Good/Cheap Case?

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Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:02 pm

Hello,
I am about to be in the process of building a computer, but I have been having trouble with picking a case. I've been trying to get one under 60$, that looks really nice, and has a good amount of Drive bays.
Any recommendations? Thanks :D
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:45 pm

Save your money and get a good case you wont regret it.
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:45 pm

The NZXT Source 210 Elite offers great bang for the buck. My previous workstation at work (before we got bought out and the new overlords decreed that everyone would use Dell PCs :roll:) was a custom build I speced and put together myself in one of these.

3x 5.25" external bays and 8x internal 3.5" bays, and plenty of locations for mounting fans if you need extra ventilation.

My only gripes were that the sheet metal is a little thin (but not really any worse than other cases in its class), and the tool-less drive retention mechanisms seem a little flimsy. But you can ditch the tool-less hardware and use standard drive mounting screws instead if you like, so that is a pretty minor nitpick.

IMO if you're looking for something under $60, this is an excellent option.
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:52 am

I tend to agree with Hance. A good case isn't a waste of money. What is it about the $60 Corsair Carbide 200R in TR's system guide that turns you off? TR rated it higher than the $63 -5 code "CNSUMER11158" Antec Three Hundred.


I did find some cheaper options.

Here a cheap CoolerMaster Elite 311 or Elite 350 for $60 with free shipping:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811119267
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811119269

Here's a cheap Rosewill R519 for $65 -10 code "EMCWWWV44" -10MIR with free shipping:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811147081

Here's a Rosewill R536 for $70 -17½ code "RWNOVCASE25" +6 shipping:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811147194

The metal used in similar Rosewill cases has been easy to dent or bend in my experience. Neither CoolerMaster nor Rosewill is my first choice for PSU brand, but one of these may work for your budget, assuming that you're not installing in a powerful graphics card.
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:25 am

@JAE - If he's already got a PSU, or has budgeted for one above and beyond the $60 he indicated for the case, I think I would still go with the NZXT instead of any of those.
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:31 am

You would, Hance would, the editors that wrote the system guide would, and so would I.... but some folks have to have their own unpleasant experiences with cheap cases (or PSUs) before they would spend a little extra on quality components.
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:53 am

I am biased I don't even think of a case including a power supply anymore. Purchase a good case now and it will be with you for many systems and many years. Buy cheap now and you will just want a better case later. Been down that road. I just got a Cooler Master Half XM for my new system and am really happy with it. Cable management is a snap compared to my old Antec P180. I threw my hands in the air and gave up on the P180 there just wasn't a good way to do a nice neat wiring job like this.
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IMG_1619 by Hance1976, on Flickr
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:56 am

@JAE...

Heh.

Hance might not consider the NZXT I recommended to be a quality case, I can't speak for him.

On the one hand, all a case needs to do is hold your system components together. I've been known to zip-tie the components of a system (or two!) into a $5 plastic storage crate.

On the other hand, you've got elite cases costing upwards of a couple hundred bucks.

I tend to look for sub-$70 cases with good ventilation and lots of internal bays, that aren't likely to slice my fingers up when I work inside them. Current systems are mostly in old Chieftec full towers I got on clearance from TigerDirect (bulky, heavy, likely to survive a nuclear apocalypse).

I will also, however, occasionally bite on too-good-to-pass-up deals sight unseen. :D
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:12 am

just brew it! wrote:@JAE...

Heh.

Hance might not consider the NZXT I recommended to be a quality case, I can't speak for him.

On the one hand, all a case needs to do is hold your system components together. I've been known to zip-tie the components of a system (or two!) into a $5 plastic storage crate.

On the other hand, you've got elite cases costing upwards of a couple hundred bucks.

I tend to look for sub-$70 cases with good ventilation and lots of internal bays, that aren't likely to slice my fingers up when I work inside them. Current systems are mostly in old Chieftec full towers I got on clearance from TigerDirect (bulky, heavy, likely to survive a nuclear apocalypse).

