Mid-tower case $150 or less, simple, classy, great airflow, little to no mod?

aamsel

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Jun 12, 2004
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Looking for suggestions for the best mid-tower case out there
for $150 or less (+ or -) that will have great airflow with little or
no mods necessary, capable of cooling a quad setup.

If it needs a blowhole or other 120mm added
please suggest a place that has the case and can do that before
shipping it to me.

Want simple, quiet, lightweight if possible (but not necessary), classy.
Something with straight lines and quality built.

Want something not too large, but more usable space than current
Antec SOLO. The SOLO is is quite good, but having to pull the motherboard
to remove the power supply is ridiculous, and there is not enough depth for
comfortable cabling for video cards, drives, etc.

Again, mini to mid-tower, nothing big-ass on wheels!

Any suggestions more than welcome.
 

Shadowssong

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Antec 902 if you don't mind the lights, can't beat its cooling power. Maybe look at some of the Lian Li offerings.
 

dC0m

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I like my Antec SOLO. It's quiet and provides decent cooling.

Antec 900 2 would be great for cooling with no mod. That or the HAF 922 which I'm tempted to buy.
 

silent-circuit

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Look at LianLi and order from somewhere that can get you the 2x120 or 3x120 tops for their older cases.
 

Arvig

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Cooler Master Storm Sniper might be a bit too large, but I'll still suggest it. I got one about a month ago and love it. It also fits a Radeon 5870 fine, and I'm sure it will fit the 5890 (The dual GPU version, it's about a 13 inch long card) fine also. I'll admit that the Storm Sniper is at the very top end of size for a Midtower, it's almost full tower sized. Still IMO it's worth a look.

If that's a bit too large, then a Cooler Master Storm Scout might be something to consider.
 

aamsel

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Antec 902 if you don't mind the lights, can't beat its cooling power. Maybe look at some of the Lian Li offerings.

I do mind lights.

NZXT Beta.

Not crazy about the bezel, seems like it would be really loud as well?

Look at LianLi and order from somewhere that can get you the 2x120 or 3x120 tops for their older cases.

Any idea of model numbers, since there are so many of them? I like (for example) the small reverse air-flow one that everyone likes here, but the cooling would seem weak.

Cooler Master Storm Sniper might be a bit too large, but I'll still suggest it. I got one about a month ago and love it. It also fits a Radeon 5870 fine, and I'm sure it will fit the 5890 (The dual GPU version, it's about a 13 inch long card) fine also. I'll admit that the Storm Sniper is at the very top end of size for a Midtower, it's almost full tower sized. Still IMO it's worth a look.

If that's a bit too large, then a Cooler Master Storm Scout might be something to consider.

I am sure they are good cases, but the tops, handles, etc. are not necessary and don't have the simple, classy, straight line look I like, as with the smaller Antec Solo.
 

aamsel

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I am pretty sure that the scout isn't going to fit a 5870.

Thanks, but doesn't matter.

I am not crazy about the look, and don't feel
that it fits my OP requirements.

I do realize that the pros and cons of cases are quite subjective.

Like I said, I like the Antec SOLO, but it is too cramped.

I like the Lian Li PC-A05B. It is even more cramped (in a different way) since it is sorta
flipped upside down and sideways ;) but I am not thrilled with the cooling.

Something along these lines with more space, better cooling but the same quality (or better) simple, elegant styling is what I would like.
 

aamsel

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Thanks.
I had wanted something where mods would not be necessary,
unless they are quite simple to perform.
Do you think that the Antec 300 really fits this category?
I had considered one, but then there are people cutting and hacking
away at them, with holes under the power supply, holes for cable management, etc.
I really don't want to have to do this stuff, but want great airflow.

Also, would you consider this $50 case the best for $150 or less?
 

