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[MPC] Budget Cases Reach New Heights

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/fea...ch_new_heights


Quote:
Selecting the perfect computer case is like scouting the grocery store for a bottle of wine. And as oenophiles of all knowledge levels and palates know, you can’t judge a bottle by its price. In that sense, we’re scooping from the bargain bin in this month’s mega-roundup of computer cases: Only chassis priced at $100 or less are eligible.


But don’t get the wrong idea. Just because a case is cheap doesn’t mean it’s poor. Although these budget boxes may lack many of the bells and whistles of their costlier counterparts—such as built-in water cooling, hydraulic panels,
or crazy paint jobs—they can still provide an awesome fit for your computer parts.

In fact, you’ll find you have a far wider selection of models to choose from, with more vendors making economy enclosures than $500 monstrosities.

Of course, you’ll also likely find that a case’s relative pros and cons become more extreme at this price level. For example, a manufacturer may opt to release an aesthetically beautiful case… that doesn’t fit a high-end graphics card. Another may offer an ingenious way to mount hard drives, only to forgo any room for fans.

For this very reason, we mount a full system in each case we review. The components are identical to those we use in our standard benchmarking systems and represent what an enthusiast user would be working with in a typical system install. Given the smaller size of sub-$100 cases, it’s critical you verify there’s sufficient space for your components. There’s just no compromising on that point.

But we’re taking it one step further: You shouldn’t compromise on anything short of a maximum case. And as you’re going to see, it’s not always the big-name vendors that deliver.
Cases Reviewed in This Roundup
  • Thermaltake M9 VI1000BNS
  • Sigma Unicorn
  • In Win F430
  • Rosewill R5604-TBK
  • NZKT Tempest
  • Antec Three Hundred
Under-Utilized
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3570K Z77-D3H XFX RX480 RS Corsair Vengeance 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
HyperX 3K 120GB 3TB Storage Hyper 212 Plus Windows 10 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
24" CFG70  SideWinder X6 550 Watt Logitech G602 
Mouse PadAudio
Razer eXactMat X Objective2 +ODAC 
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Under-Utilized
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3570K Z77-D3H XFX RX480 RS Corsair Vengeance 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
HyperX 3K 120GB 3TB Storage Hyper 212 Plus Windows 10 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
24" CFG70  SideWinder X6 550 Watt Logitech G602 
Mouse PadAudio
Razer eXactMat X Objective2 +ODAC 
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post #2 of 32
Wow, the "NZKT" (NZXT?) Tempest looks oddly familiar... Looks an awful lot like the Antec Nine Hundred, at least from that angle.
Laptop
(15 items)
 
Gridseed
(13 photos)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 6700K Clevo P775DM3-G motherboard GeForce GTX 1080 Corsair Vengeance DDR4 SODIMM 2400MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 950 Pro Samsung 7,200RPM HDD Stock + Copper blocks + Gelid Extreme Windows 10 Professional x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
17.3" 3840x2160 LED Built-in UK layout Delta 330W DC adapter/19V battery Clevo P775DM3-G 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Touchpad/Logitech G700S Rantopad Razer Tiamat 7.1 
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Laptop
(15 items)
 
Gridseed
(13 photos)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 6700K Clevo P775DM3-G motherboard GeForce GTX 1080 Corsair Vengeance DDR4 SODIMM 2400MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 950 Pro Samsung 7,200RPM HDD Stock + Copper blocks + Gelid Extreme Windows 10 Professional x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
17.3" 3840x2160 LED Built-in UK layout Delta 330W DC adapter/19V battery Clevo P775DM3-G 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Touchpad/Logitech G700S Rantopad Razer Tiamat 7.1 
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post #3 of 32
Old news to Maximum PC subcribers (me), but yeah even in the article it states the NZXT Tempest took a bite out of the Antec 900's design and made it cheaper.
Silence is Golden
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Wolfdale E8600 (OC 4.0GHz) GIGABYTE GA-EP45T-UD3P Sapphire 4870 1GB 4GB G.SKILL DDR3 1800 (PC3 14400) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
300GB Velociraptor in RAID0, 2x Hitachi 2TB BenQ 1655, Plextor 760A & Premium, Samsung S202N Windows7 Ultimate 64-bit/XP Pro SP3 Samsung 226BW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX Lian-Li PC-V2110 Logitech MX510 
Mouse Pad
Lycra Gel 
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Silence is Golden
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Wolfdale E8600 (OC 4.0GHz) GIGABYTE GA-EP45T-UD3P Sapphire 4870 1GB 4GB G.SKILL DDR3 1800 (PC3 14400) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
300GB Velociraptor in RAID0, 2x Hitachi 2TB BenQ 1655, Plextor 760A & Premium, Samsung S202N Windows7 Ultimate 64-bit/XP Pro SP3 Samsung 226BW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX Lian-Li PC-V2110 Logitech MX510 
Mouse Pad
Lycra Gel 
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post #4 of 32
Unicorn?

