First build: overwhelmed by case selection

ratsa

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There are SO many cases out there, I don't even know where to begin looking!

My only frame of reference is my current Dell Studio which I dislike for one reason only: not enough hard drive bays. If it wasn't for that, I would probably keep it.

Is there anything else I should look for in a case?

Here are current specs of the system I'm building:

i7-3770, 32 Gig, not OC
GTX 570 or similar
RAID card
600 watt modular psu
card reader for SD/CF
one DVD-ROM
6-8 internal hard drives (inlcuding SSD)
[it would be nice if one HDD was accessable from the outside for easy replacement]
eSATA, USB 3, audio preferably on the front panel and in the back

Quietness is important!

I know nothing about fans!
 

ratsa

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Black and no bling will work.

I don't know what features cases have, so I don't really know why I would spend anything on them.

The only thing I know is I want it to be somewhat quiet, and have room for a bunch of drives.

I guess I wouldn't want it to have sharp edges on the inside :)

I am not looking for extremely hot components...
 
have a look at corsair cases

theres a few models which are black and no bling

they wont have have sharp edges on the inside as they are a quality manufacturer

may be a model where the HDD was accessable from the outside for easy replacement--think some of them have hot swap

bays for that

also coolermaster cases are very good

silverstone cases as well

that should give you a few choices

but it always comes down to how much you want to spend on the case
 

ratsa

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What do you think of Lian Li. They seem big on aluminum. Is that important? Should I care if the psu is top or bottom mounted? What else to look for? Thanks!
 
lian li is a quality maker--though not sure if they are still making cases now

they were expensive though great quality

aluminium is quite expensive--main advantage is its lighter than steel

most cases are steel with plastic bits

doesnt really matter if psu is top or bottom--though if its bottom you may need a psu with longer cables

good cases now usually have holes with rubber grommets to allow passing all the cables behind the motherboard--tidier and

less to interrupt the airflow

 

ratsa

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Do cases come with the fans you need already installed?

Thanks, I will add good cable management to the list of things to make sure the case has!

How much clearance do you need for a high-end GPU?
 

rinval

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most higher end GPU range from about 10 to 13 inches some are slightly bigger and most are smaller. how many HDD bays are u needing. if your not going to use more than 5 id look at a cooler master haf case. they generally support large cards and come with plenty of preinstalled fans.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119257

if your looking for liquid cooling without modification that could be a whole different story. the one below can support 2 240mil rads without modification but if your going air it may need more fans.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119216

edit: just for curiosity why so many HDD and SSD?
 
any good case will come with fans pre-installed

though it will also have mounting points to add further fans if you want to

think my coolermaster storm trooper came with 2 front 120mm --1 rear 120mm and one top 200mm

i added 2 side panel 120mm to aid cooling the graphics card

coolermaster storm trooper would hold all your components--has an x-dock so you can just plug in an ssd or any 2.5 drive in

the front which can be quite handy

built in fan controller as well

its not plain black as such--but a great case--had a haf-x before and this is better

if you have a large budget then i love the cosmos 2 ultra--but was a bit expensive for me

 

ratsa

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Video editing demands it.

1 drive for booting and OS
2 drives for various caching functions (previews, media cache, exports etc.)
+ as many drives as it takes to store the actual media (terabytes)

That's the beginner's version. The more advanced version would have 1 boot drive + RAID 5 array (4 drives and up) for everthing else. I don't like too many external enclosures.
 

rinval

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this case seems to meet all your needs. the only thing about this case would be its limited airflow. you have a max of 2 140 mill in the front and 1x120mil in the back. this does give plenty of positive pressure to minimize dust but if your using a high end graphics card and at full load the majority of the time the limited airflow could cause an issue other than that looks good to me.

http://www.lancoolpc.com/en/product/product06.php?pr_index=51&cl_index=1&sc_index=25&ss_index=96&g=f
 
doesnt look a bad case but yep only one 120mm exhaust and 2 intake

so might get a bit warm in there with all your stuff installed

and cable management doesnt look as good as some cases--especially given the amount of drives your installing



but if you were to give a maximum budget it would help to narrow it down more
 

rinval

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if you are constantly rendering and editing video it will keep a medium high load and could cause and issue with heat you could probably get away with something like the fractal design arc. which has 8 3.5 bays that are 2.5 compatible and comes with 3 140 mil fans but supports many more and gives plenty of room for SSD and HDD raiding. and its only about 20ish more than what you had but does have limited cable management. so you might need some zip ties to keep everything nice and tidy.

http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&prod=57
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352007
 

rinval

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for the 150ish range would still go fractal but would look more to a full ATX case like this one. the fractal design define XL it will support up to 10 HDD, has plenty of preinstalled cooling and great cable management.

edit: oh and i forgot to mention it also has sound dampening which is good for audio rendering.

http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&category=2&prod=68
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352017
 

rinval

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lol i had mentioned that one. he was looking for more HDD bays for extended raiding. the half only has 5-6 bays.
 


sorry must have missed where you mentioned that one

its also got 2 hot swap bays so 8 bays plus 1 ssd bay

the fractal you linked looks like they love their soundproofing

but would be unsure how good the airflow is with that door shut

heres a review of it

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1782/1/
 

rinval

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i would say if you don't need the sound dampening this would be a far better choice for your needs.

the reason i mentioned the fractal case is with alot of video editing he may also be generating custom audio tracks for the video and you would not want the rumble of fans in the background of your audio track if this computer is going to be in a room where he is recording audio or video.
 

ratsa

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It's going to be tough deciding.

Does the COOLER MASTER CM Storm Series Trooper really come with 8 fans? It seems (from the pictures) to be highly refined. More so than the Fractal.

Which is the model that has 2 hot swap bays? I lost you there :)

I like the minimalist design of the Fractal, and quietness is a good thing. The bigger Fractal-design seems to have possible airflow issues, according to that review, that the smaller one does not (not as many panels inside blocking the air).

Right now this Cooler Master seems to have all the expansion space and cooling I could ever ask for. How is it with noise?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119245&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=4176827&SID=erlky5k439cn
 
this one has 2 hot swap bays

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119257

the storm trooper comes with 2 x 120mm fans front

1 x 120mm rear and 1 x 200mm top

it can hold more--i added 2 x 120mm on the side panel

it can also take a 120mm on the bottom but you need to remove the ssd bay to do that

to rinval dont know much about audio editing--wouldnt it only pick up noise if you were recording with a microphone?

the trooper comes with a built in fan controller which does low/medium/high but i added a nice nzxt six fan controller to give precise control over cooling/noise

my pc is in the main living room so although i want it fast it also has to be quiet--you can only hear a little airflow noise the way i tuned my fans even though i am at 5ghz with my 2600k and still good temps

the loudest noise from my pc is actually when my mechanical hard drive kicks in--and i only have one mechanical drive--the rest are ssd
 

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