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Looking for a new full or mid tower case, opinions?

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stanza_nate

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Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
Coffs Harbour, Australia
OK, situation is I'm sick of my current cheap case's rattling and airflow/wiring problems. Seeing as I already am going to rewire the computer (need a new PSU) and can't fit a decent CPU cooler in this case, I figure I might as well splurge on something decent and keep the one I have for future HTPC purposes. :thup:

What I'm running is in my sig, although I will be fitting a Corsair PSU and adding a 2nd GTX460 before the end of the year. I plan on buying up the parts and letting it sit and just fit the lot at once.

Prerequisites are solidly built, no vibration; reasonably quiet; good airflow; prefer HDDs to slot in from the side, not back, although this isn't a big issue; I'd like to have a 2.5in HDD hot swap bay, 3.5 would be nice too; has to look cool, I like big side windows and pretty lights, gonna add cathodes anyway. :D

I don't really need a full tower, but I do like the look of the DF-85 and HAF X. For mid towers I've been leaning towards the NZXT Tempest Evo (if I can still get one) and the CM Storm Sniper. I only use one DVD drive so I'm happy buying a 5.25" to 3.5" hot swap cage if need be but then I'm thinking it could end up cheaper getting a full tower like the DF-85?

Any opinions/suggestions as to what those cases are like or any alternatives?
 
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BigTerminator

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Joined
Jul 27, 2010
Location
Maryland
The HAF X is a beast. I love it. Great airflow, watercooling options down the road, looks sick and its functionality is amazing. That would be the best case to get that you have listed. For mid towers I like the Cooler Master 690II and the Corsair 600T or even better the 650D are great cases. I personally don't like the Antec DF-85 at all. The looks, the functionality and layout I think are vastly inferior to the HAF-X.
 
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stanza_nate

stanza_nate

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Aug 5, 2011
Location
Coffs Harbour, Australia
Yeah, I do really like the look of the HAF X. That said, if I could have the HAF with the side window of the Antec I'd be a very happy man... I don't mind the look of the DF but I know those little DVD drive bay covers would send me insane, plus they look cheap to me. I am on a bit of a budget but I'm not skimping on the case ever again!

I hadn't seen the 690IIs before, just had a look, they're not bad at all - I would prefer a white 600T over it though. That thing would look awesome with some subtle blue or white lighting over my blue MB, with white water cooling pipes... :drool:

How does the HAF go for noise? I guess it'd be OK if I bought a fan controller and turned down the fans for normal use?
 

BigTerminator

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Jul 27, 2010
Location
Maryland
All the fans are 20db and under. My system has 9 fans that are all 20db and under. It is a whoosh sound. Not annoying and not at all audible with even little audio. Web browsing at midnight, you'll just here the whoosh.

About the window, if I could I would buy just a window with no fan. You can cut the fan hole out if you are a modder. I would love for someone to do that for me. But it looks really nice otherwise. The fans it comes with don't need the fan controllers. Unless you need dead silence.

If you have an obnoxious CPU cooler then you'll want a fan controller.
 
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stanza_nate

stanza_nate

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Coffs Harbour, Australia
This HAF just keeps sounding better and better!

I am going to buy a big CPU cooler, not sure which yet. I was looking at the Zalman CNPS11X Extreme, CM V8 and the Scythe Kama Grand Cross for now. I like the looks of the other two but don't know how they'd perform, whereas I know the V8 has a good rep. I was just going to plug that into the PWM controller and leave it be but I'll see what happens.

I haven't done any modding when it comes to computer cases, but I am reasonably well versed when it comes to hacking up cars and doing all sorts of metal and timber projects, so I have no qualms attacking a case with a Dremel. :thup:
 

BigTerminator

Member
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Jul 27, 2010
Location
Maryland
Look at the Noctua NH-D14. It runs also 20db and lower so it is inaudible but you still get max performance and it will beat those coolers by a mile if you have the money though. All those coolers you said you want suck man. The best are Noctua NH-D14 which is want you want for silence, Thermalright True Rev C. is what you want if you want to slap on some crazy fast fans and get the best results.
 
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stanza_nate

stanza_nate

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Aug 5, 2011
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Coffs Harbour, Australia
I'd just noticed the Noctua last night after typing that, looks pretty good. I know this is kinda a dumb thing to say and it's complete nitpicking, but is it available with different colour fans? It's not a huge issue, but if I go with the HAF X (which I probably will, or the Corsair 600T) I'd kinda like some matching fans.