Time Sink
(21 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 2500k ASUS Sabertooth Z77 EVGA GTX 670 FTW G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung F3 1TB Crucial C300 128GB Corsair Force GT 60GB Noctua NH-U12P 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Windows 8.1 Professional x64 Apple OS X Mavericks HP ZR24w LG IPS226V 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow Seasonic X750 Lian-Li PC-A05B Logitech M500 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Mionix Propus 380 Zero USB DAC (2009 Version) Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 Beyerdynamic DT990 600ohm 
Audio
Shure SRH-840 
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Time Sink
(21 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 2500k ASUS Sabertooth Z77 EVGA GTX 670 FTW G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung F3 1TB Crucial C300 128GB Corsair Force GT 60GB Noctua NH-U12P 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Windows 8.1 Professional x64 Apple OS X Mavericks HP ZR24w LG IPS226V 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer BlackWidow Seasonic X750 Lian-Li PC-A05B Logitech M500 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Mionix Propus 380 Zero USB DAC (2009 Version) Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 Beyerdynamic DT990 600ohm 
Audio
Shure SRH-840 
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post #5 of 32
NZXT makes unbelievably overpriced cases, their materials are extremely cheap.

But yeah, there are a million cases even under $50 that are great for high-end PCs.
Edited by Manyak - 7/3/08 at 11:45pm
Server
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i5-3470 ASRock Z77 Extreme6 16 GB G.Skill Sniper DDR3-1600 1TB WD Caviar Black 
Hard DriveCoolingOSCase
4TB WD Caviar Red Cooler Master Hyper 212+ VMWare ESXi NZXT Crafted Series Tempest 410 
OtherOtherOther
LSI 9280-16i4e RAID Card Intel I350 Quad Port Gigabit NIC Intel Pro/1000 PT Dual Port Gigabit NIC 
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Server
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i5-3470 ASRock Z77 Extreme6 16 GB G.Skill Sniper DDR3-1600 1TB WD Caviar Black 
Hard DriveCoolingOSCase
4TB WD Caviar Red Cooler Master Hyper 212+ VMWare ESXi NZXT Crafted Series Tempest 410 
OtherOtherOther
LSI 9280-16i4e RAID Card Intel I350 Quad Port Gigabit NIC Intel Pro/1000 PT Dual Port Gigabit NIC 
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post #6 of 32
I would pay an extra 40$ just to not have the word Unicorn pasted on the side of my case.
Arthur 1.03
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E8400 @ 3.6ghz DFI LANPARTY DK P35-T2RS HD 4870 @ 790/1000ddr 2x2gb 1000mhz G.Skill 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
250gb Seagate 32mb cache SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R Windows XP Pro Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
one with keys. Corsair HX520w Modular PSU P182 a lazer one. 
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Arthur 1.03
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E8400 @ 3.6ghz DFI LANPARTY DK P35-T2RS HD 4870 @ 790/1000ddr 2x2gb 1000mhz G.Skill 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
250gb Seagate 32mb cache SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R Windows XP Pro Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
one with keys. Corsair HX520w Modular PSU P182 a lazer one. 
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post #7 of 32
T.A.R.D.I.S.
(13 items)
 
