NZXT’s Phantom 410 provides the lowest temperatures, lowest noise, and best acoustic efficiency of the five cases in today’s test. If this were simply a matter of performance, we could conclude our project without further description. However, Corsair’s performance is pretty impressive as well, and its price is also rather good.
Thus, anyone looking for the best bang-for-the-buck case will probably jump on Corsair’s 300R. Indeed, we were even able to find the case for $10 less than the $80 floor set for this story's budget range, and using that lower number would have given the case an even higher value score. But we're not really convinced that “mainstream” is the place for Corsair’s 300R. It's flimsy materials and limited number of ports are more closely-matched by several $60 models.
Xigmatek’s Midgard II takes second place in a comparison of performance to price, being the cheapest case in today’s article that really deserves to be called a mainstream gaming-oriented product. That judgement is based solely on material quality and features.
In Win’s Mana 136 looks the part of a mid-range enthusiast chassis, just like Xigmatek's, and it even has the heavy face panel and paint to match. Unfortunately, underneath those accoutrements lies the structure of a $30 budget box.
NZXT gets things right on quality, noise, and cooling, but falls to the back of the pack when it comes to value.
MSI's Stealth edges out the three lightweights on structural quality, but added features such as its SRF rubberized finish, USB charging port and VGA stabilizer brackets can't make us forget that it consistently lags behind when it comes to cooling, noise, and acoustic efficiency.
Value was supposed to be a primary consideration in today’s comparison. However, the highest value score goes to an enclosure built more like cases in a more entry-level class. We're looking for sturdier materials in the $80 to $120 segment. Quality was always supposed to be another important criteria in our round-up. And that’s where a single product really stood out.
Unable to make a clear case for a value award (Ed.: I see what you did there), we're choosing to recognize the case that won everything except the price battle. The only product in this comparison to meet all of our performance and quality demands, NZXT’s Phantom 410 gets our stamp of approval.
- Cases For Cost-Conscious Builders
- Building With The Corsair 300R
- Building With The In Win Mana 136
- Building With The MSI Stealth
- Building With The NZXT Phantom 410
- Building With The Xigmatek Midgard II
- Test Settings And Benchmarks
- Temperature, Noise, And Acoustic Efficiency
- Which Chassis Delivers On Value? How About Quality?