New Case Suggestions?

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#1 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

I am looking to get a new case. I currently have a Thermaltake Armor that is about 5 years old. It's heavy, bulky, one of the fans is busted, I've spilt milk inside and... yeah. It's a wreck.

I need at least 3 spots for my SSD and 2 HDDs. Cooling is a major concern but not prepared to go with liquid cooling. USB ports on the front would be nice but not essential. I don't need any flashy lights, or a clear side panel. As elegant looking as possible.

My current build:

  • 850W Modular Coolermaster PSU
  • 256GB SSD (2.5), 500GB HDD & 1TB HDD (3.5)
  • A DVD drive, might add a blu-ray drive.
  • AsusP8Z68-V PRO Motherboard
  • 8GB RAM
  • GTX 460/660Ti GPU

What would be the best case for my needs? If you can provide UK links that would be great.

#2 Posted by Imsorrymsjackson (855 posts) -

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-258-CM&groupid=2362&catid=29&subcat=

Im rocking this at the moment, very nice, great build quality, elegant looks.

#3 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

@Imsorrymsjackson: The cooling doesn't look that great. When it says 'optional' on the top and bottom fans I assume that means they can be installed there but you'd have to buy them separately?

#4 Posted by Imsorrymsjackson (855 posts) -

@AlisterCat said:

@Imsorrymsjackson: The cooling doesn't look that great. When it says 'optional' on the top and bottom fans I assume that means they can be installed there but you'd have to buy them separately?

I had to buy them separately but they were cheap. I am running 4 hard drives, dual GTX 670s and an I7 and with those fans installed I am having no problems with temperature, the very size of the case seems to keep the air flowing enough to make it keep cool enough, although I do have crazy heatsinks on my processor and graphics cards.

#5 Posted by Jadeskye (4368 posts) -

i'm tempted by the Thermaltake Level 10 GT at the moment. It looks spectacular and very moddable.

#6 Edited by WEB_War4 (111 posts) -

How much space do you have? I have the Coolermaster Cosmos II: http://amzn.com/B006P88VNE. It has a fair bit of cooling. I also had to put it in my closet because it's a monster. I think I ordered a 200mm fan for the top from coolermaster's store when I bought mine. I also got their blue led fan for the side, that matches the ones in the case, so I could hook it up to the case controller and NEVER TURN THEM ON.

Edit: UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006G19KTE

#8 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

@loyalroyal1989: That corsair carbide looks great, and seems to have a really good set of features. I'll have to think about that one.

@WEB_War4: my current case is about 2ft tall, it's massive. I really don't like the look of that case, which is a dealbreaker to me. The case will be very visible, and I;d like to look at something pleasing.

#9 Posted by George1St (52 posts) -

I use the bit fenix survivor core case well made rugged cool and has a ton of space for expand-ability.

Had it for a year or so with no problems whatsoever.

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-086-BX

#10 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -
How dope would this be as a case?
#11 Posted by FakeKisser (361 posts) -

If I were building a new PC right now, I'd personally buy the CM Storm Scout 2

#12 Edited by Dacnomaniac (443 posts) -
#13 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

@FakeKisser said:

If I were building a new PC right now, I'd personally buy the CM Storm Scout 2

A good looking case. Found it on Overclockers for £84.98. Why would you say it's worth getting? I'm not building a new one, but I need a new, better case.

#14 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -
#15 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Jadeskye said:

i'm tempted by the Thermaltake Level 10 GT at the moment. It looks spectacular and very moddable.

I have one, and love it. It's pretty quiet even with the stock fans, and temps are stellar, even with stock. It's super user friendly, mostly tool free (you'll need a screwdriver for the first install because some of the PCI screws can be really damn tight the first time, but after that, they come off easy without a screwdriver), and the cable management is excellent. There's a ton of USB on the front, and the front audio ports have been really good on interference, I never really noticed any when I tested it.

Invest in some better (quieter, if you stick to the default sizes you'll have plenty of airflow no matter what) fans for the case and it's brilliant. I love it.

It's also MASSIVE. And really heavy. So if either of those matter, keep that in mind. Do not get this thing if you ever move the PC around or anything. Or, if you need lots of room, this thing is awesome. I don't think there's a CPU cooler out there that wouldn't fit in this thing, it's great.

