I will be building a PC w/ p67 B3 (atx I assume) motherboard, i5-2500k processor, 2x4 RAM, 6950 HD GPU, Xonar Essence STX sound card, one SSD and one HDD. I would like this build to be reasonably future proof (so I can just replace parts when nesscesary. Any ideas on a good looking case that will provide plently of cooling - but doesnt cost a bomb!
Was looking at the new HAF X case, but this is really expensive! If I went for something like the CM 690 II Lite would I see any noticable difference (apart from the massive price drop!)
if you dont mind cleaning at a MINIMUM of once a month, perferably every two weeks, (this is subjective to you pc cleanliness) i recomend a antec 900, good case, fits right between your two mentioned cases, and gives great cooling.
Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case Black 3X5.25 1X3.5 5X3.5INT No PS W/ Fan Controller & Temp Display - DirectCanada
Probably the best value on the market ATM. Load it up with 7 fans (comes with 4 decent ones) and you'll have your good cooling. Fan placement is very well thought out, especially the side fans, they won't obstruct large tower coolers and provide RAM/VRM/GPU with decent cooling. Quality and features are surprisingly good for a case in this price range, there's actually space behind the motherboard tray for routing thicker wires.
But that being said, spending more on a case usually translates to being able to use the case longer and throughout multiple builds. (better features, more room, less broken plastic parts, etc) It's not necessary to spend a ton though, as long as you pick the right one for your needs.
I recently picked up a HAF 922 for under $90 taxes in and for the money, it's really good. Although I have to RMA mine due to some manufacturing defects, the case is great.
It's really easy to install components in because it's so spacious, and cable management is also a breeze. I suck at cable management and had no issues tucking away things out of the way in the 922.
The only complaint I have with the whole HAF lineup is the lack of fan filters, that is the one small issue that I have with the case.
I don't mind spending a lot on a case because I normally use the same case for years through numerous upgrades. so it's an investment to have a case that's easy to work in and flexible (air cooling, rad placement, etc) in addition to thermal and acoustic performance.
by paying $100 more than I absolutely needed to for a case, I get more enjoyment and significantly less frustration for 2-4 years. if you plan on working inside your case a lot, it's worth saving up for a more expensive case.
because of these factors, I really like the HAF X. It works well, it's built well, works well, it's extremely flexible and very easy to work with.
I just ordered the CM 932 Black edition. With pricematching, I was able to get a set of UV cathcodes and a set of compression fittings with my case for the orignal asking price of the case. Not too shabby I say.
HAF X. Huge case. Pretty much all the features you need, way to awesome cable management.
Antec 900 must be one of the case that lack the most features in this price bracket.
The biggest difference you'll notice going from a 932 -> 690 II is the size of the case and the aesthetics.
The 690 II basic has equally great cable management, fan placement, toolless installation, and layout. If you opt for the advanced version, which is $80 vs. $70, not only do you get a hot swap bay on top of the case, 3 fans, 1 modular HD cage (I'm not sure if the basic has this) to support larger GPUs down the road, and 1 free SSD adapter.
$100 can be made by most adults fairly simply in a day. Spending that $100 extra dollars on a case that should sit on/under your desk for the next 5 years and be a joy to work with whenever you change systems or decided to upgrade anything = worth it. It is obviously only worth it if you are building some type of gaming/intensive use machine that you intend on upgrading. I think it is worth it after being on a Sonata III for 3.5 years and moving up to a Haf X now.
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