Best, classy aluminum case available?

akwok

Limp Gawd
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Feb 19, 2005
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158
Hi everyone,

I've been out of the hardware scene for a while, and I'm currently looking for a new case to transplant my rig into (fans and PSU dying in this one, so figured why not). I'm currently looking at the 800D and the Lian Li PC-P50, but the 800D doesn't suit my tastes and the P50's internals isn't that great. Elegance and build quality is of utmost importance -- I don't want a gaming case.

Any suggestions as to what I should look at? Price isn't really that much of a concern, so long as it's below $300ish.

Thanks!
 

WorldExclusive

[H]ardForum Junkie
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Apr 26, 2009
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Silverstone FT02 (Aluminum/Steel)
Lian Li B25F
Lian Li V Series Cases (Older Models but the best Lian Li cases IMO)
 

akwok

Limp Gawd
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Feb 19, 2005
Messages
158
Thanks for the suggestions guys. The LL A71 looks pretty spiffy!

I'm also looking at the SIlverstone TJ10 with the window (yeah, I forgot to mention -- I'd prefer it if it had a window. I know that conflicts with most people's definition of 'classy', but I like them!). There doesn't seem to be that much info on it though...

I should also clarify that I'd prefer a full tower model. Sorry!
 

m0rn

Limp Gawd
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Sep 26, 2007
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245
If you don't mind dealing with the a door the A71 should be great. I've messed around with the B10 which is similar to the A71 but the mid tower version, it's beautiful.

But after having a door on my case (Antec P182) for so many years, I think I'm over it.
 

akwok

Limp Gawd
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Feb 19, 2005
Messages
158
I'm also currently using a P182 (and a P180 before that)! I've never liked its looks, but it was the quietest/best internally designed case for its time.

The problem with the A71 is that it reminds me too much of the P182... and I'm really over that type of look! :p
 

akwok

Limp Gawd
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Feb 19, 2005
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Okay I'm swayed by the FT02 now as well. Does it look better in silver or black? :p
 

coconutboy

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All cases have their quirks/flaws that may or may not matter to the owner, and looks of course are highly subjective, but the above advice from [H] peeps is good stuff. If you don't mind the price and it fits your other needs, the FT02 is pretty damn good case. It's a mid-tower case that's full-tower sized. It's also only partially aluminum yet costs over $200 and has a few other minor issues, but overall I think the ft02 and Corsair 800d are pretty tough to beat in their respective market segments.

I was considering buying the Lian Li pc-a71f, but definitely be aware that the dust filters in that case are stupidly difficult to access requiring the removal of 10 screws each time you wanna get to them. The Lian Li pc-a70f which is the same case minus the door panel doesn't have this flaw.

A few other notables under $300 would be:

~ ABS Canyon 595 which is basically the same as the Lian Li pc-x500. If you really like this case, Newegg is selling it's bigger brother the ABS Canyon 695 (aka the LL pc-x2000) for $399. A lot of money for a chassis and even at that cost, these still have flaws/quirks, but overall they're pretty badass if elegance and build quality are your focus.

~ Silverstone TJ09 or TJ10

~ Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 or Cosmos S 1100

~ Cooler Master 840 ATCS

The Lian Li pc-p80 isn't the state-of-the-art showpiece it used to be, but it's still a pretty sweet piece of gear and also comes in a stylish red (as do a few other Lian Li cases) if you've got money to throw away.

~ Got an extra $650-850 to spare and want something totally different that weighs nearly 50lbs?

Also, FYI. A few of the cases mOrn mentioned aren't out just yet so if you're looking to buy ASAP, don't hold your breath.
 

akwok

Limp Gawd
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Pretty much settled on the FT02, thanks guys! Now just comes the difficult choice of choosing whether I want a window and what color I want :p
 

CrazyV

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I love my ATCS 840. Huge, Clean and Room to work with anything. Remeber to put a small spacer between the floor and the lower 120mm fan on the case floor. This will prevent the vibrations some are getting. Here are some pics.




 

mrmylanman

[H]ard|Gawd
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I love the look of my PC-A05N. If you're not overclocking it is great stock, but if you are it can be modded to suit that as well.

And it's pretty small too which in my opinion kind of makes it even classier.
 

E.T

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Does it look better in silver or black? :p
"Any colour - so long as it's black."
-Henry Ford

Having used one Chieftec also dark blue is very stylish.

