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Treasures or Trash, 5 PC Cases for Gamers 369

An anonymous reader writes "Tom's Hardware has a look at 5 different customized PC cases and a few peripheral devices that may be of some interest to gamers. From the article: 'Those who believe it is impossible to make any missteps when buying a gaming case are sadly mistaken. In most cases, you get too much plastic for your hard-earned money. Case components, covers and door panels break off far too easily, and are hard to use besides. That's why we advise savvy buyers to spend a few more dollars on their cases, and make sure they're getting quality components - especially where plastic covers or door panels are present.'"
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Treasures or Trash, 5 PC Cases for Gamers

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  • by PSXer ( 854386 ) * <psxer@msfirefox.com> on Monday May 29, 2006 @06:43PM (#15426080) Homepage
    They have flashy lights and windows! That's all that matters, right, guys?
    • Re:But... but... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by donweel ( 304991 )
      Too much plastic ... that about sums it up. Some came with power supplies but I'm not sure the manufacture is trustworthy, I am not familiar with the ones included. Alternatively you could get an aluminum Lian Li http://www.lian-li.com/main.htmcase [lian-li.com] like I did five years ago, it still looks like the day I bought it. I won't have to get another case unless form factor changes radically. And the big knurled nuts and sliding modular construction makes installing hard drives, power supplies or motherboards a sn
    • Has it occured to you guys that a lot of these people just don't know any better? That they don't know that a metal case with spaces for more fans is better than a case with space for one fan and a plexiglass window? Go ask people and you'll fidn out that a lot of them don't know. And why not? Because when they shop for them it says nothing about how one fan isn't such a good idea for a high-powered computer or that plexiglass windows can scratch up. Hell, even the metal cases with space for four fans don't

  • Too many pages... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jonoid ( 863970 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @06:45PM (#15426086)
    29 pages? No printer-formatted single page? I'd rather not give my wrist an RSI by all that clicking or waste my allotted amount of bandwidth downloading all those ads.
    • by mikesd81 ( 518581 ) <mikesd1@@@verizon...net> on Monday May 29, 2006 @06:50PM (#15426095) Homepage
      The article is actualy only 2 pages, the remaining 27 is eye candy on cases that you can go to an actual web store and see. Some are neat though with luminated keyboards and mice. I only looked @ a few pages after the the first 2. There isn't any other paragraphs to describe or prices. Mostly just images. You can find them on e-bay or froogle looking for luminated keyboard or mice or custom cases.
    • by daivzhavue ( 176962 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @06:54PM (#15426110)
      I would <next>
      Have to <next>
      agree with <next>
      you on <next>
      that point. <next>
      <ADVERTISEMENT> <next>
      So I <next>
      gave up. <next>
    • C'mon guys, surely you have heard of this extension [mozilla.org] by now. Never click those tiny page numbers again. This is indispensable these days when all the information on the web seems to be buried in "forums" of this and that.

      Sheesh has everyone forgotten newsgroups? Thats what they are there for.
    • Re:Too many pages... (Score:5, Informative)

      by fief ( 12961 ) * on Monday May 29, 2006 @09:59PM (#15426550)
      Simply replace "index.html" with print.html. This trick works across all of Tom's sites. So, for this article it would be this link [tomshardware.com]
    • My thoughts exactly. Nowadays whenever I click a link on slashdot, first thing I do is check if there's a "next page" link somewhere, and how much content is on the page... If there's a "printer friendly" link, I'll continue. If it's only 2 or 3 pages, I'll continue. Otherwise, the new tab closes a lot faster than it opened...

      And to think that I actually remember the time when tomshardware was actually a great site with tons of solid info... Man, I'm getting old...

  • Does a case matter (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mikesd81 ( 518581 )
    I would think the hardware in the case is more important for a gamer. A case doesn't provide power and storage, it just provides a place to put it. Go buy a metal slide on case with a a plastic face plate, perferably a decently large one, and cram all your hardware in that. I never really understood why to pay $100 or more for a case with a window and lights. Even @ LAN parties...the hardware is more important.
    • by Silwenae ( 514138 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @06:56PM (#15426116) Homepage
      The case absolutely does matter - but not for the reasons mentioned above (lights and looks).

