Mid-tower case recommendations for under $100

the_jiveman

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May 6, 2012
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Wow are there many choices for mid-tower cases nowadays! It's been a while since I've been in the market for one, and I could really use some help... I've been using Cooler Master Centurion 5 for the last 7-8 years (through few builds), and I REALLY love its look. Getting ready to do a new build, and I thought it might be time to get a case upgrade too. Perhaps something with USB 3.0, a little quieter, etc.

Here are the things/features I'm interested in:

Must-have features:
- Under $100
- Sleek, clean design, somewhat minimalist. Black. Not bulky. Not a fan of LED fans, but not the end of the world if it comes with some. Already mentioned that I loved the Centurion 5 design.
- Reasonably quiet and reasonably good airflow (I don't intend to OC, but do play games from time to time)
- At least some decent cable management features
- Bottom position for PSU
- Able to accommodate at least 10" GPU cards.

Much-desired (but not absolutely necessary) features:
- USB 3.0
- No 80mm fans
- Side-window, but not overly flashy
- Side-loading HDD/SDD slots
- Good, solid build material
- No open/close panel in the front, but I might be persuaded otherwise if everything else is to my liking
- Tool-less mounting of drives, gpu

Nice-to-have (but can live without) features:
- 1394 connector

To give you examples of the cases I found good-looking thus far:
Zalman Z9
Cougar Evolution
CM 690

Designs I don't find attractive (no offense to others, this is my personal taste):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119194
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811108395
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146070
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811517016

Hopefully, you get the idea...
 
Solution

Scotty99

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Aug 21, 2010
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Solution

the_jiveman

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May 6, 2012
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Thanks. Of the two, I'd say I like the Lian Li better, overall. I like the 300's front mesh look a little better, but I think the Lian Li wins overall for me. I've added it to my list of closer choices.
 

tcfraz

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Oct 19, 2010
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I agree with this ^.. ive been using the lian li case for a few months and love it... i got it when it was 89.99 on a shell shocker. Its an insane deal now and wouldnt pass it up.
 

the_jiveman

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May 6, 2012
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thanks. yeah, I've been reading about the Fractal R3 as it keeps coming up in my searches... I'm not sure how I feel about the front panel door and about the fact that it puts me above my $100 case limit. Do those ever go on sale (MIR, whatever)?