Best case for under $100?

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Oct 2, 2003
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I'm in the mood to change my case, as it is about 2 years old, and is getting kinda beat up. I've done some looking around, and I can't seem to find a nice case with (preferably) 120mm fan mounts and a pre-modded window (this is a must). I would not trust myself to mod a window in here while im staying in a dorm and all I have are basic tools (like a hacksaw).

BTW, I do have a watercooled system, so ample space for components is also a must. Removable HD trays would be great so I wouldn't need to cut to place an internal heater core if i choose to do this, or just for pump placement.

Anyway, I was looking at the chenming cases, and they seem to be nice, can anyone testify this?

I also saw some nice antec cases.

I would love to go with a Lian Li case, but they are just too expensive.

I'm not asking anyone to do my shopping for me, just if you know a nice case with these specs in mind, I would be very grateful if I was informed.

Thanks.
 

Erfus

Limp Gawd
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Thanks for that great reply, domoMKIV. I was in the same boat and you helped me find a case I like: the black Raidmax. Thanks. :)
 

Stellar

[H]ard|Gawd
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To hell with Raidmax. Their PSUs are sh!t.

Lian Li PC7 or PC61b comes in under $100. Or if you need a PSU included, so does the Antec Sonata and SLK3700 BQE.
 

computerpro3

LightningRod
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you couldn't pay me to take a raidmax.....you can't even comprehend their inferiority to coolermaster/lian li/silverstone until you've seen them side by side, which I have (I own both).

Consider this:

My coolermaster atc 101b ALUMINUM case is heavier than my generic raidmax rebadged STEEL case....that says something about quality....

the best case for around $!00 is one of these

http://www.sundialmicro.com/cgi-bin/sundial/pact01ek.html
http://www.sundialmicro.com/cgi-bin/sundial/atc220bvx1.html
http://www.sundialmicro.com/cgi-bin/sundial/atc210cvx1.html
http://www.sundialmicro.com/cgi-bin/sundial/atc201.html
http://www.sundialmicro.com/cgi-bin/sundial/ssttj04b.html
http://www.sundialmicro.com/cgi-bin/sundial/pc60g.html
 

domoMKIV

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Erfus said:
Thanks for that great reply, domoMKIV. I was in the same boat and you helped me find a case I like: the black Raidmax. Thanks. :)

glad i could be of service, even if other people hate raidmax cases - at least it looks pretty decent imo.

im happy with my aspire case right now though, and my soon to be ATC-210C-VX that will be here tuesday :D
 

Stellar

[H]ard|Gawd
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KillerTomato said:
As of RIGHT NOW, this case is 99$. Its the Thermaltake Tsunami, wich, from what I'm hearing, is uber leet sauce.
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-133-133&depa=1
I think this cases price droped somewhat, last time i checked it was 130$, but now its 99$ so I'm not complaining...:)

I have the black version of that case without the hideous window. It is very much "uber leet sauce," I must say. A bit loud with the stock fans, however.
 

dagamore

Gawd
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649
there are a few cases from antec that have dual 120 or at least a single 120 in the rear, like the sonata (both old and new models) and the lanboy. Most cases come with shit psu, thats just the way it is, i have not found a single case that comes with a PCP&C psu, untill then i get my cases, and then just junk/hold as backup the stock psu incase i have a failure, or if one of my friends psus go up again.
 

Walleye

Limp Gawd
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i'm gonna be building a new rig in about a year... if nothing better comes out by then, it'll go in an antec slk-3700 BQE
 
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Stellar said:
I have the black version of that case without the hideous window. It is very much "uber leet sauce," I must say. A bit loud with the stock fans, however.

Yeah, I like the black one with the window. Why?

Removable HD tray
120mm fans
Attractive design
Looks easy to swap in/out components

The only thing I don't like is it doesn't seem large enough to house my 77' Bonneville heater core inside. I suppose I could put it external like on the system I have now, but I would route tubing through PCI slots or something because I wouldn't want to cut up a new expensive case.

Are there any good cases like this that are more like the Antec SOHO server cases? I like the extra space.

Thanks.
 

computerpro3

LightningRod
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waddles said:
CM ATC 201 = CM Praetorian

CM Praetorian is the best $100 case around, imo.

by far, I use them in all my customer builds unless they request something else, and even then I limit their selections to other Coolermasters, Lian Li, and Silverstone. I won't work in anything less.

LOL and I also make them use pcp&c psu's. True, a little more expensive up front and I pissed off one person that wanted a generic pos case but I've more than made up the $200 I lost out on from his machine through not having to replace any parts and being able to offer a longer warranty.
 

computerpro3

LightningRod
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Stellar said:
Silverstone TJ04 blows it away for $89.