      It's all about the cooling - get the right fan placement and air flow in the right place and that's what matters. When you're running an AMD processor faster than a 4200 with an Nvidia 7800 SLI rig, it will matter that you have the right case to get it cool.
      • by deacon ( 40533 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @08:43PM (#15426386) Journal
        Yes, but none of these cases do that.

        The fans these cases use are absurdly small (so they can be really cheap to make) and using many fans creates added noise due to the beat frequency between them.

        The correct way to go about this is to get a cheap steel case, like this for $20.75

        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82 E16811156011 [newegg.com]

        Then get a fan like this for $9.95

        http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp?UID=20060529 19261386&item=16-1331&catname=electric [surpluscenter.com]

        Now to slow the fan down, to make it quiet, wire a motor run capacitor in series with the fan. Use a cap like this ($1.99) :

        http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp?UID=20060529 19273017&item=22-1186&catname=electric [surpluscenter.com]

        If you use a smaller value cap, the fan will run slower. If you use a larger value cap, the fan will run faster. The fan speed changes a lot for small changes in the cap value.

        Now cut a blowhole in the top of the case, bolt the fan on top blowing into the case, and get rid of all other case fans. Leave the faceplates off on both sides of the video card so lots of air rushes out that way.

        Stick a fork in it. It's done.

        • by NeMon'ess ( 160583 ) * <flinxmid AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday May 29, 2006 @09:28PM (#15426484) Homepage Journal
          Next time read the second page of the article. The first case [tomshardware.com] reviewed has a 250mm fan on the side for cooling. It spins at 800rpm for quiet operation. The front fan is a 120mm that is also quiet, although there were no dB numbers given. The rest of the cases impede airflow with useless plastic and extra grating, but the first one was pretty good.

          Your suggestion about leaving the doors off is only good for people without pets or young children. Furthermore, if the power supply is blocking the fan-propelled air from directly reaching the CPU heatsink, its possible the CPU will actually operate at a higher temperature than if the doors were on and quiet fans placed in the pre-punched case mounts.
        • Or, if you don't want to live in a wind tunnel, shell out 110 for a Lian-Li aluminum case.
        • The correct way to go about this is to get a cheap steel case, like this for $20.75

          Why's that correct?

          What if you have the extra money to spend on alumninum? Then you might be able to drop a fan or two. It also would be lighter, which is important if you're going somewhere.

          And have fun working inside that case without any of the touches (mounting rails for optical drives, removable bays for the hard drives, etc.) that make some cases a pleasure.

          Oh yeah, and like the other posters said, next time RTFA so you
        • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @10:27PM (#15426603)
          I agree with some of what you say. Steel cases instead of cheap fragile plastic are definitely worth it. But some of the strangest things wind up being really important, such as whether the case forces you to cut your hand trying to get the power supply mounted, or inevitably drop screws in the case inextricably into weird slots while mounting things, or break badly designed feet. And it's also important to look at whether fans can be cleaned, because let's face it: many gamers are slobs and have their rooms filled with dust. Worse, many games are inclined to rest a Big Gulp on their desk where they will leave it for 3 days, half-filled, until the cheap paper cup dissolves and spills onto things, such as your suggested blowhole fan.

          Cases with side fans are inevitably put in "computer desks" that have closely fitted walls that block the side fans. Front to back is the way to go for cooling, baby, with big blower fans in unused drive bays. Noise is fairly irrelevant if you're wearing good headsets with earpieces that actually cover your ears, instead of these foolish wienie headsets that try to stuff things inside your ear canal. Blocking out even hideously large case fans, and cubicle naighbors, and screaming kids nearby, with good "over-the-entire-ear" $100 headsets gives you a vastly better sound experience than even $1000 stereo systemas and sound cards.

          A case that is well designed against spills on top of it is priceless. One that is well designed to allow you to reach components, and not grab a network cable inextricably into the case is also worth quite a bit. I've had the devil of a time extracting CAT5 cables from some otherwise cheap cases, and seen too many people actually set things down on top of or pour them into fans or ventholes on top of cases. And Cases with funky feet that tilt, or prevent you from setting things down safely on top of the case are merely foolish, because people will inevitabl pile them up, drop them, and wonder why their CD that's been sitting on the dirty, dusty, scratchy floor for a week with the dong walking on them don't work right.

