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Old January 19, 2016, 08:13 AM
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Default I want a new sleek, minimalistic case

So I currently have a Coolermaster 690II Advanced that is housing my main computer in the living room (it used to be in a Fractal Design Node 604 but the shelf it was on failed and it fell to the floor, destroying the case). This case has been good to me, but it is starting to show its age. I'm missing the bottom air intake dust filter, allowing dust to fill the PC. The window is starting to get scratched up, and the case's front panel only supports USB 2.0. PLUS, we just bought new furniture from Ikea and ended up going with furniture that is sleek, black and minimalistic. The 690II, while a good looking case in its day is starting to look, well, a little too PC-ish.

I'm on the hunt for a new case. No rush. Next couple of months or so. While I would love another Node 604, I've done away with the shelving system that required a case that looked like sound equipment. What I AM looking for is a tower that mimics the way the Node 604 looked. All black and sleek and minimalistic.

Something like the Fractal Design Define R5.

While the Define R5 does look like a great case and checks most of the boxes, it's a little on the steep side price-wise, and I don't really need a door for optical drives. It MAY be the case I eventually go with if no other suggestions are forthcoming.

Here are some of my requirements:
-Black, sleek minimalistic design that wouldn't look out of place in a living room.
-Tower - sits on floor.
-No Window necessary. The side a window would normally be on is up against a piece of furniture.
-No visible opening for optical bays.
-Quiet - this is an HTPC after all
-ATX compatible
-Lots of drive bays - 2 SSDs and 3-4 HDDs
-Easily cleanable dust filters

Air flow is NOT a huge concern. I'm running relatively efficient hardware, with a 3770K and a GTX960 at stock clocks.

So, does anyone have any suggestions?
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HTPC: Z77A-G45; 3770K; Zalman FX70; 2x4GB Kingston HyperX 1600Mhz; MSI GTX960; 2x 128GB Crucial M4 SSD; 4TB WD Red, 2x 2TB WD Green; Corsair RM650I; Corsair Carbide 600C;
Son's Rig: M5A97; FX8350; CNPS20LQ; 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz; Powercolor 7950; 250GB Crucial MX200; 320GB WD Black HDD; SPI 700W; Bitfenix Shinobi;
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Old January 19, 2016, 08:30 AM
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I was looking at the Fractal Design Define R5 myself recently then saw the Define S. It can be purchased window or windowless. Also you state "No visible opening for optical bays" and the S handles that nicely, assuming that means you don't need optical bays at all. I really like the flexibilty of the S and the lack of the front door. It even does as many as 3 - 3.5" drives and 2 - 2.5" drives behind the motherboard tray that I think is brilliant!

Not sure what your actual budget is but pricewise, with windowless version of the Define S on NCIX.com Canada (http://www.ncix.com/detail/fractal-d...-b7-107763.htm) comes in at $119.98 normal price, bit cheaper than the windowless R5 that is going for $157.98 on the same site.

Personnally I really like the Define S and have been considering it myself. Haven't used one yet though.
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Old January 19, 2016, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysrin View Post
I was looking at the Fractal Design Define R5 myself recently then saw the Define S. It can be purchased window or windowless. Also you state "No visible opening for optical bays" and the S handles that nicely, assuming that means you don't need optical bays at all. I really like the flexibilty of the S and the lack of the front door. It even does as many as 3 - 3.5" drives and 2 - 2.5" drives behind the motherboard tray that I think is brilliant!

Not sure what your actual budget is but pricewise, with windowless version of the Define S on NCIX.com Canada (http://www.ncix.com/detail/fractal-d...-b7-107763.htm) comes in at $119.98 normal price, bit cheaper than the windowless R5 that is going for $157.98 on the same site.

