Weekend Open Forum: How much did your case cost?

By on January 28, 2011, 7:22 PM
Although some enthusiasts are willing to splurge on extravagant computer cases, many shun the notion of spending $200+ on a glorified metal box. That's understandable with when you compare the features of products such as Cooler Master's $60 HAF 912 and $200 HAF X. Both offer the same core functionality: a home for your components.

Expensive cases typically have superior cable management, stock cooling and accessibility, but budget chassis owners aren't missing out on much. Cables can be hidden with some imagination and zip ties, fans can be upgraded if necessary, and unless you swap hardware frequently, fancy tool-less mechanisms won't be saving you much time.

The difference between a $60 and $200 chassis often amounts to some extra space, aesthetics such as interior paint, and a simplified installation process. Our question is: are those features worth a price premium to you? How much did you pay for your current case? To get us rolling, I'm using the dated Thermaltake Tai-Chi and Julio has the HAF 932.





User Comments: 111

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KG363 KG363 said:

Just bought a $140 HAF 932 Black

Cota Cota said:

Cooler Master HAF 912, i prefer to spend the money on the real hardware :P

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

CoolerMaster HAF-X. Awesome case - recommend it for any user, especially if you're going to do SLI and/or multiple drives.

I have to disagree with the "fancy tool-less mechanisms won't be saving you much time." No, it won't save you hours, but putting in four screws into each side of a hard drive the old way, compared to a 5 second snap in place - that's a time saver. Especially for multiple drive configurations. Just sayin.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Yep, you'll save a few minutes for sure -- but is that worth a premium? That's the question .

I think the HAF 912 in specific has tool-less drive mounts anyway.

Nima304 said:

Meh, I have a laptop.

Recycle said:

Cooler Master Centurion 5.

No huge complaints, but for my next machine, I am gonna spend a bit more (mostly for a computer with a working security lock -- d'oh!)

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Nima304 said:

Meh, I have a laptop.

Go away, you're boring, lol.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Mountainmods ascension with three windows.

440.00 usd and a silverstone tj07 powder black 350.00 usd

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

My main rig case is a Thermaltake Eclipse (mid-tower). Great case except the on/off switch is the absolutely worse ever designed. Very poor housing in that it is thin and thus fragile. Broke a long time ago.

Our family PC's case is an old 2002 Thermaltake Xaser II full tower that I swear is made from WW II Sherman tank plating. It is heavy! I was able to get brand new out of the box from Thermaltake's direct/discontinued products all for $60.00 and that included shipping.

My newest case is a mid-tower Cooler Master HAF-922 that is very close to having as much room as a full tower that I got for around $85 with with free shipping from NewEgg. It will be for my new build.

Kayden Kayden said:

My Koolance PC4-1036BK Liquid Cooled Aluminum Full Tower Case - Black cost $619.99 + Shipping $65.35 = $685.34

[link]

I've done some other upgrades to it as well such as

[link]

[link]

Now it can handle 1320watts of total heat and since I have 2 EVGA GeForce GTX 580 FTW Hydro Copper 2's for SLI and getting the new Sandy Bridge when the Maximus IV becomes available it will be nice to have some over head for the heat being out by those components.

pandelisgreen13 said:

coolermaster 40?....

Guest said:

I spent $400 AUS on my coolermaster cosmos S

Geary said:

I technically got the HAF-X on sale from Newegg for $180, but I would have dropped the extra $20 on it anyways. The bells and whistles like front-panel USB 3.0 are nice and all (well....once stuff starts actually using 3.0), but to me most of the value comes from all the extra space it has to offer.

I wasn't installing a particularly large amount of hardware, but even so when it was all said and done that extra room definitely paid off. Trying to cram all that into a smaller case would have been an interesting endeavor, not to mention limiting my possibilities for future expansion. I can't imagine trying to fit a second Radeon 6870 in anything smaller. Now, whether I just did a terrible job at planning all my wire-management....well, that's another story.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Corsair 800D -$NZ500. Likely going up for sale once Silverstone's TJ11 becomes available.

Second system chassis is an Armor+ (modded)

Also have a selection of cases sitting around the place waiting for sale/modding (Lian Li V1100,Tt Xaser III and a Chieftec server chassis,

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Z, how big is that Xaser III? My Xaser II is large with hevy gage steel.

DokkRokken said:

HAF922 for 80 bucks. Solid, cool, and does what it needs to.

Mikymjr Mikymjr said:

The first case that i bought for myself is an Apevia Xplorer with a clear side and costed me 100$.

My second case is a ThermaleTake Element T (vk9000series).

