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The Final Three: Sub-$100 Cases For Your Gaming Build

Three More Cases And A Grand Finale

We're well into summer, so it's about time we wrapped up a gaming case round-up that started in the spring. As a reminder, we focused on the value market, setting a price cap of $100 and warning the 28 companies we invited that quality would be a major consideration. Fortunately, we didn’t encounter any of the throw-away parts that a few brands continuously try sending to our labs.

In fact, most of the companies that make the cheap cases we'd caution you against decided to simply not show up for fear of higher-end vendors. Most of the 11 models that did land at the Tom's Hardware office had more than 15 pounds of material to enhance their durability. We reviewed the field in the order they arrived, and two of the lighter contenders coincidentally show up in the last part of our round-up.

Antec GX700Cooler Master Storm Scout 2 AdvancedIn Win GT1
Space Above Motherboard2.2" (w/o fans)1.2"0.5"
Card Length11.4"11.2-15.7"***^11.9"
Weight14.6 Pounds19.1 Pounds12.8 Pounds
Front Fans (alternatives)None (2 x 120 mm)2 x 120 mm (None)1 x 120 mm (2 x 120 mm)
Rear Fans (alternatives)1 x 120 mm (None)1 x 120 mm (None)1 x 120 mm (None)
Top Fans (alternatives)None (2 x 140/120 mm)None (2 x 120 mm)None (2 x 120 mm)
Left Side (alternatives)None (1 x 120 mm)None (2 x 120 mm)None (None)
Right Side (alternatives)None (None)None (None)None (None)
Drive Bays
5.25" ExternalFour (1-blocked)ThreeThree
3.5" ExternalNoneNoneSSD/HDD Dock
3.5" InternalFiveSevenSix
2.5" InternalFive*2*+2*6* +1
Card SlotsSevenSeven (Plus One)Seven
Noise Dampening
*Shared on 3.5" hard drive tray **Via 5.25" adapter tray ***w/o Center Cage ^Slots 1-6

There’s no hard-and-fast 15-pound rule, as both Antec and In Win certainly know how to shape their metal to stiffen it. We even had an all-aluminum sample arrive in Part 1 that weighed in just under 11 pounds. Its only weakness was its internal structure. Rather than make scurrilous remarks based on a single specification, we’re going to build these up and put them through our tests to find out which company really has the best gaming-oriented chassis.

If you missed any of the five stories preceding this one and want a refresher of what Antec, Cooler Master, and In Win are up against, check out each picture-based walk-through and the reviews that follow them. In chronological order:

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.