Computer Case Hunt

By link590o
Nov 19, 2007
  1. Plain and simple. I am looking for a computer case, mid or full tower ATX that has at least 2 120 mm fans, window or no window, that will provide good cooling and quality for the money.

    i've looked into silverstone. and i've found this case to be of...decent..quality.

    i'm looking to keep the price at a maximum of 135 dollars if you would please...i don't think i can afford anything better than that.

    it needs good cooling because i plan on building a gaming rig with the following specs:

    antec neo HE 550 watt
    $99.99 + free

    geforce 8800 gt pny 512mb
    $269.99 + $6.33

    amd athlon 64 x2 6000+ 3.0 ghz
    159.99 + free shipping

    asrock aliven mobo
    $54.99 + $6.33

    Gskill memory 2x 1gig sticks
    $54.99 free shipping

    so with specs like that, you can understand why i would want it to run cool at all costs.

    let the hunt begin! :3
  2. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Here is a good $50 case ($80 before rebate):

    I'd take that extra money I just saved you on the case and upgrade your motherboard. There is nothing inherently 'wrong' with the one you choose, but if you are building a 'gaming' machine I don't think that (or any micro board) is a good choice. Maybe pick up something like a normal size Gigabyte board or something.
  4. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    I agree with sngx, don't go with a micro board. Try and find a regular ATX one. They will be a bit more expensive than micro but better.
  5. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    i generally have a lot of trouble finding a good and relatively inexpensive atx full board. all of them have stupid little things wrong with them. such as, one of them will write that there is poor driver support, or that a lot of the people that ordered it got it and it was dead on arrival. trivial things like that. i don't like having to buy something that will potentially already be broken when i get it.

    if you guys can find me a board that will not be broken when i get it, that is full atx, not expensive, and of decent quality, that'd be great. i was recommended that board by another member somewhere...he probably didn't realize that it was micro atx. and neither did i for that matter. i didn't think it was a problem.

    at any rate, any help is definitely appreciated. and thanks for the case recommendation. that one looks very nice indeed.
  6. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    This board looks decent,

    If you do have problems newegg has great customer service. When I received my board it had a nice bent piece on the corner. So I called newegg up and they sent me a new one without having to even send the old one back. Of course they did send the UPS guy later to pick it up but that wasn't much of a hassle.
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    I've had 2 fantastic Asus boards, but my last one was a Socket 754 one. Since then I've had 2 friends buy Asus boards and both had problems with them, so I'm scared off Asus for a while. I've recently become a big Gigabyte fan so thats my recommendation (of course you don't have to take it). I've built 3 Gigabyte systems in the last year (1 for myself 2 for others) and had no problems, all 3 ordered from newegg.
  8. Stick'o ram

    Stick'o ram TS Rookie Posts: 178

    I know this isn't following the topic, but I thought Micro ATX boards ran hotter, than normal boards.
    Conversations like these make me wish they still sold Raidmax Horizions, I would totally buy another just for safe keeping.

    Also look at this one : LINK
    This one has good reviews normal price: 139.99 after savings 29.99

    I like AsRock I have had good luck with them so far.
  9. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    i'm with sngx on that motherboard issue...i'm being scared away from asus too. way too many of the boards i look at from them are veritable pieces of crap. onboard sound problems, lan connections breaking, soldering points going up in smoke...what the hell is this?

    i think i just may look into a gigabyte board. because honestly, i don't see anything good from any of the other brands outside of ASRock. and they only have micro atx boards on newegg unfortunately for me.

    i'm looking into this board:

    thoughts? suggestions?

    i'm saving a good bit by picking that case you suggested. just a note for future reference: i refuse to deal with the hassle of MIR. it's too much work, time and effort. i'd like to just pay for it and move on with my life. i'm sick of dealing with money and i haven't even started my life yet....

    and stick, as nice as that case looks, i'd prefer to stick with the cheap one sngx provided seeing as it is similar in features, and a good 60 bucks lighter on my pocket.
  10. Stick'o ram

    Stick'o ram TS Rookie Posts: 178

    Thiers nothing I see wrong with the board you just recommended, expect for it has onboard video. I know you can turn it off, but... thats just me. Everything else though looks pretty good.

