Page 1:What Does It Take For A Case To Be Elite?
Page 2:Azza Genesis 9000
Page 3:Inside The Genesis 9000
Page 4:Building With The Genesis 9000
Page 5:In Win Tòu
Page 6:Inside The Tòu
Page 7:Building With The Tòu
Page 8:Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra
Page 9:Inside The Blackhawk Ultra
Page 10:Building With The Blackhawk Ultra
Page 11:SilverStone Fortress FT04
Page 12:Inside The Fortress FT04
Page 13:Building With The Fortress FT04
Page 14:How We Test Our Four Elite Cases
Page 15:Heat, Noise, And Heat Vs. Noise
Page 16:Which Case Is Elite?
Which ATX tower is the most elite? We invited more than two dozen brands to compete. Today, Azza, In Win, Rosewill, and SilverStone (the first four to respond), face off in a battle to out-do each other in price, features, performance, and pizzazz.
The Tom’s Hardware Elite award is reserved for the very best products in their class, from graphics cards to motherboards and even complete systems. Yet, we have the easiest time crowning a component "best" when it's able to outperform the competition in a suite of smartly-chosen benchmarks. Quantifying our results means we can demonstrate why a certain choice ranks up there at the top.
It's a bit more difficult to do that for cases. The quietest examples are either hot or heavy, so they certainly don't earn the favor of gamers who want to stay somewhat mobile. And even if we restrict ourselves to full-sized cases, differences in drive capacity and the ability to support oversized motherboards are more important to some readers than others. We’ve refined our performance metric, comparing cooling to noise. But that won't help us say, definitively, for example, that a full-tower is better than a mid-tower enclosure capable of similar performance.
Sometimes it’s easier to define the negative. While we can’t say that an elite case needs to use exotic materials, we can say that it shouldn't use flimsily-thin steel sheet. We can’t say that an elite case must be silent, but we can say that it won’t be noisy. Putting this back into a positive approach, “quality everywhere” is the first priority in our search.
We didn’t specify a list of “enthusiast features” for today's story, but we will be looking for them along the way. And we didn’t limit our search to premium brands either, instead hoping that we might also find a few surprises from budget labels.
|0.5" - 2.0"||2.1" - 2.8"||3.0"||1.1"|
|Card Length||14.0" - 14.7"||15.1"||15.6"||13.3"|
|Weight||34.5 Pounds||30.3 Pounds||36.3 Pounds||26.1 Pounds|
|1 x 120 mm|
|2 x 140 mm|
(2 x 120 mm)
|2 x 180 mm|
(3 x 120 mm)
|1 x 120 mm|
|1 x 140 mm|
(1 x 120 mm)
(1 x 120 mm)
|2 x 230 mm||3 x 120 mm|
|2 x 230 mm|
(3 x 140/120 mm)
(2 x 120 mm)
|1 x 230 mm|
(9 x 120 mm)
|2 x 120 mm|
(+ 1 x 230 mm)
(1 x 120/92 mm)
|3.5" External||1 x Adapter Bracket||None||1 x Adapter Bracket||None|
|*Shared on 3.5" tray **w/o Center Cage ***By 5.25" Adapter Tray|
Perennial provider of value-oriented products, In Win was first to look beyond its roots in search of an exhibition-worthy offering. I'd have to guess that as much as half of its lofty price is committed to replacing any parts broken during shipping, though superb packaging includes thick foam and ½” plywood box lining.
Conversely, SilverStone attempts to add value to its flagship Fortress line by pushing a $199 to $267 price for its cast-aluminum-faced Fortress FT04.
Azza and Rosewill attempt to move upscale by making more space for multiple, oversized components. Traditional design and materials could toughen the climb to elite status, but there’s always a chance they might have perfected these features.
- What Does It Take For A Case To Be Elite?
- Azza Genesis 9000
- Inside The Genesis 9000
- Building With The Genesis 9000
- In Win Tòu
- Inside The Tòu
- Building With The Tòu
- Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra
- Inside The Blackhawk Ultra
- Building With The Blackhawk Ultra
- SilverStone Fortress FT04
- Inside The Fortress FT04
- Building With The Fortress FT04
- How We Test Our Four Elite Cases
- Heat, Noise, And Heat Vs. Noise
- Which Case Is Elite?