Roundup: Four Gaming Cases Under $150

Inside The Storm Sniper

Though the Sniper stands at a full-tower 21.75” height, it’s built on a 19” mid-tower chassis. Users who argue for the superior internal capacity of full towers certainly can’t use this bulked-up mid-tower as an example, even though it is rather spacious by mid-tower standards. With 13.38” between the expansion slots and drive cages, there’s even room for a 13”-wide extended ATX motherboard.

A hole behind the CPU area allows cooler plates to be installed and removed easily. Other holes allow cable ingress and egress from behind the motherboard panel.

With 1.75” between the motherboard and top panel, there’s simply too little space to add a standard 1.3” thick radiator and 1” cooling fans internally, especially with crowded “high end” motherboards that use the last 0.5” of space for heat pipe sinks. Scaling back to a low-capacity, 1”-slim radiator could solve the problem for some users, but only if the top-.25” of their motherboards is obstruction-free. The fans could alternatively be stuffed into the gap between the top of the metal chassis and plastic lid, but the destructive modification of the plastic lid would be required to place the second (rear) fan there.

Liquid-cooling aspirations aside, the Storm Sniper still has several other thoughtful features to consider, such as Cooler Master’s inclusion of two standoffs with raised edges that accurately center a motherboard.

Thoughtful features continue with easy-to-use card latches that work with every graphics card we could find in the lab.

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  • skora
    Good article. But I'm a little surprised that the Element actually found the Buy award. Usually seems like that's set aside for superior products that don't have the QC issues this did.

    I'm sure there will be request for this case and that and across a lot of price ranges.

    If you do enough of these, you could do a "Best Gaming Case for the Money" series. Or is that peeing in Don's yard?
    18
  • sarsoft
    No Antec Nine Hundred case...
    16
  • 4ILY45
    No CM 690 II??
    10
  • Other Comments
  • skora
    Good article. But I'm a little surprised that the Element actually found the Buy award. Usually seems like that's set aside for superior products that don't have the QC issues this did.

    I'm sure there will be request for this case and that and across a lot of price ranges.

    If you do enough of these, you could do a "Best Gaming Case for the Money" series. Or is that peeing in Don's yard?
    18
  • sarsoft
    No Antec Nine Hundred case...
    16
  • p1n3apqlexpr3ss
    That wouldnt be a bad idea tbh skora, would like to know what the best budget case is out there... not excactly a fan of the antec 200/300
    0
  • 4ILY45
    No CM 690 II??
    10
  • bk641
    the cm doesn't have a fan control option, afaik.
    -10
  • Anonymous
    Gosh, that Zalman is butt-ugly.
    2
  • zoemayne
    ANTEC 902?
    3
  • sarsoft
    More cases need to be added. There are other case under $150 that are better choices.
    9
  • bk641
    the lancool (lian-li) k62 is a very, very good case for a sub $100 range. i'm using one, and it has pretty much everything you'd want in a mid-tower case. i especially like its HDD bay system, which can be configured to have the hard drives straight on, or perpendicular. in addition to that there are four quiet fans (two on top) and room for two 5870s.
    4
  • Crashman
    sarsoftNo Antec Nine Hundred case...

    No OLD cases. The Cooler Master case ended up in here by mistake, it was supposed to be for stuff released from November onward.
    -1
  • Crashman
    bk641the cm doesn't have a fan control option, afaik.
    Scroll up and look at the BIG KNOB in the picture maybe?
    4ILY45No CM 690 II??
    Got the CM Storm Sniper instead, was looking for 4-8 cases due to time constraints which means one per company.
    Tekkie9Gosh, that Zalman is butt-ugly.
    And the NZXT isn't?
    sarsoftMore cases need to be added. There are other case under $150 that are better choices.
    More companies were contacted. Every major brand who released a case between the end of November and the end of January was contacted. These are the ones Tom's Hardware got...most of the older-yet-popular cases have already been reviewed.
    2
  • sarsoft
    Anonymous said:
    More companies were contacted. Every major brand who released a case between the end of November and the end of January was contacted. These are the ones Tom's Hardware got...most of the older-yet-popular cases have already been reviewed.

    Fair enough.
    1
  • frozenlead
    While the lack of connector on the side fan of the Thermaltake chassis is a bummer and you painted it as such, you don't necessarily have to get a replacement from the factory. From the looks of it, it still uses the same 3 leads that standard fans do - an 11 year-old with a soldering iron could get any given fan to run off it.
    I could, of course, be mistaken. There is only one picture of it.
    1
  • evillman
    No CM 690 II Advanced? :/
    -4
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    While the lack of connector on the side fan of the Thermaltake chassis is a bummer and you painted it as such, you don't necessarily have to get a replacement from the factory. From the looks of it, it still uses the same 3 leads that standard fans do - an 11 year-old with a soldering iron could get any given fan to run off it.
    I could, of course, be mistaken. There is only one picture of it.


    Yes, the connector was not removed to show the back side but anyone with wiring skills could wire the original connector to a generic replacement fan.
    0
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    Good article. But I'm a little surprised that the Element actually found the Buy award. Usually seems like that's set aside for superior products that don't have the QC issues this did.

    I'm sure there will be request for this case and that and across a lot of price ranges.

    If you do enough of these, you could do a "Best Gaming Case for the Money" series. Or is that peeing in Don's yard?


    It was a tough call. Compared to the other cases it's an incredible value, but only when the side fan works. Hopefully if Thermaltake sells enough of these and is forced to replace enough of these, they will eventually solve the problem at the manufacturing level!
    0
  • haplo602
    ugly, big, expensive ... describes all of the cases :-)

    cannot help myself, but there's no case that would pass for a decent gaming case ... they are either ugly, have too many lights or too much wasted space or bad airflow.
    1
  • Crashman
    haplo602ugly, big, expensive ... describes all of the cases :-)cannot help myself, but there's no case that would pass for a decent gaming case ... they are either ugly, have too many lights or too much wasted space or bad airflow.


    The NZXT is tiny...and both Cooler Master and Thermaltake let you shut off the lights from the fan controller. IMO the big cases are too big, the small cases are too small, and if you're right about the looks than I guess you're not in their target market.
    0
  • Crashman
    evillmanNo CM 690 II Advanced?
    Got the CM Storm Sniper instead, was looking for 4-8 cases due to time constraints which means one per company.
    0
  • 4ILY45
    CrashmanGot the CM Storm Sniper instead, was looking for 4-8 cases due to time constraints which means one per company.


    That's understandable.. anyhow cheers..
    2