You can, in fact, assemble a working PC in a cardboard box. Back when component compatibility and infant mortality were much worse than they are today, I used to assemble the guts of a new PC on
the motherboard box, just to make certain that it would boot to the BIOS setup screen before I bolted it inside the case.
More seriously, how do you feel about the Corsair Carbide Series 200R
for $64, delivered? The only strike that I see against the Carbide 100R Silent is that the maximum CPU cooler height is 150 mm, which rules out coolers as tall as the 159 mm Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo. If you're planning to go with a rear-mounted 120mm closed-loop cooler like the Corsair H60, H75 or H80i, that wouldn't be an issue.
It looks like I'm going the 1500x route instead for him, the 1600 doesn't clock high enough and the 1600x without a cooler adds even more cost. He isn't doing anything special with this box, no gaming even so the 1500x is more than enough. Stock fan in this case, so no worries about the height thankfully.
You know... call me crazy (not maybe), but the 200r felt cheap. I couldn't believe it but the 200r that was newer than the 100r IIRC actually felt like they made it out of cheaper materials, and the front plastics were flat and showed imperfections. No slightly texture like all of the other Corsair cases. So I've always avoided it in favor of either the 100R is silence was needed and the CoolerMaster N200 for office builds.
I'm wondering still.. something like the 1600x, inside the N200 or the 100R, is that an acceptable pairing if using the stock HSF? It sure would be nice to have an idea of some form of TDP or total parts rating for thermal design for cases.
I hope Antec really isn't a thing. They were amazing for their light LAN Boy cases way back, but then they just got too cheap and their PSUs started to become straight junk too. Man, how times change. Antec was my go-to brand for most PC stuff, sort of like Corsair has become now.