#16 Edited by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: @Jadeskye: I'm not interested in modding, really. The main thing is that it looks fairly ugly to me. I'm more in to straight, clean design so this doesn't do it for me.

#17 Posted by FakeKisser (361 posts) -

@AlisterCat said:

@FakeKisser said:

If I were building a new PC right now, I'd personally buy the CM Storm Scout 2

A good looking case. Found it on Overclockers for £84.98. Why would you say it's worth getting? I'm not building a new one, but I need a new, better case.

I have the first Scout, and I personally love the handles on the top. I don't move my PC much, but it has been more helpful than I ever would have thought to just grab the case when doing work or pulling out the case to open it up or getting to the back of the case. It is built very well, and I think Cooler Master is a great company that builds quality products. It also is very easy to route cables through it. I have most of my cables running behind the motherboard to get them out of the way. The fan placement and amount of fans possible gives great airflow. I also personally like the position of the front ports. :)

#18 Posted by Shortbreadtom (846 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: You say it's quiet, but what GPU have you got? I'm thinking of building a PC with a GTX 680, but I'm worried about stock fans on cases. And I really don't want to try and work out liquid cooling, or spend a load on complex fans.

#19 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Shortbreadtom said:

@MordeaniisChaos: You say it's quiet, but what GPU have you got? I'm thinking of building a PC with a GTX 680, but I'm worried about stock fans on cases. And I really don't want to try and work out liquid cooling, or spend a load on complex fans.

I have a Galaxy white edition 680. It's overclocked so much the damn thing was discontinued and in most games I have to under clock the card slightly for stability. It runs three fans, and is far from the quiets 680 you can get. If you had one of the EVGA 680's, it'd be really very quiet.

Also, the card doesn't really affect the noise level of the case. Get a case that does a decent job cooling, and the rest is on how quiet the card itself is. Most 680's are very quiet and handle temps very well. You should be fine. It's an excellent case. And fans are neither expensive nor complex. All you need to know is the size and find fans that are well reviewed in the way you want them to be (noise level, pure cooling power, shiny lights, etc) There are a lot of fans on this beast, pretty much one on every side, so it'd add up, but still not too much. And you can always buy one or two at a time. But, stock fans are fine. This is a very nice case that reviewed very well for thermal performance. It's also not cheap, it runs for at least $200 I believe. I cannot hear it if there's any sound playing from my computer, and it's very quiet even without any sound. My computer is right next to me, so I hear it about as well as one could.

I love the case. It performs very well, it's pretty quiet thanks to a lot of really big fans (big fans=low RPM). It's a high end case, and it lives up to that. It looks great (I have the white version. I call it R2), it's very use friendly, it has good airflow, and it's pretty darn quiet.

@AlisterCat: If you care about looks and don't dig it, that's understandable. It's a divisive looking case to say the least. I freakin love the white version in particular, but I can see why many don't share my feelings on it.

That said, it is a very good case performance wise. But there are plenty of other options that would fit your aesthetic preferences as well as performing very well.

#20 Edited by NicksCorner (429 posts) -

I would highly recommend Define R3, Black Pearl.

It has a very elegant design in all black with just single blue light for power. On the inside it contains several neat features. My favourite being the mounting of the HDDs, they are screwed onto little trays that easily can be accessed.

But a close second is how tidy it is. Filters on all fans made me gasp the last time I opened the casing for cleaning. I am a smoker and a slob and I knew that a cleaning was overdue. But the inside was nearly pristine. Its a bit pricey, 160$ here in Denmark but its by far the best casing I've ever had.

#21 Posted by Fredddi43 (351 posts) -

I just got a hold of this, which I think looks dope. It came with 2 stock fans and the previous owner installed one more, so so cooling should be fine, but I'm only using a 5850 CF, so maybe you need a better system (?). BTW how do you like your power supply? I need a new one, the 600W isn't doing it anymore...

#22 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

@Fredddi43: I have the Cooler Master Silent Pro M, but they only sell the M2 now. I have no complaints at all, it's pretty much perfect. I don't have a lot of experience with PSUs though so I don't know what would be bad about a PSU. It has enough ports for all my power needs.

#23 Posted by Fredddi43 (351 posts) -

@AlisterCat: What do think about the noise? I'm a total noobie in PSUs too, so I only care about the sounds. Do you feel like its really quiet? Looking at a BeQuiet right now but the Cooler Master looks cheaper and just as good...