          And those stupid cases with "Exciting! Graphical! Clocks!" that have incredibly cheap built-in chips that drift a minute a day are worse than useless, they're actually worse than the "blinking 12:000" clocks that can't be set by anyone over the age of 6.
          • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *
            I have several RaidMax cases, and one reason I keep buying 'em is because the edges of the metal are all beveled and/or rolled. No sharp edges. I've had cases where you didn't dare open 'em without donning leather gloves first!

            Also, the PSUs RaidMax useds seem to be pretty good -- haven't had any fail. And the included fans are quiet.

            Plus the sides go on/off easily.

            My only gripe has been that the 3.5" drive bays have this little extra piece in the mount that interferes with the fan doodad that I like to att
        • THANK YOU!!! I've been looking all over for a source for these RaidMax cases, and for whatever reason, NewEgg didn't spit 'em up (and I didn't find 'em elsewhere at any sane price). Used to get 'em at the computer show, but the show that was handy went away. :(

          I've been using RaidMax cases for years, just as they come from the box. I want STEEL, NO damned windows or LEDs, cleanly made innards (no sharp edges), lots of drive bays, sanely-placed extra fan mounts, and easy workspace -- and they fit the bill ad
      • Ya, but of those cases which probably run the coolest, they do so with the grace of a blind caveman.

        Hell, I can pin my MB on wall, aim a giant desk fan at it, and revel in my awesome airflow. A few of those cases don't seem much more sophisticated then that.... unless you count spider eyes and lights.

        Ohh good engineering and industrial design, where are't thou?
      • It's all about the cooling

        I had a roommate in college who made a PC case out of a milk crate. Best... cooling... ever! hehe

      • It doesn't need to be brand new to run like a furnace - my athlon 1.2 keeps the room warm just idling.
    • They want to try and impress others. I mean suppose you have a small economy car. If you want to improve it's performance, #1 thing you can probalby do for it is turbocharge it. Most engines that aren't TC'd can be. Problem is that just makes it perform better, it doesn't let everyone else know you did anything. So instead people add fart pipes (loud mufflers) and pretend they improve horsepower (they don't you need to redo more than just the end to make any difference), stickers for things like Vtec that t
    • People like shiny things, heck *I* like shiny things. But when I buy a case I look for some specifics that make things handy for me as a gamer:

      -As mentioned earlier, cooling. The number and placement of fan mounting brackets is important to gamers.

      -Flexibility. The reason why most gamers don't use those old beige cases is because we can't cram a terabyte of HDD, one or two video cards or a sophisticated cooling rig (water cooled, giganto Zalman, etc)

      -Durability. Your case is going to be dragged around to va
    • by teslar ( 706653 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @07:22PM (#15426175)
      I would think the hardware in the case is more important for a gamer.
      Nonono, you're approaching this from the wrong angle. Think about it this way - gamers are young males, probably not getting out enough, so this is all about impressing potential girlfriends.

      Scenario A: Girl enters room. Standard beige box and chunky CRT are the dominant features.
      Girl: In your bedroom? You've gotta be kidding. *goes home*
      Gamer: .... *sobs*

      Scenario B: Girl enters room. Glowing... thingy and shiny LCD are clearly noticeable.
      Girl: What are those?
      Gamer: That's my flatscreen television and my mood lighting device, baby. It can cycle through very mellow sensual colours. Wanna cuddle for a bit and dream of beautiful memories... together?
      Girl: Awwww.... *melts into gamers arms*

      So you see, nothing at all to do with games. Beware of cases that don't do warm soft-glow red or pink though..... arctic chill blue does not incite to undress.

      • That's what I have my iBook/PowerBook for. Ooh, such a cute and small thingy. Is that really a computer? It looks soooo cute. OMG Pony's.
      • by imboboage0 ( 876812 ) <imboboage0@gmail.com> on Monday May 29, 2006 @11:17PM (#15426722) Homepage
        1. I totally agree. Chicks I know like the case, keyboard, mouse, and sound system. Not that it really matters, the right girl will like me for me anyway.

        2. Funniest thing, I have the Logisys Dracula Special Edition (black with chrome trim, black handle with custom red LED button). All the fan slots are taken by red 120s and 80s. The chrome PSU (X-Connect 500 watter) had its warranty voided by some red LED fans before it was even used. I also have a pink neon (Not CCFL, Neon) in the bottom of my case. Talk about some serious mood lighting.

