And Then There Were Seven
While high-end hardware generates the most excitement among technology enthusiasts, the toughest competition happens at the other end of the pricing scale. Many of the products here are sold based solely on their good looks, rather than performance. After all, the highest-performance products cost the most money.
It’s no surprise, then, that only eight of the many manufacturers we contacted for our two-part roundup were ready to step up to our challenge. Unfortunately, one of the most enthusiastic of those companies was unable to get its part delivered, even after several follow-up messages. A second case model from one of our Part 1 comparison’s competitors fills the gap. Oh, and if you missed Part 1 of our Gaming Enclosures Under $50 story, be sure to check it out first!
When it comes to gaming hardware, overclocking is often a necessity to get entry-level components to serve up adequate performance in games. When it comes to gaming-oriented cases, the cost of extra fans can be a real problem for the entry-level vendors. Fortunately, big fans are not much more expensive than the typical 80 mm coolers found in budget boxes, and all of today’s contenders have at least a 120 mm exhaust fan, in addition to gamer-themed styling.
|AeroCool VX-R||NZXT Gamma||Rosewill Challenger||SilverStone Precision PS05B|
|Space Above Motherboard||0.5"||1.1"||1.1"||0.5" to panel 0.3" to fan mounts|
|Weight||10.2 Pounds||11.7 Pounds||13.8 Pounds||12.5 Pounds|
|Front Fans (alternatives)||None (1x 120/92/80 mm)||None (1x 120 mm)||1x 120 mm w/LED (Stock Only)||None (1x 120 mm)|
|Rear Fans (alternatives)||1x 120 mm (92, 80 mm)||1x 120 mm (92, 80 mm)||1x 120 mm (92, 80 mm)||1x 120 mm (92, 80 mm)|
|Top Fans (alternatives)||None (None)||None (2x 120/140 mm)||1x 140 mm (1x 120/140 mm)||None (2x 120 mm)|
|Side Fans (alternatives)||None (None)||None (2x 120/92/80 mm)||None (2x 120/92/80 mm)||None (None)|
|2.5" Internal||None||None||1 x Adapter Tray||None|
Also fortunate is that all four of the cases featured in today's story remain under our $50 limit, unlike a couple of models from our Part 1 comparison that rose in price after the enclosures were delivered.
Rosewill tops the fan-to-price curve by packing its $40 Challenger with a total of three fans. But has the company been able to retain a modicum of quality at this low price? Let’s take a closer look.