Having a hard time choosing a case. Matter of fact eliminated two and added two. A Lian Li PC-A70f and Silverstone FT02B.
Current Case List
Thoughts on each one:
1.) Lian Li PC-A70f
- It is Lian Li so I know it is top notch quality. All aluminum so it is light weight and good for cooling (not sure if aluminum really has much impact though). It lacks some current features that some of the newer cases have like USB 3.0. Lacks better cabling management and no sleeving on the wires. Unless I get a different top panel it is not good for water cooling. Mostly tool less. Dust Filters
2.) Lian Li Lancool PC-K62
- Lots of features, priced competitively, good for air cooling, solid design. Decent cable management and tool less design. Dust Filters
3.) Fractal Design XL
- Sleek looking, noise dampening material, multiple options for adding fans, and priced competitively. Dust Filters.
4.) NZXT Phantom
- Fairly cheap, lots of options, tons of fans, and spots for more fans. Plenty of room to work with. However, I have seen some quality control issues and the case is HUGE. Also, the bigger front fan lacks a dust filter from what I could gather. Dust filters also don't seem easy to get at and clean compared to other options. I have pets and more dust accumulation than a normal house so that is a drawback. Some people love huge cases and wish they could have bigger or a mountain mod. I only want a case as big as a need and decent for cooling. I would have to see this in person to know if it were to my taste.
5.) Silverstone FT02B
- This case is the most different of the bunch and the most expensive. In this price range I also considered the 700/800D, but they could have had better cooling unless I was strictly water cooling and I know they have been on sale for a better price. This case as interesting and different as it may be is not without it's flaws. It can be tight on space despite it's size. Not 100% tool less and the side panels could be easier to remove. Long optical drives are a no no. Just do your research with that one. Sometimes the optical drives are hard to install. Cable managing has a bit to be desired compared to some corsair and lian li cases. Pricey. However, for air cooling the case apparently does really well. Has dust filters that pull out on the side. Nice touch. A little hard to work with from what I read.
Note: All the above cases are not natively optimal for water cooling. Requires some adjustment, modding, or simply not a good idea. Granted I have not decided whether to water cool my 2500K just yet or not. Doesn't seem necessary as I am not aiming for 5GHz or anything like that. I also have 4 Gentle Typhoons I bought as well as an H70. Depending on the case I would not need or use these.
6.) Corsair 600T
- This case seems to be the most versatile. It can both air cool or water cool. However, the air cooling could be better. Definitely not for Tri SLI. Not much room for expansion in terms of adding fans. The front fan uses 20mm thickness as opposed to 25mm so that can cause trouble if you want to use other fans. Cable management looks like a dream. Tool less design. Easy to remove side panels. Dust Filters. Priced competitively.
Those are my current thoughts and it is real tough deciding. I think two things I should determine are whether or not it is a good idea to water cool a Sandy Bridge setup if not aiming to really OC the CPU. I am thinking simply 4GHz which is easy enough on air. Secondly is budget. I was originally aiming for sub $200 which is good for all but, the Silverstone which I am still hesitant about. I will get fanboys a plenty who praise that case or those that praise other cases as if $300 for a case is cheap or acceptable in addition to a $400+ loop. That is not practical to me and overkill in most cases and not for me. I would do a RASA kit or maybe a Swifttech 2x120mm radiator. Not much if I resold my H70. And I am looking for ease of use, easy to keep clean (ie. dust filters), and easy to use, with good quality, and a great price.Edited by RoddimusPrime - 3/27/11 at 6:22pm