Part 2: Four More Gaming Enclosures Under $50

Inside The VX-R

It might surprise some readers that the lightest case in today’s comparison is primarily made of steel, but such is true of all cases in both parts of our roundup. Lightness comes from the case’s 0.5 mm panel thickness and a lack of paint on the interior, though AeroCool does give this model the look of aluminum through its rust-resistant surface treatment.

Screw-free drive clips are attached to all useful bays. The VX-R’s plastic front panel blocks access to the second 3.5” external bay, so AeroCool leaves out that one clip.

Also notice the large access hole behind the CPU area, which allows the installation of CPU cooler support plates on many single-socket motherboards.

Though not exactly a rigid case, added metal in the VX-R’s front panel make it far sturdier than the previously-reviewed VS-9 from the same company. If you can figure out the mounting hole locations, 120 mm, 92 mm, and 80 mm intake fans are supported.

The bottom of the VX-R supports a second 120 mm intake fan mounted slightly forward of the power supply, when used with a power supply that has no more than 6.5” mounting depth.

Also notice that most motherboard stand-offs are stamped into the sheet metal of the VX-R, which is one method to reduce cost without taking away other features.

A single plate that covers the card access hole also clamps all seven cards simultaneously using a single screw. Holes in that plate allow individual hold-down screws to be added when they're required.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • The Antec 300 is the only case in the roundup that doesnt look and feel like your buying a cheap ass case. It is well worth the extra money and I dont think anyone should really consider building with anything less.
  • AMW1011
    stm1185The Antec 300 is the only case in the roundup that doesnt look and feel like your buying a cheap ass case. It is well worth the extra money and I dont think anyone should really consider building with anything less.
    Have you actually used an Antec 300? The quality is only average. Plus it lacks a lot of features that all the others have. Seems pretty cheap ass to me.

    Note I've used one Antec 300 and two Rosewill Challengers in different builds. Quality wise I would put them pretty close, the Antec 300's paint finish is like sand paper, where the Challenger is smooth, however the Antec 300 has slightly thicker metal. Feature-wise, its no comparison, and everyone who saw them together preferred the challenger.

    Nice review Tom's. Hopefully you will move on to some more gamer class cases ($50-$100).
  • pangedit
    Awesome article toms. Appreciate it :D
  • wielander
    "Rosewill destroyed NZXT’s value leadership goals by putting a greater number of fans in an otherwise-similar chassis at the same price."

    Except that the NZXT gamma costs $7 less shipped (current and suggested prices) and has for a while now.
  • sparkle_ftw
    I hope the HAF 912 get reviewed and compared. And centurion 590... but that is old and tom's did something with it a while ago
  • ceps
    I love my NZXT Gamma (mostly cos no floppy slot and mate finish), although as mentioned, u need to buy fans, 6 fan slots but only 1 included.
  • takeapieandrun
    Its pretty cool how cheap cases nowadays can top cases like the Antec 900 in some aspects.
  • TommyV
    no offense to anyone who owns one of these cases, but all four of those cases are really ugly. All but the rosewill looks like a busted up autobot.
  • RazberyBandit
    Well, you showed us 4 cases, but truly just two designs. The NZXT and Rosewill are almost identical, while the AeroCool and Silverstone are as well. You could have paired each general design together and pointed out their subtle differences simultaneously.

    If I were truly on a tight budget, I might consider one of these designs. But, it's easily argued that there are higher quality and more feature-rich cases (that don't cut any corners like grommets, fans, filters, etc.) within a $20-$30 earshot of these.
  • Zplendid
    I love my Gamma because I got it for $35 with a $25 MIR(which I received). Can't complain about a $10 dollar case, eat it 300!