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Best Of The Best, Part 2: Who Makes The Most Elite PC Case?

Inside The Merlin SM08

One of the more expensive options on this SM08 configuration is the limited-edition gunmetal and white two-tone finish. That's a reasonable $35. But the four USB 3.0 ports up front add $25, and that's something we'd just expect from a modern enclosure these days. The vented bay covers add another $10, and they didn't get invoiced. As a result, we end up with a $495 price tag on what's really a $505 chassis.

The side panel can be lifted away, but keeping it in place at least gives me a non-white reflection on the rear panel. A dual-120 mm-fan radiator mount fills the bottom six “Flex Bays” on the inside, and a triple-fan radiator could be installed by extending the third fan portion above the mounting brackets.

CaseLabs gives us around an inch and a half of space between the motherboard tray and right side panel. That’s more than enough room for the cables of most builds, along with the three drive cages factory-installed there.

Exterior 1.6 mm-thick aluminum panels are attached with snap fittings, compelling you to adjust your handling methods when lifting the finished system.

Six screws secure the internal top panel section to the Merlin SM08’s upper rails, facilitating CaseLab’s “drop in radiator installation”. Anyone who prefers to place a radiator on the outside should be pleased to find a rectangular notch in the panel that supports pass-through.

The SM08’s face panel can be inverted, allowing front-panel connectors to be placed on either side. Also seen above, eight slots on the back panel gives us an opportunity to use a double-slot graphics card in an ATX motherboard’s bottom slot.

  • blackmagnum
    Answer (YMMV): Thermaltake Level 10 GT.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    13773314 said:
    Answer (YMMV): Thermaltake Level 10 GT.
    You know the original Level 10 was probably "more elite"

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/level-10-fortress-2,2594-5.html
    Reply
  • vertexx
    Hope the Phanteks Enthoo Primo is part of the final - will we have to wait another 2 months for that?
    Reply
  • ykki
    I wish that they would use the new powercolor devil 13 290x (their version of the 295X2) for their tests
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Who makes the most elite cases? Corsair and NZXT, no need for investigation :) Still, a nice roundup.
    Reply
  • Drejeck
    There are some cases CNC made, you should talk about this indipendent manufacturers. On SweClockers I saw the best mini ITX computer ever made, with 2 ssds, 2 fans, a picopsu and a discrete graphic card with riser card.
    Reply
  • Drejeck
    Anyway my guess was Lian-Li and Silverstone
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    isn't this a purely subjective article? how can this be quantified?
    Reply
  • Neve12ende12
    I don't know much about cases, but I have an Azza Hurrican 2000 and I think it is pretty badass
    Reply
  • firefoxx04
    Phanteks Primo plz
    Reply