Not a big issue though, and yes I can afford it, any other coolers comparable?

I wan to go water cooling but just can't afford it right now, and still not sure if I want it on my 24/7 rig.
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
the CM hyper 212+ gets alot of good reviews also. Its also budget friendly.
 

Knufire

Senior Member
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Feb 17, 2010
Location
Manassas, VA
The Hyper212+ is a great budget heatsink.

No budget heatsink will tame a i7-9xx CPU. SB, maybe, but SB isn't anywhere near the heat output.

MUX-120, Silver Arrow, NH-D14, Cogage True Spirit, VenX, Megahalems, True Rev. C. Those are most of your options.

Case-wise, a CM 690 II Advance meets all your requirements except for a window, but windows are a relatively easy mod.
 
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stanza_nate

stanza_nate

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Coffs Harbour, Australia
The CM 690II does fit most of my needs, but I'm happy paying for a bit of extra space and the looks of the HAF X. I do like the 690, but I can't help but think I'd wish I had spent the extra on the HAF if I did buy it. Plus, I want the hot swap bays as I'm sick and tired of pulling the side off my case every time I want to have a look at somebody's hard drive and/or pull data off it for them.

I saw the Silver Arrow last night too, is there much difference between that and the Noctua? They're the only two I can find out of those ones from Aussie stores, remember I'm in Australia so shipping from overseas isn't worth it for me. The Noctua is only $10 more so if it's better I'm happy spending the money. For now, after reading some reviews, I'm kinda thinking I'll stick with the Noctua, that thing is massive! Definitely won't fit in my current case either.

I was also wondering how the Corsair hydro and Antec Kuhler go compared to the NH-D14 and Silver Arrow? They're both an extra 50% in price, but I'm guessing there isn't an extra 50% in performance there?

Maybe I should go start a thread in the cooling section closer to when I'm actually gonna buy the thing...
 

Knufire

Senior Member
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Feb 17, 2010
Location
Manassas, VA
The dual stack coolers perform better :p.

The CM 690 II Advanced has a hot swap bay on top. :thup:. HAF is superior cooling though.
 
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stanza_nate

stanza_nate

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Coffs Harbour, Australia
Ah, it does too! I didn't see that before! Changes things a bit, seeing as the HAF is almost double the price. I still like the HAF though, although a window mod would have the 690 looking pretty shmick. Decisions, decisions...

I figured the air coolers would at least be just as good, if not better, especially with the size radiators they run. I think I'll stick with the Noctua for now, until I can afford a serious water cooling setup.
 

Robert17

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Depends on your budget; just read a review on the Lian Li PC-90. Runs about $220. As always they did a pretty good job on it; weak on cable routing but the rest is pretty awesome. From my profile, you see what I'm using. Like it a lot, lots of airflow, quiet. Extra space for a hamster cage (but I can't find any e-SATA hamsters for it).
 

ExpertTrigger

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Jul 29, 2011
My vote would be for the Corsair 650D if your looking more at a mid-tower. It's very well built!

Honestly though the 800D will probably be my next case. I want a case with enough room for expansion in the future. I like to get a case that lasts for a good 3 to 4 years without problems. The 800D seems to fit the bill.
 

tRidiot

Premium Member
Joined
May 17, 2003
For a full-tower option, I just got a Rosewill Thor v.2, and I have to say, it's a beast and I think it's pretty damn well-made. I'd buy it again in a heart beat and it has 230mm quiet fans in the front, top and side and a 140mm in the rear, with the option to add more in the floor. Great wire management, water-cooling capable, tons of room and good build quality as well. Front-mounted USB 3.0 ports, fan control knobs, e-SATA and audio, too.

Love it. Looks awesome, too, in my opinion, without being too "blingy".
 
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stanza_nate

stanza_nate

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Coffs Harbour, Australia
For what it's worth, I have enough room for either full or mid tower, I'm not fussed what I get as far as that goes. A full tower would probably be better as it'd have more room for an internal water cooling loop further down the track.

That Rosewill looks OK, thing is I don't think there is an Australian distro so freight would put it out of the question unfortunately.