  
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Time Time Time Time 
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T.A.R.D.I.S.
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post #8 of 32
Extremely impressive for budget.
Lee XT
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-6300 Asus M5A97 SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7850 AMD 4GB DDR3 1333MHZ 
RAMRAMRAMHard Drive
AMD 4GB DDR3 1333MHZ AMD 4GB DDR3 1333MHZ AMD 4GB DDR3 1333MHZ OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair H80 Windows 8.1 Pro MCE Dell P2414H WHXV7  Microsoft Generic 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Ultra 600W Limited Edition NZXT Black Steel Razer Deathadder Razer Goliath 
Audio
Realtek HD Audio 
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Lee XT
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-6300 Asus M5A97 SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7850 AMD 4GB DDR3 1333MHZ 
RAMRAMRAMHard Drive
AMD 4GB DDR3 1333MHZ AMD 4GB DDR3 1333MHZ AMD 4GB DDR3 1333MHZ OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair H80 Windows 8.1 Pro MCE Dell P2414H WHXV7  Microsoft Generic 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Ultra 600W Limited Edition NZXT Black Steel Razer Deathadder Razer Goliath 
Audio
Realtek HD Audio 
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post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by phospholipid View Post

I think that CoolerMaster should be the 'go-to' guys if you're on a budget. Their Centurion line-up kicks the crap out of cases I've seen go for twice as much.

The T-05 is a long time favorite of mine.
Edited by RonindeBeatrice - 7/4/08 at 12:52am
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Xeon E5645 Asus Rampage II Gene eVGA GTX460 SSC 3x4GB Corsair Dominator PC3-12800 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
Crucial C300 64GB Seagate Momentus XT 750 Western Digital GP 2TB EARS Windows 7 Premium 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VE278Q DSI SMK-88 Seasonic X-660 Lian Li U6B 2011 SE 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech G500 KAI.g3 HIEN - HARD 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Xeon E5645 Asus Rampage II Gene eVGA GTX460 SSC 3x4GB Corsair Dominator PC3-12800 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
Crucial C300 64GB Seagate Momentus XT 750 Western Digital GP 2TB EARS Windows 7 Premium 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VE278Q DSI SMK-88 Seasonic X-660 Lian Li U6B 2011 SE 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech G500 KAI.g3 HIEN - HARD 
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post #10 of 32
Centurion 5? Where are you?
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 3570k @ 4.5Ghz ASRock Z77 Pro3 Powercolor Radeon HD7950 3GB @ 1150/1350 4x4GB G.Skill Ares 2000Mhz CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 840 250GB Western Digital Black 1TB WD1002FAEX Seagate Barracuda 3TB ST3000DM001 Samsung Spinpoint EcoGreen 2TB 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Pioneer DVR-220LBKS Noctua NH-D14 Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850rpm Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition 
CoolingOSMonitorMonitor
Arcitc Cooling Acclero Twin Turbo II Arch Linux x86-64, amdgpu BenQ G2220HD BenQ G2020HD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Ducky Shine III Year of the Snake, Cherry Blue Silverstone Strider Plus 600w CoolerMaster CM690 II Black and White SteelSeries Sensei Professional 
Mouse PadAudioOther
Artisan Hien Mid Japan Black Large ASUS Xonar DX NZXT Sentry Mesh 30w Fan Controller 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 3570k @ 4.5Ghz ASRock Z77 Pro3 Powercolor Radeon HD7950 3GB @ 1150/1350 4x4GB G.Skill Ares 2000Mhz CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 840 250GB Western Digital Black 1TB WD1002FAEX Seagate Barracuda 3TB ST3000DM001 Samsung Spinpoint EcoGreen 2TB 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Pioneer DVR-220LBKS Noctua NH-D14 Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850rpm Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition 
CoolingOSMonitorMonitor
Arcitc Cooling Acclero Twin Turbo II Arch Linux x86-64, amdgpu BenQ G2220HD BenQ G2020HD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Ducky Shine III Year of the Snake, Cherry Blue Silverstone Strider Plus 600w CoolerMaster CM690 II Black and White SteelSeries Sensei Professional 
Mouse PadAudioOther
Artisan Hien Mid Japan Black Large ASUS Xonar DX NZXT Sentry Mesh 30w Fan Controller 
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