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Best Of The Best, Part 1: Who Makes The Most Elite PC Case?

How We Test Our Four Elite Cases

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 1.35 V Core
CPU CoolerCoolink Corator DS 120 mm Tower
MotherboardAsus P9X79 Pro: LGA 2011, Intel X79 Express, Firmware 3501 (03/14/2013) O/C at 125 MHz BCLK
RAMG.Skill F3-17600CL9Q-16GBXLD 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-2200 Benchmarked at DDR3-1666 CAS 9 defaults
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 580: 772 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4008 Maximum Fan for Thermal Tests, SLI
Hard DrivesSamsung 840 Series MZ-7PD256, 256 GB SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerSeasonic X760 SS-760KM ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 8 Pro x64
GraphicsNvidia GeForce 314.22
ChipsetIntel INF 9.2.3.1020

We’ve retained the same hardware through several generations of case testing, allowing you to compare the thermal results from several round-ups. Case technology doesn’t change much, and neither does the heating capabilities of an overclocked Sandy Bridge-E processor.

We’re counting on that overclocked hexa-core CPU to flood each case with heat, and Coolink’s Corator DS is being used to similarly saturate the enclosures with noise as it transfers thermal energy away from the processor.

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 580 is a great noise maker in its own right, its blower-style cooler spinning at a few thousand RPM at full speed. This reference card idles down to 40%, and we use full and idle speed settings for our load and idle tests.

Benchmark Configuration
Prime95 v25.864-bit executable, Small FFTs, 11 threads
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.3.0, Extreme Preset: Graphics Test 1, Looped
Real Temp 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
  • blackmagnum
    Does elite mean most unattainable purchase prices?
    Reply
  • Crashman
    13332066 said:
    Does elite mean most unattainable purchase prices?
    We would have been happy if In Win could deliver that case for under $300. Unfortunately, I think the company budgets $300 of its $800 MSRP just for replacement glass and glass shipping.

    Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Oh please! What rubbish is this?!?! One can't abuse the word "elite" when talking about a case! It depends on the individual and each individual's needs and, perhaps most importantly, aesthetic taste!

    **go to heat and noise page and then the last page from the first page**
    I really don't have the inclination to read each - and - every - page in this article based on a piece of rubbish idea. Really Tom's, what on earth possessed you to do thi...**sees the picture of the In Win Tou**

    Hmmm...

    **reads to the In Win Tou pages**

    Wow. Ok, that case is quite the looker. Gee, that construction kinda justifies the stratospheric pricing. What a beautiful case! With some nice watercooling this case will be quiet AND cool AND cool-looking! I agree with you that this is the most elite, erm, showboat-iest case of these four!

    Thanks for making your readers aware of products that they would've otherwise missed Tom's! :-)
    Reply
  • samesdf
    Did Rosewill copy from CM 690 II Advance or the other way around?
    Reply
  • Shunrei
    Will wait for something from NZXT might miss something..
    Reply
  • Crashman
    13332113 said:
    Oh please! What rubbish is this?!?! One can't abuse the word "elite" when talking about a case! It depends on the individual and each individual's needs and, perhaps most importantly, aesthetic taste!

    **go to heat and noise page and then the last page from the first page**
    I really don't have the inclination to read each - and - every - page in this article based on a piece of rubbish idea. Really Tom's, what on earth possessed you to do thi...**sees the picture of the In Win Tou**

    Hmmm...

    **reads to the In Win Tou pages**

    Wow. Ok, that case is quite the looker. Gee, that construction kinda justifies the stratospheric pricing. What a beautiful case! With some nice watercooling this case will be quiet AND cool AND cool-looking! I agree with you that this is the most elite, erm, showboat-iest case of these four!

    Thanks for making your readers aware of products that they would've otherwise missed Tom's! :-)
    The article was actually conceived as a showcase for two different cases, one of which didn't show up and the other arrived late enough to be reserved for Part 2 of this 2-part series :)
    13332219 said:
    Did Rosewill copy from CM 690 II Advance or the other way around?
    Rosewill buys its cases...I'm not even certain it has a mechanical designer. Most other case brands design a case based on an existing case, so there's always the possibility of two different products coming from the same supplier and sharing some stampings.
    Reply
  • Mac266
    Sees cases. (Yeah, not to bad) Sees pricing. Sees Win Tou pricing. Picks jaw up off ground.
    Reply
  • weavermsi
    Dear lord that In Win thing is an abominable turd. The only case here with any pedigree is the Silverstone, and that's easily the ugliest object they've produced. Please, NZXT and Corsair, put us out of our misery.
    Reply
  • Memnarchon
    Since we are talking for the best of the best,... Where is the Silverstone's TJ11?
    Reply
  • Crashman
    13332524 said:
    Since we are talking for the best of the best,... Where is the Silverstone's TJ11?
    Great question, since they sent a cheaper model! It was probably neglected due to age.

    Reply