I will also, however, occasionally bite on too-good-to-pass-up deals sight unseen. :D


Looking at the NZXT on newegg I would say its a fairly middle of the road case. I have never seen one in person though so I can't really judge it.
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:14 am

I've never been one to spend much on a case, as it's usually tucked away under a desk. As long as it has decent air flow I'm happy. The NZXT that JBI licked I couldn't agree more worth for being a great or the best budget case available today. I have had mine for over a year and find it to work great with my components and look like a higher end case. I plan on using for my next build as well. Personally I don't swap out hardware much so tooless is not an issue for me. (never cared about turning a screwdriver) Here is a photo of my current build in the NZXT. More room for anything I would ever need. Also have had SLI/Crossfire setups work perfect in this system.
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:28 am

@Hance...

That's some beautiful cable management there, and the HAF XM is a great looking case. But given the OP's requirements the NZXT is probably a better fit given that it hits his price point, and has more internal drive bays.

If he's willing to bump his budget up and doesn't need the extra 2 internal bays, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the HAF XM. The overall build quality is almost certainly better than the NZXT. Coolermaster produces quality (and cost-effective) products, in my experience.
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:41 am

just brew it! wrote:@Hance...

That's some beautiful cable management there, and the HAF XM is a great looking case. But given the OP's requirements the NZXT is probably a better fit given that it hits his price point, and has more internal drive bays.

If he's willing to bump his budget up and doesn't need the extra 2 internal bays, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the HAF XM either. The overall build quality is almost certainly better than the NZXT. Coolermaster produces quality (and cost-effective) products, in my experience.


I agree the NZXT is probably a better choice given his budget, the Half XM is double his price point. I just threw it out there more as an example of what the more expensive look like inside than anything. More attention to detail with them. Things like rubber grommets around the wire pass throughs, the plastic air tunnel over the PSU and the side that opens with a handle like a car door (that's frickin awesome BTW). It also has two hot swappable external SATA drive cages with might be a plus or minus. Personally I wish it was regular 3.5 bay instead of the hot swappable ones.
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:07 am

Hance wrote:the side that opens with a handle like a car door (that's frickin awesome BTW)

One of the reasons I still love my (ancient, in tech terms) Chieftec full towers, when space is not a concern. Yes, I agree the tool-less side door latch is frikkin awesome!

The Chieftecs are also sturdy enough that you can sit on them in a pinch. "It's a computer case... no, it's furniture you cow!" :lol: (Apologies to SNL.)
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:31 pm

Fractal Design's Define R4 is on sale for $110 -30 code "EMCWWWR48" with free shipping.
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:21 pm

My thoughts on cases are that unless you're a system-building enthusiast that will be cracking it open a lot to tweak things, it doesn't really matter so get whatever you like the looks of. Just don't cut money out of CPU/GPU/RAM/HD because you feel like you 'need' an expensive case, unlike system internals it has zero impact on how well games and applications will work. As far as recommendations, I'd go with that VSK-3000 that JAE dug up but my idea of cheap is ten bucks.

A case+PSU combo might be viable, but I do suggest going with a good PSU because a bad one can blow up and bbq components. I speak from experience. Cooler Master and Rosewill aren't no-name brands though so you should be safe.
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:50 pm

NovusBogus wrote:My thoughts on cases are that unless you're a system-building enthusiast that will be cracking it open a lot to tweak things, it doesn't really matter so get whatever you like the looks of. Just don't cut money out of CPU/GPU/RAM/HD because you feel like you 'need' an expensive case, unlike system internals it has zero impact on how well games and applications will work. As far as recommendations, I'd go with that VSK-3000 that JAE dug up but my idea of cheap is ten bucks.

A case+PSU combo might be viable, but I do suggest going with a good PSU because a bad one can blow up and bbq components. I speak from experience. Cooler Master and Rosewill aren't no-name brands though so you should be safe.


Case's most certainly do matter. A cheap case with crap airflow means everything is going to run hotter and not last as long.
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:55 pm

True, but so many cases these days have at least a 120mm intake and output which is pretty workable from an airflow and sound perspective. Yes, there are better and worse airflow cases even with similar layout, but getting the layout right in general matters the most.
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Re: Good/Cheap Case?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:05 pm

That NZXT I linked has locations for 4x 120mm (2 front, one rear, one bottom) and 1x 140mm (top) fans. If you need lots of airflow, that can be arranged. :wink:
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