2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Conclusion: An Extraordinary Number Of High-Scoring Cases Makes Picking The Winners Difficult

Well, there you have it: the longest case review ever completed so far at THG. If you count the six MicroATX cases that we reviewed in Part 1 of our case review plus the 23 here, you can see that we have been quite busy testing cases.

The bottom line is that case manufacturers pay far more attention to level of quality and design that goes into their cases; or perhaps case manufacturers are learning to "cherry pick" their best offerings for submission in our reviews.

While there were a number of cases that could have easily won an Editors' Choice award, we opted for an Editors' Choice in three different categories: high-end/enthusiast; mainstream/enthusiast; budget/system integrator. In each of these categories we awarded one Editors' Choice and one Honorable Mention. Although we mention some other models that deserve special recognition in the individual case reviews, readers should understand that the Editors' Choice cases selected by us were only based on the cases in this review.

The overall Editors' Choice for high-end/enthusiast case is awarded to Cooler Master for the Wave Master TAC-T01-EK . Clearly, Cooler Master deserves serious recognition for this elegant design and attractive feature set developed with the Wave Master. While we were impressed with the original revision of this case, it is not often that a company has the opportunity to receive a second chance at making a splash. Cooler Master is the current crème de la crème of high-end case manufacturers. The Wave Master is an excellent case and although many consumers may complain about the $200 US price tag, we believe it is reasonable considering all that this case has to offer. (It should be noted that we have seen this case available for less than its $200 suggested retail price!)

It is not a surprise that our Honorable Mention in the high-end/enthusiast area is awarded to Thermaltake for its VA-3000A Skull Series case. The VA-3000A does not offer the high-gloss, high-quality paint of the Wave Master, but Thermaltake has put together an excellent package that will be extremely attractive to many gamers.

In the mainstream/enthusiast category, the decision was even tighter. Many cases could have won this Editors' Choice award. After much consideration, we feel that the AOpen A600B represents a great effort and a very nice product with an exceptional number of features that give it the edge to earn the Editors' Choice award. Certainly, the fact that this case can be had for about $100 US retail is a factor that many users will enjoy. We were both surprised and impressed with the quality of the AOpen A6000B.

Summary
  1. Introduction
  2. Bezel, Bezel... Match My Case!
  3. Bezel, Bezel... Match My Case!, Continued
  4. The Review Process
  5. Antec: Performance One Series P160
  6. Antec: Performance One Series P160, Continued
  7. Antec: Performance One Series P160, Continued
  8. Antec Solution Series: SLK3700-BQE
  9. Antec Solution Series: SLK3700-BQE, Continued
  10. Antec Solution Series: SLK3700-BQE, Continued
  11. AOpen A600 Series: A600B
  12. AOpen A600 Series: A600B, Continued
  13. AOpen A600 Series: A600B, Continued
  14. Aspire: X-Alien
  15. Aspire: X-Alien, Continued
  16. Aspire: X-Alien, Continued
  17. Aspire: X-Dreamer II
  18. Aspire: X-Dreamer II, Continued
  19. Aspire: X-Dreamer II, Continued
  20. Athenatech: 400 Series
  21. Athenatech: 400 Series, Continued
  22. Athenatech: 400 Series, Continued
  23. Athenatech: 7800 Series
  24. Athenatech: 7800 Series, Continued
  25. Athenatech: 7800 Series, Continued
  26. BeanTech: BT85
  27. BeanTech: BT85, Continued
  28. BeanTech: BT85, Continued
  29. BeanTech Igloo Series: IGLOO 12
  30. BeanTech Igloo Series: IGLOO 12, Continued
  31. BeanTech Igloo Series: IGLOO 12, Continued
  32. Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021
  33. Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021, Continued
  34. Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021, Continued
  35. Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021, Continued
  36. Cooler Master: ATC-201B-BXT
  37. Cooler Master: ATC-201B-BXT, Continued
  38. Cooler Master: ATC-201B-BXT, Continued
  39. Cooler Master: ATC-201B-BXT, Continued
  40. Cooler Master Wave Master: TAC-T01-EK
  41. Cooler Master Wave Master: TAC-T01-EK, Continued
  42. Cooler Master Wave Master: TAC-T01-EK, Continued
  43. Cooler Master Wave Master: TAC-T01-EK, Continued
  44. Enermax CS-5171LBFS-B
  45. Enermax CS-5171LBFS-B, Continued
  46. Enermax CS-5171LBFS-B, Continued
  47. Fong Kai FK-333ATX
  48. Fong Kai FK-333ATX, Continued
  49. Fong Kai FK-333ATX, Continued
  50. Inwin IW-S564G-ATX
  51. Inwin IW-S564G-ATX, Continued
  52. Inwin IW-S564G-ATX, Continued
  53. Inwin X Series IW-X710
  54. Inwin X Series IW-X710, Continued
  55. Inwin X Series IW-X710, Continued
  56. Jeantech Butterfly Series 2011
  57. Jeantech Butterfly Series 2011, Continued
  58. Jeantech Butterfly Series 2011, Continued
  59. Jeantech Butterfly Series JN424SB
  60. Jeantech Butterfly Series JN424SB, Continued
  61. Jeantech Butterfly Series JN424SB, Continued
  62. Lian Li PC-6077
  63. Lian Li PC-6077, Continued
  64. Lian Li PC-6077, Continued
  65. SilverStone Technology Lascala Series / SST-LC01
  66. SilverStone Technology Lascala Series / SST-LC01, Continued
  67. SilverStone Technology Lascala Series / SST-LC01, Continued
  68. SilverStone Technology Lascala Series / SST-LC01, Continued
  69. Superpower Superb Series KC2301B
  70. Superpower Superb Series KC2301B, Continued
  71. Superpower Superb Series KC2301B, Continued
  72. Thermaltake Xaser III Lanfire Series: VM2000AD
  73. Thermaltake Xaser III Lanfire Series: VM2000AD, Continued
  74. Thermaltake Xaser III Lanfire Series: VM2000AD, Continued
  75. Thermaltake Xaser III VM3000A: Skull Series
  76. Thermaltake Xaser III VM3000A: Skull Series, Continued
  77. Thermaltake Xaser III VM3000A: Skull Series, Continued
  78. Conclusion: An Extraordinary Number Of High-Scoring Cases Makes Picking The Winners Difficult
  79. Conclusion, Continued
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