Case suggestions please.

doc5

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Hi everyone... I'm building a new system for photo editing. I don't really game much at all.
It will be a Quad 9550 or 6600, asus MB, etc. No fancy graphics card.
I have always used fairly inexpensive- ok really cheap- computer cases for my systems in the past.
Seems to me I can keep a case for a while, so now I'm interested in considering some nicer cases.
Please give me some suggestions to look at to help narrow my search- I've been trying to read reviews, but it has gotten overwhelming. Oh, if you have a powersupply rec. too, I'd be interested.... I'm not sure I need a huge PS, but I could be wrong.

Requirements:
I'd really like to avoid plastic as much as possible. No weird alien graphics necessary :) (no offense intended to those who like those graphics! :)
I really don't want a front door that I have to open to access optical drives- If there is one, it should be metal.
A flap covering the optical drives that drops down would be acceptable assuming it is metal and feels strong.
I'd really like the I/O panel, power button, etc on the TOP of the case.
I don't want a door of any sort covering the I/O panel.
It should have an eSATA port on the top I/O panel for easy back up of photos.
Needs to be able to manage and cool a lot of hard drives. I currently have a 4 drive RAID set for data storage, a main drive for OS, programs, will be adding a drive for photoshop scratch, etc...
I don't need tons of front optical drive bays- three is fine.
I will either NOT be overclocking, or will be OC'ing just a small ammount, so no need for water cooling, etc.

Thanks,
Quinn
 

doc5

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I think in the 250$ range.
If it were lower, that would be great, of course. :)
If the perfect case was somewhat higher I'd consider it, too assuming it really had everything I was after and then some.

Thanks,
Quinn
 

dirtmountain

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Coolermaster 690 $80 - 2 USB, 1 IEEE1394, audio and 1 ESATA on top of case. Good room, good cooling , good price
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

80+ bronze certified power supply for cooler running and power saving 600w Silverstone for $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817163109
If you don't have an upper end graphic card then this Antec Earthwatts 430w 80+ certified for $40 would be a good choice
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371006
 

flycpd

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I have several computers in my home (8, My two, the wife, and each kid), so I have used a few cases. The cases for my two and the cases I really like are Gigabyte. I think the best "bang for the buck", and good looking also is the Gigabyte Mars case. This thing has plenty of room for everythig and great cooling as well. It has 5 x 5.25" bays, 1 x 3.50" exposed and 5 x 3.50 internal bays, a 120mm front fan, 2 120mm rear fans, and 2 80mm fans on the right side that blow on the harddrives. The left side can either be a seethrough window or a mesh screen (both come with the case).
 

JohnnyLucky

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dirtmountain beat me to it! The CoolerMaster 690 will meet all of your requirements and you can save some money.
 

chookman

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Nytmare, you beat me to it. The only thing the Lian li is down on is the small flappy door on the top IO ports But it can be removed if you dont want it.
 

doc5

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Hi everyone, Thanks for the suggestions.
I've been looking at all of them.
The Coolermaster 690 seems great for its price point, but I'm a bit worried about getting 6 or more hard drives in the case along with the other things.... it seems to really have only 5HD bays, though I'm sure I could put one in a 5-1/4 bay with an adapter.
I've even looked hard at the HAF from coolermaster... Would it be of the build quality I'm looking for? It would be $185 with shipping, though I'd get 30$ off my processor with a combo.
The Antec 1200 seems like it would work just fine. Everyone seems to rave about its quality. there is a 20% off special from newegg and free shipping. Does it come with just one of the 3-1/2 modules for HD mounting- some reviews said it came with enough to mount 9 HD's, but I don't see that in the pictures... Anyone know? Total: $140 shipped to my door.
The Lian Li looks gorgeous. Build quality seems perfect. More raving about this thatn the antec. I even sort of like the one with a door. Of course they are quite a bit more money $360 for the 7010B with shipping from the egg.

