Despite my gauche and unstylish taste, I don't like to spend a lot of money on a case. In fact, I usually end up building PCs in boring black boxes. It's a habit from my younger years when I needed to pour every penny into performance-enhancing parts. These days, though, you don't have to pay out the nose to get a nice-looking chassis. Check out Corsair's latest, the Carbide Series Spec-05. This is an ATX mid-tower case with a stylish front fascia, a full-size acrylic side window, and a reasonable price.
Corsair has produced some Spec-series cases in the past with rather aggressive aesthetics. In comparison, the Spec-05 is downright quiet. Besides having a simple and stylish shape, the Spec-05 is also practical. It'll take full-sized ATX motherboards, and while it skips the power supply shroud commonly found in current cases, it uses a now-common layout with the PSU at the bottom. You get three spots for 3.5" disks and two spaces for 2.5" drives.
For a case of its size, the Spec-05 can take a fair few fans. You can mount two 120-mm fans in the top and three in the front. Either location can also take a pair of 140-mm spinners. The front of the case can take a 240-mm liquid-cooling radiator, and a 120-mm fan or radiator can go in the back. The Spec-05 comes from the factory fitted with a single 120-mm fan with red LED lighting. Corsair notes that you'll have to remove the 3.5" drive cage to use a third 120-mm fan, a second 140-mm fan, or a 240-mm radiator in the front of the case.
Unlike a lot of low-end cases, the Spec-05 offers solid allotment of cable routing holes in the backplate. You also get removable and reusable filters on the intake grilles. Folks building new machines can pick up Corsair's Carbide Spec-05 for just $50 at Newegg.