Part 2: Four More Gaming Enclosures Under $50

AeroCool VX-R

Supplying the lightest case in today’s comparison, AeroCool adds surprising style and a few interesting features to its low-cost VX-R.

Those features begin with a mesh side-panel insert and bay covers that can help reduce heat buildup, and extend to a front panel that includes a two-speed, three-fan controller.

This editor’s biggest nitpick is the similarity between power and reset buttons. Activity lights help, but touching the “wrong” button is far too easy with this model.

Two holes in the back of the VX-R support 3/8” O.D. cooling lines, while knock-out rings surrounding them open the holes to 1.1” to support larger water cooling lines and grommets. We would have preferred factory-installed grommets, but it’s hard to complain about small omissions on a case that adds more expensive features, such as its fan controller, without a noticeable increase in price.

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  • The Antec 300 is the only case in the roundup that doesnt look and feel like your buying a cheap ass case. It is well worth the extra money and I dont think anyone should really consider building with anything less.
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  • stm1185The Antec 300 is the only case in the roundup that doesnt look and feel like your buying a cheap ass case. It is well worth the extra money and I dont think anyone should really consider building with anything less.


    Have you actually used an Antec 300? The quality is only average. Plus it lacks a lot of features that all the others have. Seems pretty cheap ass to me.

    Note I've used one Antec 300 and two Rosewill Challengers in different builds. Quality wise I would put them pretty close, the Antec 300's paint finish is like sand paper, where the Challenger is smooth, however the Antec 300 has slightly thicker metal. Feature-wise, its no comparison, and everyone who saw them together preferred the challenger.

    Nice review Tom's. Hopefully you will move on to some more gamer class cases ($50-$100).
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  • Awesome article toms. Appreciate it :D
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  • "Rosewill destroyed NZXT’s value leadership goals by putting a greater number of fans in an otherwise-similar chassis at the same price."

    Except that the NZXT gamma costs $7 less shipped (current and suggested prices) and has for a while now.
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  • I hope the HAF 912 get reviewed and compared. And centurion 590... but that is old and tom's did something with it a while ago
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  • I love my NZXT Gamma (mostly cos no floppy slot and mate finish), although as mentioned, u need to buy fans, 6 fan slots but only 1 included.
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  • Its pretty cool how cheap cases nowadays can top cases like the Antec 900 in some aspects.
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  • no offense to anyone who owns one of these cases, but all four of those cases are really ugly. All but the rosewill looks like a busted up autobot.
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  • Well, you showed us 4 cases, but truly just two designs. The NZXT and Rosewill are almost identical, while the AeroCool and Silverstone are as well. You could have paired each general design together and pointed out their subtle differences simultaneously.

    If I were truly on a tight budget, I might consider one of these designs. But, it's easily argued that there are higher quality and more feature-rich cases (that don't cut any corners like grommets, fans, filters, etc.) within a $20-$30 earshot of these.
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  • I love my Gamma because I got it for $35 with a $25 MIR(which I received). Can't complain about a $10 dollar case, eat it 300!
    -1
  • AMW1011Have you actually used an Antec 300? The quality is only average. Plus it lacks a lot of features that all the others have. Seems pretty cheap ass to me.Note I've used one Antec 300 and two Rosewill Challengers in different builds. Quality wise I would put them pretty close, the Antec 300's paint finish is like sand paper, where the Challenger is smooth, however the Antec 300 has slightly thicker metal. Feature-wise, its no comparison, and everyone who saw them together preferred the challenger.Nice review Tom's. Hopefully you will move on to some more gamer class cases ($50-$100).

    Only problem with the Antec 300 in cable management and there is not enough room for a big Graphics card.Otherwise, it is a solid case.
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  • I have purchased a many sub $50 case and by far I like the GIGABYTE gz-ph1a3. At only $20 is the best built and best looking case I have seen under $50. The only thing worth note about this case is its 13.78" depth. Any GPU over 9.6" would require you to cut some metal. The 5770 works out great in this case. Luckily the HD bay is set to the outer edge with the HD's second metal hanger is recessed about middle way. Due to the divider between the 5.25" and 3.5" drive bays the mobo may require the remove of the back fan to slide in place. No worry tho just reattach it after. For what you get for $20 you should be expecting a little work.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811233061
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  • Whoever says the 300 is a "far superior" or "not cheap" case has clearly never used it. It has pretty much 0 cable managment, higher price, and no terribly good features. Its actually quite a standard, generic, "cheap" case. All of these cases had a black interior, decent cable management, a lower price tag, and considering the 300 is stock with more fans than most of these, then put the same amount of fans in and im sure cooling would be the same.
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  • I enjoy my challenger that I got for my sub $500 build
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  • For the last couple of years I have found it mighty hard to beat Rosewill when it comes to value for your money.

    For building a cheap computer gaming or otherwise I always go Rosewill.
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  • I have the NZXT Gamma, and I built a server out of it. 2 8-port RAID cards, D-link 5-port Gigabit switch powered from the internal ATX power supply. I was able to cleanly tuck over 40 Ft of cable in the case, I would love to share pictures search flickr for "bnrclearcase" I'll post the updated pics tonight.
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  • 3 FANS! for $40 US and a CASE! The Rosewill Challenger is definitely a good case for a budget build.
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  • Aw... Silverstone! What were you thinking with those top fan mount offsets? Oh well, I'm sticking to my mATX box for now.
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  • I got the Gamma for 30 bucks, and wow, what a value. I added three more case fans and it was a budget beast!
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  • Ahh, cheap cases. Spending hard-earned money for a good suck or blow that may not be illegal, but is still pretty dirty.
    -1