Conclusion: Quality Has Improved
A look back at previous case tests shows that the quality seen here has improved significantly. Sharp edges or edges at breaking points are in the past, and the amount of plastic used has dropped significantly. Rattling front doors and covers are still present in some models, but for the most part there is less of this as well. Another trend is that manufacturers actually known for high-end housings—such as Silverstone—are trying to gain market share with steel cases. The newcomer LanCool, which uses the venerable manufacturer Lian Li to produce its cases, uses a lot of steel instead of lighter, but expensive, aluminum.
The Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 is one of the top candidates to earn our recommendation. The build quality and materials are the best that you can find on the market, and its design and extras are superior. But the $399 price of this model is simply too high.
Our Best of Tom’s Hardware recommendation goes to the Hiper Osiris, which has outstanding build quality and door hinges that are also exceptional (which is important since they are used frequently). The quality of this well-designed tower doesn’t miss a beat, and at $170 dollars, this model is positioned to attract a large following of enthusiasts.
The recommended buy award from Tom’s Hardware goes to the Three Hundred from Antec. The Antec tower is solidly built and has three pre-installed system fans, which come with a three-step speed control. At $70 dollars, this steel mid-tower case gets you the most bang for your buck.