#24 Edited by Reisz (1522 posts) -

I upgraded to one of these about five months ago and I utterly swear by it; it's the best case I have ever owned bar none. I wouldn't describe it as elegant but it is somewhat understated and the usability and build quality is near unmatched in it's price range, so if you can get it on sale it's a steal. Good luck with your build.

(pay no attention to the kind of pandering military jargon on the website, It's a better product than it's marketing suggests.)

Amazon UK link

#25 Posted by chilibean_3 (1677 posts) -

@Ravenlight: Yep, you've figured it out. That would be fantastic. Why are we wasting time with all these other dumb looking cases?

#26 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3957 posts) -

@NicksCorner said:

I would highly recommend Define R3, Black Pearl.

It has a very elegant design in all black with just single blue light for power. On the inside it contains several neat features. My favourite being the mounting of the HDDs, they are screwed onto little trays that easily can be accessed.

But a close second is how tidy it is. Filters on all fans made me gasp the last time I opened the casing for cleaning. I am a smoker and a slob and I knew that a cleaning was overdue. But the inside was nearly pristine. Its a bit pricey, 160$ here in Denmark but its by far the best casing I've ever had.

I have this case for my PC I just put together.

Really, really nice. I love how simple yet sleek the design is on the outside and it has a lot of nice features inside.

#27 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

@Fredddi43: Doesn't make any sounds as far as I can tell. The only thing I can hear is my graphics card. Maybe it is just a marketing plot, but it does say silent. Then again, a lot of hardware does.

#28 Posted by Giantstalker (1707 posts) -

I use a Corsair Obsidian 800D. It's absolutely insane and weighs around seventy pounds. A pain in the ass to move, but once its there, it's a very solid case; plenty of space for cables/drives/cards, room for loads of fans, and really well ventilated overall.

Be prepared for something massive, though.
#29 Posted by OldManLight (904 posts) -
#30 Posted by Shortbreadtom (846 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: Thanks very much!

#31 Posted by dgtlty (167 posts) -

I would highly recommend the Fractal Design R4. I just purchased the Arctic White model to match my living room setup. Incredibly easy to install, very solid design (it does not feel cheap like ThermalTake and other cases) and you won't find a more elegant aesthetic for the exterior if you are after subtlety; I find most cases quite ugly to look at. Cooling is adequate with plenty of customisation for additional fans, and has sound dampening to make it a little quieter.

#32 Posted by NicksCorner (429 posts) -

@dgtlty said:

I would highly recommend the Fractal Design R4. I just purchased the Arctic White model to match my living room setup. Incredibly easy to install, very solid design (it does not feel cheap like ThermalTake and other cases) and you won't find a more elegant aesthetic for the exterior if you are after subtlety; I find most cases quite ugly to look at. Cooling is adequate with plenty of customisation for additional fans, and has sound dampening to make it a little quieter.

I didn't even know that a new model was out, totally get this one. Its even 50$ cheaper this time around!

#33 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

@dgtlty: it seems like you need the door open for the front fans to be effective, or am I wrong? It is a very attractive case.

#34 Posted by NicksCorner (429 posts) -

@AlisterCat said:

@dgtlty: it seems like you need the door open for the front fans to be effective, or am I wrong? It is a very attractive case.

I have no problems with the door closed.

#35 Edited by dgtlty (167 posts) -

@AlisterCat: No I believe the two front fans are intake, not exhaust. In other words, they blow towards the back of the case, not out towards the front. My last case (Antec Twelve Hundred) did the same thing to cool the HDD cages.

Edit: They might not be "intake" as such with the door closed but they can still be effective. We had a record hot day this week and I was maintaining stable temperatures.

Let us know what case you decide on!

#36 Posted by Pr1mus (3959 posts) -

I've got this. It's got great cooling, lots of space, easy to clean and doesn't look like a transformer.

Online
#37 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

@NicksCorner: @dgtlty: I've narrowed it down to the Define R4 and the Corsair Obsidian 650D. My main concern with the R4 is that the stock fans will not be sufficient. I'd rather not install extra fans. On the other hand, it is only just over half the price of the 650D.

Also, I read that the motherboard on the R4 fits in to a recess, which makes it difficult, if not impossible to use horizontal SATA ports. Is this the case?