    You would probaly know more about rebates then I do. I've only done it once for a sixty dollar rebate on a Creative Zen Vision W 60gb. It took about seven weeks but it did eventually come. But if your on a budget and need the money right away then yea, probaly not such a good idea.

    Seven 120mm fans, I didn't even see that case when I was looking but yea, it does look pretty nice. I like the black finish, reminds me of mine (i'm a big fan of black and blue color schemes)
  11. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    installing a new video card is much easier if it comes with onboard video. once you have the new drivers and stuff installed with the disc, you just disable it and plug the monitor into the new card. much easer IMO than doing it without an onboard chip.

    and i am also a big fan of black and blue color schemes. i was halfway thinking to get an NZXT Hush computer case. very nice design, nothing bad about it, 2 stock 120mm fans, blue LED, black case, mid tower ATX. a friend of mine has this case and he loves it, and agrees it is indeed very very quiet.

    however, i'm a bigger fan of cooling than i am of pretty design. with all those fans, that coolermaster will be more than enough to cool 99% of the parts i put in. and it still looks pretty cool. so it looks like it's the best case for me and my budget.

    i'm still somewhat leary about that motherboard though. i know it's a good board, and there's nothing wrong with it. but i was hoping it'd be slightly cheaper than that. unfortunately, the cheaper version of that board has a few problems, and people recommend spending the extra money for the model i showed.

    then again, a mobo isn't something to be skimped on...

    i dunno. if there is a mobo that's cheaper and still has the same quality and other aspects, then i'd like to see it. but until then, i might stick with this board.
  12. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    I have a Asus board and I like it alot. SO far have had no problems with it. I don't like the onboard sound though, soundmax sounds sucks big. I definitely did not skimp on my board, paid $130 for it. :D
    Good luck on finding the right one link. :)
  13. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    With the way things are going, I think i may need a lot of it Sam...

    I think I might have found the right one. But as I said, I'm a big fan of cheap and high quality. And that thing, while certainly not cheap, is of high quality. And I would instead of pinning it at "expensive" pin it at "average" cost. I actually sort of expected a decent board to cost that much.

    However, as I also have already mentioned, I would LOVE to get it for less. Perhaps I'll get my wish on Black Friday? I'd say that day is my best chance. And I think I know what items I might be buying. The board, the case, and the power supply. I only have 240 dollars to my name at this point. So I can only get a few items for now. I think those might be the best choices.

    BUT. I'm open to suggestions. Of the items I listed in my very first post, which ones should I attempt to get given my current monetary status? I'm going to certainly try to get the motherboard with what I have, but I'll happily buy other things if you have a better idea of what to get right now.
  14. Stick'o ram

    Stick'o ram TS Rookie Posts: 178

    Thats the problem with Newegg, they have to many choices.
    They are also starting to sell some weird stuff on their too, I saw a space heater listed on their the otherday, along with a desklamp.
  15. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    I think that sounds about right. Those are the three things you are going to need to start off with anyway. OR maybe instead of the PSU get the CPU. But I don't know if you would have enough to switch the PSU with the CPU.
  16. Thrudd

    Thrudd TS Member Posts: 47


    Well, not sure if you have looked at this one yet. Its a bit less pricier than the Silverstone which I also was contemplating but in my area they are way expensive.:evil:

    :D Enermax Chackra the cooling and low sound level PLUS enough space for my RAID5 and then some :rolleyes:

    Only downside, if you call it that, is that its a steel case. Heavy but sturdy.
    You can also turn off the geewizz lights on the fans if you need to.

    For the black Friday sales I suggest not buying items that will price drop soon enough.
    Go for things that are usually never dropping in price.

    Power Supply - Case.