Krenum

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I wouldn't choose the Antec 300, there are no places to tuck the cables so your going to have a rats nest at the bottom of your case that will impede airflow. Also the case is made out of Japanese Steel with doesn't dissipate heat very well.
 

aamsel

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I wouldn't choose the Antec 300, there are no places to tuck the cables so your going to have a rats nest at the bottom of your case that will impede airflow. Also the case is made out of Japanese Steel with doesn't dissipate heat very well.

So, what would you choose then?
 

powertower

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Love my Antec Ninehundred. Definately not a light weight case. I do have a Antec 300 at work ands its the berries, simple...quiet... and lots of airflow. Keep in mind PSU cable length when thinking Antec as they mount on the bottom.
 

Z(+)DIAC

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Don't listen to Krenum, just because a case is made of Steel (Japanese/American/Martian/Etc.) doesn't mean the quality will be lacking, especially because you're dealing with Antec.

Just check the reviews on this case (which I believe is not only one of the better mid-tower cases on the market, but you can't beat it for its price)

OverclockersOnline - http://www.overclockersonline.net/?page=articles&num=1752&pnum=7

GamingShogun - http://www.gamingshogun.com/Article/1718/Antec_300_Gaming_Case_Review.html

Xcpus - http://forum.xcpus.com/general/12017-antec-three-hundred-ultimate-budget-case.html

Just read the reviews yourself, almost everyone mentions the same Pros and Cons, but if anything, they all seem to be surprised by the quality construction of such a value-minded case, not to mention for the size, it sure has enough cooling options.
 
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ryken

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P183
Lian Li PCK7B
Lian Li PC-7F

I think we probably have the same taste in cases. I like plain black boxes that are subdued (square and no lights) and well built. Look at Lian Li's whole line, they are all right up that alley.
 

Z(+)DIAC

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I agree, I love the P183, but considering this is a mid-tower, this thing is both huge and heavy (not sure if those are issues).
 

Cygna

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I was looking for pretty much the same thing in a case, and went with an Antec 902. I just turned off the top LED fan, and wrapped the LEDs on the other fans with electrical tape. Took maybe 20 seconds to do each fan, and I think it looks a lot better.

not great quality BlackBerry photo of it:

http://bit.ly/3twk9L

I also removed the fan filters, as I'm not a big fan of them.
 

lt_shiro

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I wouldn't choose the Antec 300, there are no places to tuck the cables so your going to have a rats nest at the bottom of your case that will impede airflow. Also the case is made out of Japanese Steel with doesn't dissipate heat very well.

Totally false as behind the hard drive cage there is an area to storage extra cables and case has great airflow.and good case temps.
 

Shadowssong

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Totally false as behind the hard drive cage there is an area to storage extra cables and case has great airflow.and good case temps.

+1, the 300 is a great case, while it might not have super great cable management, I've never had a problem with the "rats nest" of cables at the bottom.
 

Trigeminal

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Ridiculous deal on the Silverstone FT01 until 11/21. $137 after $35 MIR and has Free Shipping. Pretty unbeatable feature-wise at that price point.
 

aamsel

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Love my Antec Ninehundred. Definately not a light weight case. I do have a Antec 300 at work ands its the berries, simple...quiet... and lots of airflow. Keep in mind PSU cable length when thinking Antec as they mount on the bottom.

It undoubtedly cools great, not crazy about the look, just me. Want totally simple, don't need the monster top fan or window. Again, as for cooling, no doubt great.

Don't listen to Krenum, just because a case is made of Steel (Japanese/American/Martian/Etc.) doesn't mean the quality will be lacking, especially because you're dealing with Antec.

Just check the reviews on this case (which I believe is not only one of the better mid-tower cases on the market, but you can't beat it for its price)

OverclockersOnline - http://www.overclockersonline.net/?page=articles&num=1752&pnum=7

GamingShogun - http://www.gamingshogun.com/Article/1718/Antec_300_Gaming_Case_Review.html

Xcpus - http://forum.xcpus.com/general/12017-antec-three-hundred-ultimate-budget-case.html

Just read the reviews yourself, almost everyone mentions the same Pros and Cons, but if anything, they all seem to be surprised by the quality construction of such a value-minded case, not to mention for the size, it sure has enough cooling options.

