just brew it! wrote:
Why would this many drive bays limit my choices? What choices?
It limits your choices because there are many cases that have only 4 or 5 external 5-1/4" bays.
How many fan speed controllers do you need? They make controllers for up to 6 fans. The only USB 3 equipped cases that I know about with 6 external 5.25" bays are the Cooler Master cases. Having had a couple of very heavy cases, I can tell you that moving a 30 lbs case with a system built in it is backbreaking and awkward.
If you really want a giant case, you could go with the Lian Li PC-P80N
. It has 12 externally accessible bays...though the removable 3.5" hard drive cages sit behind the lower 9, giving you any combination of 3 bays that you want. The lowest cage actually supports 4 x 3.5" and 2x 2.5" drives. There is no front firewire, but it does have 4 front USB 3.0 ports, eSATA, and audio. Of course, it is even more expensive than its non-USB 3.0 predecessor which has somewhat less flexible bay configuration. Still, the monster's shipping weight is only 22 lbs...meaning that the case is around 18.
The Lian Li PC-A77F
is a similarly large case.
If you can live with 5 external 5.25" bays, the [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112342]Lian Li PC-A70F. This one has been updated with USB 3 ports.
Both cases have more internal drive bays than your selection. They do not have the integrated SATA dock. Their aluminum construction does make them lighter and Lian Li cases are sturdy aluminum cases, not the thin-shelled, warp-prone cheaper cases. Aluminum is also a much better thermal conductor than steel or plastic, effectively making the case itself a big heat sink.
Even with 2 optical drives and 2 fan speed controllers, you only need 4 external 5.25" bays which opens up a LOT more case options. Including many that are lighter (and so more convenient to work on) and