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 Post subject: Build: Lian Li PC-X2000F, Silverstone FT02, or Antec P280
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:05 pm
Posts: 61
Looking at doing a new build for my PC at home. This PC serves as mostly an internet browsing machine for the family, and for me, a lot of photo editing (Lightroom 3), some HD video playing/editing, and occasional programming. No gaming, or at least, not that which is graphics intensive.

When I buy a case, I generally like to keep it for at least 10 years, before buying another one. My Cooler Master has served me well, but I am looking to move on to a better cooling design, and use the CM for an HTPC. So, with that said, I like quality, well built enclosures that will last. I don't want a mostly plastic case, that will rattle around, and creak with the slightest touch. So I've tried to narrow it down to the three choices I have mentioned. A wide spectrum, one might say, especially in price. About $140 to almost $500. Like I said, if it lasts 10 years or more, then even if it's the latter of the three, yearly ownership is still pretty low.

Since this will not be a gaming machine, I don't plan on having any kind of SLI setup. At most, one GPU, if I don't use Intel HD 3000 on the i7.

Storage will eventually be an SSD for the OS, and a data drive, but most of my data is stored on my NAS anyway.

I like the design of the FT02, but the 90 degree rotation is both cool and seems like it could cause problems. Don't like the plastic top panel with the pull off studs. I've read where others say the construction is not that great. The 180mm fans bother me a bit, being that I can only replace them with SS fans (at least, a quick search of newegg showed this).

I REALLY like the design of the X2000F. Cooling seems good, and 140mm fans could be converted to 120mm fans (if desired), based on another review I've seen, with adapters. Like the optical drive on the sides, giving the clean front. SAS backplanes are included with the case, unlike the SS case. Like all the tool-less features.

I really want to like the P280, and think it is probably a great case for the price. I was a little put off by the issue with the side panels in the review here on SPCR. I also don't like that I'd have to buy more fans to convert this case to a positive pressure case, which could increase the cost of ownership $75 if buying high dollar Noctua fans. A lot of plastic on this case.

So, if anyone has any advice to offer, it would be great. Pros/Cons of any of these cases, etc. Would love to hear/see some builds with any of them, and what you think.


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 Post subject: Re: Build: Lian Li PC-X2000F, Silverstone FT02, or Antec P28
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:12 pm 
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
You could build a quiet positive pressure system with an Antec 280, or Solo II, if you block the fan position(s) on the top and leave the door closed. Scythe 120mm PWM fans don't use very much power and you can safely run 3 of them, 2 fans on the front of the chassis and a fan on the CPU heat sink, from the CPU fan header using the PWM Y-splitters. The air will exit out all the unblocked holes on the back of the chassis.


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 Post subject: Re: Build: Lian Li PC-X2000F, Silverstone FT02, or Antec P28
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:05 pm
Posts: 61
Ugh, still can't decide on this. Part of me wants to go cheap, the other part wants the X2000F. I like the FT02, but don't know if I'd like the rotated design or not...cases shouldn't be this hard to decide on! :|


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 Post subject: Re: Build: Lian Li PC-X2000F, Silverstone FT02, or Antec P28
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 305
Location: Sweden
You can't go wrong with either :). X2000F is a better case though, more space behind motherboard tray, several compartments, 120/140 mm fans. Switch em for Nexus/Scythe/Noctua/Noiseblocker and undervolt all fans. Great airflow/cooling and acoustics.

FT02 is superior when it comes to GPU cooling though and it's a terrific case altogether. I don't like 180 mm fans though and I don't believe in AP's. The down-to-up airflow path won't give you a silent experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Build: Lian Li PC-X2000F, Silverstone FT02, or Antec P28
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:49 pm 
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Posts: 61
Ah, yes, I keep forgetting about the 180mm fans, I like the thought, just not the fact that no one else makes that size... Leaning more toward the X2000F, because I don't plan on using a top of the line GPU.

What do you mean by AP's?


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 Post subject: Re: Build: Lian Li PC-X2000F, Silverstone FT02, or Antec P28
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:35 pm
Posts: 808
Location: Greece
I think he refers to the Air Penetrator version of Silverstone`s fans, essentially a regular fan with a grille added which focuses airflow. If I`m not mistaken, later revisions of the FT02 include those.

Now, any of those cases should do the job with ease so you might as well pick the one you like the most.

Having said that, I think that the p280 is lacking a little in build quality compared to the rest and to Antec`s own p183. By the way, have you thought about the latter? It`s one of the best damped cases on the market (if not the best) and while you will probably need to replace the stock fans, it`s also cheaper than the Silverstone or Lian Li.
It can`t match those two in airflow but this is probably a non issue considering your needs. If the door is not a deal breaker (unlike the p280 the power button is behind the door) I would give it a good look.

So how about the Silverstone? You get a very effective positive pressure setup out of the box, good dampening and solid construction. I wouldn`t worry too much about the non standard size fans, they are fairly smooth and quiet and buried deep inside the case. What puts me off about this case is the size and more specifically the depth which will make it impossible to fit under some desks. The other thing I don`t like is having ventilation at the top of the case. There`s lots of it in the FT02 which means you should keep liquids away from it.