        [Disclaimer: Yes I like my case. I did it for me and no one else. I didn't go skimpy on hardware (think Honda) either. Just because you own a Ferrari doesn't mean it wouldn't be cooler with new wheels.]
    • Noise
      Ease of access to internals
      Ability to cool high power internals

      All these are heavily influenced by your case. Also, a good case takes about twice as long to become obsolete as your internal hardware.

      The above list is my particular order of priority. I care alot about choice of case, yet appearance is well down my list.
  • pages (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joe 155 ( 937621 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @06:49PM (#15426094) Journal
    my god, thats a lot of pages to scroll through... I'm inclined to be a little lazy when buying a case; I only put my feet on it so it doesn't really matter what it looks like. Inside they are all pretty much the same so long as they have enough room, and a construction which will allow you to put your feet on it safely.

    I've had a friend who had a case with really bright blue lights on his computer; all that that meant was we had to stick post-it notes over them when we wanted to watch something to avoid blinding us. I wouldn't want lights on my case...
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @06:52PM (#15426105) Homepage Journal
    I used to do on-site tech support at IBM. Those guys could make a case, but not consistently. All their consumer model cases completely sucked, but their PS2 servers had some of the best designs I've ever seen. They had screw-free fasteners for everything, and the drive bays and power supply were on hinges and could swivel out to provide easy access to the motherboard.

    Those little touches are incredibly easy to do, but no one ever adds them. I'd much rather be able to swing out my power supply so I don't have to disassemble my computer to add RAM or whatnot, rather than have my case look like it's got eyes on.

    • When I did desktop support in college, I spent many an hour cursing the engineer at Acer (which is where IBM OEM'd the Crap-tiva from), who decided that flathead screws with shallow screw slots had ANY place in a computer case. I got "bit" by my screwdriver several times trying to install network cards in those damn things. (Don't even get me started on what those boxes did once you actually tried to get Novell working on them.)

      IBM's (err... Lenovo's) current "business" desktop cases are an intesting stud
      • I remember taking off the side panel to replace a CDROM drive in a Packard Bell. Guess what? PB was too fucking cheap to use real screws. Instead, they mounted the factory drive with rivets. Yes. POP RIVETS!!!! The only way to get them out is with a small drill bit or dremel tool. Obviously I didn't have one available to use, so I just mounted it in the other drive slot and move the cables around.

        How annoying.
        • I once saw a Compaq with a "power supply" that consisted of a mounted PCB and a creased sheet of stiff plastic glued over it in a U shape to discourage touching the deadly parts (unless your finger/screwdriver went in one of the two ends not covered by their plastic)
    • Or simply have the power-supply over the motherboard, makes the computer slightly taller, but more manageable. What you are describing reminds me of the old Beige Dell Optiplex machines that we had at school.
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @06:52PM (#15426107)
    It'd be the one I just picked up, the Antec P180. Actually I opted for the P180B, the black version (the normal 180 is silver) but either way same case, different finish. It's a case that has it all, if you asked me. It's got the setup for extremely effective cooling, yet runs very quiet for all that. Plenty of interior room, good design, etc. The only real gripe I have is it takes a long time to properly install all your components what with the special mounts and such. However, you do that once and you've got a great case.

    Of course it also looks stellar. It's extremely sleek and clean the whole way around. It's the kinds of subdued good looks that make you want to leave it alone, rather than put stickers on it and rice it out.

    These cases I'd liken to a riced out Civic. You are going for flash to try and distract and wow people. The P180 is more like an Audi sedan, it looks so good it needs no modification.

    Either way if you are willing to spend the cash on cases like this (the $100+ market) give these overly flashy jobs a miss and have a look at a P180. It will look good in just about any room and they really put some thought in the engineering of it. It's the first case I've seen that really seemed to think someone might want to have a system that's quiet AND high performance, but not want to screw with water cooling.

    Why get a Civic with a spoiler and fart pipe if you could get an S4 without for the same price?
    • Just want to agree with the parent, I just bought a new PC and the P180 was the case I chose. I have a lot of love for it already, its design actually made putting the rig together enjoyable, especially since the structure meant you could do it all in obvious stages (this was the first time I'd built a PC and I'd recommend the case to other newbies) and then slot it all back in. I originally chose it because I'd read good reviews praising its effective cooling but the best thing about it for me has to be th
    • I have the same case. It's great! Very quiet. My only complaint with it is that the Antec power supply that I bought with it didn't have a long enough 24-pin connector. The power supply is actually situated on the bottom of the case instead of the top like normal, so you need an especially long power cable if your motherboard has it's power connector near the top. I had to sit around for 5 days looking at the beautiful case with all the parts in it while the extension was mailed :)

    • by Michael Woodhams ( 112247 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @08:35PM (#15426366) Journal
      Unless I was building some ~US$3000 SLI monstrosity*, I'd go for the P150 instead. It is quite a bit smaller, and has hard-drive suspension (for noise suppression) as a built in option.

