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Old September 6, 2013, 05:25 PM
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Default Simplest of "case mods" ever - fan filter question

I've been researching a new case - one that will let me upgrade my video card - my current case max's out at 260 mm which won't accommodate most HD 7970's - and it does not support USB 3.0 while my mobo does, and I just wanna upgrade - I guy can want a cool case just because right?

Been looking at Cooler Master HAF 922m or 670 II Advanced. I now have a CM red glowing keyboard so picking up on the red glow is a bonus. But I've also looked at a NZXT Tempest and other models, and the BitFenix Ghost.

Some but not all of these cases include fan filters.

I see they are cheap like borsch $4 see Silverstone FF123 120mm Magnetic Fan Filter at Memory Express

This particular one is magnetic (although has holes to screw onto non-magnetic surfaces).

Is this as simple and easy as it looks? Just stick this over the intake holes and clean when needed?

If so, I'll be less concerned about whether fan filters are included.

Any tips on case buying? Been spending my time watching case review videos and reading up on them. There are way too many choices.

I'm thinking of spending anywhere between $70 and $120 on this case.

If I get a cheaper case I might even get some mod stuff. :)

Glowing Red Fans for sure (which ones are recommended - any to steer clear of?)
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Old September 6, 2013, 06:06 PM
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If your budget is $70 to $120 I would highly recommend looking at some Fractal Design cases. They might look a little plain but the build quality is 2nd to none and they usually come with every feature you could ask for including front intake fan filters.
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Old September 7, 2013, 10:28 AM
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You can get better cases than those Cooler Master ones.

I am personally not, nor ever been a fan (no pun intended) of Cooler Master products.

If you are interested in Air Filters, these are great! IN WIN Magnetic Air Filter 160x180mmx1mm (2x pieces)

I use these in several of my Bitfenix Prodigy builds.

Its a great time to shop for cases right now, due to "back-to-school" promotions running through September there are a lot of good quality cases on special from various retail/e-tail.

If you like the silent type with door (similar to Fractal Design Define R4), Antec has the P280 on special right now for $79.99 (after $10IR + $30MIR) here. For the P280 White, its $64.88 (after $10IR + $40MIR) here

I personally love the NZXT Phantom-series of cases, currently using the Phantom 820 Gunmetal Gray. There are some models currently on special here
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Old September 7, 2013, 07:11 PM
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Default STILL Trying to choose the right case

Thanks for the input so far.

This is the first time to research and outright buy a case - all the others were bundled or budget decisions. The case I have not is fine - except it only has 265 mm of video card clearance and any extra fan ports.

I am swayed by the reviews on Fractal - and NCIX has a great sale on the Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium for $99 - but add $32 to ship it to my office ($39 to ship to my home!) But still a good deal as the regular price is $149.00 so I have to think of it as $18 off and free shipping

For a few dollars less ($120 delivered from BestBuy on their price match + free shipping offer) I could get the Fractal Design Define R4 ATX Mid Tower with Window. It is smaller but still big enough for my needs, but I think the Define XL R2 is worth $12 more.

Curious about the dislike for Cooler Master - I'm using their Trigger Keyboard and it feels grand (blue cherries) and use their Hyper 212 to cool my APU. I kinda like the HAF series, either the 922m or the XM ($110 vs 130) both from Bestbuy, price match, free shipping although the 690 II Advanced also appeals to me.

