Is a premium case worth it?

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Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:29 am

I'm looking at my options for cases for a brand new build, my first ever build, actually, and I'm trying to choose between CM's ATCS 840 and Lancool's PC-K62. I know they're both very good cases, but I'm looking at the features and the ease-of-use that the CM case could provide, and I'm trying to justify whether or not it's worth the $100 bucks more I would be paying. Either way, it fits comfortably within my budget, but I'm looking for some second opinions to help me make up my mind, or any other good mid/full-tower cases. Thoughts, anyone?
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:51 am

I'm using a beige box case circa 1998 that was given to me by my metal shop teacher in high school. I've made a few modifications to it, but the inside is still just like it was when it housed a Pentium 2.

If you pay more for a case, you won't necessarily get more. If having a nice looking case is valuable to you, then consider that. I personally would not worry about how easy it will be to work in a mid-tower or full-tower case.

This is all my opinion, and perhaps not the opinion you wanted to hear, but the case is one of the components that I would be most likely to skimp on.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:05 am

Things I tend to look for in a case:

- Removable hard drive cage(s).

- Rails for the optical drives.

- Provision for either 1x 120 mm or 2x 80 mm rear exhaust fans.

- Provision for one or more front intake fans is a "nice to have", but not a requirement.

- No plexiglass windows (but that's a personal preference thing).

- Rolled edges on the internal sheet metal (no sharp edges to cut your fingers on when working inside the case).

I don't think I have ever paid more than around $80 for a case, and most of the ones I'm using currently were purchased on clearance for substantially less than that.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:49 am

It depends on your needs and yours alone. Everyone has different needs so everyone will have a different "premium case" in mind.
E.g. I wanted a roomy case, with plenty of ventilation, but big enough that hot air does not easily trap anywhere in the case. Also I needed a sensible HD track implantation regarding ventilation and accessibility. No cheap case was even remotely close.

But yeah, go through an internal Q/A thought process as suggested above. If you can find a cheap case that covers all your needs, great. But chances are that the low-end cases cut corners somewhere to make up the savings.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:06 am

If you are going to work on the inside of the case alot, or move it around than yes it is worth it. If its going to be stationary and not touched for a year + than no, its not unless you are looking for something super particular in it (like a-lot of HDD's of fan filters or something of that sort).
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:49 am

Newegg has the Coolermaster Storm Scout on sale for $70 with free shipping. That's a darn good deal for a nice case.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811119196
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:09 am

Cases are a personal choice but here are a couple things to think about:

1. Does the physical size match the area you are putting it in?

2. Will the case accommodate the length of video card you want to use?

3. Will the case accommodate water cooling (if applicable)?

On the economic end:

1. What is the cost of the rest of the system (or what is the percentage cost of the case)?

2. Will this case be used with multiple builds, or will you be using a new case with your next build?

In the strictest utility sense, choosing a $200 case over a $100 case is not "worth it".

Hope that helps.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:56 pm

You're the one who has to look at it every day.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:35 pm

Remember that unless you are planning on doing some serious tweaking, the only time you car about the inside of the case is the hour or so you spend putting all your gear inside.

I made the mistake of buying a huge full tower, and it is a nice case. However, I do not enjoy trying to find space for it or carrying it up and down stairs. I've been thinking about getting the pc-k62 myself, but have not spent the money yet since I do have a working case.

If you like the k62 and want to spend a bit more take a look at the pc-b25f.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:29 am

Well it also depends, the inside of a case could be very important to someone if they either:

A. Have a big side window on it

or

B. Enjoy knowing its neat and clean + want good cable management.

I fall into the B category, where I always want my computer cleaned up even if I don't see inside of it everyday. It helps on cooling (as I strive for a silent computer) and overall looks good and is easier to work with when I do need to open it up and add new components or whatnot. Actually, I would say you might want to consider cable management features more than I think you might be right now, I personally feel its a rather important feature in a case. If I had to put a negative on high end cases that go above $100 is that alot of them (Antec 900) lack good cable management features. I mean, I would say my P180 is the minimum cable management anybody should even consider having...though it does make up for it with fan filters which is another thing to think about.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:00 pm

I would get a "premium" case for these reasons.

Filters
noise consideration
style
well-machined (no bleeding!)
ease of installation (removable cages, 5.25" rails, etc.)
Once I got a small/lightweight case because I moved my computer a lot.

I do not get premium cases for windows, lights, fans, etc.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:10 pm

It's worth it if you use it.

Every case I owned lived until it was lacking features
* the first lacked quality, resulting in cuts and difficult to work
* the second (the antec/chieftec one everybody had) lacked cooling, but was built like a tank.
* the third (lian-li pc-7) was superb, but too small (no sli possibile, only 3 dedicated cages for hdd's)

now I have a big lian-li. It has more space than i'd ever need.

