Looking for a high end ATX case.

jssaylor2007

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The last case with fantastic quality I built in was the NCase M1, and I'd love to do another build in one, but I'm not really wanting to go super tiny this time around. So basically, what ATX cases are in the same ballpark build quality-wise as the M1. I'll be running everything on air unless for some reason an AIO will be more appropriate. Currently have an NH-D15. Price isn't a huge factor, but I'd like to be in the ~200-250$ range.
 

kirbyrj

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A lot of people like the Lian Li O11 Dynamic series. I had one for a while, but downsized to a mITX system.
 

Vittra

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The regular O11 Dynamic cannot fit an NH-D15. The XL and Mini can. The O11 Mini is the newest in the lineup, is 42L and can fit ATX motherboards and cpu coolers up to 170mm. SFX PSU only, but if your last build was an M1 there's a good chance you already have that and can carry it over.

Just to tie things together - the NCASE M1 is manufactured by Lian Li to NCASE's design specifications - so expect similar build quality in the O11 line, but also bear in mind that Necere/Wahaha (NCASE) hold them to a higher standard as well, and with a $99.99 MSRP for the Mini, I'm going to expect some sort of concession. We won't know for sure until they get into a lot of people's hands.
 

jssaylor2007

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The regular O11 Dynamic cannot fit an NH-D15. The XL and Mini can. The O11 Mini is the newest in the lineup, is 42L and can fit ATX motherboards and cpu coolers up to 170mm. SFX PSU only, but if your last build was an M1 there's a good chance you already have that and can carry it over.

Just to tie things together - the NCASE M1 is manufactured by Lian Li to NCASE's design specifications - so expect similar build quality in the O11 line, but also bear in mind that Necere/Wahaha (NCASE) hold them to a higher standard as well, and with a $99.99 MSRP for the Mini, I'm going to expect some sort of concession. We won't know for sure until they get into a lot of people's hands.
Unfortunately my M1 build was a couple builds ago, and I no longer have the PSU. I have been unimpressed by the build quality of my previous 2 cases (Cooler Master/Corsair,) and I was hoping to just find something closer to that near perfectness of the M1 in a larger form factor. I was sort of thinking about the Cerberus once upon a time, but I doubt it would fit the NH-D15. How about cases like the Define 7, Evolv X, H700/710, or Dark Base? I also am curious about something like an InWin case, I know Jay always brags about them, but I hear they are more for Water Cooled setups.
 

Vittra

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I own and use the Cerberus-X (ATX version) for my main rig for 2 years now - my M1 V1 became server. Biggest coolers that fit the Cerberus/Cerberus X are the Scythe Fuma Rev. B - 149mm dual tower, and the Nocuta C14S top-down cooler. Ignore the Fuma 2 - at 155mm it won't fit. The Fuma Rev B. and C14S both perform similarly depending on how you setup the case what what GPU you use (including the side panel being vented or solid/glass). Build quality of the Cerberus-X is really good, but I put the M1 above it.

Sliger actually did create something called the S620 which is a scaled down version of the Cerberus - very similar to the M1 in fact, and it will fit a NH-D15. I'm dubious about how effective the cooler is in such a constrained space though. https://sliger.com/products/cases/s620/

The Define 7 is a good case, but you'll need to leave the door open for good airflow. The Define 7 Compact unfortunately does not have a door so I'd ignore that option. Ultimately I would suggest you consider the Meshify 2 instead (same chassis as thge Define 7 with the mesh front instead). Build quality of Fractal cases is quite good, but the M1 sets a really high bar that almost nothing is going to really stand up against. Other cases in a similar sizing worth looking at are the Phanteks P500A, and the Lian Li Lancool II, but I think both of these would be worse (perhaps just "slightly" worse) in build quality to the Fractal options.
 

kirbyrj

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I have a Cerberus with my other computer. It wouldn't fit a D15. I had an OG Scythe Fuma in it since it was shorter.
 

