Gaming Case Roundup: Six Sub-$200 Choices

By on June 24, 2011, 3:04 AM

With dozens of affordable, well-equipped desktop cases begging for your cash, it can be a nightmare to find the right one for your needs. Hoping to simplify your building experience, we've assembled a shortlist of six unique sub-$200 enthusiast chassis that deserve your attention.

Included in our roundup is BitFenix's flagship Colossus Venom Edition, and their new budget Shinobi mid-tower. The Cooler Master Storm Enforcer and the highly acclaimed HAF X making an appearance in Nvidia-green. Rounding up the review is Lian Li's LanCool PC-K63 chassis and Thermaltake's Chaser MK-1.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 19

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Guest said:

I'm having serious problems finding a solid case for my computer. I've been using Chieftec models for the past 10 years or so, and every other case I've bought turns out to be made of this squishy, soft metal. You know the type, where the backplate of the case bends as you try to click in a couple RAM chips after assembly, right? I really hate that. Chieftec cases are sturdy, ice cold and HEAVY (amg, luvs it)! Problem is, my usual shops aren't selling Chieftec cases anymore.

My latest epic fail was buying NZXT's Phantom. It's sexy like a female stormtrooper and it's got pretty, pretty lights. I know! I even like that ABS plastic cover stuff, but the metal is just so fluffy! I literally need to remove the cover on both sides of the case just to support to back plate with my left hand as I'm mounting memory chips with my right hand. [insert much hate here] Oh, and I even bought the matching NZXT PSU, in white paint, just like my Phantom case. Screwholes are busted after 1 move. I was so careful, but the paint offset one of the screws so it went in a little crooked and when I unscrewed it to get it set properly, it was busted. The paint was tougher than the metal. I mean... come on, man! Bad mojo!

I've had a couple Akasa cases as well, and it's the same thing. I actually managed to twist the entire case once, just from trying to fasten a screw. And I'm actually being careful. :p I swear.

I'd really like to find a case that's just as solid as my old Chieftec ones.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Except for the HAF-X, I wouldn't give the others house room....maybe the BitFenix Colossus at Christmas time for festive illumination purposes.

I'd personally go with the Corsair Graphite 600T at $125 after MIR, the Obsidian 650D at $170 after MIR, or the Fractal Design Define XL at $140 (assuming the new stock is at that price) over all six of the reviewed chassis.

Guest said:

No Corsair cases? :( I would have taken a 650D over any of those.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Guest said:

No Corsair cases? I would have taken a 650D over any of those.

Expect a review on the 650D very shortly. I imagine it will be online next week.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

Steve said:

Guest said:

No Corsair cases? I would have taken a 650D over any of those.

Expect a review on the 650D very shortly. I imagine it will be online next week.

Looking forward to that review. Corsair makes great enclosures.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

None of those cases are worth more then $125.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

As a proud owner of an HAF X (not the puke green version), I can say without hesitation it's the best case I've ever owned and worth every penny I paid for it. Expect to be using it for years to come. It's a beast both in size and quality of build. You could drop a dump truck in one of those it has so much room.

Big "wow" factor too for visiting geek friends. I always get a "wtf is THAT??"

pcnthuziast said:

@ 1st guest

Wow I had none of those problems with the Phantom, but do agree it's very sexy! I've owned a couple Lian Li cases and found them to be solid in every catagory. I've also owned a couple Antec cases and they too are solid all around. Had a Kingwin case that was similar in style and construction to Lian Li cases and was one of my favs! I'm very satisfied with my Phantom and would buy an NZXT case again. None of the cases reviewed appeal to me asthetically, but some have great performance and features.

MilwaukeeMike said:

The only HAF case on hand was the green one? Haha, I bet that's cause they have yet to sell one. I'm honestly surprised someone looked at that color and said 'sure, let's make some, we can probably sell them.' Just go for green accent lights next time guys.

Even in black those ridges on the HAF look like they'd be a huge pain to dust. Canned air never seems to get it all in those tight spots.

Anyone else think an external built in HD dock is brilliant? I have a dock sitting on my desk and I'd love to get rid of it. I don't necessarily want my HD sticking out the top, but an accessible hot-swap bay would be great!

Guest said:

I have the BitFenix Colossus and its very, VERY nice. Even though it weighs a ton!

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Big "wow" factor too for visiting geek friends. I always get a "wtf is THAT??"

Showing off your RIAA Special Agent badge again?

Guest said:

yo @ pcnthuziast, I'm 1st guest poster.

I don't know what to say, man. I can only conclude that you must have never had a computer case with a backplate as a sturdy as a Chieftec case, if you didn't find the Phantom's metals to be a tad soft. And it's not just the backplate, of course, the whole case is made of the same metal. We're talking steel here. I can't say 100%, but I think it's actual steel. The only thing I ever had to worry about was soft motherboards, those times I got a cheap/thin PCB motherboard. But with the Phantom... it's freaking me out man. It really is very soft metal compared to what I'm used to. And judging by your reaction and lack of comments from others, I guess this is a normal thing these days. :( And thanks for not going fanboy-tastic on me for picking on "your" case. ;)

Guest said:

What about the Xigmatek Elysium ? Seems to be a cross between the Chaser mk1 and the HAF X, when it comes to features. But does anyone have any info about airflow and build quality?

veLa veLa said:

Very good personal experience with Lian-Li and Antec

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

What about the Xigmatek Elysium ? Seems to be a cross between the Chaser mk1 and the HAF X, when it comes to features. But does anyone have any info about airflow and build quality?

Forty-one minute video review here- knock yourself out.

fwiw, the Elysium is a better chassis than either the Chaser or HAF-X

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Forty-one minute video review here- knock yourself out.

fwiw, the Elysium is a better chassis than either the Chaser or HAF-X

I wish this guy would be specific...

Guest said:

same here. have difficulty to choose between haf x and xigmatek elysium. 2 difficult choices, i wish there are reviews about them :)

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

same here. have difficulty to choose between haf x and xigmatek elysium. 2 difficult choices, i wish there are reviews about them

Congratulations.

You scored eleven out of ten on the "Lack of Comprehension" test.

Guest said:

all of these cases are hideous..

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