Agreed, it is definitely in the running.

P183
Lian Li PCK7B
Lian Li PC-7F

I think we probably have the same taste in cases. I like plain black boxes that are subdued (square and no lights) and well built. Look at Lian Li's whole line, they are all right up that alley.

We DO have the same IDENTICAL taste in cases.
I am checking these out for sure.

+1 for the P183, cooling isn't as great as the antec 900/902, but its just so sexy...

It is quite nice, but not crazy about the closed front design.

I agree, I love the P183, but considering this is a mid-tower, this thing is both huge and heavy (not sure if those are issues).

I don't want huge and heavy if it is not necessary. As I said, would like as small and light without being totally loud.


Have considered the Lancool, but would probably prefer the more simple Lian Li or Antec designs.

I was looking for pretty much the same thing in a case, and went with an Antec 902. I just turned off the top LED fan, and wrapped the LEDs on the other fans with electrical tape. Took maybe 20 seconds to do each fan, and I think it looks a lot better.

not great quality BlackBerry photo of it:

http://bit.ly/3twk9L

I also removed the fan filters, as I'm not a big fan of them.

Will check it out, probably bigger than I really want, however.

Totally false as behind the hard drive cage there is an area to storage extra cables and case has great airflow.and good case temps.

Understood, and I figure if I go with a 300 I could drill some 2" holes at a minimum for routing.

+1, the 300 is a great case, while it might not have super great cable management, I've never had a problem with the "rats nest" of cables at the bottom.

Understood. I have read some other threads on the 300, and that did not seem to be an issue.

Ridiculous deal on the Silverstone FT01 until 11/21. $137 after $35 MIR and has Free Shipping. Pretty unbeatable feature-wise at that price point.

The FT01 honestly has more "stuff" than I really need with the window and way more bays than I need, but will check it out also.

TO EVERYONE THAT HAS REPLIED SO FAR, THANKS A TON!!!
 
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Ray-zor

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Jun 16, 2006
Messages
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Perhaps the NZXT Panzerbox (http://www.nzxt.com/products/panzerbox/) is something to consider. Although I admit it depends on your taste wether you find it classy enough. It looks a bit bulky but in turn you get a roomy yet relatively compact case. It features two controlable 190mm fans -front and blowhole- so potentially (don't know for sure though) it should be very cool and very silent without having to mod. I haven't any experience with it, but it sure is on my short list.
 
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aamsel

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Messages
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Perhaps the NZXT Panzerbox (http://www.nzxt.com/products/panzerbox/) is something to consider. Although I admit it depends on your taste wether you find it classy enough. It looks a bit bulky but in turn you get a roomy yet relatively compact case. It features two controlable 190mm fans -front and blowhole- so potentially (don't know for sure though) it should be very cool and very silent without having to mod. I haven't any experience with it, but it sure is on my short list.

Not unattractive, but not exactly what I had in mind with classic, simple.
Interesting to consider, but not for me at the moment, thanks!
 

Athrix

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Messages
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I just recently built 2 antec 300's with i7 920s, GTS 250 (fits fine) and a 750tx. If you have a little bit of cable management experience you'll have no troubles with this case. I was able to get ALL leftover wires into the cable management cubby using the adjustable straps included with the case. Cooling is nice and its a pretty small case. For the price and what you get you can't beat it. Filters are very easy to clean and do a great job at picking up dust. The company I work for has a gravel lot and a lot of dust gets in the office, the filter picked it all up leaving the inside very clean. Just cover the LEDs on the fans and your good to go.
 

aamsel

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How about the AZZA Solano 1000? $50 shipped (after rebate) at the egg with coupon code EMCMMMP43.

Doesn't exude "simple" to me, although I may easily be wrong, and often am!

I did a lot of looking for a case with similar requirements and settled on the Ultra X-Blaster.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Ultra/XBlaster/1.html

the case is simple, sturdy, not very heavy, has good airflow, and a good set of features.