FT02 is pretty damn good case. It's a mid-tower case that's full-tower sized.
Full tower space requirements with limited mid tower inside space isn't exactly what I call as good design...
Meybe good for limited kind of use but as overal
I was considering buying the Lian Li pc-a71f, but definitely be aware that the dust filters in that case are stupidly difficult to access requiring the removal of 10 screws
Original PC-A71A/B has whole front panel/door assembly attached with four screws so it's mystery why they changed that well working design. (which also allows changing opening direction of door)
The Lian Li pc-p80 isn't the state-of-the-art showpiece it used to be
That was never any state of the art but just Thermaltrashed bling bling version of PC-A77 with worser features.
 

FalconSS

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I purchased the FT-02 and I love it. Check out the FT-02 thread here at [H], its pretty large.
 

CrazyV

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Everyone is posting some pretty nice cases. It is going to be a hard decision on this one.
 

Lollipop

Bad Mofo
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I love my ATCS 840. Huge, Clean and Room to work with anything. Remeber to put a small spacer between the floor and the lower 120mm fan on the case floor. This will prevent the vibrations some are getting. Here are some pics.




I agree with the ATCS 840 advice and that rig of yours is awesome.
 

akwok

Limp Gawd
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Feb 19, 2005
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158
I'm now thinking about waiting for the Lian Li A77F to come out instead of the FT02.. hmm.
 

coconutboy

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I'm now thinking about waiting for the Lian Li A77F to come out instead of the FT02.. hmm.
World is spot-on. Unless the a77f offers you something you need that the ft02 (or some other case) doesn't, why spend an extra $100+? The ft02 is a bit overpriced IMO, but the primary advantages of the a77f over the ft02 will be for people stuffing their case with hdds/5.25s and running them hard, quad SLI/Xfire, or else slapping in watercooling. If none of those matter to you, the a77f is overkill.

I'm not really keen on the looks of cases with all those 5.25 covers (antec 900/CM Stackers/etc), but so much about the a77f is exactly what I need it'll be tough to beat. I'm VERY curious to see how the a77f's dust filters are implemented (ease of use, effectiveness), and I don't like that the 3.5" internal bays aren't the easy-to-swap side-facing design of cases like the CM 840/LL pc-a70f/SS ft02, but cooling-wise I expect the a77f to be on par with the almighty pc-p50 except in full-tower form.

Retailers are only taking pre-orders for the black model, but I'll be looking for the silver or perhaps red. I just hope LL doesn't botch the dust filters since those are a big deal for me. The 2010 Lian Li catalog has been fun to browse and pull more details from, but there's still a lot of missing info that won't be known till users share hands-on experience.


Full tower space requirements with limited mid tower inside space isn't exactly what I call as good design...
Every case has its flaws, the ft02 is no different. It also does several things very well, some exceedingly so (low dB cooling being the obvious). As of yet, I've only heard of one person disappointed in their purchase. Others might have a minor gripe here or there, but the overall response from ft02 owners is highly positive including a few who are habitual case swappers w/ plenty of hands-on w/ other HQ cases.
 

akwok

Limp Gawd
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World is spot-on. Unless the a77f offers you something you need that the ft02 (or some other case) doesn't, why spend an extra $100+? The ft02 is a bit overpriced IMO, but the primary advantages of the a77f over the ft02 will be for people stuffing their case with hdds/5.25s and running them hard, quad SLI/Xfire, or else slapping in watercooling. If none of those matter to you, the a77f is overkill.

I'm not really keen on the looks of cases with all those 5.25 covers (antec 900/CM Stackers/etc), but so much about the a77f is exactly what I need it'll be tough to beat. I'm VERY curious to see how the a77f's dust filters are implemented (ease of use, effectiveness), and I don't like that the 3.5" internal bays aren't the easy-to-swap side-facing design of cases like the CM 840/LL pc-a70f/SS ft02, but cooling-wise I expect the a77f to be on par with the almighty pc-p50 except in full-tower form.

Retailers are only taking pre-orders for the black model, but I'll be looking for the silver or perhaps red. I just hope LL doesn't botch the dust filters since those are a big deal for me. The 2010 Lian Li catalog has been fun to browse and pull more details from, but there's still a lot of missing info that won't be known till users share hands-on experience.