jssaylor2007

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Jun 29, 2015
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I own and use the Cerberus-X (ATX version) for my main rig for 2 years now - my M1 V1 became server. Biggest coolers that fit the Cerberus/Cerberus X are the Scythe Fuma Rev. B - 149mm dual tower, and the Nocuta C14S top-down cooler. Ignore the Fuma 2 - at 155mm it won't fit. The Fuma Rev B. and C14S both perform similarly depending on how you setup the case what what GPU you use (including the side panel being vented or solid/glass). Build quality of the Cerberus-X is really good, but I put the M1 above it.

Sliger actually did create something called the S620 which is a scaled down version of the Cerberus - very similar to the M1 in fact, and it will fit a NH-D15. I'm dubious about how effective the cooler is in such a constrained space though. https://sliger.com/products/cases/s620/

The Define 7 is a good case, but you'll need to leave the door open for good airflow. The Define 7 Compact unfortunately does not have a door so I'd ignore that option. Ultimately I would suggest you consider the Meshify 2 instead (same chassis as thge Define 7 with the mesh front instead). Build quality of Fractal cases is quite good, but the M1 sets a really high bar that almost nothing is going to really stand up against. Other cases in a similar sizing worth looking at are the Phanteks P500A, and the Lian Li Lancool II, but I think both of these would be worse (perhaps just "slightly" worse) in build quality to the Fractal options.
So is there truly nothing in larger cases that approaches M1 build quality? I’m glad you mentioned the 500A because it is another one I have really been mulling over, I just like the look of the Evolv so much more.
 

jssaylor2007

Limp Gawd
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Jun 29, 2015
Messages
136
I own and use the Cerberus-X (ATX version) for my main rig for 2 years now - my M1 V1 became server. Biggest coolers that fit the Cerberus/Cerberus X are the Scythe Fuma Rev. B - 149mm dual tower, and the Nocuta C14S top-down cooler. Ignore the Fuma 2 - at 155mm it won't fit. The Fuma Rev B. and C14S both perform similarly depending on how you setup the case what what GPU you use (including the side panel being vented or solid/glass). Build quality of the Cerberus-X is really good, but I put the M1 above it.

Sliger actually did create something called the S620 which is a scaled down version of the Cerberus - very similar to the M1 in fact, and it will fit a NH-D15. I'm dubious about how effective the cooler is in such a constrained space though. https://sliger.com/products/cases/s620/

The Define 7 is a good case, but you'll need to leave the door open for good airflow. The Define 7 Compact unfortunately does not have a door so I'd ignore that option. Ultimately I would suggest you consider the Meshify 2 instead (same chassis as thge Define 7 with the mesh front instead). Build quality of Fractal cases is quite good, but the M1 sets a really high bar that almost nothing is going to really stand up against. Other cases in a similar sizing worth looking at are the Phanteks P500A, and the Lian Li Lancool II, but I think both of these would be worse (perhaps just "slightly" worse) in build quality to the Fractal options.
Let’s say I change cooler to an AIO or just a different cooler, is there a case that would more so fit what I’m looking for?
 

kirbyrj

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Feb 1, 2005
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I had the OG Meshify and I thought it was cheap compared to other cases I've used. I also had a Define Nano S. I'd definitely put the O11 above both of those in terms of build quality.

If you like the look of the Evolv X, why not go with that?
 
Last edited:

jssaylor2007

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Jun 29, 2015
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I had the OG Meshify and I thought it was cheap compared to other cases I've used. I also had a Define Nano S. I'd definitely put the O11 above both of those in terms of build quality.

If you like the look of the Evolv X, why not go with that?
Well you may have just made my decision then. The mesh cases seem to be all the rage right now, but my big fear is that they'd be cheapish feeling. You have confirmed that concern for me, thanks!
 

