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Sub $150 case that's good for future water cooling?

Poll Results: Which of these cases is the best for air cooling and a custom loop?

 
  • 11% (1)
    Phantom 410
  • 0% (0)
    Phantom
  • 0% (0)
    Kublai KL04-W
  • 22% (2)
    CM 690 II Advanced
  • 0% (0)
    Blackhawk/Fulmo
  • 11% (1)
    Carbide 500R
  • 55% (5)
    Obsidian 650D
  • 0% (0)
    Something else (specify in comments)
9 Total Votes  
post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've been looking around at a bunch of different cases and I'm really having a hard time deciding on a case to replace my Rosewill Challenger with and that can accommodate a custom loop while also being good for air cooling in the short term. As of now, I've been looking at the NZXT Phantom and Phantom 410, Silverstone Kublai KL04, Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced, Rosewill Blackhawk and Enermax Fulmo (basically the same case), and the Corsair Carbide 500R or 650D. It also needs to have a place for me to mount my Antec Kuhler 620 that's attached to my GPU and fit my Hyper 212+. I'm having a hard time deciding on a case, particularly since I can't see them in person and can't find a ton on some of them, so any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 6
How big of a loop are you planning to build?

My vote is for a:

Fractal Arc Midi

I currently have a Rx240 push and a EX140 is going to be mounted to the front bay soon.
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I was initially planning on cooling my CPU and, when I upgrade, my GPU. So a 120x2 rad and either another 120x2 or 120 rad.

Any reason for the Arc Midi over the other options? I've taken a good hard look at that case and it seems, to me at least, that the Phantom would be better for water cooling for roughly the same price. I don't mean to come off as denigrating that option, I just am legitimately wanting to know the logic behind different recommendations.

I guess I should also add in the prices I can grab the parts for:

- Phantom 410 $85

- Phantom $115

- Kublai KL04 $110

- CM 690 II Advanced $65

- Blackhawk $90/Fulmo $70

- Carbide 500R $95

- Obsidian 650D $150

If I go cheaper, I can afford water cooling sooner, but I also don't want to forfeit quality.
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post #4 of 6
No Offense taken biggrin.gif I was in a similar case as you. I wanted to move on from my Cosmos S to a smaller mid tower,

I had to rule out the phantom as i did not like the door as it is not my style plus it would interfere with my fan controller.

The Silverstone as much as i have heard much of their quality it seems that "quality" is reserved for their higher up cases. ( TJ0X series).

CM 690 while it is well regarded as the best budget case for WCing I wanted to move away from CM and I personally was tired of the All front mesh look (Had an Antec 900 previously plus the Cosmos S had an all mesh kinda look in front as well.

I know the Blackhawk is a good budget case for air cooling but not so sure on the wc part wasn't on my list. (can't help you there sorry frown.gif )

Carbide while i know it is a capable case it has that all mesh front which was a deal breaker for me, It is a decent case and other than that I have no quarrels with it. ( I had a chance to build a computer for a client with a 600t and it was a good case to work on but just too much plastic. imo.)

The obsidian 650D is a solid case and prob the one with the most quality feel to it i would've considered it. but it was out of my price range frown.gif.

I chose the Arc Midi because I just fell in love with the simplicity of the looks and the versatility it has, It comes with the rubber grommets that corsair cases are known for, has the ability to fit a RX240 (double thick rad) with no modifications. and it comes with 3 black and white fin fans, has ample room in the back of the case for cable management. To me the fractal has just about all that i wanted in a case, Good WCing capability with simplistic looks that has a solid quality feel.
Small wonder.
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6700k Asus Maximus VIII Impact EVGA 980Ti Classified G.skill Aegis 
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Kingston Hyper X Cloud II 
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Small wonder.
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
6700k Asus Maximus VIII Impact EVGA 980Ti Classified G.skill Aegis 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveCooling
G.skill Aegis Samsung Evo 120gb Toshiba X300 Koolance 380i w/ Various WC goodness! 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows10 pro LG 34uc88-p Dell P2411H Varmilo  
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX750 Phanteks ENTHOO EVOLV ITX Logitech G502 <3 X-Trac Ripper XXL <3 
Audio
Kingston Hyper X Cloud II 
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Reply
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Awesome response. I'm always trying to make sure I'm not coming off as an ass, so thanks for giving such a detailed answer. +Rep for being helpful.

On SIlverstone, I could also grab a TJ04-E for a decent price, but the Kublai and it are the same aside from the fascia and the HDD cooling fins.

With the Arc Midi, can a 120mm rad be mounted on the case as well as a 240 rad up top? I may not be able to afford to fit my GPU in the loop right off the bat, so I want to make sure that the Kuhler 620 I have attached to it will have a place for the rad to fit.

I'm also torn on the looks of the CM 690 II (especially the gaudy LED fans), but assuming that the CM 690 II and Phantom are aesthetically appealing to me, is there some qualitative or quantitative reason I should choose the Arc Midi over them (e.g. build quality, modularity, intangibles)?
Work in Progress
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-3570k Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Gigabyte 7950 Windforce G.Skill Sniper 
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Mushkin Chronos  WD Caviar Blue WD Caviar Black Lite-On iHas 124 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme Windows 7 Ultimate Asus VH236H Cooler Master Quickfire Rapid 
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Seasonic X750 Fractal Design Arc Midi Mionix Naos 5000 Ratpadz XT 
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HT Omega Striker Audio Technica ATH-AD700 
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Work in Progress
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-3570k Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Gigabyte 7950 Windforce G.Skill Sniper 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Mushkin Chronos  WD Caviar Blue WD Caviar Black Lite-On iHas 124 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme Windows 7 Ultimate Asus VH236H Cooler Master Quickfire Rapid 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Seasonic X750 Fractal Design Arc Midi Mionix Naos 5000 Ratpadz XT 
AudioAudio
HT Omega Striker Audio Technica ATH-AD700 
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Just grabbed the Arc Midi for $70 at Newegg today. Thanks for the help.
Work in Progress
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-3570k Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Gigabyte 7950 Windforce G.Skill Sniper 
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Mushkin Chronos  WD Caviar Blue WD Caviar Black Lite-On iHas 124 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme Windows 7 Ultimate Asus VH236H Cooler Master Quickfire Rapid 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Seasonic X750 Fractal Design Arc Midi Mionix Naos 5000 Ratpadz XT 
AudioAudio
HT Omega Striker Audio Technica ATH-AD700 
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Reply
Work in Progress
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-3570k Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Gigabyte 7950 Windforce G.Skill Sniper 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Mushkin Chronos  WD Caviar Blue WD Caviar Black Lite-On iHas 124 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme Windows 7 Ultimate Asus VH236H Cooler Master Quickfire Rapid 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Seasonic X750 Fractal Design Arc Midi Mionix Naos 5000 Ratpadz XT 
AudioAudio
HT Omega Striker Audio Technica ATH-AD700 
  hide details  
Reply
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