ABS Canyon 595
Average Online Price: $400 (yes, really)
This tall, handsome enclosure has its share of unique features, but whether they are enough to justify its price (which, to be clear, doesn't include a power supply) is questionable at best.
The layout itself is interesting. The top of the case contains two 5.25" optical bays and one 3.5" bay for a floppy drive, a card reader, or whatever. The interesting thing about these bays is that they face your choice of the left or right side of the large, aluminum, 17" tall tower. There's no option for front-facing external bays. This top area of the case, where the power supply is also mounted, is considered one of three "heat zones," the others being the central area where the motherboard and other parts go, and the bottom in which up to four hard drives are mounted.
The rear of the case accommodates up to eight expansion slots. Each of the three heat zones contains its own set of fans: the top, of course, contains the power supply fan, the central zone has three 120mm fans (two in front and one in rear), and the bottom has two 60mm fans in the rear. One more front-mounted 120mm fan is split between the central and bottom heat zone.
There is plenty of room for big, long graphics cards in the central area since the hard drive bays are on the bottom. There's also a vertical arm with slots to help support big, heavy graphics cards.
Front ports are actually on the top-front of the case, beneath a narrow cover, and these include four USB ports, a FireWire port, an eSATA port, and standard front-audio jacks.
Interestingly, the power supply is mountable through the rear of the case, after you've removed a bezel that in turn holds it in place. There's plenty of room for large power supplies.
Building inside this case was a pleasure. There's plenty of finger room and all of the cables were able to reach their destinations. This is helped by the inclusion of two extra-long SATA cables. It was a stretch, though, to get PSU cables from the top of the case down to the hard drives. The use of thumb screws in virtually every capacity makes the case tool-free.