Sorcerer_Tim

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Oct 8, 2009
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I have an O11 Dynamic and it is pretty good. I am thinking about changing it out mostly because I am bored more than any issues with the case. I am considering the Corsair 5000D, the Dark Base 900 Rev. 2 or the Silent Base 802. May be worth a look.
 

Niner21

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Aug 26, 2018
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I use a 011 Dynamic XL and like it, and I also have an Asus GT-501 that's nice as well.
 

Spartacus09

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I have an O11 Dynamic and it is pretty good. I am thinking about changing it out mostly because I am bored more than any issues with the case. I am considering the Corsair 5000D, the Dark Base 900 Rev. 2 or the Silent Base 802. May be worth a look.
The 011-D(155mm) isn't deep enough, only the XL (167mm) has room for a DH-15(160mm)
 

zandor

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Dec 14, 2002
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I have an O11 Dynamic and it is pretty good. I am thinking about changing it out mostly because I am bored more than any issues with the case. I am considering the Corsair 5000D, the Dark Base 900 Rev. 2 or the Silent Base 802. May be worth a look.
I have a be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2. It's quite well made, but also by far the most complicated case I have ever encountered. If you're bored and like messing around with a screwdriver all day I'd highly recommend it. If that sounds like hell don't buy it. It can be configured dozens of different ways. There are multiple mainboard and PSU mounting options, including flipping the mainboard tray and mounting the board upside down. This results in the window ending up on the righthand side of the case.

My build with it went like this:
Wednesday: Pick up parts at Microcenter
Thursday after work: Screw around with case
Friday after work: Mount PSU the first of many times, screw around with case
Saturday: Spent the morning and early afternoon moving the mainboard and PSU around, then finally got around to assembling everything in the late afternoon. Installed Windows & Linux, started Windows update, then called it a day.
Sunday: Clean up cables.

Let's see... what else. It's not tool-less, but all you need is a #2 Philips. While it's a full sized case the interior volume is more like a mid-tower. It has indirect vents on the top, bottom and front, and they suck up a couple inches each. Don't plan on putting 2 140mm fans on the bottom unless you have a short PSU. A 120mm barely fits in the position next to the PSU with my Seasonic Prime TX-1000. A 240mm rad would not fit with my PSU. Top mounting a 280mm rad or AIO is a little tricky too. A top mount 280mm tends to crash into the 8-pin mainboard power connectors. I ended up mounting the mainboard upside down because of this. I'd suggest a 360mm or 480mm for a top mount if you're not planning on installing an optical drive. You will likely need some fan cable extensions if you want to use the built-in fan controller. It's on the back side of the mainboard tray.
 

Sorcerer_Tim

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I have a be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2. It's quite well made, but also by far the most complicated case I have ever encountered. If you're bored and like messing around with a screwdriver all day I'd highly recommend it. If that sounds like hell don't buy it. It can be configured dozens of different ways. There are multiple mainboard and PSU mounting options, including flipping the mainboard tray and mounting the board upside down. This results in the window ending up on the righthand side of the case.

My build with it went like this:
Wednesday: Pick up parts at Microcenter
Thursday after work: Screw around with case
Friday after work: Mount PSU the first of many times, screw around with case
Saturday: Spent the morning and early afternoon moving the mainboard and PSU around, then finally got around to assembling everything in the late afternoon. Installed Windows & Linux, started Windows update, then called it a day.
Sunday: Clean up cables.

Let's see... what else. It's not tool-less, but all you need is a #2 Philips. While it's a full sized case the interior volume is more like a mid-tower. It has indirect vents on the top, bottom and front, and they suck up a couple inches each. Don't plan on putting 2 140mm fans on the bottom unless you have a short PSU. A 120mm barely fits in the position next to the PSU with my Seasonic Prime TX-1000. A 240mm rad would not fit with my PSU. Top mounting a 280mm rad or AIO is a little tricky too. A top mount 280mm tends to crash into the 8-pin mainboard power connectors. I ended up mounting the mainboard upside down because of this. I'd suggest a 360mm or 480mm for a top mount if you're not planning on installing an optical drive. You will likely need some fan cable extensions if you want to use the built-in fan controller. It's on the back side of the mainboard tray.
Thank you for the info. Sounds like a nice combination of flexibility and horror :)
 

zandor

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Thank you for the info. Sounds like a nice combination of flexibility and horror :)
That sounds like an accurate summary. I thought it was kind of fun, but anyone who thinks about buying a be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900r2 should know what they're in for and it definitely isn't for everyone.