Every case has its flaws, the ft02 is no different. It also does several things very well, some exceedingly so (low dB cooling being the obvious). As of yet, I've only heard of one person disappointed in their purchase. Others might have a minor gripe here or there, but the overall response from ft02 owners is highly positive including a few who are habitual case swappers w/ plenty of hands-on w/ other HQ cases.
Nice post. Well, whatever case I get I expect it to last me a long time, so I don't really mind spending an extra 30% if it's something I definitely like better. I bought a Lian Li PC-75 8 years ago, and that was about the same price as the A77F -- it lasted me 3 builds before I tossed it and got something else. If I can get the same amount of use out of the A77F, $300 is no big deal.

Plus, I like the looks of the A77F the most out of all the cases, but due to availability (I doubt it'd hit Canadian shores until at least May), I may just have to spring for something else -- either the FT02 or the P50 I suppose.
 

akwok

Limp Gawd
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Unfortunately, I really don't find those attractive at all... they scream riced out/gamer to me!
 

E.T

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bought a Lian Li PC-75 8 years ago... it lasted me 3 builds
If you had there one of those "burning hot even at idle" Prescott or dual core Pentium 4s very few current CPUs can compete against them in heat production.
But otherwise its small fans just aren't up to job anymore... Although that case would fit well for installing big quad radiator to top.


Unlike Antec P18x A77 (and PC-P50) is very open case and will always be as quiet as noise of components combined.
Keeping even slightest part of noises inside requires blocking direct noise escape paths (forcing sound waves bounce around before getting out) in one way or another.
If it isn't done with door like in Antec P18x/LL A71 (+Fractal Design R2) or some cover in front of intakes (failing to cover optical drives) then whole design has to be changed causing its own complications/layout problems like in FT02/RV02.


just hope LL doesn't botch the dust filters
5.25" intake models have this kind dust filters:
http://lian-li.com/v2/tw/product/upload/image/P50R/p50r-35.jpg
 

coconutboy

Gawd
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Aye, those are what I'm expecting but as often as I have to clean my dust filters, individualized bay cover mesh as the only filters is just too much of a pain in the ass.

I'm sure you're aware of the design details that follow E.T., but I'll state my logic and maybe you'll have some info/thoughts on the matter? If this sidetracks topical discussion too much, I can post it elsewhere.

On the Lian Li pc-k62, in addition to the mesh included in the bay covers, they have the pop-off air filters covering each fan intake versus using only 5.25" bay covers as filters. Other LL cases like the pc-7fn/b25f/a70f ditch the 5.25 bay cover filters entirely and rely solely on the pop-off air filters. The difference is that, the cases which do this have the side facing hdd bays and the front of the chassis isn't the openly ventilated design (like the pc-p50) that allows for excellent cooling (but also leaks noise).

I wanna cut down the noise a bit and, more importantly, filter my air through something like the DEMCi filters to make filter cleaning easier. So I figure I'll cut my own front fascia from a solid piece of aluminum to cover any unused 5.25 bays and (hopefully) there will be enough of a gap to allow for air to intake through a vent/slot cut into the underside of the case just forward of the fans. Perhaps even cut a slot or two into the fascia that will leak a bit of noise, but not to the degree of a fully ventilated front. Obviously all this would reduce cooling, but if I can find a decent method for doing it without compromising chassis rigidity, cooling performance degradation should be akin to the a70f versus a71f, or the pc-p50 versus the b25f. The catch (a big one) being that the a71f/b25f/b10 achieve this design by having chassis depth extended via the door (or a panel) and its frame which allows for the intake vents. With the a77f, I expect it to be more difficult, and if the gap between the hdd fans and front panel isn't large enough, the results will probably suck... badly. :eek:

If all else fails, we'll probably compromise by purchasing a b25f/b25s or SS ft02 for one case, and we're still debating the second new chassis based on whatever our first purchase is.
 

akwok

Limp Gawd
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Feb 19, 2005
Messages
158
If you had there one of those "burning hot even at idle" Prescott or dual core Pentium 4s very few current CPUs can compete against them in heat production.
But otherwise its small fans just aren't up to job anymore... Although that case would fit well for installing big quad radiator to top.