I'm currently only running on my ThermalTake case because i'm repainting my Apevia case and modifying it for better air-flow. The color scheme will be flat-black on the frame and gunmetal paint on the outer panels (side panels and top panel). I decided to let a good friend of mine, airbrush on it when the painting is done. When all is done it will house a knew Gigabyte ma785g-ud3h motherboard, athlon II

X2 or X4, Gskill 4GB mem and after sometime a knew NVidia GTX560Ti or GTX460

Guest said:

Antec p183. $180 AUD eighteen months ago

Still going strong with a 1055t @ 4Ghz and crossfired 5850's but man those stock fans are noisy on high.

Can Anyone recommend a quiet, efficient 120mm fan?

Guest said:

10 years ago i bought a LIan Li PC6070 for $210.

I still use the same case and its in almost in perfect condition.

Guest said:

Ive used the majorty of cases out there and no case comes close to the cool-masters Cosmos S

ackack47 said:

My last few cases were $300 full tower Lian-Li cases, love them.

Cueto_99 said:

I've got the thermaltake V9 Black Edition... I went for it because of the huge 23mm window fan, which I'm not currently using... see, I also got a tower cooler for the CPU which interfere with the fan, so I had to remove the fan... anyway, if there is something Ive learned with this case is, no more side fan, too much dust get inside... so next time I'll get a cable management case with cristal clear side window without any fan, and a good liquid cooling system... pretty expensive but i think will be worth it.

Leeky Leeky said:

I'm using a £45 NZXT Beta.

When I upgrade though, I'm going to get the Silverstone Raven RV02-E that we recently reviewed on here.

I haven't found anywhere in the UK that does this case yet, but since the same is true of the FSP Group Boosters that I need two of, I'm going to order them from the US and get them all shipped together (should fit in the case nicely!).

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

CM 690 II Advanced.

I love it, won't be upgrading within the decade.

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have a Thermaltake Element T, which costs around 70$. Mind you, I did not actually pay for it: I won it in a contest.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Well, let's see;

1. Cooler Master Storm "Scout"....$59.95 Black Friday past @ Microcenter

I'd like to paint the Antec EA-430 in this black to match the Scout's. But, you'd have to mask the PSU's air intakes from the inside, thereby voiding the warranty. I suppose it could wait 3 years.

2. Antec 900, Christmas before last... $79.95 (Made Best Buy honor Microcenter's sale price, in spite of the fact that MC was out of it. Hey, don't look at me, it was the Microcenter's salesman's idea, I'm the victim here).

I know that Cooler Master cases are en vogue right now, but this case's air flow is way better than the CM Storm Scout. The original 900, (IMHO) is the best looking by far of the 3 types offered. (The 900 Silver Edition is frightful looking).

I'd like to paint the whole interior of this black, period.

3. Cooler Master "Centurion 541" (w 370 watt PSU)...$59.95 ( -$10. MIR) This is a Matx case, a little cutie that looks like its ATX brothers, and weighs a ton.

4. An "Apex" TX-381... [link] $24.95 Free shipping. This is a pretty decent Matx case for the price.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Z, how big is that Xaser III? My Xaser II is large with heavy guage steel.

A little bigger than the Xaser II. Quite a bit deeper and maybe a touch taller, but around the same width. I built my father's PC and put into a Xaser II -the aluminium one though! A great chassis for it's day with its built in fan controller.

I modded the Xaser II's front facia - built in a removeable front fan filter and low restriction stainless steel grille into the door since the Xaser II doesn't normally have filters and my folks have a housefull of pets.

The Xaser III I have would outweigh the Xaser II (steel) by about 12lb in stock form (17kg/38Ib to 12kg/26lb) bare of components.

BlindObject said:

My friend gave mine for free, honestly I have no idea what it is, but I love it. It's at least 4 years old.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I've got an all-steel Thermaltake Xaser III in black with a little red trim on the front cover. I got it back in 2005 when I built my first Athlon 64 gaming rig. It measures 20.5 inches high, 8 inches wide and 21.5 inches in length. It's definitely one heavy super tower, a real backbreaker especially since my original config included 3 HDDs and 2 graphics cards. I think I paid around $170-180 at that time.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Well, any car can get you from point A to point B, but unless you are short on budget you just don't buy ANY car. Average users may go for average PCs, but us, enthusiasts tend to research before we buy (hence our own case reviews) and if the budget allows it we go the extra mile for the nicer/cooler case, the faster processor and the fancy looking RAM

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

CM Stacker 830 + 1000 Watt PSU, $400.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Well, any car can get you from point A to point B, but unless you are short on budget you just don't buy ANY car.
I thought when times got really tough, you either took a bus or hoofed it. I guess "short on budget" is another relative term.

mosu said:

230 $ Antec Fusion Remote Black, it's silent and looks good.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My first recent case was a Foxconn RS233 that I mounted to the back of my monitor. It was around $45. My current case is a Lian Li PC-Q08, which I got for $135. Both numbers after shipping.

