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Four Sub-$100 Cases For Your 2013 Gaming Build, Reviewed

Lian Li PC-9N

Though Lian Li also produces a lower-cost steel chassis line, the PC-9N is the first full-aluminum version I’ve seen to qualify for a sub-$100 round-up (at $99 and change, of course).

Although the PC-9N's frame is all aluminum, Lian Li still uses a couple of small plastic parts to complete the package, seen primarily as the black end caps of its face plate. Reduced internal material appears to be another part of the firm’s economization, as the PC-9N’s non-removable motherboard tray comprises nothing more than five heavy-gauge aluminum strips.

A look downward at those strips shows that they’re bent into channels for further stiffness, though the chassis still exhibits more flex than we typically expect from a Lian Li product. The case also relies on motherboard headers for fan control; the firm also includes four-pin adapters for anyone who needs them.

Supporting only two USB ports, the PC-9N’s cable pack is both simple and easily installed.

  • g-unit1111
    Nice choice of cases that aren't from the usual contenders. I'm a fan of Silverstone - I think I might use the PS06 in my next build, but the polished metal look of the Lian Li is awesome, I wish more case manufacturers would use that look.
    Reply
  • mjmjpfaff
    Nanoxia, in my opinion has produced a winner. It is pretty significant what they have been able to do with such a short time in the American market. My vote goes out for Nanoxia DS2. The size of it is a plus, as well as its looks. And of course it is aesthetically very pleasing, especially for its price.
    Reply
  • ASHISH65
    Good review,i think there should have been more cases and contenders,but personally liked SilverStone’s case due to looks.
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    I would like to see the temp ratings with a GPU that isn't using a blower style cooler since these seem to be the minority these days.

    Also, I would like to see more cases at this price point. The Cooler Master HAF XB is one I would like to see included personally.
    Reply
  • vmem
    I think Nanoxia is the winner in this contest imho

    HOWEVER, I'd be curious to see how it's GPU temperature problem can be alleviated by adding a few fans, and how that affects it's noise reduction. if the overall picture is still good, then it is the clear winner
    Reply
  • dudewitbow
    I think Nanoxia. albeit temperatures are one thing, silence is another. there is a trens for people to pick up better fans, and the trend of people using low end AIO WC units with Dwoods brackets to cool gpus.
    Reply
  • rolli59
    I say it again any case that has a door for drive bays or a flap for ports, does not work for me. Making the Silverstone and Cougar cases my choice out of the lot but I would prefer both all black.
    Reply
  • dalmvern
    g-unit1111Nice choice of cases that aren't from the usual contenders. I'm a fan of Silverstone - I think I might use the PS06 in my next build, but the polished metal look of the Lian Li is awesome, I wish more case manufacturers would use that look.
    I was thinking the same thing g-unit. Im 90% sure im going to use the PS06 for my Haswell build in a few months.
    Reply
  • major-error
    vmemI think Nanoxia is the winner in this contest imho
    HOWEVER, I'd be curious to see how it's GPU temperature problem can be alleviated by adding a few fans, and how that affects it's noise reduction. if the overall picture is still good, then it is the clear winnerI have the exact same opinion.
    If I had the case, I don't think I'd put a fan on the side panel. I'd be more inclined to install some stand-offs and install a larger baffle, allowing passive airflow but still keeping things quiet.
    Of course, if I needed more fans, I'd fill all the other slots with Noctua NF fans...
    http://www.quietpc.com/na-ds2

    Bottom line: I think this would be an excellent choice to replace my 14-year-old In-Win Q500 case.
    Reply
  • BVKnight
    Why does the Nanoxia look (inside) like a chopped-in-half version of the Rosewill Thor V2? Design characteristics, materials,and layout are almost exactly the same. Seems like both companies may have sourced from a Chinese general supplier in making these cases.
    Reply