Unlike Antec P18x A77 (and PC-P50) is very open case and will always be as quiet as noise of components combined.
Keeping even slightest part of noises inside requires blocking direct noise escape paths (forcing sound waves bounce around before getting out) in one way or another.
If it isn't done with door like in Antec P18x/LL A71 (+Fractal Design R2) or some cover in front of intakes (failing to cover optical drives) then whole design has to be changed causing its own complications/layout problems like in FT02/RV02.


5.25" intake models have this kind dust filters:
http://lian-li.com/v2/tw/product/upload/image/P50R/p50r-35.jpg
Aye. You are right -- I totally forgot the issue of noise with these open cases. I'm a stickler for quietness, and I am afraid that even with all Scythe fans at 5V and HDDs in Silent Drives it'd still be audible without a door. Good call.

I guess I'll go look around for some doored/non perforated Lian Li cases then! The FT02 is looking more and more appealing now...
 

shawnoen

[H]ard|Gawd
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This is a very classy case. I'm thinking of switching to it from my PC-V1000B...

http://www.lian-li.com/v2/tw/product/PC-9-b.jpg

[b][i]Note from FLECOM:[/b] Do NOT hotlink images, host them yourself.[/i]
 
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akwok

Limp Gawd
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After a lot of thinking, I do believe I'm going to go with the X1000!
 

m0rn

Limp Gawd
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Aye. You are right -- I totally forgot the issue of noise with these open cases. I'm a stickler for quietness, and I am afraid that even with all Scythe fans at 5V and HDDs in Silent Drives it'd still be audible without a door. Good call.

I guess I'll go look around for some doored/non perforated Lian Li cases then! The FT02 is looking more and more appealing now...
If you're looking for silence, I don't think you're gonna find anything better than the Silverstone FT02. Except the Antec P series or the Fractal cases.

Edit: Looks like Lian Li is coming out with a new variant of the B25F, with new silence features and a removable HD cage: http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_index=517&cl_index=1&sc_index=25&ss_index=62
Not a huge fan of it's looks though.
 

m0rn

Limp Gawd
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After a lot of thinking, I do believe I'm going to go with the X1000!
Yeah, I love that case, but it's just too damn big for me.
I would go with the X900 but I'm not a fan of window cases and it doesn't like they're going to have a regular side panel for it
 

zero2dash

[H]ardness Supreme
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If you're looking for silence, I don't think you're gonna find anything better than the Silverstone FT02. Except the Antec P series or the Fractal cases.
FT02 = silence and superior cooling to the P180/P182.
Antec "Thermaltrashed" up the P series (as E.T. would say :))

I'm one of the aforementioned "case swappers", I'm completely happy with the FT02 and I do not plan on replacing it anytime soon. My only minor gripe is that I wish there was more space behind the far wall/motherboard tray for stuffing cables better, but otherwise I have no other complaints.

I would have kept my V1000 except it's not really capable of housing long psus and more than 3 HDs in the bottom chamber. I would love to see an updated V series chassis come out other than the 1000Z, but LL seems to have migrated back to making 95% of their cases the regular square/rectangular design.
 

coconutboy

Gawd
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After a lot of thinking, I do believe I'm going to go with the X1000!
If silence is the goal, the Lian Li pc-x1000 (and the x900) is the same as the a77f because there's no baffling of any kind between the user and the internals. All you have is the mesh in front of the fans which won't do much to dampen noise. The pc-x500/pc-x2000(f) on the other hand take care of this nicely... for a price. It's totally out of my budget, but if I'd love to get a pc-x2000f. The improvements over the original are very nice. Still flawed and obscenely expensive. I'd also prefer the chassis be silver vs black. But good lord that thing is awesome.

If you're looking for silence, I don't think you're gonna find anything better than the Silverstone FT02. Except the Antec P series or the Fractal cases.
Agreed. The ft02 in particular is damn tough to beat beat for quiet cooling. To quote from silentpcreview's review:

"The configuration allows for three very large fans to be positioned deep in the case, as far from the user as possible. No other configuration can produce as much or thorough airflow while still shielding the fans from a direct path to the user."

Replacing the ft02's top 120mm can lower noise output even further. Really, the main caveats against the ft02 for most people tends to be price or it's large-ish size. Some people (including myself) have complaints about certain aspects, but these won't matter to most people.


