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The Final Five: Gaming Cases Between $80 And $120, Rounded-Up

Temperature, Noise, And Acoustic Efficiency

In Win’s Buc makes a surprise appearance at the top of our thermal performance chart, followed by Corsair’s more quality-oriented 400R. In stark contrast to the Buc, the poor cooling performance of Antec’s Solo II belies its superb build quality.

We looked forward to the Solo II placing at the top of our noise suppression chart, since it's a member of Antec's Sonata family, which prioritizes quiet computing. Corsair’s 400R takes second place once again, hinting at a potential winning cooling-to-noise ratio.

Corsair doesn't secure that big win, however, because the Buc's cooling performance is far greater than its noise suppression. The 400R takes second place, which still isn't bad.

The Antec Solo II is noticeably quieter than other cases. But its poor thermal performance puts it quite a ways below the second-to-last finisher in our acoustic efficiency metric.

  • idroid
    Hell yeah!!! NZXT Phantom 410 FTW!!
    Reply
  • idroid
    Toms should do a review on high-end cases featuring EXTREME watercooling.
    Reply
  • dudewitbow
    idroidToms should do a review on high-end cases featuring EXTREME watercooling.
    the only tiny problem at the most part i see in that is that it would be slightly harder to test thermal efficiency, since its being cooled by water, rather than air + hsf so in a wc build, the thermal ratings will be extremely close.
    Reply
  • now try to find the best micro-atx case...
    Reply
  • amuffin
    The Antec Solo II is not a case meant for gaming.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    It would be nice to see a left-sided window case listing, there are definate advantages to a left sided window / upside down mobo config
    Reply
  • Crashman
    amuffinThe Antec Solo II is not a case meant for gaming.Well...Antec sent it anyway. Along with the Eleven Hundred. So they evidently had a plan.back_by_demandIt would be nice to see a left-sided window case listing, there are definate advantages to a left sided window / upside down mobo configDid you know that the reason many manufacturers abandoned the upside-down case was because some motherboard heat pipes supposedly didn't work right in that configuration?iknowhowtofixitBut, but, but.... The Phantom 410 is sooooo ugly...Eye of the beholder :)

    Reply
  • The Solo II would probably have done a little better with your LGA2011 / GTX580 setup, if Antec included at least one front intake fan. Any chance of a re-test with an added intake fan or two? :)
    Reply
  • antemon
    as
    Reply
  • antemon
    I'm a fan of smaller cases

    I have a qx-2000 case from aerocool. it's a nightmare for cable management and upgrading partsm but I like it

    can toms also do an in-depth article on smaller cases?

    particularly, I want a similar case as the qx-2000 but the PSU is mounted at the bottom so that adding items inside woundnt be too much of a chore.

    thermaltake armor a30 looks awesome, but still has a top mounted PSU
    Reply