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Cases Go big or go small

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by urobulos, 7 Mar 2012.

  1. urobulos

    urobulos Minimodder

    13 Apr 2010
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    I'm moving to a new place in a couple months and I'm thinking about getting a new case to go a bit better with the layout of my new room. The centre piece is a massive desk. Right now I have a Xigmatek Utgard, but it's too big to be put on top of a desk, while it will look a bit silly standing next to it. Also, while it's a really good case, I want to get something that looks a bit more stylish I guess.

    So right now I'm thinking either get a big, full tower case and leave it on the floor, or get something smaller and put it on top. Thing is, I am not going to change my mobo, using a regular ATX size board right now, so mATX cases are not an option. I don't know whether there are any cases that take an ATX board while keeping a svelte look, so right now I'm leaning towards the full tower route.

    Here are some of my requirements:

    - must have space for at least 1-2 SSD's and 4-5 HDD's, shouldn't be a problem with full tower cases

    - would prefer not to tinker with it too much, can potentially add a fan or two if absolutely necessary, but would prefer for it to be good enough to use out of the box. I heard that some full tower cases are made with water cooling in mind and due to the longer travel distance the fans sometimes don't push enough air.

    - I am very unlikely to do any watercooling, so capabilities to fit radiators are irrelevant. The rig will house an i7 920 and a GTX 580 for the next 2-3 years; I don't need a great air cooling case as long, as the components don't cook themselves inside it's fine. I won't do SLI, so in terms of space I don't actually need a full ATX case, it's more of an aesthetics POV.

    - nice if it had USB3, but not 100% necessary

    - not a leet g4m3r case, as little mesh as possible, no Xmas tree lights; I'm still not sure whether I want a window or not, considering both for now

    - preferably below 150£, but I can be talked into spending more if I feel it is worth it (mainly thinking about the FT02 right now)

    - rather quiet

    - easily accessible dust filters, generally easy to clean

    Here are some of the cases I was thinking about:

    Silverstone Raven RV02B-EW USB 3.0 ATX


    I like the rotated mobo idea and the Air Penetrator setup on the bottom of the case. Only downside is the relatively low number of HDD bays. The look is also not quite what I had in mind, but it's neat enough.

    Silverstone SST-FT02B-W


    I like the looks, but it's very expensive and Kronos posted some negative comments on these forums, about cable management for this case. This worries me,especially for a case with a window.

    Coolermaster Cosmos RC-1000 PURE Black V2


    Gorgeous, except for the handles on the top. No USB3 though and I have no idea how the fans perform on this thing in terms of cooling and noise.

    Fractal Design Define XL


    Seems to tick most of the boxes. Reviews on it were somewhat lukewarm, including bit-tech's, but IIRC most of the gripes related to watercooling abilities which is irrelevant to me

    Last, but not least the BitFenix Shinobi XL

    Only videos I've been able to find are done by Linus (fairly extensive first look) and Caseking (another first look video, subtitles available if you don't speak German). First, the things that worry me a bit. The case was supposed to be out a long time ago, but it seems to have run into delays. Scan are not stocking it, Overclockers show ETA Overdue, Specialtech claim that they will have it on March 14 (http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop/customer/Full-Tower-Cases-cid-1652.html). As far as I can tell it is on sale on the caseking.de so it isn't vaporware.
    No reviews out yet, and in the past Bitfenix cases in their stock configuration ranged between average to terrible when it comes to air cooling. I probably won't pull the trigger on it until I see a review with some half decent temps showing they managed to turn it around a bit. Also from the Linus' first look it seems they replaced the janky HDD mounting system they had in the old Shinobi with something decent.

    Now to the good stuff. The case is gorgeous imho. Ticks pretty much all the feature boxes, is the right size, should cost around 140 £, in general seems perfect, but I will wait until I see reviews and UK availability.



    Any thoughts from people who actually have one of the above cases would be much appreciated. Thanks for getting through the wall of text.
  2. Tangster

    Tangster Butt-kicking for goodness!

    23 May 2009
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    The RV-02 is really quite long, depending on your desk size it might fit under it quite easily, but it could well protrude, give it's at least 70cm deep if you include cable space.

    The Define XL probably won't cool a 580 too well, not without some extra fans.
  3. urobulos

    urobulos Minimodder

    13 Apr 2010
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    I was thinking about placing it next to it, rather than underneath so should look alright. Also desk is massive. I don't have the exact size or photos on me right now, but it is more the size of a work desk one could see used by an architect or something along those lines. It's easily 3x1.2m if not more.
  4. rikaldrey

    rikaldrey What's a Dremel?

    4 Oct 2009
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    Since you've covered the full tower side of things, how about mid-towers? Something you would put on top of your desk.

    Personally I'd prefer compact cases, mid or matx, as I don't really like excessive features that I probably won't be using anyway. Enough bays, ports and space behind the Mobo tray. You know, just enough. I'm a bit clumsy too, I tend to stretch my legs and forgot I've got something under the desk. That's just me though.

    Anyway, check out Corsair's smaller Obsidian Series. They're pretty much your kind of thing, smooth, stylish, and minimalist.



    Antec's deserves a look too,


    Also, Coolermaster Silencio (scan bundles it with a 650w psu, I doubt you need it)


    I'm sure it'll fit your gpu and also provide decent cooling, although I haven't read any reviews of these so that isn't guaranteed.

    You can also try putting it behind your monitor or TV.

    OR choose any full tower you like and get a new desk.

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