Personnally I really like the Define S and have been considering it myself. Haven't used one yet though.
Yeah, I saw the Define S online, too. I'd have to take a look at both an R5 and an S in-store to see how they both look. From the online pictures, the S looks a little more plasticky and 'cheap' than the R5. I mean, it IS cheaper, so it makes sense. I guess if it comes to spending $40 extra dollars to get a nicer case, I'll do it seeing as cases are something that you keep for a while.
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HTPC: Z77A-G45; 3770K; Zalman FX70; 2x4GB Kingston HyperX 1600Mhz; MSI GTX960; 2x 128GB Crucial M4 SSD; 4TB WD Red, 2x 2TB WD Green; Corsair RM650I; Corsair Carbide 600C;
Son's Rig: M5A97; FX8350; CNPS20LQ; 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz; Powercolor 7950; 250GB Crucial MX200; 320GB WD Black HDD; SPI 700W; Bitfenix Shinobi;
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Old January 19, 2016, 09:04 AM
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I'm waiting on the Corsair 400C/400Q to come out. Suppose to be available by mid-February. Not sure about Canadian pricing though, but corsair said US price would be around 99$. Compact ATX case with no optical drive bay, minimalist/clean design as well.
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Old January 19, 2016, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groove View Post
I'm waiting on the Corsair 400C/400Q to come out. Suppose to be available by mid-February. Not sure about Canadian pricing though, but corsair said US price would be around 99$. Compact ATX case with no optical drive bay, minimalist/clean design as well.
Thanks, I'll take a look at it.
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HTPC: Z77A-G45; 3770K; Zalman FX70; 2x4GB Kingston HyperX 1600Mhz; MSI GTX960; 2x 128GB Crucial M4 SSD; 4TB WD Red, 2x 2TB WD Green; Corsair RM650I; Corsair Carbide 600C;
Son's Rig: M5A97; FX8350; CNPS20LQ; 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz; Powercolor 7950; 250GB Crucial MX200; 320GB WD Black HDD; SPI 700W; Bitfenix Shinobi;
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Old January 19, 2016, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groove View Post
I'm waiting on the Corsair 400C/400Q to come out. Suppose to be available by mid-February. Not sure about Canadian pricing though, but corsair said US price would be around 99$. Compact ATX case with no optical drive bay, minimalist/clean design as well.
I like some of the features of the 400C/Q too. Think I still like all the drives behind the motherboard tray rather than some under the power supply shroud but that is just a preference, won't affect function, and in the end they all end up hidden in either case. The 400C's choice of 2 - 3.5" and 3 - 2.5" drive support may be better for the current SSD trends. That $99 USD price with CAD exchange will likely put it in the same vicinity as the Fractal ones.
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Old January 19, 2016, 10:19 AM
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I had a look at the 400C/Q, and I like. I would likely go for the 400Q, as I don't need a window, and the lack of a window probably means more sound dampening anyway. I also like the compact size. The Fractals are nice, but the smaller size of the Corsairs might fit my space better.

EDIT: On second thought, the Corsair 400 series won't work for me as I need 3x 3.5" drive bays, and these cases only have 2. I suppose if I rearrange my file system I could do away with my 2x 2TB Green RAID array and use only 1x 2TB Green drive, then upgrade to another 4TB Red when I run out of space (which due to the current trend of streaming content may be never).
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HTPC: Z77A-G45; 3770K; Zalman FX70; 2x4GB Kingston HyperX 1600Mhz; MSI GTX960; 2x 128GB Crucial M4 SSD; 4TB WD Red, 2x 2TB WD Green; Corsair RM650I; Corsair Carbide 600C;
Son's Rig: M5A97; FX8350; CNPS20LQ; 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz; Powercolor 7950; 250GB Crucial MX200; 320GB WD Black HDD; SPI 700W; Bitfenix Shinobi;

Last edited by great_big_abyss; January 19, 2016 at 10:33 AM.
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Old January 19, 2016, 10:37 AM
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This would be an option, too:

NZXT S340 ATX Case, Black at Memory Express



EDIT:

Yet another suitable case:
Corsair 330R Blackout Edition Mid Tower Case at Memory Express
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HTPC: Z77A-G45; 3770K; Zalman FX70; 2x4GB Kingston HyperX 1600Mhz; MSI GTX960; 2x 128GB Crucial M4 SSD; 4TB WD Red, 2x 2TB WD Green; Corsair RM650I; Corsair Carbide 600C;
Son's Rig: M5A97; FX8350; CNPS20LQ; 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz; Powercolor 7950; 250GB Crucial MX200; 320GB WD Black HDD; SPI 700W; Bitfenix Shinobi;

Last edited by great_big_abyss; January 19, 2016 at 03:00 PM.
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Old January 20, 2016, 06:06 AM
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So I've added a new requirement. Compact. Not mITX compact, but still smaller than normal. 16-17" long is as big as I'm comfortable going. This eliminates the Corsair 330R (19.5") and the Fractal Design Define R5 (20.9") but still leaves the NZXT S340 (17.5"), and the Corsair 400Q (16.7") (I'm really starting to like this case) and possibly the Fractal Design Define S (at 17 3/4").

I think my current favorite is the Corsair 400Q (I may decide to go with the windowed version at time of purchase though). If it costs less than $150 at release that will likely be the one I jump on.
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HTPC: Z77A-G45; 3770K; Zalman FX70; 2x4GB Kingston HyperX 1600Mhz; MSI GTX960; 2x 128GB Crucial M4 SSD; 4TB WD Red, 2x 2TB WD Green; Corsair RM650I; Corsair Carbide 600C;
Son's Rig: M5A97; FX8350; CNPS20LQ; 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz; Powercolor 7950; 250GB Crucial MX200; 320GB WD Black HDD; SPI 700W; Bitfenix Shinobi;

Last edited by great_big_abyss; January 20, 2016 at 06:11 AM.
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Old January 20, 2016, 07:16 AM
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I think the compact ATX case trend will gain momentum throughout the year so there might be more options in the next few months. It seems like more and more people are interested in sticking with the ATX format and getting rid of superfluous stuff to allow small as possible ATX cases. I'm personally quite interest in the 400C but might end up waiting a little longer to see if anything else will be coming out.
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