Guest said:

Man a lot of people buy the HAF towers! I'm glad I went with something unique!

Xigmatek Midgard - W

$100

Case has one issue: Mobo backplate cutout is just a hair too small, easily fixable if necessary. Otherwise it's rock solid. I've had it for nearly a year now and I still have to use a screwdriver to pry the sidepanels off. Yep, built like a tank :)

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Man a lot of people buy the HAF towers! I'm glad I went with something unique!

Xigmatek Midgard - W

$100

Case has one issue: Mobo backplate cutout is just a hair too small, easily fixable if necessary. Otherwise it's rock solid. I've had it for nearly a year now and I still have to use a screwdriver to pry the sidepanels off. Yep, built like a tank

Meh, I break a nail every once in a while pulling the side panels off my 5 year old Emachines. Then I go for a screw driver.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

For the Guest asking about fan recommendations - I've always gone with Noctura. Swapped out all of my case and CPU cooler fans. They're EXTREMELY quiet and also very efficient. Google the reviews - you'll see that they're highly recommended by about everyone:

[link]

SilverCider said:

Antec 300 all the way :P cost me just shy of £50, or around $79 - I have sharkoon silent eagles fitted all round too.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Currently using a CoolerMaster Storm Scout and I'm pretty happy. I personally don't mind paying a premium for a case since it is one of the few future proof items you can have.

captaincranky said:

Made Best Buy honor Microcenter's sale price, in spite of the fact that MC was out of it. Hey, don't look at me, it was the Microcenter's salesman's idea, I'm the victim here.

Nothing wrong with that, I do it often during busy holiday times . Just wish I lived remotely close to a Microcenter .

Sarcasm Sarcasm said:

I think a good case is one of the better investments IMO. CPU's and mobos (especially intel) can get outdated within a couple years. But a solid case should last for years and years and handle plenty of new setups.

Ithryl said:

I paid over 400$ for a Thermaltake case several years ago. It was far from perfect and I replaced it with a much cheaper one in few months. Right now I'm using a 150$ Enermax case which shakes and vibrates all the time - been driving me crazy so much that I'd moved it under the table.

Guest said:

Sagitta by Raidmax on sale at FRY's less than $50. Tool-less with Blue lights and clear side panel. Add a few fans and new 650 PS all-in-all under $100 so I can put the monies into RAM/CPU, as a case is a case is a case once installed who cares. As they its your/their money and there is only so much pie in the pie, if you have lots of pie then why not go for it. For those of us not so lucky, buyer be aware, a little research and one can save a ton of money with very little trade-off.

Guest said:

The time saving argument on more expensive tool-less cases is a bit daft, because how many extra hours did you have to work (after tax) to buy the expensive case in the first place. Plus my £14 case has tool-less harddrive bays.

Johny47 said:

Not sure how much £70 is in US dollars but that's how much my CM Storm Scout cost about a year ago.

Lurker101 said:

Got a HAF 932 for about £90

stupidusernames said:

Wow... I'm surprised at the poll options and also the results!

My case cost me US$1800. Though that was with a phase change included. it was US$1000 without the phase.

windmill007 said:

Antec 900 FTW

I have the Antec 900 case I got for $50. It is the best case IMO because it is very modular and has the best cooling I've ever seen and looks sweet. I have yet to see a better case with simple but super efficient design. I will stick with this case for a long time until something can top it...which I doubt.

windmill007 said:

Humm i just did a listing on Newegg with the cases with most reviews..>Antex 900 is #1 (for good reason) followed by COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 (got that case too...good cheap design)

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

£40...Had it for 7 years, i clean and polish it every 3 months, all the mounts and threads are knackard...But still lovin' it!

Edit: It also came with a free 450 Watt PSU which i used for about 2 years before i bought a new 500 Watt one. After a year with my new one, It literally blew up and caught fire on me.. To which i replaced it with my original free 450 Watt, and i've been using it ever since

zillion said:

I build 3 pc's for my brother in law, his gf and then my other brother in law, all in the Corsair Obsidian 800D it was on sale and like half the price.

Then 3 days later i decided to go buy it for myself...and ofc!!! it was not on sale anymore, so i got robbed

That is karma ..when its broken!!

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