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.