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Gaming Case Roundup: Six Sub-$200 Choices

By Julio Franco ยท 19 replies
Jun 24, 2011
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  1. 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.
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

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

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,836   +1,958

    Expect a review on the 650D very shortly. I imagine it will be online next week.
  5. fpsgamerJR62

    fpsgamerJR62 TS Rookie Posts: 489

    Looking forward to that review. Corsair makes great enclosures.
  6. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,889   +1,034

    None of those cases are worth more then $125.
  7. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,680   +761

    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??" :D
  8. pcnthuziast

    pcnthuziast TS Booster Posts: 316   +6

    @ 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.
  9. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,875   +1,206

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

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    Showing off your RIAA Special Agent badge again? ;)
  12. 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. ;)
  13. 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?
  14. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 773   +221

    Very good personal experience with Lian-Li and Antec
  15. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

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

    fwiw, the Elysium is a better chassis than either the Chaser or HAF-X
  16. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    I wish this guy would be specific...:rolleyes:
  17. same here. have difficulty to choose between haf x and xigmatek elysium. 2 difficult choices, i wish there are reviews about them :)
  18. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262


    You scored eleven out of ten on the "Lack of Comprehension" test.
  19. all of these cases are hideous..

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