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Upgrading to a Quality Case

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Recently, I have spent the majority of my off time from work reading over reviews and looking up cases to possible move out of my Lian Li PC-k9wx. While I love its finish, open/spacious interior, and refined appearance, I also find myself longing for something that has more space and expanding options. So far I have only used air in all of my builds and have really no issues with it, but the concept of watercooling still sit in the back of my mind. Though I have read over the cost vs performance of watercooling, I am still just as undecided as I was in the start. The case I would like to get into would have at least quality air flow options while still allowing me to expand into quality watercooling.

The cases on the market currently that I see most people using for these qualities are the Switch 810, Corsair 800d(700d,650d), CoolerMaster Cosmos, Xigmatec Elysium, and the Shinobi XL. Another case to mention is the SM8 Merlin by Caselabs that has all of the features I mentioned while also having a quality side window(a must have in my opinion); the quality of design and materials used are shown in the pricing of this case. One of the things that deters me from making a decision on the large majority of these cases is the overall large use of plastic in their designs. The days of the simple metal case are slowly vanishing.

So far in my post I have listed some of the things I have been both looking at and for, case wise, so that everyone reading can understand that I am not just coming here to have someone hold my hand and make a decision for me. I am just giving strong background so that I can hopefully get some solid advice on making the right decision for me. From this thread I hope to gain a stronger position on my purchase so that I can move onto building something quality out of it.
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post #2 of 32
Depending on your price tag, the Corsair 900D might be your beast? I am personally considering purchasing it, the price is higher but so seems the quality of build, and options for expansion.
Edited by Fiked - 3/25/13 at 11:47am
    
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post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
The 900D has been in my line of sight for sure. It seems like a good blend of all the things I am looking for. Its price isn't too terribly high either. If the SM8 Merlin were 100 less, I would have bought it no questions asked. The 900D is also too tall to fit under my desk which accommodates 28.5 inches of space.
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post #4 of 32
Take a look at the Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147157

Extremely good build quality, can accomodate more rads then you will know what to do with, and has more airflow then airforce 1. And its only $180 right now.
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post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Interior wise, that case is pretty nice. The exterior lacks a lot to be desired. When spending almost 200 on a case, its outward appearance in a room should be considered. Also, Rosewill has a reputation for manufacturing subpar quality products. At least thats how the reviews read on newegg for the majority of their stuff. I can see how it could hold a lot though. That case just isn't the direction I want to go for a higher end.
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post #6 of 32
I have a blackhawk ultra, it is a blank slate. It allows you to get really creative paint, modding, watercooling. It is an awesome case that is well built and makes a statement. I am about to paint it and upgrade to a custom loop when steamroller comes out. Check mines out ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM_nMoOTNoY
    
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post #7 of 32
I think you are on the right track with the cases you are looking at. I vote the SM8 because of it's build quality coupled with the exchangeable features. Not many cases you can go standard ATX then R-ATX the next day thumb.gif . The SM8 boasts a lot of clearance for a push pull radiator configuration up top, adjustable bays, huge window (if desired), even the way the door's function is magnificent.
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post #8 of 32
[quote name="xioticin" url="/t/1374953/upgrading-to-a-quality-case#post_19598225"Also, Rosewill has a reputation for manufacturing subpar quality products. At least thats how the reviews read on newegg for the majority of their stuff. I can see how it could hold a lot though.[/quote]
Actually, thats a thing of the past (excluding extremely cheap items obviously). I think alot of people would agree with me when I say that Rosewill has stepped up their game alot in the past years. Their PSU's are worth buying and actually better then alot of competitors, that case is an all steel construction which is very hard to find in that pricerange. But I understand if you want higher quality.

I strongly suggest the Silverstone cases, http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=50002031%2040000007&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&SpeTabStoreType=0&Order=PRICED&PageSize=20
They are extremely well built and amazing airflow. They are top tier cases.
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post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
The only thing of recent that I have bought that was Rosewill was a couple of cables(usb). I have no doubts that they have stepped up looking at reviews for this case and seeing that they are still even on the market. It normally happens which a company gets popular for lower prices. It takes a minute but they can start using better materials and designs with a higher influx of money.

All that being said, the case does not have an attractive design to me. I owned and Azza Solano before I purchased my Lian Li, and this reminds me more of that style with all the plastic and mesh. Nothing against the mesh as it is great for some airflow, but it just cheapens the overall look to me when its all plastic.

As for the Silverstone lines, all of the cases that have the inverted mobo trays to push heat up and have the cable management on top are out. To me that design is way more obtrusive than it is worth. Its too niche and gimmicky, and from what I have read, they are moving away from that design with their newer lines. Also, in that price range you might as well go with a Caselabs or Mountainmods case if you are looking at the Temjin Series TJ07. I will honestly say they are some great cases indeed regardless of my opinion of their aesthetics or unique inversion styles.
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post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
And as for the SM8, Jagz even though its price is so high, it is still under consideration because of the quality of it along with the wonderful support from the company. It has many attractive features and would be used for years to come due to its modular nature. I just am exhausting all options before I go off and blow so much on my case without any watercooling parts already owned.
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