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How do you choose?!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi Overclock.net

This weekend I realised my graphics card was running at 80C idle. I think this may be due to having a generic cheap case with the one exhaust fan at the back.

I'm looking for a midi case, budget of around £70, although paying less is a plus but don't want to compromise on quality too much. I'm in England (if you hadn't already guessed from the £)

So I've been reading the forum and every review I can find and I really can't decide. So I've decided to ask the case experts on here.

I've narrowed it down to:

BitFenix Shinobi (Windowed)
Coolermaster CM 690 II Advanced
CM Storm Enforcer
Coolermaster HAF 912
Fractal Design Arc Midi

I like them all but none seem perfect. The rig that's going in is a Q6700, Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro, 8800GTS, 4GB OCZ Reaper RAM, DVD-RW Drive, Card Reader Drive and Corsair Modular PSU.

I would also like to upgrade so would want the case to fit my new spec. Would I see much difference if I upgrade to an i5 2500k and a HD6870?

Basically are there any reasons I should get a case over another? It probably comes down to cooling performance in the end - I don't mind adding fans to cases (like would the Shinobi be more comparable cooling wise if I added fans as I've read its not too good at stock). Can I go wrong with any of these cases?

Suggestions for other cases welcome but may fry my incredibly indecisive mind as I've been trying to decide for over a week already.

Thanks
2016
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2016
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post #2 of 14
I can't comment on those cases, but you will see a huge upgrade if you switch to a 2500k and 6870.

I personally like Antec cases. Take a look at the Antec 900, you might like it. Great air flow (lots of fans), good cable management, and a sleek looking case.
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i5-2500k @ 4.5GHz Asus P8P67 PRO Rev. 3 EVGA GTX580 SC 1.5GB 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600 
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Crucial M4 64GB, 1TB W.D. Black Samsung DVD-RW 22X Corsair H70 [Modded] Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit 
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Dell U2412m Das Model S Professional Silent Antec Signature SG-850W Corsair 600T 
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i5-2500k @ 4.5GHz Asus P8P67 PRO Rev. 3 EVGA GTX580 SC 1.5GB 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600 
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Crucial M4 64GB, 1TB W.D. Black Samsung DVD-RW 22X Corsair H70 [Modded] Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit 
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Dell U2412m Das Model S Professional Silent Antec Signature SG-850W Corsair 600T 
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post #3 of 14
I try to attend as many LAN events I can, and due to that I got the HAF 912 (less weight)
The bigger HAFs are ofc better, but this fitted a 6870 without problems.
Didnt even have to remove one of the HD drive bays.

You will notice a HUGE leap in performance switching to that CPU and GPU.

All I can say is that as a HAF 912 owner im happy with it.
No space problem, it includes a SSD drive bay, removable 3.5 bays in case you get a longer card than the 6870.
The ability to put cables on the "back side" of the mobo/chassi is nice, aswell as mounting a new cooler more easily is a nice feature.

You can in the future also mount a big watercooling radiator if you so wish on the top since its pre built for a 2*120mm cooler.

That said, the CPU and GPU will give you a nice performance increase hands down, chassi on the other hand is so personal on what you need.

I got the chassi due to good ventilation , rubber feet for PSU , easy to add an after market cooler , light weight (10kg lighter than my other full tower I had)
ability to remove the SSD and 3.5" Drive bays if needed.
Try to go and squeeze the chassis in a store or something hehe, I dont regret however that I bought the HAF 912 just recently

I could easily install an aftermarket cooler, since the mobo is visible from the other side of the case so I dont have to remove it.

Back in the days I had a 8800GT aswell as many of my friends, they tend to go VERY hot indeed. Didnt matter how many fans I had in the chassi, it was just the architecture of the 8800 series that was hot indeed.
~[ Phoenix ]~
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~[ Phoenix ]~
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Intel 80gb SSD + 4.5TB WesternDigital BE random sony DVD-RW windows 7 64bit asus 22" 'gaming' screen 
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Razer Lycosa Antec High Current Gamer 900W Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus SteelSeries IKARI Laser 
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3570K ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 Zotac 550 Zotac 550 
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AMD 955BE @ 3995mhz asus M4A79T Deluxe Gigabyte 560Ti OC 8GB OCZ DDR3 AM3 edition 
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post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zzari View Post
I can't comment on those cases, but you will see a huge upgrade if you switch to a 2500k and 6870.

