do you need out of the case?

    I love the mental exercise of doing this kind of round up, but I definitely wouldn't want to be the one making the final decisions - too many choice for elite case in my opinion (I can think of 6-8 easy that are all amazing in their own way).

    Great job. I am really looking forward to more. Thanks!
  29. well, i think they need to adjust their definition of elite, or atleast spell it out a bit better... maybe... "feature rich, moderate performance, head turning, super expensive case"?

    well i guess that's why they shortened it to "elite"... that is a mouthful. That said, there are dozens of cases out there i would probably take over those first 4... shame silverstone felt the need to trot out a fortress case... those have always been a bit bulky and ugly. They have much better cases that would have done well in this showcase.
  30. Ryan those Mountain Mods cases look great, not to decide if I want to spend 250.0 plus on a tower.
  31. Crashman said:
    4Ryan6 said:
    Crashman, Did you send any invitations to CaseLabs or Mountain Mods as these are the Best of the Best cases money can buy?

    I was wondering if they refused to participate?
    Ah crap, they're not on my list. Do you know these any of these guys or do I need to make contact the long way?



    Never owned a CL case although I have several MM cases (they are very similar in my opinion). It will be interesting what both companies would ship to you since they both allow customers to customize almost every facet of most of their cases. Hope you get some in - both companies make amazing cases. Yes I would say elite for their purpose (water cooling), but costs are pretty high and may be out of reach for most people.
  32. On a side note is it just me or does everyone get those annoying popup adds on EVERY pic throughout the article? Man what a PITA to have to "X" those to see all the pretty pictures!
  33. For elite cases, I guess age might keep the older Antec P18x cases out, but some of them were amazing. A year or so ago one was used in the top-dollar SBM build, and IMHO it was the cleanest, nicest looking, most professional PC you guys have ever featured.
  34. CaseLabs without a doubt. Amazing build quality, attention to detail and lots of options for custom configurations. They have excellent customer service and are made in the US for those that find that important. I got an M8 about two years ago and it make cases from the likes of NZXT and Corsair look like comparative junk. (I think both those companies have some excellent designs, especially for the price, and am referring to the quality of materials used and overall fit and finish.) I think the cases coming from In-Win also qualify as elite; nice use of quality materials especially glass. But there always seems to be at least one or two design concessions involving cooling options with their cases. Lian Li and Silverstone, both known for quality aluminum, don't come close to the quality of the CaseLabs product. Mountain Mods are somewhat similar to some CaseLabs cases in respect to customization. They have been around much longer and the construction techniques used are somewhat coarser. Main issue with CaseLabs for most is of course price. Their cheapest case for an ITX setup start at around $190. ATX start at around $300. My M8 with optional bits was around $450.
  35. thee_prisoner said:
    Ryan those Mountain Mods cases look great, not to decide if I want to spend 250.0 plus on a tower.


    What I have my eyes on is going to cost more than that, as my goal is to get my entire cooling and computer setup, which presently occupies two cases, into one large case.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/282844-29-peltier-water-cooling
  36. I think Silverstone's own Raven 3 is still superior to their Fortress cases ( though, yes, the Fortress line does look a little snazzier. ) Tons of space, very quiet, and superb cooling for ~$150.


    Bondfc11 said:
    On a side note is it just me or does everyone get those annoying popup adds on EVERY pic throughout the article? Man what a PITA to have to "X" those to see all the pretty pictures!

    Yeah, I'm seeing that too. Yes, I find it annoying as well.
  37. I use Firefox with AdBlock+ and NoScript. I don't get the ads.
  38. In Win are making beautiful cases, just too bad they perform so bad and are limited in flexibility. The In Win 904 is my favorite, but that think cannot hold High GPU and the heat would just be unbearable.
  39. Personally i found the criteria a bit well snobish. Personally in the future or maybe it could be a bi-annual thing, i would like to see a list of the biggest and baddest cases in terms of expansion space, cooling solutions and noise. When i build a rig for home use i don't care how it looks or how big and heavy it is, What i care about is raw performance and options and lastly price.
  40. I have the Black Hawk Ultra, its a rock solid case with loads of room for oversized motherboards. Also offers two places to mount a PSU
  41. I happen to love my Cooler Master Cosmos II.
  42. I'll take my 750D over these cases any day of the week.
  43. SR-71 Blackbird said:
    I'll take my 750D over these cases any day of the week.


    AMEN!
  44. If the user's case budget doesn't allow the Enthoo Primo, my next recommendation is the 750D .... over on OCN, the two longest case threads of 2013 are the Enthoo Primo and 750D .... I think we'll see the 750D's price drop a little too once the Enthoo Luxe is released..... after the primo came out, the 900D was dropped making both Enthoo and 900D soon-to-be owners happy.
  45. Datcu Alexandru said:
    Personally i found the criteria a bit well snobish. Personally in the future or maybe it could be a bi-annual thing, i would like to see a list of the biggest and baddest cases in terms of expansion space, cooling solutions and noise. When i build a rig for home use i don't care how it looks or how big and heavy it is, What i care about is raw performance and options and lastly price.
    Perceptions of snobishess concerning cases of this price is the reason we don't get to see them much at Tom's Hardware. I believe the last "most exclusive production cases" article was the one with the Luxor Pyramid in 2007!

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/unique-atx-cases-compared,1561.html
  46. don't really understand how these cases can be considered "elite" - the leader of the pack.......
  47. I love the Blackhawk-Ultra! I almost bought it, until I realized how big it is. I instead got the more modestly sized, yet still beastly Cooler Master HAF XM.

    I think that In Win Tou is just hideous looking!

    No HAF X? Not even any Cooler Master case? Come on! ;)
  48. I've had positive experiences with ever Rosewill case I've used. I wouldn't want a full tower, but the Blackhawk (non-Ultra) with it's top SATA dock is on my short list if I were to need an ATX case.
  49. would take the Blackhawk over any of them. that FT04 may be cool as an exhibition piece but i dont want that thing sitting on my desk.
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