I have looked at the NZXT - looked at the H2 ($70) and the Phantom 410 ($80). Not crazy about the Phantom angular styling - but I guess it could grow on you (I'm 59 years old that may explain my lack of appreciation for the style). BestBuy carries both so no shipping costs for these ones. The H2 only offers 270 mm video card clearance unless you remove the hard drive enclosure and from what I can tell it is one big enclosure and you'd have to mod it to keep some of the drive bays in the case

The first case to really catch my eye was the BitFenix Ghost $70. If I decide to 'cheap out' I think this one would be my cheap choice -

I have not really looked at Antec - but am looking now, thanks for the tip. I see I can get P280 for $103 + $5 shipping from MemExpress (price matched price) or the White Window on for a few dollars more ($110 + $5). MemExpress says the full price on the white window version is $150 so if I take that at face value this is a great price. Downside of the window version is that I would just have to get LED lights for inside the case - none of my existing fans are LED nor are the fans that come in the white windowed version. The biggest decision would be red or blue. Red to match the red glow from my keyboard or blue because I think a white case should glow blue - hmmm. touch decisions. Adds $15 to $20 to get the NCXT Lighting kit at Memory Express (have not shopped around for these yet).

I'll have to decide whether I re-install my old card reader or get the $14 Kingston USB3.0 card reader - which I think will radically increase the transfer time for photographs on my Class10 SD card SDHD

I am heading into Edmonton on the 18th and could get to a Memory Express and may wait until then to actually get to handle the case before buying - or not.

So to recap:

A Fractal Design Define XL R2 Titanium - $132 delivered (NCIX)

ANTEC P280 White Window $115 delivered + $15 for a metre of LED's (MemExpress)

or Cooler Master HAF XM - $130 delivered (BestBuy) - it already glows red (or maybe the 922m because the XM is really overkill for my system).

and the BitFenix Ghost ($70) still has some appeal for me, and is almost half the cost.


This is progress - down from a dozen contenders already.


Does anyone else go through this endless back and forth when deciding on components for their system?

I'm already looking at which 3 GB HD7950 (or 7970) card I'll get to go into this system.
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Old September 7, 2013, 07:33 PM
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your lady friends nylons work well for filters
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Old September 7, 2013, 10:29 PM
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Default And the Winner Is - FD XL R2

Laid out my top contenders on a spreadsheet and ran through the pro's and con's with "my lady friend". And we decided on the F.D. Define XL R2. She really liked the 'Scandinavian" look.



I hate to see so much going to Canada Post ($32) but the NCIX $99 Fractal Designs Define XL R2 is still a good deal at $132.

Besides the almost lack of any un-happy customers posting one "eggs" or stars, I guess the biggest thing going for it is the same thing as I don't like about it - it's weight - hence the $32 in postage, but at 19 kg's is more than half again the weight of the 12 kg's for the Antec P280 which right now is my second choice. I was very close to going for a white windowed P280 - but my lady friend did not thing a white box under my desk was a good idea. I'd also be tempted to spend a few more dollars on LED lighting - why have a window without any interior lighting? - that would even out the price. And I think she was wise in saying I'd tire of the red glow at my feet after a short while. Maybe? But given the weight difference I can only assume that F.D. is using a higher grade steel and more sound proofing than Antec, the cases are close the the same size.

Now I may come to regret my choice every time I pull this monster out from under my desk - my current cheap case is very light and easy to move out and lay down to work on. I have a feeling I'll be laying this beast flat on the floor and working on it on my hands and knees. Just for fun I just lifted 37 pounds in barbell weights - I think I'll need to start weight training before this thing arrives. :P

A word on MIR - I've been burned with them more often than I've actually received the cheque in the mail. Seems they do not send to a post office box. I'm sorry but we are rural and that's the only way we get mail. And when I did get one it came as a gift card to purchase more of their stuff, which I really didn't need - and then you still have to pay the difference and the s/h so no real savings at all. Any other rural folk out there have the same experience? I did notice that of those posting one or two 'eggs' in the user reviews there were frequent complaints about failure to deliver MIR.
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Old September 7, 2013, 10:55 PM
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Dang, just when I thought the quest was over. I continued to read and googled a comparison of the FD XL R2 and read: "But you must think to get a 8-pin CPU power cable extension because the case is too high." Oh. Now to research how long my cables are and if I need to buy this CPU cable extension? I have an Antec 620m.