One thing I should mention though is if you're doing all air cooling with an ATX or mATX board you can probably just use it as it comes out of the box aside from maybe messing with the PSU mount position. eATX boards will block the pass-throughs from behind the mainboard which will make cable management a little interesting.
 

Dan_D

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Feb 9, 2002
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I've built systems using the Enthoo Evolv, the O11-Dynamic and Dynamic XL, etc. I've seen the Meshify in person and frankly, it's cheap feeling inside and out. Honestly, none of these cases are as nice as the old Lian-Li's that cost hundreds of dollars. But that being said, the design of the O11 Dynamic and the XL models are some of the best I've worked in. The Enthoo Evolv's are nice as well. I haven't used the Evolv X yet, but I'm debating getting one.
 

zandor

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I have one of those old Aluminum Lian-Lis. 2006 vintage or so. It's dated by modern cooling standards, but it's great for what I'm using it for. It's a full tower with a row of 5.25" bays down the front and I'm using it for my home file server. CPU is an i3, runs Linux + Samba, and that old case can hold lots of hot swap 3.5" bays.
 

Dan_D

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57,459
I have one of those old Aluminum Lian-Lis. 2006 vintage or so. It's dated by modern cooling standards, but it's great for what I'm using it for. It's a full tower with a row of 5.25" bays down the front and I'm using it for my home file server. CPU is an i3, runs Linux + Samba, and that old case can hold lots of hot swap 3.5" bays.

Oh, they are definitely dated. But they have a better quality feel to them as I recall.
 

jssaylor2007

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Jun 29, 2015
Messages
136
I've built systems using the Enthoo Evolv, the O11-Dynamic and Dynamic XL, etc. I've seen the Meshify in person and frankly, it's cheap feeling inside and out. Honestly, none of these cases are as nice as the old Lian-Li's that cost hundreds of dollars. But that being said, the design of the O11 Dynamic and the XL models are some of the best I've worked in. The Enthoo Evolv's are nice as well. I haven't used the Evolv X yet, but I'm debating getting one.
So update, I went ahead and built in the Evolv X. Loved the looks of the case, and figured I’d brute force any perceived airflow inadequacies. This was my first Phanteks case, and I was actually pleasantly surprised with how solid the case is. Aside from the goofy plastic cable hiders, there really isn’t anything I would change about it. As far as cooling setup, I had no clue just how huge the NH-D15 was. I had hoped to have the D15 venting out the top, but it wouldn’t fit over the ram, so ended up pointing it to the back. On the front I put the 3 Phanteks fans that came in the case, on the top I put 2 Noctua Industrial 140mm 3000 RPM fans, and one of those on the back. So far the cooling/noise level seems to be fantastic. Yes it has the ability to sound like a jet engine on runup, but even when benchmarking it didn’t ramp up the fans. Overall I’d definitely recommend the case, and would recommend getting some 4 pin extensions if you build on ATX.
 

jssaylor2007

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Jun 29, 2015
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Also, for anyone coming from an older case (not last 5 years,) like I was, and is concerned about these newer cases being junk because of lower price, don’t worry, they are solid.
 

exilelrrp

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Jun 11, 2010
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Also, for anyone coming from an older case (not last 5 years,) like I was, and is concerned about these newer cases being junk because of lower price, don’t worry, they are solid.
That's why you have YouTube and Forums like this to get the information you need.
 
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