Don't know the company, will look them up, but don't see the real advantages over an Antec 300 for my use.

I just recently built 2 antec 300's with i7 920s, GTS 250 (fits fine) and a 750tx. If you have a little bit of cable management experience you'll have no troubles with this case. I was able to get ALL leftover wires into the cable management cubby using the adjustable straps included with the case. Cooling is nice and its a pretty small case. For the price and what you get you can't beat it. Filters are very easy to clean and do a great job at picking up dust. The company I work for has a gravel lot and a lot of dust gets in the office, the filter picked it all up leaving the inside very clean. Just cover the LEDs on the fans and your good to go.

Great information, this could be the ticket.

As I said, already have a SOLO now and have had other Antec products, and their support
is really top-notch. Considering the Lian Li's also, my understanding is that Lian Li's support is non-existent for end-users, but you can get any parts you need lots of places, just no easy warranty replacements like with Corsair and Antec. I had a PC-60 years ago, and they didn't even reply to my emails but still very nice cases. My understanding is that they have "cheapened out" some of their lower price offerings. True or false?

I prefer to stay with an Antec, Corsair or other company that has great support, who will replace a part quickly and with no hassle.
 

aubsxc

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Doesn't exude "simple" to me, although I may easily be wrong, and often am!

I prefer to stay with an Antec, Corsair or other company that has great support, who will replace a part quickly and with no hassle.

Looks are subjective. I, personally, would be willing to settle on something less aesthetically pleasing if it allowed me to save $50 or $100.

Another case you might want to consider is the Coolermaster CM690 for $70 shipped at newegg. Coolermaster cases are very built and usually priced competitively as well, and is my personal favorite brand.
 

aamsel

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Thanks everyone!!!
A lot of great choices in here.
I am going to mull this over for a day or so.

If anyone else has another suggestion, please feel free to add it.
 

haadij404

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Considering the Lian Li's also, my understanding is that Lian Li's support is non-existent for end-users, but you can get any parts you need lots of places, just no easy warranty replacements like with Corsair and Antec. I had a PC-60 years ago, and they didn't even reply to my emails but still very nice cases.

I have to disagree. Lian Li has been fantastic in terms of support. I emailed them about how I broke my power button and that I need a replacement... I got reply within 48hrs. The person who replied was really nice and sent out a free replacement. I saved his direct email address and any time I have a question or a request he has hooked me up at no cost. My brother had a defective 120mm fan and 10 days later I received a brand new one shipped directly from Taiwan. Same thing with a couple screws that I couldn't find in stores. No need for silly reciepts or UPC to verify the purchase. Just a picture of the case and what you need or where its supposed to go (so they send out the right part). I email him occasionally with random questions about new cases and where I can find certain accessories and he always replies within 24hrs. Just a great experience with them. I guess maybe it depends on who replies to the initial support request but my man George has been great and because of that I only buy Lian Li.

Just today I wanted to find out when optional top panel for the PC- A05N would be available to purchase. He gave me the direct email of the US distributor of Lian Li. Haven't gotten a reply from them yet but George assured me that they have already shipped them to the US and their distrubuter (Ascent) should have the exact info for when they will be available to purchase.

Lian Li FTW.

Edit: and yes I recommend the A05N and wait for the top panel to become available.
 

aamsel

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I have to disagree. Lian Li has been fantastic in terms of support. I emailed them about how I broke my power button and that I need a replacement... I got reply within 48hrs. The person who replied was really nice and sent out a free replacement. I saved his direct email address and any time I have a question or a request he has hooked me up at no cost. My brother had a defective 120mm fan and 10 days later I received a brand new one shipped directly from Taiwan. Same thing with a couple screws that I couldn't find in stores. No need for silly reciepts or UPC to verify the purchase. Just a picture of the case and what you need or where its supposed to go (so they send out the right part). I email him occasionally with random questions about new cases and where I can find certain accessories and he always replies within 24hrs. Just a great experience with them. I guess maybe it depends on who replies to the initial support request but my man George has been great and because of that I only buy Lian Li.

