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The Final Three: Sub-$100 Cases For Your Gaming Build

Test Results For Today’s Three Contenders

What’s up with Antec? The GX700 manages some amazingly-low temperatures in spite of its lack of intake fans, relying instead on exhaust fans to do all of the work.

One nice thing about exhaust fans is that they make less apparent noise than intakes, since they’re farther away from the user. Measuring noise from 45° off the front panel, much of the case isolates users from Antec’s exhaust.

The combination of good heat removal, more distance from the forward-placed sound meter, and case material between the sound meter and exhaust fan adds up to a big win in the GX700’s heat-to-noise comparison.

Meanwhile, a low $60 price combines with good overall performance to put the GX700 on top of our value charts.

All those performance and value statistics should make Antec’s GX700 an easy pick for an award, but other issues prevent me from issuing a broad recommendation. Some of the more minor issues, such as a top bay that’s blocked by top-panel connector cables, might be overlooked in consideration of the GX700’s four bays. After all, most of its competitors have only three bays from the outset. A front-panel audio cable that’s too short to fit most motherboards could also be forgiven since you can pull it out of its routing holes and loop it over the top of the motherboard, even if that's a pretty ugly workaround.

Like many of its competitors, the GX700 doesn’t have an eighth slot to enable the installation of a double-slot graphics card in a motherboard’s bottom slot. Yet, with a price of only $60, anyone shopping for the GX700 probably won't give that much thought. They might think about the GX700’s use of break-out slot covers though, which give you the option of either twisting the adjoining metal by using tools to remove them or cutting your hands by using your fingers to pop them out as delicately as possible. And whenever you think about swapping cards in or out, you'll also need to think about where you’ll find more slot covers, since the pop-outs can't be re-installed.

Perhaps that’s why Antec recommended its Eleven Hundred in light of our quality concerns, though even its older Three Hundred has this one beat on those terms.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.