Have not ordered yet - might end up with the Antec after all?
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Old September 7, 2013, 11:42 PM
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Things that make you go, hmmmmm.
Fractal Design Define XL User experience review - YouTube
One real user's experience building in an Fractal Design's XL build. Lots of concerns about cables fitting, sata cable issues, power cables.
Now I'm not so sure about this big case - it is truly much bigger than I need.

Oh bother.

The P280 is about two inches shorter - so the power cable would have a little less distance to travel.

The R4 is two more inches shorter (18.3 vs 22") that's four inches less distance for the cable to have to travel.

I'll sleep on it.

Anyone install an Antec 620m into any of these cases?
This page lists the cable lengths: Antec HCG-620M 620-watt Power Supply Review - Cabling Arrangement and A Look Inside | TweakTown
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Last edited by fortkentdad; September 8, 2013 at 12:23 AM.
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Old September 9, 2013, 11:20 PM
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Default Down to TWO - final round - P280 or R4 - cast your vote

I did sleep on it and I'm glad I didn't go for the really big and heavy Define XL - I could see that getting to be a real bear to wrestle to the ground when working on it.
So I tossed and turned the stylish and smaller R4 - two fans, two external 5.25 bays, modular cages (in black and white) - comes in a Titanium Window version ($119 + 5 S/h) or the Antec P280 - a little larger, black, no window (although I could get a white window version for $10 less), also $119 + $5 - although with price match I could get another $12.50 off that.

Upside of the window - looks cool. BUT it would look much cooler with some interior lighting, so I'd buy a two or three RED LED fans and maybe the Antec USB Accent Light. I picked out a few and soon I'd spent another $50 on fans and lights. BUT then it would look way cool eh?

The R4 offers two 140 mm fans, the P280 gives you three 120's. Both offer fan control for up to three fans - the R4 nicely on the front, the P280's little bitty switches on the back of the case so pick your speed (hi or lo) and leave it there. I would like to see if I can't get all the fans controlled by ASUS's fan control program that comes with the mother board. The mobo only has three case fan three pin plugs (plus a cpu fan plug). I think I can use simple Y splitters and plug more than one fan into these ports - not sure what that will do to ASUS's program which reads fan speed in RPM and lets you set on a graph the speed you want vy the temperature in the case. I have an extra three pin Y so I'll have to open my case and see how that works.

ANYway - very little to chose between them.

But I was concerned I'd have to buy extension for my power supply (seems they are about $8 so not a deal breaker but a bit of a bother). Anyway I found this site: Recenzja obudowy Antec P280 i opis zasilacza HCG-620M - Wyposa?amy obudow? w komponenty where google translated the polish to read:
Then the housing "throw" power HCG-620M with modular cabling, which typically has a detachable power cable 24-pin and 8pin EPS. We will see that the cable connector 8-pin EPS enough to reach the connector on the motherboard - we obviously cable underneath. Previously, we reported that Antec P280 not joined to an extension cord to the power supply EPS12V, but the power supply wiring HCG-620M is so long that the cable was able to easily extend from the bottom. Let's see how it came out. a little is lost in translation but clearly my HCG-620m works well in the P280 - one less thing to worry about.

The cases look very similar black with a shiny door, but points to the P280 for its 270° swing on the door.

Both offer filters - + to F.D. for a bottom fan option which is filtered, but the Antec PSU filter is a little easier to access.

Both take long video cards - longer than I'll need.

I was disappointed by the $30 rebate from NCIX on the P280 - the difference in shipping took almost all of that benefit, so not enough to make me change supplier.

As for the build quality and reviews - both get raving reviews by almost everyone. Antec loses points for their poorly placed fan controller, worst complaint I had found on the R4 was a fellow who bought a white one and did not like the red LED on the power button and how it 'bleeds' red light (pun intended).

.
So P280 - better door, taller but ligher, 3 fans. $109
OR - R4 + window, + wee bit smaller but heavier, modular HDD trays, 2 x 140 fans with nicer controller. $119

OR
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Last edited by fortkentdad; September 9, 2013 at 11:27 PM.
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