Looks like Lian Li is coming out with a new variant of the B25F, with new silence features and a removable HD cage: http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_index=517&cl_index=1&sc_index=25&ss_index=62
Not a huge fan of it's looks though.
I mentioned the b25s above, and am still strongly considering the b25f if the S variant doesn't arrive soon. Unfortunately we have no idea when the S will hit the market and in my situation, I need the case before June when things heat up. On both versions, and also the pc-8fi, I dislike that the front I/O ports don't have a cover. Dust is gonna settle into those bleh. The other minor quibble is the price. Just 2-3 months ago, the b25f sold for ~$195 (and up) at every retailer. Now it's easy to find for $165-175 which is closer to the cost of the very similar pc-p50. Contrast that w/ the newer b25fwb model that adds a black interior and window for an extra ~$50 or more. Acrylic windows are cheaper than the cost of Lian Li's aluminum, so the added expense is labor and markup for a newer product. I'm expecting the b25s and its baffles/additions to cost more than the window and paint. Prolly ~$250... I hope... Again, not too bad for a brand-spanking new fully aluminum case, mostly just nitpicking on my part.
 
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akwok

Limp Gawd
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158
If silence is the goal, the Lian Li pc-x1000 (and the x900) is the same as the a77f because there's no baffling of any kind between the user and the internals. All you have is the mesh in front of the fans which won't do much to dampen noise. The pc-x500/pc-x2000(f) on the other hand take care of this nicely... for a price. It's totally out of my budget, but if I'd love to get a pc-x2000f. The improvements over the original are very nice. Still flawed and obscenely expensive. I'd also prefer the chassis be silver vs black. But good lord that thing is awesome.

Agreed. The ft02 in particular is damn tough to beat beat for quiet cooling. To quote from silentpcreview's review:

"The configuration allows for three very large fans to be positioned deep in the case, as far from the user as possible. No other configuration can produce as much or thorough airflow while still shielding the fans from a direct path to the user."

Replacing the ft02's top 120mm can lower noise output even further. Really, the main caveats against the ft02 for most people tends to be price or it's large-ish size. Some people (including myself) have complaints about certain aspects, but these won't matter to most people.




I mentioned the b25s above, and am still strongly considering the b25f if the S variant doesn't arrive soon. Unfortunately we have no idea when the S will hit the market and in my situation, I need the case before June when things heat up. On both versions, and also the pc-8fi, I dislike that the front I/O ports don't have a cover. Dust is gonna settle into those bleh. The other minor quibble is the price. Just 2-3 months ago, the b25f sold for ~$195 (and up) at every retailer. Now it's easy to find for $165-175 which is closer to the cost of the very similar pc-p50. Contrast that w/ the newer b25fwb model that adds a black interior and window for an extra ~$50 or more. Acrylic windows are cheaper than the cost of Lian Li's aluminum, so the added expense is labor and markup for a newer product. I'm expecting the b25s and its baffles/additions to cost more than the window and paint. Prolly ~$250... I hope... Again, not too bad for a brand-spanking new fully aluminum case, mostly just nitpicking on my part.

The reasoning for the X1000 over the A77Fis because my HDDs are enclosed in a 5.25" Silent Drive, which would fit behind the stock non perforated bezels. So hopefully that would make them less audible!

I know it seems contrived, but I fell in love with the case after reading up on some reviews. I ordered it already, so we'll see how it goes!
 

m0rn

Limp Gawd
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Glad you made a decision. It's hard to choose a case, especially for me since there's always short comings in all of them. I love the Lian Li look, but I'm a stickler for silence, so now I'm just looking at it as a challenge to silence one.

I'm gonna go ahead and get the 8FI when it comes out and try to damp the insides, run some really low flow front fans and find a way to silence the HDD, I'm thinking of putting it in a Scythe Quiet Drive and laying it on some sort of foam at the bottom of the case, and having a removable hard drive cage will help the matter. Hopefully it turns out well.

Hopefully the X1000 works out for you.
 

coconutboy

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akwok, the pc-x1000 is a GREAT case and I almost went for it. The reason I said no boiled down to the process for cleaning the front fan filters. If you only clean your filters once a month or less, this is not a problem at all. Just a heads up in case this would be a problem for you and ya might have time to cancel your order.

Glad you made a decision. It's hard to choose a case, especially ...since there's always short comings in all of them.
TRUTH!
 
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