      * I.e. something that actually *needs* a >300W power supply, unlike 95%** of the computers fitted with >500W PSUs.

      ** 43.8% of statistics are just made up.
  • by HappyEngineer ( 888000 ) * on Monday May 29, 2006 @06:55PM (#15426111) Homepage
    Pfft. Those cases look pretty, and I'm impressed by the super huge fans in Aerocool, but they all cower in the shadow of my case [g42.org].

    Drum roll please. On May 29, 2003, I entered a new phase of PC ownership. That was the day that my Chenbro SR101 21 bay server case arrived. Perhaps you didn't hear me. I said it was a 21 bay case! It's 14.5" wide and 25" tall! (The 25" includes the caster wheels.) It's a monster and unless you're one of the lucky few who own a case like this, it would most likely eat your case for an after dinner snack!

    It's a masterpiece of case design! There are holders for wires in it to reduce clutter. It's like running a network inside the PC.

    It has spaces for up to 15 fans.

    It has caster wheels.

    The motherboard is on a removable platter so I was able to just take the platter out and put the motherboard on it instead of having to put it into the case directly.

    It has 12 external 5.25" bays and 8 internal 3.5" bays and 1 external 3.5" bay for the floppy drive.

    The floppy drive bay has a removable platter so you can attach the drive to it and then attach the platter to the case.

    The case comes with rails for the 5.25" bays. You attach the rails to each 5.25" device (CDROM, removable hard drive, etc.) and you can just slide the device into the bay and it snaps in place. You just squeeze the sides to pull them back out. There's no need to have to screw each one in and out when you want to move them around!

    There's room in the back for 3 power supplies (I have 2 installed right now) and it's possible attach power supplies into the 5.25" bays if desired which theoretically means you could have 7 power supplies in it, but you wouldn't have much room left over for anything else.

    The back, sides, top, and front panels are all removable, so if I want to I can remove them and have them painted or even paint them myself! (I was thinking of maybe having the entire thing painted shiny dark black with 1 big yellow pacman on each side.) I wonder if they sell spoilers for PC cases... Actually, I think I may have no choice but to add neon lights to it.

    • Unfortunately, the cost of the case precludes any expenditures on actual furniture, so an old folding card table must be used to support a 70 pound monitor. It visibly sags [g42.org] but the threat of a catastrophic collapse keeps life interesting.
  • Computer Wrestling? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheFlyingGoat ( 161967 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @06:56PM (#15426113) Homepage Journal
    What are you people doing to your computers that you're breaking the plastic bay covers? I've been working on computers for at least 12 years and have never had one break on me. Sure, the occassional one pops off, but even though it's plastic it's pretty heavy plastic.

    As for the doors, I can't stand them to begin with. I guess if you're going for looks and can't trouble yourself to paint the faceplates of your components it's one thing, but wouldn't you aim to buy the proper color to begin with?

    As for everything else when it comes to cases, the main difference I've found is that the high quality ones bend the inner edges an extra time to prevent cuts, have heavier metal drive racks, and better air flow. That's it.

    People who spend insane amounts of money on cases are the same as people that modify their cars to gain 5 extra HP... it just doesn't make much sense. The one exception is server cases, but this article is about gaming cases, so that's not applicable. :)
    • "What are you people doing to your computers that you're breaking the plastic bay covers?"

      Having been in and out of some computer stores and seeing some of the cheap ass cases they have there, it's not so much the PC enthusiast breaking the plastic it's more the plastic being thin and brittle and utter useless crap that is the problem.

      I see a lot of those "alienware" rip-off cases at some chain computer part stores and cannot imagine how they stand up to any use.

  • by BertieBaggio ( 944287 ) * <{bob} {at} {manics.eu}> on Monday May 29, 2006 @07:03PM (#15426125) Homepage

    According to (a 30 page bonanza of mostly pictures) TFA, I own a something that could qualify as a 'gaming' case. And my vote for the "Treasures or Trash?" conundrum is: trash. Why?

