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Assistance in choosing a new case!

benjimate

48 months ago

At the moment, I'm looking at upgrading to a new case after upgrading a few components already.

I'm looking for advice and/or recommendations from anyone who has owned or has any knowledge on a few particular cases I have shortlisted. My budget is $100-200 AUD, and so far I've found 4 cases which look promising - two at the higher end of my budget and two at the lower end.

Mostly, I'm looking for a full tower with high air-flow and cooling capabilities and plenty of room to future-proof - as I am looking to upgrade to liquid cooling in the near future, plus upgrading various other components. I don't care too much for aesthetics as I'll take function over form any day, as well as the fact it's under a desk so prettiness is not necessary. Fan noise / sound levels aren't much of an issue either, as I'm always either wearing headphones or have the sound loud enough that I can't hear the fans regardless.

There's a few factors that I've been considering to determine which is appropriate for me: First of all, there needs to be the primary focus on air flow and cooling capabilities, with support for multiple radiators to future-proof the system. Ideally, a PSU shroud/cover. I'm assuming that this would reduce the overall heat within the case by having separated compartments, however on the other hand it's not apparent whether the lesser airflow around the PSU would cause the unit itself to run hotter. Removable HDD cages are a definite advantage. A window would be nice, but not necessary.

  • **http://www.centrecom.com.au/bitfenix-aegis-mid-tower-case-with-display-white** This is the most expensive case at $185 AUD, however it's a strong contender due to the removable PSU cover, removable HDD cages and a wide support for various fan and radiator configurations. Additionally, an included Reservoir and Pump Bracket is a nice bonus.

  • **https://www.pccasegear.com/products/21050** This case comes in mildy cheaper at $179 AUD. The main selling point of this case is the ability to add side fans directly next to the GPU which should be a great help in keeping things cool. However, I'm not entirely sure if fans will fit beside my graphics card as it's a sizable beast in it's dimensions. 2 x fan controllers could also be a useful benefit of this case.

  • **https://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=27575&cPath=547&utm_source=googlebase&utm_medium=cse&utm_campaign=export_feed#googlebase** The next case drops down in price to $139 AUD. Slightly more compact case, but also has the option of adding internal fans on the inside of the HDD rack. Not entirely sure if this will add much in the way of measurable advantage, but a consideration regardless.

  • **https://www.pccasegear.com/products/31603** The final case is the cheapest at $129 AUD. The side fans are again an advantage here for direct cooling for the GPU, as well as support for a huge number of fan configurations and radiators.

So in summary, I'm looking for some input from anyone who has owned any of these cases to gain some insight on the fine details which may not be immediately obvious without diving into the guts of it. Additionally, looking for some recommendations for fan sizes/configurations for optimal cooling capabilities, eg 120mm x 3 or 140mm x 2 for Top/Front and whether adding a fan on the bottom provides any measurable advantage or if that will just provide a whirlwind of dust for intake.

Comments

  • 48 months ago
  • 3 points

My vote is for the Enthoo.

Phanteks cases are great. And those prices are great too, especially since they run right at 100 in the US. I love the sleek design throughout and the case is engineered fabulously.

If not the Phanteks, the Bitfenix gets my vote, assuming your board fits.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Well the Bitfenix Aegis is a microATX case so that may or may not limit you right there.

Phanteks makes nice cases, and with that for $139 and the Pro M mid tower at $109 (another suggestion with the liquid cooling support that you desire,) I suspect you're not paying AS MUCH extra for being in Australia. They're pretty expensive cases up here too.

Don't worry too much about covering up the PSU. It's for aesthetics. You'll need a compartmentalized cube case (like the Air 240) to really isolate the PSU; just keep in mind where the intake and exhaust is.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I actually didn't realise that the Aegis was microATX only, thanks for the pick up.

That was what I had suspected, as I hadn't seen much in the way of proof that shows PSU covers making of a difference but thought it may be possible.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I like Phanteks cases in general I have had about 5 cases in the past all Antec. For the past few months I have purchased different cases (Corsair, Bitfenix, NZXT, Phanteks) and seems to me I like Phanteks the best.

All cases have 20 things you like and 3 to 5 things you do not like. However the more things you like about a particular case then you tend to get that case.

With Phanteks at least for myself there was always less things that I did not like. Plus if I ever want to upgrade or change things out inside (MOD) I knew with the cases I picked that there still going to be the same case I want for a long time to come. So longevity wise, upgrade wise I picked Phanteks.

2 in particular I like: 1 being around 200 to 240.00 but is huge- Phanteks Enthoo Primo and the other at around 150 ish Phanteks LUXE. I am not a fan of bulky different shapes, shapey, shaped edge cases I just like flat square/rectangle surfaces. (If that makes sense) I think that is why I always in the past went with Antec cases because they are just plain edges and flat towers.

Another one that I really liked and I think is even cheaper than the above mentioned is Bitfenix Shinobi window or non window XL. All of these here I mentioned you can get in black or white, which I chose white. The Bitfenix I think retails for 139.00 I will give you links below.

The new computer I am building currently is the Phanteks Luxe- Mid size and about 159ish and I am really enjoying this case and as we speak I am modding it so when finished pictures to come ;-)

http://www.phanteks.com/enthoo-primo.html

http://www.phanteks.com/enthoo-pro.html

http://www.phanteks.com/Enthoo-Luxe.html

http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/products/chassis/shin...

This one was white and orange- bitfenix

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=...

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

The design of Phanteks is certainly one of the better I have seen, clean and simple lines make a subtle statement.

I quite like the build of the Primo, I'll have to do some research to find out if they're available in Aus.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I am also waiting on another tower coming in the mail for a customer of mine, it is a Enermax Ostrog Pink. So that might be fun too however not a fan of windowed side fans and I am hoping I can change the window out for the person I am building this for. Will see when I get it in.

http://www.amazon.com/Enermax-Ostrog-Case-ECA3253-PW-Pink/dp/B00IOGIYVO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449922340&sr=8-1&keywords=ostrog+pink

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome, so that's some great feedback. Thanks to all.

So far the Enthoo seems to be widest choice.

On another note, does anybody have any resources in regards to various configurations of fans for optimum performance? EG - In a generic case for Intake: Front @ 1 x 200mm VS 2 x 140mm VS 3 x 120mm Bottom/Side if applicable @ 1 x 140 mm

Exhaust: Top @ 2 x 140mm VS 3 x 120mm Rear @ 1 x 120mm

Obviously different cases will have different air-flow properties, and each fan will differ slightly by design in terms of air performance - but is there a general consensus on whether having fewer but larger fans is more effective, or whether more fans at a smaller size creates a greater result. Additionally, whether having the larger fans on the Intake or Exhaust would create any sort of advantage.

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