#38 Edited by dgtlty (167 posts) -

Well nothing about the motherboard installation in the R4 seemed different from other cases and I have to say migrating from my previous case was relatively painless and straight-forward. It does a good job of keeping all the excess cables out of the way around behind the motherboard. I installed a Gigabyte X58A-UD3R motherboard which I think has what you call horizontal SATA ports as well without great difficulty.

The 650D looks like a good alternative if you decide against the R4. Both solid constructions with room for customisation.

#39 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

@dgtlty: That motherboard has an identical sata arrangement to mine, so that's fine. I should get a refund for my second faulty 660Ti in a few days so I think I'll order a new card from amazon and get the R4 with it. Now I just need to decide what GPU to get ¬_¬

#40 Posted by ajamafalous (12120 posts) -
Here's what I have. Couldn't recommend it enough if you've got the money to spare.
#41 Posted by dgtlty (167 posts) -

Something worth noting about the R4 is that although the case includes USB 3.0 I/O ports at the front of the case they are powered by a 20 pin header cable which by the looks of it won't natively plug into your motherboard (I have the same issue). There are a few workarounds I'm looking into because I'd like to utilise these ports however this may not be a problem for you if you're happy to use your rear ports.

#42 Posted by Franstone (1148 posts) -
#43 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

@dgtlty: My motherboard has a 'front USB 3 header' which I assume is 20 pin. I could go look but... I'll just assume.

#44 Edited by Zlimness (567 posts) -

I recently bought a Corsair Carbide 500R.

I think this chassi is awesome. It's discreet on the outside, which is a big plus. It does come with LED-fans, but I can live with that. You get 3 120mm fans (2 front, 1 back) and a 240mm fan on the side. On the top, it has space for a Corsair Hydro H100 or two 120mm fans. The chassi also comes with a fan controller.

The inside of the chassi is a very nice place to work around in. Easy to hide cables and there's plenty of space for a midi. The 6 3.5" slots hold SSDs with no problem. The trays holding the drives feels kind of weak though. Both tray racks are removable.

The Carbide 500R is geared towards cooling. If you want something more quiet, Corsair have the Obsidian 550D. I initially planned on getting the 550D, but the 500R was half the price so I got that instead. Both chassis are somewhere around $100-120 otherwise.

#45 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

@Zlimness: Thanks for the suggestion! Now I'm torn. They are virtually no differences between that and the Define R4. Both are 2/3 the price of the 650D I was looking at. Now it is between these two I guess, but I don't know how to decide. I guess the 500R comes with better default cooling but doesn't have the sound dampening.

#46 Posted by Zlimness (567 posts) -

@AlisterCat: I say pick the one that you can get the best price on. While the R4 focuses on sound dampening, you're not going to have any heat issues unless you overclock a lot and only care about ventilation. Same goes for the Obsidian 550D. Despite focusing on ventilation, I don't think the Carbide 500R is a loud chassi. I changed the stock fans for Noctua's instead and it was so much nicer.

So unless you're extremely picky about ventilation or noise, go for the best price.

#47 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

I decided to get the R4. Should be here in a few days.

#48 Posted by dgtlty (167 posts) -

Nice one. I don't think you'll regret it. Looking forward to an update once it's up and running.

The 500R looked ok too but I really like the front door panel on the R4. I have mine in the lounge room next to the TV where it's quite visible so it helps make it look part of the furniture.

#49 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

I ordered the R4 through a third party on Amazon, since they didn't have it. Shipped on monday with 1-2 day delivery. A week later, still not here. The seller now seems to have removed all products from its store. I think they screwed me over. Can't file a complaint with amazon for another 3 days.

#50 Posted by AlisterCat (5696 posts) -

OK, here's an update. There were some major issues with ordering this case. I went with the Define R4.

Ordered from a third party on Amazon. They shipped the case the next day with next day delivery, but a week later it never arrived. Checking their storefront, all products had been removed. Seemed shady to me. I filed a complaint through amazon and got some amazing customer service. They refunded me no questions asked (store credit) and I bought the case from them with enough left over for expedited shipping.

Recieved the case today and it is wonderful. Pleasure to build with, gorgeous looking, almost completely silent. An excellent case all round. Have some very minor complains about the length of some of the case function cables but over all incredibly impressed.

I want to thank @dgtlty @NicksCorner @ArtisanBreads and everyone else for the feedback and help.

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