Good quality cases work nicer: no cuts, no bending yourself in anatomically challenging positions to swap a drive, no force needed to align screw holes, decent cooling yet still quiet. If you build a computer, let it sit beneath your desk until you buy a new one, save on the case. If you work a lot on your computer, get a decent one.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:56 pm

It depends what you want it for. When I graduated college and built myself a nice computer I got a P183 and it was definitely worth it; installation was easier and it's much quieter than my no-name cases of the past. But for most people I'd say ease of installation is not worth $100-plus and the noise only became a factor for me when I moved out of dorm housing.
There definitely are some cases at around the $50 mark that will offer most of the benefits of a premium case if you do your research, and the benefits they provide may be all you care about.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:22 pm

bdwilcox wrote:Newegg has the Coolermaster Storm Scout on sale for $70 with free shipping. That's a darn good deal for a nice case.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811119196


this is a great case, going for $90 now
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:43 am

I use the Coolermaster Elite 330. A nice case, but be gentle with the power button. Otherwise I would recommend it.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:16 am

Worked in low cost cases that were not filed properly, got cut a lot just trying to install stuff in it. Better cases are built better, have less flex and don't bend as easily and seem to require less brute force to get parts to stay in place. That plus more features that you may or may not use, but you do get better cooling/noise cancelling properties with the better cases.

I'd say get a premium case if you take parts in and out a lot. Cases also last a few generations of computer parts, so it's something I won't skimp on.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:00 am

I have a pair of Antec 1030 cases that are going on 10 years old... I can't count the number of builds that have gone through the two of them. Worth it, to me.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:05 am

Hi there,

Firstly, a premium case is definitely worth it. You don't have to worry about banging/forcing things into place, cutting yourself, and having silly design based clearance issues.

Secondly, I can put a full recommendation on the Lancool K62. Out of the cases I've built in so far, this was by far the most kickass case to work with. Quiet fans, great cooling, great design, easy installation of components, and overall a good looking, well built case.

My previous cases I've done a build in are:
-Coolermaster CM 690
-Antec Solo
-Antec Sonata III
-Antec P180
-Antec 902
-Thermaltake Soprano
-Some el-cheapo "SHAW" case (Never again will I use a rubber mallet to build a computer)
-Lian Li PC-60FN

The Lancool K62 was the best of them in my opinion (with the PC-60 a close 2nd).

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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:50 pm

Xylker wrote:I have a pair of Antec 1030 cases that are going on 10 years old... I can't count the number of builds that have gone through the two of them. Worth it, to me.


I have to say that, even though it might seem fanboi-ish, I plan on using Antec cases for all my builds - every one I've seen has been good quality and most have good cooling (with some, the ones aimed at gaming, have above-average cooling).
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:54 pm

The Green Fairy wrote:
Xylker wrote:I have a pair of Antec 1030 cases that are going on 10 years old... I can't count the number of builds that have gone through the two of them. Worth it, to me.


I have to say that, even though it might seem fanboi-ish, I plan on using Antec cases for all my builds - every one I've seen has been good quality and most have good cooling (with some, the ones aimed at gaming, have above-average cooling).


I tend to fall into this category- my only problem is that Antec has **** terrible fans. They're either too loud or don't move enough air, Tri-cools I'm looking at you. Antec fans usually get ripped out or are relegated to places where their underachieving airflow (at quite RPMs) doesn't hurt performance. Currently I have a P180 with 5 S-Flex 'E' 1200 RPM fans.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:18 pm

I've generally been happy with Antec cases as well. Their fans and PSUs not so much.

Back in the day, a lot of their cases were actually rebadged cases from Chenming (IIRC), who also made a lot of Chieftec's cases from around that same timeframe. I own several Chieftec full tower cases. Solidly built, easy to work inside of, good ventilation, and affordable.

While we're complaining about lousy fans, Thermaltake has some of the worst -- the bearings almost always crap out after a few months. They actually make some pretty nice heatsinks, but you need to rip the stock fan off and replace it with something else.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:24 pm

Good cases are ALWAYS worth it, for air flow and ease of use.

I don't like it when any piece of a build is scrimped on- your system is only as good as it's worst component.
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:29 pm

lately, a lot of above average cases have been coming out for around the 50$ price point
so if you are on a tight budget those work good too if you select the proper one
but if you can spend 130$ on a case, get a nice one you like
i recommend you get a case where the back of the motherboard can be accessed
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Re: Is a premium case worth it?

Postposted on Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:31 pm

I own an ATCS 840 and would not recommend it to most people. Believe it or not but it is actually difficult to route wires to the hard drive cage. You have to remove both panels to install a hard drive, something which is inexcusable for such a large case. Also, if the power or SATA connector is too long the side panel pushes against it. The removable mobo tray isn't as awesome as it sounds either. If you rarely upgrade it isn't useful. It's too much of a PITA to unplug everything for simple operations (like a ram swap).

The case build quality is amazing though. I knew I would keep it for at least 5 years (thanks to its quality and ease of upgrading) and its massive size doesn't bother me so it was mostly worth it for me. That Lancool PC-K62 looks very nice and unless you value any of the qualities I mentioned I would strongly recommend you save the difference in price and use the money to upgrade the cpu or videocard. You will likely appreciate that more.

And if I didn't mention it before, the ATCS 840 is HUGE.
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