    LEDs on the front of the case

    Yeah, they look cool. For about 5 minutes. They are dim enough not to illuminate, but bright enough to catch your eye. Hardware equivalent of a flash ad. Also, if you keep your PC in your bedroom, you'd better find something to put in front of the LEDs.

    "Cheap plastic USB port covers"

    Yup, cheap is right. I snapped mine off literally about half an hour before reading the article. How's that for irony? To be fair, the cover was fine until now, just a bit superfluous. I won't miss it.

    Side panels

    I have seen about 3 PCs in my lifetime that get sidepanels right: easy to take off, but fit snugly and stay on well in spite of semifrequent access. For my last few boxes, I hav mostly kept my sidepanel off, but laying up against the case. Well, it helps cooling...

    Sliding front / moving bits

    I said the cheap plastic USB port covers were superfluous? My mistake. Any moving parts such as the case front are entirely superfluous and downright annoying. My last case had a sliding front. Up, it blocked the optical drives. Down, it blocked the USB ports. Argh...

    Power supplies

    Gaming cases tend to get these right, assuming they include a PSU with the case. No real complaints here in my experience.


    I'd say that unless you are shallow and/or a showoff at LAN parties you'd be better off with a standard case. The money you save on the case can go on a bit of better quality RAM, or at the very worst, a round of beers. So if you have a big budget to blow on a computer you are going to be showing to a lot a people, then sure, get a cool-looking case. But make sure it's cool looking 'features' don't compromise its rather more important 'functions'.

    • LEDs on the front of the case
      Yeah, they look cool. For about 5 minutes. They are dim enough not to illuminate, but bright enough to catch your eye. Hardware equivalent of a flash ad. Also, if you keep your PC in your bedroom, you'd better find something to put in front of the LEDs.

      My laptop has three nice, bright blue status LEDs just below the display, where they're shining in your eyes all the time you're using the laptop -- which is why my laptop has a small rectangle of painter's tape over the LED

    • I have seen about 3 PCs in my lifetime that get sidepanels right: easy to take off, but fit snugly and stay on well in spite of semifrequent access. For my last few boxes, I hav mostly kept my sidepanel off, but laying up against the case. Well, it helps cooling...

      Hmmm...not in my experience. I've found that taking the side off the machine wrecks the airflow on some cases, and often times this means higher temperatures, because the warm air isn't being properly expelled.
      • It helps with my own, but that's probably only because it has no intake fan, nor very much room for one. The only air intake is from three small (1cm thick, 5cm wide) slits at the front. This wasn't a gaming case, though, which is clear from the PC's frequent overheating.
    • From the article:

      In this comparison test, Tom's Hardware Guide finds itself unable to recommend any of the products it tested. That is because they're either too fragile or we simply couldn't overcome our reservations about certain features or components.

      The article is good in the sense that not everyone has your experience, and can believe that those features are good.

      The bad thing, this text was in page 25.
    • So, I have one of those Shuttle small form factor cases. Very good experience overall, except one very bad run-in with their support. Quiet and austere enough that even my girlfriend was into it. But, here's the kicker...

      LEDs on the front of the case

      ...my Shuttle has a setting for LED brightness in the BIOS, from 100% of max to off. Whoever was kind enough to put that in there, I salute them. I want a computer that I can ignore when I want to use my desk for something so pedestrian as reading or wr

  • ugly!!!! (Score:4, Informative)

    by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @07:04PM (#15426130) Homepage
    29 pages for five cases? You've got to be kidding!

    I hate to be the token apple fanboy, but these cases are amazingly ugly. all of them are significantly uglier than anything apple's produced, dating all the way back to the blue and white G3s.

    that's not to say that OEM PC cases have to be ugly. IBM's produced some slick-looking cases, and so has Dell (for their small-form factor business stuff at least).

    Lian-li's cases are also reasonably attractive [lian-li.com], even if they somewhat appear to be knockoffs of the G5.

    Industrial design seems to be an art lost to many theese days, which is a real shame... the G5's case was beautiful, functional, and able to cool several ridiculously hot G5 processors silently.
    • the G5's case was beautiful, functional, and able to cool several ridiculously hot G5 processors silently.