Just today I wanted to find out when optional top panel for the PC- A05N would be available to purchase. He gave me the direct email of the US distributor of Lian Li. Haven't gotten a reply from them yet but George assured me that they have already shipped them to the US and their distrubuter (Ascent) should have the exact info for when they will be available to purchase.

Lian Li FTW.

Edit: and yes I recommend the A05N and wait for the top panel to become available.

Well, that is good to know.
Again, I bought my PC-60 like 15+ years ago, sold it 5 years ago.
Only reason I sold it was I was tired of the 80mm fans whining and dying.

So, are you using the A05N now,
and do you know when will the panel be available and the cost?

Will the rivet have to be drilled out to change this panel?

Have you modded or do you plan to mod an A05N?

Remember that I said I wanted to do little to no modding.
I don't want to paint, drill or do much other than swapping out fans and other simple parts.

Yes, I like that case, have liked it a lot since I first saw the monster thread about it.
My "fears" about the A05N have always been airflow and space.

But, yes, I like a lot about it.
 

haadij404

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Well, that is good to know.
Again, I bought my PC-60 like 15+ years ago, sold it 5 years ago.
Only reason I sold it was I was tired of the 80mm fans whining and dying.

So, are you using the A05N now,
and do you know when will the panel be available and the cost?

Will the rivet have to be drilled out to change this panel?

Have you modded or do you plan to mod an A05N?

Remember that I said I wanted to do little to no modding.
I don't want to paint, drill or do much other than swapping out fans and other simple parts.

Yes, I like that case, have liked it a lot since I first saw the monster thread about it.
My "fears" about the A05N have always been airflow and space.

But, yes, I like a lot about it.

George said it would be available to buy at the end of the month. But once I get a reply from the distrubuter I'll post a reply here.

No need to rivet on the A05N. The top panel is simply held in by 4 screws. Swapping out for the top panel would take a max of 2 minutes.

I have the A05B which is the older model and the top panel was riveted on. I modded mine with a top blowhole. With that mod I think the case cools with the best of them. I just love how small it is and how much you can stuff inside. No case is comparable in that regard. I mean look at my sig... its a sleeper. Nobody assumes that small black box has that hardware inside.

And another plus is that you have that massive thread to refer to when you have any problems or questions... over 3k posts and still going strong :D
 

aamsel

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George said it would be available to buy at the end of the month. But once I get a reply from the distrubuter I'll post a reply here.

No need to rivet on the A05N. The top panel is simply held in by 4 screws. Swapping out for the top panel would take a max of 2 minutes.

I have the A05B which is the older model and the top panel was riveted on. I modded mine with a top blowhole. With that mod I think the case cools with the best of them. I just love how small it is and how much you can stuff inside. No case is comparable in that regard. I mean look at my sig... its a sleeper. Nobody assumes that small black box has that hardware inside.

And another plus is that you have that massive thread to refer to when you have any problems or questions... over 3k posts and still going strong :D

Thanks.
I am strongly considering the A05N (when top panel available), the Antec 300 and a couple of other Lian Li's.
 
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Icejon

PC Club Mkt Coordinator
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Have you considered the CM Sileo 500 or the CM 534? The 500 has 4 panel insulation making it quiet, and the front is laminated aluminum for a clean look. It has side intakes and silent 120mm 800rpm fans standard. Their only $50 most places.
intro1.jpg

intro1.jpg


Link to review on extremetech
 

aamsel

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Have you considered the CM Sileo 500 or the CM 534? The 500 has 4 panel insulation making it quiet, and the front is laminated aluminum for a clean look. It has side intakes and silent 120mm 800rpm fans standard. Their only $50 most places.
intro1.jpg

intro1.jpg


Link to review on extremetech

No, but I will check them out and read the reviews.
Thanks.
 
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