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Quick Takes: 13 Mid-Tower Cases Rounded-Up

Introduction

Because they’re not too tall and not too short, mid-tower chassis tend to be the most popular. When choosing our 13 candidates, we tried to collect a wide variety of models, based on the current market situation. Besides well known manufacturers like Silverstone and Enermax, we also found lesser-known companies offering their own interesting products.

We set out to answer a number of different questions. For example, how is the build of the case compared to others in the market ? Which advantages and disadvantages do the cases have relative to each other ? Are all edges sharp or rounded ? Further test criteria include the ease of adding hardware components and good internal ventilation.

An Overview of the Test Candidates

  • AeroCool T-Gun Pro
  • Antec Three Hundred
  • Enermax Phoenix Neo
  • Gigabyte iSOLO
  • Hiper Osiris
  • Huntkey H201 Aeolus
  • Ikonik Zaria
  • Inwin Gundam
  • LanCool PC-K1
  • Lian LI PC-B25 Black
  • Silverstone SST-KL01B Kublai
  • Thermaltake M5 VJ2000
  • Zalman Z-Machine GT1000
  • xizel
    nice article, shame you didnt publish it earlyer i would o defenatly gone for the antec three hundred instead of the thermaltake VD2000BNS i got.
    Same price range looks better and PSU at the bottom, i like that.
    Reply
  • JeanLuc
    I would have liked you to put have put these cases through their paces a bit more, looking at how well a case is put together and what fans and tools you get with a case is one thing but it more useful to know just how well these cases keep your components cool.

    You could set these case up with a Q6600 @ 3Ghz, HD 4870 512Mb and a 650 watt PSU (with stock coolers) and loop 3Dmark06/Vantage for an hour and see if the cases can keep the PC cool enough for that long.
    Reply
  • 3lvis
    Last, computer I built had an Antec 300 case....theres only a couple issues with it.

    Side intake doesn't have a Dust filter. I had to use that fan as an exhaust until I can order one for it, which means that the case wont have positive airflow until then.

    Its really heavy. This case weighs more then my Lian Li full tower case.

    It doesn't have a removable Motherboard tray.

    One thing that was well thought out was the 3 fans that were not included. While this sounds like a draw back, it isn't. The 3 optional fans that are availible are the 3 most visible fans in the case. Which means that you can customize the color of LED fans you want in it.

    I used 3 green antec led 120 mm fans in this case and the air flow is phenomenal.
    Reply
  • mennethitus
    Interesting article,
    However having owned the Lian Li B25 I disagree with your comments regarding complexity of installation of the hard drives. Having only built one other system I can say that it takes perhaps 30 sec more than normal to figure out what to do. Also I would have liked to see more details about noise regarding all cases. i can't say for the other but the B25 had sound dampening foam on the front door and on the top cover, the side panels were hollowed out further dampening the noise, the hard drives were connected using rubber (grommets I believe) and there were additional anti vibration features (cant remember) and the feet of the case also used rubber.
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    Good article, but I'm missing a few things from it really.
    1) You could've made a few pictures of the packaging. Cases are things your visitors can see, and you'd want them to be transported to you without taking any, visible or otherwise, damage. Silverstone do an outstanding job at this, and so does antec, but I don't think zalman or thermaltake would care much for the packaging quality (they care about flash stuff, not quality stuff after all). Also I'd have liked a list of noise levels for the cases.
    Perhaps you can make another roundup, without limiting yourself to a specific case size and color, of potential gamer cases. And at the end of the roundup make a comparison list with external dimentions, motherboard orientation, weight and noise levels. I'm still using an old thermaltake lanfire chassis for a lan gamer, cause though it's ugly, it's very very light (3kg) and rather well built.

    On another note - does anyone know if it is possible to only buy the side panel for that aerocool chassis ? I'd like to built such a door into a new top cover for my custom desktop system ...
    Reply
  • Proximon
    Well it was called Quick Takes and it certainly was. It was informative to a point and introduced me to a few models I was unfamiliar with.
    Not sure why you would base a recommendation on this information however.
    Throw a couple overclocked 4850s and an overclocked C2D in those cases and measure the various temps and get a decibel reading from a fixed point. Those are the things I should know before buying a case.
    Reply
  • arkadi
    Nice case collection, but what about Nvidia BIG cards recommended cases? In many cases the card will take a place of a hard drive or not fit at all.
    Some recommendation can be at use for many folks.
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    @ demonhorde665 : I know I've told you before, but I will again! Please spend a few more seconds writing your posts. There's no need for four posts about how good your chassis is. One post would suffice. But what's worse is, that your posts are riddled with typos. A typo here and there is expected in comments, but you're almost typing more words wrongly than correct - and it does appear you can spell them correct if you were looking at what you wrote, before you hit the submit button.

    On a side note, I think coolermaster may not be represented because they didn't send in any case in time - it's entirely possible they were asked to take part.
    Reply
  • theLaminator
    I agree I would have liked to see CM in the round up, after all I have a RC-690 that I've customized for a nice water system but its like neiro said, its entirely likely that they simply didn't get a case sent in THG in time for the round up. Anyway interesting article but I'm not looking to go into another mid-tower at the moment I need more room for my water loop, so I'd like to a see a round up of the full tower cases
    Reply
  • boostercorp
    i used to buy thermaltake cases for my builds but i always found the cases kinda "floppy". They felt like they were made out of tinfoil and never liked to drag it around but, since i've tried an antec case for a build i kept using those instead. Sure they're heavy as hell but at least you're sure that your hardware inside is safe and the case won't fall appart when you pick it up.
    Reply