      Silently? In my experience, the dual G5 towers will crank up their fans fairly often, and they are anything but silent. Even in a lab filled with plenty of other computers, the fans from an individual G5 tower were distinguishable. Though they appear to be variable speed, they often crank up to full speed for several seconds only to slow down again. This change in noise is more noticeable than the
      • Well, yes. I'm not saying much about the stuff inside the cases. G5s ran notoriously hot --- however, the case was very well designed in terms of cooling so that it would remain fairly quiet despite a rather hefty heat output. those huge 120mm+ fans don't have to spin fast to move a lot of air.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 29, 2006 @07:06PM (#15426132)

    Want to know why I love Tom's Hardware?

    Click here to read more.

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 29, 2006 @07:08PM (#15426138)
    Yeesh! Those are some fucking ugly, pre-riced cases. All they're missing is the oversized superflous fin, a coffee can-sized exhaust and gratuitous "Type R" and similar stickers, and they could be props in "The Fast and the Furious: Friday Night LAN Party."
  • as long as you go with a name brand, you are *usually* ok... I'm using a cheap case I got on sale at newegg for 35 bucks... nothing fancy about it, but its a midsize and holds my water cooling just fine.
  • by rabiddeity ( 941737 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @07:16PM (#15426158) Homepage
    I was going to post the full text of the article, but there's no real point. Most of the "pages" just have three or four photos of parts of the case. The meat of the article is on page 26 for those who are actually interested. Ignore the last 2 pages, they're basically ads for "input devices that light up". Two entire PAGES with no relevance to the article topic at all. Man, what the hell happened to Tom's Hardware? You guys used to be good.
    • Man, what the hell happened to Tom's Hardware? You guys used to be good.

      -rant on

      That's an understatement, I remember when they were practically an authority on pc technology. The hardware reviews were relevant, and well done, and the content was well organized.

      Now its just a giant sprawling ad-generation scam. Content quality has taken a nose-dive. Their benchmarks which used to be highly informative are usually utterly pointless...(Hint: 15 different games all within 1% of eachother on all the products in
    • The meat of the article is on page 26 for those who are actually interested. Ignore the last 2 pages, they're basically ads for "input devices that light up".

      Oh come now, everyone on slashdot needs a Hello Kitty keyboard [tomshardware.com].

    • Well, I don't really know, but it may have something to do with this:

      Editor In Chief and CEO of Tom's Hardware Both Step Down [dailytech.com]

      IMO, tomshardware.com "jumped the shark" several years prior to this (2001?). Seemed like Tom stopped writing articles to focus on starting a corporate empire. Once all of the so called "editors" started putting their hands in the pie, the quality suffered quite a bit. Now it seems like everything on the site is targeted at the clueless newbie and paginated to maximize adverti
  • A case keeps in all the hotair, for best ventilation, just let your motherboard lay on the ground. I gave mine a cardboard case so it doesn't feel completely naked. Of course it could catch fire, so I never leave it on overnight.
  • by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @07:28PM (#15426192)
    Attractive design holds some merit with the gaming crowd but most however don't want to lug these overdone designs around to lans. Want to sell a good gaming case? Make it small, portable, easy to work with using standard parts, and cooling a big consideration. Even if it looks somewhat bland, it will be a guaranteed sell. They will mod it.
  • This Calls For... (Score:5, Informative)

    by 8ball629 ( 963244 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @07:36PM (#15426222) Homepage
    29 Pages?!?

    An article like this calls for Anti-Pagination [mozilla.org]!
  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @07:42PM (#15426238)
    The only thing I need access to is a DVD/CD rw and a USB connection. So all I need is an external enclosure with 2 USB connection. That I put on my desk and all the rest I stuff away out of sight as far as possible.

    Enclusures enough, just not one with extra USB connections.
  • I am unfortunately unable to utilize any of these terrific looking cases, especially the Dragon case, as my application to become a ninja was sadly declined last week.
  • Put a paper bag in one of those and you have just built your first vacuum cleaner...
  • My ideal case (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Billnvd65 ( 566170 )
    I have purchased probably 15+ cases over the years. I have found two that almost meet my expectations. 1. Enermax - CS10181 Pros: Affordable
    Cons: Fan air flow paths not well thought out(requires mods to get good airflow) Cheapo ass front door(I hate doors, especially plastic) No front panel anything connections

    2. Antec - Lanboy Pros: Affordable
    Cons: Cheap ass front door(god I hate this) Not very sturdy(100% aluminum) No inlet fan filter

