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In Pictures: Five Mainstream Gaming Cases, Previewed

Stealth Intake

Though its product page lists support only for 120 mm fans, the MSI Stealth’s stock LED-lighted intake is dwarfed by a multi-fit grill with up to 180 mm fan spacing.

Among the case’s more annoying “features” are ports that are mounted directly to the plastic face, rather than the metal panel beneath. A hallmark of low-end competitors, this design detracts from what otherwise appears to be a mainstream product.

Stealth Dust Protection

MSI’s Stealth has very little dust protection, but the firm does put filters in the most important places. Power supplies are notoriously hard to clean and often die from poor ventilation, so MSI adds a somewhat-cumbersome filter sheet beneath it. The same type of filter is added to the adjacent fan mount.

Stealth Radiator Support

The Stealth’s top panel supports one large (up to 180 mm) or two 120 mm fans. That dual-fan option should allow some liquid cooling systems to fit above some motherboards. On the other hand, the lack of any offset away from the motherboard tray means that other liquid coolers could run into compatibility issues with other platforms. Clearly, this case is primarily designed for air-cooled configurations.

NZXT Phantom 410

NZXT presents the most elaborate design of this comparison’s cases, complete with a mildly-controversial inset drive door and a short-but-wide side window. A single fan mount on its left side supports additional graphics card cooling.

Phantom 410 Ports

Angled top-panel connectors and a drive door that swings to the left suggest that the Phantom 410 is designed to sit on the floor, next to your left leg. Features that then face toward you include a three-speed fan controller, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and headset jacks.

Power and reset buttons are subsequently angled away.

Inside The Phantom 410

Six hard drive trays face away from you after opening the Phantom 410’s left side panel, requiring the right panel to be opened for drive replacement. Four of those bays are easily removable.

Caging A Phantom 410

Removing the center drive cage allows builders to extend card space by five inches—to 16.8”. An adjustable and separately-removable fan mount on that same cage reduces card length in the top slot by one inch, to 10.8”.

Behind The Phantom 410

Like many of this round-up’s cases, the NZXT Phantom 410 uses replaceable mesh slot covers and a 120 mm exhaust fan to aid ventilation at the rear panel. The case also supports external liquid coolers, and includes factory-installed grommets on ingress/egress holes.

Phantom 410 Cable Management

Several holes in the Phantom 410’s motherboard tray support cable pass-through and CPU cooler installation. Grommets on large cable holes add style, as rolled edges on all holes prevent abrasion, even without the grommets.

All six hard drive trays are removed from this side, and all six support both 3.5” and 2.5” drives.

Phantom 410 Intake

The Phantom 410’s front panel supports two 120 mm fans, but includes only one. A wide spot in the center alternatively allows the installation of a single 140 mm fan.

  • EzioAs
    I wonder if bitfenix sends their raider case. I would love to see how that case compares with other cases around this price point
    Reply
  • Crashman
    EzioAsI wonder if bitfenix sends their raider case. I would love to see how that case compares with other cases around this price pointFifteen cases and these are just the first five :) Unfortunately, I didn't see a single BitFenix case, even though they were invited.
    Reply
  • amuffin
    I wouldn't really call any of those cases "mainstream" except for the Phantom 410.
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    9549404 said:
    Fifteen cases and these are just the first five :) Unfortunately, I didn't see a single BitFenix case, even though they were invited.

    That's too bad :(. Would you mind to tell us what other case did you guys get? I'm sorry if that's asking too much.

    BTW, since when does MSI make desktop computer cases? I couldn't find it on their website
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    9549405 said:
    I wouldn't really call any of those cases "mainstream" except for the Phantom 410.

    I think the almost black phantom 410 in the photos looks better than the white one. The 410 and the carbide 300R is more mainstream compared to the other 3 I think
    Reply
  • Crashman
    EzioAsI think the almost black phantom 410 in the photos looks better than the white one. The 410 and the carbide 300R is more mainstream compared to the other 3 I thinkThe two most-similar cases in this first roundup are NZXT and Xigmatek. You'll find out why in the full review coming soon.
    Reply
  • ubercake
    This is the perfect type of article for the 'Teaser girl'. How many of these cases have anything exciting and new? The teaser girl could at least present them in a meaningful way.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    ubercakeThis is the perfect type of article for the 'Teaser girl'. How many of these cases have anything exciting and new? The teaser girl could at least present them in a meaningful way.Ah, but it's a good way to get rid of excess but meaningful photos.
    Reply
  • xtreme5
    cool and hot!!
    Reply
  • hardcore_gamer
    Looks good. I can't wait for the reviews.
    Reply