So, if anyone can answer my question about the Antec and the HAF, I'd appreciate it.
I really would love to go for the Lian Li, but I need some convincing as to spending more than twice that of the Antec 1200 or the HAF. Maybe you all can do that, too....
Any other thoughts?
Thanks, Quinn
 

JohnnyLucky

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doc5,

bohman and I both have the new CoolerMaster 932 HAF full tower chassis case. It is definitely a very large case. It is wider, taller, and deeper than most cases. It is all steel construction except for the front of the case and the top i/o panel (which meets your requirements). There are no doors or plastic things to block access to the front of the drive bays. We have a seperate thread going but it is about modding the case.

The lower drive cage is designed for five hard drives that can be easily swapped out. The upper drive cage has six drive bays. Coolermaster makes a 4-in-3 bay adapter that can be purchased seperately. The adapter fits iinto three hard drive bays and can accomodate four hard drives. I have one that fits my 932 case. I have also used the adapter in other Coolermaster cases. I'm guessing it's probably a universal fit. In addition, the drive bay adaper comes with a 120mm fan attached to the front. The fan does not interfere with the front drive bay covers which are made of sturdy perforated modders style metal mesh.

bohman bought his case at a microcenter.com retail store on sale for $139.99 plus tax. Currently it is available online for for $149.00 plus shipping:

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0293547

Other vendors may or may not offer the case on sale.

If you have any additional questions just post them and I will do my best to answer them.
 

doc5

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I read your other thread which is partly why I wondered about the HAF...
You mentioned that you went in for the Antec 1200 and came home with the HAF...
Was that because of all the mods you thought about, because you thought it was a better case, liked the prettier packaging :) , or was it something else?
Just curious.
Thanks, Quinn
 

Nytmare

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Regarding Lian Li....

I cannot answer if the $$$ will be worth it to you or not :non:

I can tell you the build quality is a step above the other cases.

My recent kids build I went with the Cosmos S. The case is quite nice and has some nice features. It does not compare IMHO, however, in the Lian Li build quality.

The Lian Li PC A7110 can fit 10 hard drives (7 in the hard drive cage that comes with included circuit board hot swappable design for RAID arrays. and 3 in the back top cage).

The newegg comment blurb is mine :whistle:

A couple pictures of the case in the below link. Keep in mind, I did add an aftermarket clear side panel with a 250 mm fan along with a new top panel with two fan cut outs...these are not "stock"

panels obtained via ....
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php

thread link.....
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/254689-31-critic-gaming-build
 

JohnnyLucky

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Quinn,

It was all the extra space and flexibility that impressed me. I build pc for friends, neighbors, and girlfriends. This year I built four pc's using CoolerMaster Centurion 590 cases which sometimes are available for $64.99 at Fry's Electronics. This time I am building a pc for myself. I like the Antec Twelve Hundred. I looked at it several times at Fry's Electronics. My thinking was that I probably would not purchase another case for quite a few years. I would just upgrade other components but use the same case. The price at Fry's price was a little over $200.00 plus tax.

When I actually went to Fry's to purchase the case they had just put the CM 932 HAF on display that morning. I turned the case around, removed the side panels and took a good look. I was impressed with all the extra space between the motherboard tray and the right side panel as well as all of the slots in the motherboard tray for good cable management. The ventilation was another big plus. I went home and discovered the case was so new I had to go to the Coolermaster web site to find out more about it. I downloaded the owner's manual, looked at the diagrams, and read it several times. It was pretty much made the way I thought a case should be built. Lots and lots of flexibility, excellent cable management, and plenty of room for big hands. On top of that it can easily accomodate large components like full size ATX motherboards, tower heatsinks, and longer video cards.

The case mods were an afterthought. I've cut blowholes in tops of cases, replaced solid pieces of metal with modders mesh, and swapped out cpu heatsinks and case fans in the past. I thought it would be fun to take it further especially since this case was for me rather than someone else. I'm having fun!

John
 

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