    I dislike ----> Spaz cases, HUGE cases, tiny cases! Make
  • Seriously. Who ever had the idea of lumping together several components that dissipate heat poorly inside a big box made of metal or worse, heat-insulating plastic? Computers aren't appliances. You don't have to buy them in a single cute little box. Why hasn't anyone thoght, yet, of lumping the motherboard and assorted off-board peripherals in one small case tucked away somewhere with a large fan and placing the parts you actually need access to - power button, USB ports, peripheral devices and optical disk

  • IBM cases (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EEPROMS ( 889169 )
    Ive been using IBM server cases from a IBM repair shop. Most IBM repair shops have heaps of partially/fully gutted cases, they will happily give you one for a few nickel and dimes or in my case I got 3 of them for nothing.

    The things are built like sherman tanks and everything is easy to replace or move or modify.
  • by miyako ( 632510 ) <miyakoNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday May 29, 2006 @10:26PM (#15426601) Homepage Journal
    Whenever I build a computer, there are a few things that I always look for in a case. Fancy blinkenlights and windows are not among them.
    Here are the things I always look for when I buy a case:
    Is the case a Full Tower?
    I have fairly small hands, and even I find that it's really painful trying to get into a mid-tower, let alone a mini tower. Especially with Video Cards getting bigger, people more likely having multiple hard drives/optical drives, etc. I think a full tower is the only way to go. It helps with airflow, it helps getting everything into the case in the first place, and it makes it easier to get inside and work on the machine later.
    Good Side Pannels
    Some people don't like them, but good cases with good sidepannels make working on machines much easier. My case, for example, has a latch that locks into place when you snap the sidepannel on. It's sturdy enough that even when transporting the computer to lan parties or similar, I've never had a problem with it comming loose. When I want to get into the case, just pulling on the door latch and sliding it out and I'm into the case. The only problem I've ever had is that it's a slight pain trying to get the side pannel to line back up to snap back into place. I'd much rather mess with that than screws though.
    Removable Drive Holder..thingy
    I'm not sure what you'd call these, but my case - and a few others that I've worked on, has a little thing that slides in and out of the case from the front where the optical drives and hard drives go. The nice thing about this is that it makes it easier to actually get these things stablilzed well. I don't know how many computers I've worked in where the hard drive was held in by a single screw, because it was too hard to get any of the other screws in because of the case design.
    Those are the big things I look at when getting a case. I'm particularly fond of the Antec cases, which aren't necessarily the most stylish looking cases, but in my experience are well built and have the right features.
  • by antdude ( 79039 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @11:12PM (#15426710) Homepage Journal
    Two biggest problems with computer cases for me are that I have physical disabilitles and heat control.

    I have problems moving computers (even minitowers), and opening and closing cases, using screwdrivers (even electronic ones), removing case covers (sliding types still fail for me). Are there any out there work for me so I don't have to get someone to do it for me?

    Second, heat!! I have problems keeping my computers stable for every upgrades. My room can go aboev 85 degrees(F) in the heat wave. A/C won't do well since my room is upstair so all heat rises. I don't even overlock.

    Here's a sampler of my Web surfing temperatures:
    -Athlon 64 754 CPU (3200+) Windows XP Pro. SP2 box: 113F
    -ASUS K8V SE Deluxe (1007 firmware): 132F
    Note: Have seen CPU go up to 150F during stress like gaming in 85+F room (don't remember the peak temperatures for motherboard).

    Idled system in my Linux/Debian box:
    -MSI KT4AV-L (Socket A/Socket 462; VIA KT400A) motherboard: 151F
    -Athlon XP 2200+: 122F

    You can see my system specifications here: http://alpha.zimage.com/~ant/antfarm/about/compute rs.txt [zimage.com]

    No, I am not getting water cooling. Too much work, and my disabilities will not work with that setup.

    I am planning to do redo my hardwarwe setups when I get my Athlon 64 x2 in autumn (much hotter than now).

    I don't care about the look of the case as long as it is not pink color. :)

    Any suggestions? Thank you in advance. :)
  • Lame (Score:3, Funny)

    by nixmega ( 972206 ) on Monday May 29, 2006 @11:31PM (#15426747)
    This article is lame, All hail the beige box with higher shipping and handling than price!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!

May all your PUSHes be POPped.