    Get your MoBo+CPU+RAM at the same time when you have the cash, knowing full well that prices on those will always be falling.
  17. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    hm...thrudd, i have to admit. i do like that case. that ginormous 250mm fan is a very tempting thing. and it means i only have to buy 2 fans extra. 2 zalman tech ltd fans, 120mm, black costs 9.99 each. if i buy 2, it's 9.29 with a 3.47 shipping charge each.

    it basically comes down to this. it's slightly better than that coolermaster case because of that gigantic 250mm fan. but it means i have to install any other fans myself. and considering i've never done a build before, that might prove complicated.

    the coolermaster has the fans preinstalled and pretty much includes the price of the fans. so price doesn't matter.

    it's just do i want to install my own fans or not.

    anybody care to enlighten me on how it's done? is it vastly simpler than i believe it to be? because if it is, i'm probably going to pick that chackra.

    its also because of the steel design. i like a sturdy case. i occasionally prop my feet up on my current tower with my current setup. (it sits under my desk to my left.)

    so i don't want to start propping my feet up on something which could easily sag or bend under the weight of my legs. aluminum is strong, but not that strong. and neither is plastic. steel == cool. (i weigh 135 pounds. so i'm not really freakin heavy. but any extra weight on it could prove troublesome.)
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Fan installation is incredibly easy. They come with fat screws with a low thread count. Fans are easier than mounting the PSU, which is very easy.
  19. Stick'o ram

    Stick'o ram TS Rookie Posts: 178

    Just don't let the installation scare you. Its normal to hear all kinds of cracking sounds when screwing the screws into the fan, but its easy.
  20. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    that's not really the part i'm worried about. i'm actually somewhat more worried about the wiring. hooking it up to the power. i'm kinda hoping there's a plug labeled "fan" or something that will help me to put 2+2 together.
  21. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    The fans either plug directly into your motherboard, or they will use a molex connector.
  22. Stick'o ram

    Stick'o ram TS Rookie Posts: 178

    That to is also easy, its pretty much the only three pin connecter on motherboards, and they only go on one way so it is easy to see where they need to go.

    If all else fails look in the manuel will come with your motherboard, it should have a diagram in it.
  23. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    Nah it really is easy. I did my first build in the summer and its a piece of cake.
    When you see the plugs and everything its not hard to figure out. I actually think that putting the PSU in was easer than putting fans in. I stripped a countless number of screws trying to get them into the fan. The fans dont come pre threaded and it is really kinda annoying to do it. I got a thermaltake 80 mm fan and that thing was easy but my 120s were hard. It takes a little time but its not that bad.
  24. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    i decided to get a head start and checked out how my fan plugs in, and hooks onto the case and stuff. and you were most definitely right. it's very simple indeed.

    my current case has a single fan dedicated to the cpu. it's attached to the back of the case in front of the vent using the plastic of the fan to hook into some pre-cut holes in the metal. and it has a green hood that folds down over the heat sink of the cpu and sucks all the heat out through there.

    and the wire for it plugs straight into the motherboard.

    while i was at it, i gave both my fan, and my heat sink a very thorough cleaning. took some cotton swabs and alcohol and removed as much dust as possible from the fan, and used a cloth to clean inbetween the teeth of the heat sink. and DAMN that thing gets dusty. i knew it would be dusty. but the amount of dust in there was enough to turn the cotton black on one side. that shiz is nasty. holy crap.

    anyway. that should drastically reduce any heat that poor cpu is producing. i'm putting that celeron through so much everyday. i'm amazed it hasn't died yet. all the thermal compound that was on it is drying out fast, and it's no longer one thin film over the cpu. it's now patchy and getting dirty from all the dust. not a good thing.

    good thing i won't be using this much longer. another 4 months and this piece of 5h17 is out the window.
  25. Thrudd

    Thrudd TS Member Posts: 47

    Just a note on the Chakra - It does come with a fan mounted on the front lower bezel with Blue LEDs. It blows across the 6 slot drive bay. Another Bonus is the the full front bezel has a washable filter. So all you need to add is maybe a 120mm on the back for major cross flow. I put in one of those whisper quiet models with a filter and set the big-un to blow out the side. You can check my system specs in the drop-down if you are curious.

    The only annoyance I had with putting mine together is the placement of the non-raided SATA connector on my MoBo, which is at the back bottom and my C drive is top front. I had to get an extra long SATA cable for that one. Another bonus though is the screwless card bail for the cards and the snap in drive bay module rails.
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