Five Gaming Cases Between $80 And $120, Reviewed

Test Settings And Benchmarks

Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E): 3.30 GHz, Six Cores
O/C to 4.25 GHz (34 x 125 MHz) at 1.40 V Core
CPU CoolerCoolink Corator DS 120 mm Tower
MotherboardAsus P9X79 WS: LGA 2011, Intel X79 Express, Firmware 0603 (11-11-2011)
O/C at 125 MHz BCLK
RAMG.Skill F3-17600CL9Q-16GBXLD 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-2200
Benchmarked at DDR3-1600 CAS 9 defaults
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 580: 772 MHz GPU,  GDDR5-4008
Maximum Fan for Thermal Tests, SLI
Hard DrivesSamsung 470 Series MZ5PA256HMDR, 256 GB SSD 
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerSeasonic X760 SS-760KM
ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsNvidia GeForce 296.10 WHQL
ChipsetIntel INF 9.2.3.1020


We reused the test platform from Four ATX Cases For High-Capacity Water Cooling, Reviewed, but at an overclocked setting that’s more appropriate for air cooling. It includes Asus’ P9X79 WS and a sacrificial C0-stepping Core i7-3960X.

While we normally choose a cooler for its low noise and high cooling, Coolink’s Corator DS provides the moderately-low temperatures and moderately-high noise needed to properly evaluate the airflow and noise-dampening capabilities of these cases.

Benchmark Configuration
Prime95 v25.864-bit executable, Small FFTs, 11 threads
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1.0, Extreme Preset: Graphics Test 1, Looped
RealTemp 3.40Average of maximum core readings at full CPU load
Galaxy CM-140 SPL MeterTested at 1/2 m, corrected to 1 m (-6 db), dB(A) weighting
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3 comments
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  • Ramlethal
    why is it between 80 to 120 if the most expensive ones are 410 and stealth priced at 100 ?
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  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    why is it between 80 to 120 if the most expensive ones are 410 and stealth priced at 100 ?
    Because it was written four years ago?
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  • Tschrom
    Honestly, that's probably still true today, if not even cheaper. You can find good quality Full ATX cases for around $80 now, and to spend that much ($410) on a case is just a waste of money. If you really know what you're doing, you don't need to spend anywhere near that much on a case just to house your components. I'm using a Thermaltake Versa H22 SE, which is pretty small (only a mid-ATX case and cheap at only $40) in regards to cases, yet I am able to keep everything quite cool and even made some manual customizations to the case to ensure everything fits well and works well. And I'm using only Air Cooling. Really the case you use comes down to "do the components fit, and is there adequate cooling". Even then, the cooling part can be adjusted to what is necessary with some manual customizations or even just so much as ensuring that your case fans' CFM is adequate for cooling of your currently installed components (or water, but water cooling doesn't work in my current setup so I have no opinion on that).
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