:confused:

not even close, the silverstone isn't even aluminum, has those shitty whistling fan cutouts instead of a real chrome grill, has the fugliest interior ever, you can't remove one side panel, you can't remove the top for modding, it's not 100% tool-less, and is made of shoddy materials that had damage in two places during one review

Great case :rolleyes:
 
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So far, I like the Black Thermaltake Tsunami w/window the most. Yeah, some people think the window looks bad, but I don't. User preference I guess.

Here is a link: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-133-132&depa=1

Does anyone know if this would house a 77' Bonneville heater core inside? It doesn't really matter where, but I would really prefer to put it inside without cutting stuff. I am thinking it would work fine if I removed the HD cage and lay it across the bottom, can anyone contest to that?

If anything, I would like to put it upright, in the front, but I doubt it would fit. It is 1 long, 5 3/4'' wide, and initially 2'' tall, although with my shroud (which could be remade) it is 4 /14''.

I could also put it in the bays if it would fit.

Thanks for all of the recommendations, and if anyone can provide better case ideas at around 100, I'm all ears.
 

Stellar

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Mr. Miyagi said:
I would suggest the black Praetorian. Beautiful case and great cooling.

Beautiful case - yes, great cooling - no. 80mm fans are not the best cooling solution.
 
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Stellar said:
Beautiful case - yes, great cooling - no. 80mm fans are not the best cooling solution.

Honestly I prefer the look of the Tsunami. The black Praetorian is still an attractive case, though. But unfortunately, it doesn't have some of the fundamental features that I am looking for :(.
 

Stellar

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DarkenReaper57 said:
Honestly I prefer the look of the Tsunami. The black Praetorian is still an attractive case, though. But unfortunately, it doesn't have some of the fundamental features that I am looking for :(.

Oh, I agree. I made that very decision between the TJ04, Praetorian, and Tsunami just a couple months back. :D

Tsunami2Small.jpg
 

xyoufailmex

Limp Gawd
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http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-125-444&depa=0

I still say this case is the best bang for the buck case on the market. There is this 69 dollar model, and a 57 dollar model made of steel instead of Aluminum. Dont settle for the cheaper model. Lightweight, great cooling (4 80mm fans). I recommend and got the chenming version because of the way the PSU is situated... In previous versions the PSU was inserted vertically, and took up valuable case room. This case is wodnerful, nothing too gaudy and pre-mod, and plenty of things to mod on it. In fact, those Thermaltake cases are just Dragons modded. Front covered up USB ports, and the 4x metal show-screws in front give it a bit of edge without looking blatant. The cuts and lines on this one is smooth and the paintjob is flawless. Other than a Lian Li, I would settle for no other case. Also, the way everything is setups, top and bottom cold cathodes fit perfectly without the lamp itself being shown. This case is flawless.
 

computerpro3

LightningRod
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I persoanlly don't like the looks of the case, and EVERYONE has one, but it is very stucturally sound, large, and has decent features. And it is an excellent deal, and the case most suited to wcing most likely in this thread.

Quite frankly I just prefer the quality, uniqueness, feel, features, etc of the coolermaster. But I wouldn't wanna try watercooling in a praetorian with 1/2 id tubing, so that's why i spent the extra cash to get my 101b.

The chieftech is a solid performer thats been battle proven, if you like the looks, no reason not to get it.
 
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Ok, which case do you guys think would work better for watercooling, the Thermaltake Tsunami http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-133-132&depa=0 or this Chenming one http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-125-444&depa=0 ?

I'm really thinking the TT would own, and look really sexy with blue water flowing through it :D

If you guys think it would be a pain to have that kinda setup in there, though, then maybe I should look at another case.

Like I said before, it isn't completely necessary, but I would love to be able to put my 77' Bonneville heater core inside the case. This is why I have even considered getting a full tower case with tons of 5 1/2'' bays, like this one: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=11-125-468&depa=1. I do LAN here and there, though, and I think something like this would be way too heavy and big. My current case weighs a ton with the watercooling equipment installed, and it's much smaller than this one.

Argh, I hate making decisions. Thanks for all of the help thus far, though. I just want to be satisfied with my purchase :).
 

xyoufailmex

Limp Gawd
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I might be biased, but like I said before, the Chenming case is the way to go, especially for watercooling. If you like the looks of the Tsunami, go for it by all means, but the best bang for the buck is gonna be the Chenming, with plenty of room for watercooling. Both are lightweight, and therefore remain feasible for your LAN parties. The only thing I think the Tsunami can be argued to have over the Chenming is looks. I, prefer the looks on the Chenming over the Tsunami, but some dont. If you compare the chenming to the antec or chieftec, you'll notice the front has been redesigned for a sleeker look, and includes 4 cosmetic 'screws' which give the case a nice edge. I couldnt be happier, and as I said, if you dont get a Lian Li, my vote is for the Chenming.
 
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