I needed to build an updated computer to start using Unreal Engine 4 game development program. What started out as a no money to spend upgrade just to get the software to install turned into complete build. Even then I was upgrading my upgrades between not reading UE4 minimum requirements an a lot of cosmetic changes as the build went on.
Antec One case: I choose the Antec One case to go with my previous case the Antec Nine Hundred. I wanted the same look but was ready for something new. The black inside an simple front panel was the selling point for me. Once I got started I found a few issues with the case, the front fan mounting was a joke an has no hard drive dampening. The hard drive issue I'm living with an so far isn't worth dealing with. In time or second case I ordered a new two drive cage from corsairs replacement part store to replace the original one in the Antec One case. The fan I fixed by grinding the nibs down to open them up getting a center point to drill a hole. Drilled the other two screw holes out an installed rubber fan mount pins in the four new mount holes. Installing the fan was trickier for me since I doubled up the Cougars fans rubber feet, but has enough room to get at the pins. The cable management took some effort but I think turned out great. The foam piece on the back of the case is how much room you have, about 1/2 inch. This is barely enough for the main board power wire so it needs bending to crease so it stays tight. The rest of the back wires was a matter of figuring out the over-under relationship.
Cougar Vortex fans: I picked these fans for the unique fan design an Hydro Dynamic bearing. The price was high, but I wanted a quieter build than what I had before an figured that meant not buying the 3 for $5 fan specials. They are quiet, but not silent, you can still hear the air movement at the lowest RPM. I invested in enough fans to fill the case, thinking more fans at lower RPM is best. Then I used my motherboards case fan optimization deal an it doesn't need any but the cpu fans. At least the look cool. With my particular install with the included rubber install plugs an my thin case the fans where loose. My fix was to take the rubber feet from the opposite side an double them up to compensate for the slack which worked out great. You want to lubricate the pins before you install the fans, made install easy an didn't break any of the pull tabs on the pins.
- GELID PCI Blanking Plate Slot Cover Dust Filter Hard Steel Black w/screw x6 pcs (eBay) $15.00
- Corsair Custom Length Premium Black Ribbon Modular Cable (6+2 Pin PCI-E) (Length: 40cm) (ModDIY.com) $11.99
- 3 x 120mm Fan Dust Filter Foam (ModDIY.com) $2.97
- 1 x 140mm Fan Dust Filter Foam (ModDIY.com) $0.99
- Power Supply Rubber Frame Silencer (ModDIY.com) $3.99
- VGA, DVI, Audio, USB Protective Jack Covers (ModDIY.com)
- Premium High Quality Ultra Thin 0.17mm PVC Case/Fan Dust Filter Material (ModDIY.com) $9.99
Pros: Very affordable case when they have them in stock. The black textured paint used looks good inside an out so they didn't cheap out there. Plenty of cable management openings to work with. The tool-less optical drive mounting was finicky, but after installing a drive 3 holes lined up so you can secure the drive with proper screws. The bump out on the back case door gives you 1/2" to work with, enough but get your cables tight. Forcing the thin metal door closed you can easily bend it. I consider the rear facing hard drives a pro as this keeps the case cleaner with no interference to video cards. This is just an overall great looking case, not over-the-top tacky. The simple design an black mesh gives the case a "it means business look", unless you add lighted fans then that look goes away.
Cons: The case metal is a thinner softer metal than my Antec Nine Hundred so you do have to be cautious when working with the case. Definitely not a good choice for portable LAN case. Front case fan mounts are two screws (long ones that seem like an after thought, not designed for this use) in two corners an little bumps in the opposite corners. This obviously didn't hold the fan tight, maybe if I did some metal bending. This is the one place I would recommend modding the case (see other thoughts). The tool-less optical drive mounting was finicky, an took some work to get it jammed in (confirmed by YouTube component install video). My biggest con for this case is the hard drive cage an it's drive mounting. Visually it looks great, but there is no option to screw or integrate anti-vibration mounting. Since they mount from the rear having to open the back side door can be a concern. I would have liked a quick disconnect or have the front header panel plugins to be mounted to the main structure. If you add a fan filter or a filter to the front panel you wont have any slack in the wiring to go far with the removable front panel.
Other Thoughts: Power supply mounts one way (I think, not taking it back out to double check). The intention was to utilize the bottom filtered intake. This was helpful as it put the power cables closer to the back of the case an route them behind the board quicker an cleaner. I don't understand the need for tool-less options in cases, there is probably more complaints against them than pros. Who actually removes an installs their components enough where using a screw driver is an issue. If I where to change anything about this case it would be a removable hard drive cage. At some point in the future I might try my hand at modifying the hard drive cage replacing rivets with screws so then I can convert the tool-less mounting.
Recommended mod: Grind the two bumps down till they open up an you can drill them. Open up all four holes to a size matching the rest of the fan hole openings. After deburring use rubber fixed pins to mount the fan from all four corners.
Pros: Always a pro if the product works so it is doing fine a few days in. The black texture painted case an pretty sticker makes this psu look great in a gaming case. Plenty of black zip ties was a nice touch an even included black mounting screws.
Cons: This was my first modular psu an might have had high expectations going in. This isn't a full modular unit so the to board plugs are hard wired in. My problem with that is they have the smaller 8 pin power run as two separate sets of four wires. The connectors divide into two four pin connectors however they use two wires from each set of the four wire cable. Which means you still have to run both cables through the case an have both connectors together whether you need them or not. People buying modular are bound to be wire conscious an so I think was a brain fart in design. Second issue was when the case was assembled the corner caught on one edge an whatever machine assembled them ran the screw down anyway an bent the cover. Was a simple fix since it was pretty soft metal, an fortunate it didn't crack the paint. Third issue was I think the wire sockets might be labeled upside down in relation to the modular socket. No biggy as they only go into their specific socket. Only other problem I had was the secondary power cable(8pin) wasn't long enough to be routed clean in my mid tower with bottom mounted psu. So despite buying a modular for the clean look I still have wires running all over. Ok still got room for more so regarding the sata power connecters, yes the way they are it will be tight for for a dual SSD tray. Just of to presquish the wires an they'll fit. I don't expect all units to be quality checked but they still loose a star.