I adore those 800Ds, but it's kinda out of my price range (I probably could stretch to it). I don't mind the 650D either, but then I like the 600T as well. :shrug:

I like the look of the Lian Li PC-90, problem is then the PC-P50WB caught my eye, but that's expensive as, and to add hot swap to that (using the matching EX-H34B) it'd end up costing about the same as the 800D... I guess I could deal without hot-swap considering the rest of the stuff it has.

Decisions, decisions!
 

MSIINOZ

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Oct 18, 2011
Location
Coffs Harbour
Hi Stanza
What did you sort out?
Do you mostly use your computer for gaming or is it connected to your TV?


I saw you were thinking about an NZXT case, I have a silver NZXT Duet HTPC case, Takes a full size Mobo and looks really nice in a black lowline TV unit, Most people dont realize there is a computer sitting there under the TV!

Probably not what you are looking for, Im not sure if anyone even stocks or sells them in Australia?
I actually bought the NZXT DUET from the USA and even with shipping from the US it landed here for under $150AU, But that was only because I found one brand new in the box at a good price and it still worked out better than buying locally if even possible
I think I was quoted around $250+ when I priced it a long time ago now
So if you can find a case (or any part) at a real good price over there you can end up saving heaps
I have been buying from the US for about 6 years now, I have bought 4 MSI mobo's & a few MSI graphics cards too from the USA which worked out about half the AUS price for most items including shipping
 
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stanza_nate

stanza_nate

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Aug 5, 2011
Location
Coffs Harbour, Australia
Sorry for the late reply, I have had a LOT of things to do lately including moving houses and whatnot, meaning I haven't been on the computer - hell, I bought BF3 on release day and have only played it for about 2 hours so far, that's all the spare time I've had. :eek:

Good to see someone else from Coffs on here, I haven't seen too many Aussies on here, let alone someone from the same town as me! :thup:

As for what I use the computer for, it's my main rig (and the only desktop in the house) so it does everything from daily internet browsing, gaming to HTPC to university/work duties. It's hooked up to my 32' TV and my 24' monitor. I'm more looking at a big full tower with good airflow as it gets quite hot inside, meaning I can't really do anything in the way of overclocking at the moment. So, that means I'm not sure if a HTPC case will do the job. I want to at least fit a Noctua NH-D14 in there and maybe some water cooling later on when I have some more spare cash.

Anyway, turns out my financial situation has turned to crap again for a bit so I haven't sorted anything yet. I've still been looking, and the Aerocool X-Predator case caught my eye now - it's got everything I was looking for (aside from the hot swap bays but I can add them later) and it's a fair bit cheaper than the HAF X. I reckon it looks better too, but that's purely my personal opinion.

It's this one I'm talking about -
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=25_1287&products_id=18374

Any opinions on the quality of these cases? I understand they are more or less the same as the Rosewill Thor V2, and I keep hearing mostly positive things about those cases? I'd rather spend more on the HAF X if they are noisy and get rattles, no point in upgrading if I'm going to have the same issues as my current case. I don't care if the fans are a bit noisy, I'm happy to spend the difference buying high quality fans if need be and I usually have music or some type of movie or game going anyway so that's not an issue.

I've been looking at the CM Storm Sniper too, any ideas on how they go for airflow and noise?
 

Chuggowitz

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2011
The HAF 932 is another case from CM, full size tower (can handle eATX boards) and has the same hdd and optical bays as the HAF X. The only difference I can tell is it doesn't come with a PSU cover, and only has one 200mm fan mounted in the ceiling as opposed to 2, although you can mount a small fan on the bottom next to the PSU if it's not super long. I myself own it, and if you go for the Advanced model you can get it with USB 3.0 for about 159.99 CAD/USD (not sure what you're looking at in terms of price down under but it should be cheaper than the HAF X). It has two grommet holes on the back for an exterior RAD and a hole in the front for easily filling of a reservoir. It also has wire management holes, although they are not shrouded with rubber like on some more expensive cases. I myself have a HAF 932 Advanced and no complaints so far, although from what I hear corsair enclosures are also very solid and reliable, but not great on airflow. The HAF series is mainly built of Steel with plastic parts for aesthetic value, so its durability is pretty good. Watch some videos on youtube to get an idea as to what you can expect from the cases you're looking at. If you're not on a budget and plan to do watercooling, the Corsair enclosures would probably benefit most as they have 'meh' airflow compared to the HAF series or the Thor.