I personally like Antec cases. Take a look at the Antec 900, you might like it. Great air flow (lots of fans), good cable management, and a sleek looking case.
I like the Antec 900, however, I would say it does not have good cable management at all. Especially if you end up with one of the earlier revisions there are absolutely no holes to hide the cables.
Freosan
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Freosan
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post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zzari View Post
I can't comment on those cases, but you will see a huge upgrade if you switch to a 2500k and 6870.

I personally like Antec cases. Take a look at the Antec 900, you might like it. Great air flow (lots of fans), good cable management, and a sleek looking case.
Are we talking about the same case? The antec 900 has NO cable managment and it doesnt come with a motherboard cutout.
Oppress This!
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Oppress This!
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post #6 of 14
wooow that fractal is gorgeous, id take that just for the looks.
if your worried about cooling i think the HAF is the best option.
Silence would be the Fractal and in between both would be the CM 690 II.

But OMG in my opinion the Fractal gets the win just for looks


PS: i upgraded from Q9550 to i5 2500K and i wasn't expecting the difference to be so big, i was expecting more of a side-grade, so was definitely worth it because i sold my old mobo cpu and mem for 300€ and for an extra 100€ i got my current mobo cpu mem.
    
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post #7 of 14
I guess I'm oldschool I've used Antec cases for years and haven't had a problem with cable management (although I am incredibly meticulous with my wiring so I'm able to fit it in nooks & crannies). Not having a motherboard cutout isn't a bad thing for me since I've never owned a case that had one, but I guess I can see why it would be helpful.

My apologies...although I still love the Antec 900 and 1200
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i5-2500k @ 4.5GHz Asus P8P67 PRO Rev. 3 EVGA GTX580 SC 1.5GB 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600 
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Crucial M4 64GB, 1TB W.D. Black Samsung DVD-RW 22X Corsair H70 [Modded] Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit 
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Dell U2412m Das Model S Professional Silent Antec Signature SG-850W Corsair 600T 
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post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mousie_Grr View Post
Hi Overclock.net

I would also like to upgrade so would want the case to fit my new spec. Would I see much difference if I upgrade to an i5 2500k and a HD6870?


Thanks
I recently upgraded my HTPC which was my old desktop to a new Sandy build. I had a Q9300 and 8GB Ram and HD 6850. I upgraded to a Core i5 2500K and kept everything the same except the ram of course. The main thing is your going from 2 Ghz and some change to 3.3 stock with Turbo boost and two generations of better thermal management. They run close to the Core i7 980X if you overclock em!


I noticed a huge bump in performance in all games. Batman AA went from 43 FPS to 60 FPS on 1920x 1080 with all details on high. I'm currently playing fallout 3 on Ultra with no lags at all.

I would say pull the trigger! This thing tears through everything that I throw at it with no problems. You will have better results with a 6870!
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Gorgatron 3000
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post #9 of 14
The Cluster@#!%
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The Cluster@#!%
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post #10 of 14
First off, welcome to OCN!

Second, I do not think a generic cheap case could possibly make your card idling at 80C. Such a high idling temp is also highly unlikely caused by high ambient as you probably have passed out due to heat stroke first. I reckon this might be caused by extremely dirty heatsink plus dried up thermal paste of your 8800GTS (which is probably four years old now). So, I suggest you to do complete cleaning of the heatsink fins and reapply thermal paste.
This step will make the card very happy regardless of what case it resides in.

As for the cases listed, they all could certainly cool your current system well enough. Personally I would choose CM 690 II Advanced as it is easily the best airflow case of the group. It is not that your current system needs this amount of cooling now but it is always good to have cooling depth that you can fathom into, if and when you need that in the future.

Further, if you upgrade from Q6700+8800GTS to i52500k+HD6870, you will see a significant difference, both in benchmarking and in actual gaming (unless you play Solatire only).
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