As for the Lian Li, it`s arguably the best looking of the three and probably the best in terms of finish (though not as tough). You get a positive pressure setup out of the box at a much smaller footprint compared to the FT02. I also like the fact that there are no ventilation holes at the top or sides of the case (if we don`t count the front intake) resulting in very clean looks. Unfortunately, the relatively thin aluminium construction means this case will be more likely to suffer from cavity resonance requiring additional effort and expense to make as quiet as the best. Which is a little hard to swallow when it`s so expensive to begin with..
By the way, have you looked at the X500F? It`s identical to the X2000 only a little shorter. It also lacks the hot swap hdd cage but it retains the built in fan controller. There`s no harm in saving some money and personally, I prefer the proportions of the shorter model.

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 Post subject: Re: Build: Lian Li PC-X2000F, Silverstone FT02, or Antec P28
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:29 am
Posts: 1218
Location: UK
geogecko wrote:
I REALLY like the design of the X2000F.


If there is a case on your list that would make it as a 10 year buy I would say the Lia Li is the one. It has the latest features such as USB 3.0, and the only issue may be whether the 140mm fans will be quiet enough when turned down to 800 rpm with the in-built fan controller. I would think probably yes bearing in mind that the X2000F has features such as 2mm thick panels aimed at making it a quiet case. So there is a prospect that you could use this case straight out of the box with no need for fan swaps at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Build: Lian Li PC-X2000F, Silverstone FT02, or Antec P28
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:35 pm
Posts: 488
Location: Israel
lodestar wrote:
geogecko wrote:
I REALLY like the design of the X2000F.


If there is a case on your list that would make it as a 10 year buy I would say the Lia Li is the one. It has the latest features such as USB 3.0, and the only issue may be whether the 140mm fans will be quiet enough when turned down to 800 rpm with the in-built fan controller. I would think probably yes bearing in mind that the X2000F has features such as 2mm thick panels aimed at making it a quiet case. So there is a prospect that you could use this case straight out of the box with no need for fan swaps at all.


All three cases are overkill in terms of what you need to do with this machine. The FT02 in particular is no only huge in size but it's advantages are mostly for gamers who need to cool hot GPUs.

The X2000F is great, but the price... it might cost more than the components you'll fit into it. Since you seem to like it so much you might as well go for it if price was not an issue at all (are you really that rich? :roll: ). Disregarding price the X2000F is way too tall IMO. With all that room its more suited for a workstation with high workloads and tons of drives than an Internet/photo editing home PC. It looks good in pictures but like anything it grows on ya.

If price IS an issue why not take another look at Antec SOLO II. It is ideal for a silent low power rig and easy to turn into a positive pressure setup.

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DAW - Antec P150, i7 2600K @ 4.4 GHz , Intel DP67BG, Crucial C300 SATA 3 SSD, Passive Geforce 8500GT, Samsung F1 1TB audio drive, Seasonic S12II520, TRUE+AC PWM@500RPM, Noctua 120@700 RPM
Video Edit- Antec P183, i7 2600, Intel DP67BG, Quadro 2000, Samsung 500GB system, 2*WB 1TB RAID 0, TRUE, Seasonic S12II620


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 Post subject: Re: Build: Lian Li PC-X2000F, Silverstone FT02, or Antec P28
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:09 am
Posts: 73
Location: Canada
It seems as though you like the lian-li case best but I agree that it is crazy overkill and you would not be using most of its features. I would check out other Lian li cases, since you won't be worried about a graphics card anyways you really don't have any concerns sound wise so anything with decent design will work. Without the graphics card the pca05fn would actually be a great choice. I have a pc-9f and its great and way smaller then that monstrosity.

IMO I would go with a PCA05FN, invest the money saved in a larger ssd so you don't need a mechanical drive (since your main storage is a nas anyways), buy 2 noctuas or whatever your favorite fan is, use a seasonic x-560 and use the onboard graphics or a passive 6670. That will be a completely silent system. Parts choice > case choice for silence.

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 Post subject: Re: Build: Lian Li PC-X2000F, Silverstone FT02, or Antec P28
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:05 pm
Posts: 61
ntavlas wrote:
I think he refers to the Air Penetrator version of Silverstone`s fans, essentially a regular fan with a grille added which focuses airflow. If I`m not mistaken, later revisions of the FT02 include those.

Now, any of those cases should do the job with ease so you might as well pick the one you like the most.

Having said that, I think that the p280 is lacking a little in build quality compared to the rest and to Antec`s own p183. By the way, have you thought about the latter? It`s one of the best damped cases on the market (if not the best) and while you will probably need to replace the stock fans, it`s also cheaper than the Silverstone or Lian Li.
It can`t match those two in airflow but this is probably a non issue considering your needs. If the door is not a deal breaker (unlike the p280 the power button is behind the door) I would give it a good look.

So how about the Silverstone? You get a very effective positive pressure setup out of the box, good dampening and solid construction. I wouldn`t worry too much about the non standard size fans, they are fairly smooth and quiet and buried deep inside the case. What puts me off about this case is the size and more specifically the depth which will make it impossible to fit under some desks. The other thing I don`t like is having ventilation at the top of the case. There`s lots of it in the FT02 which means you should keep liquids away from it.

As for the Lian Li, it`s arguably the best looking of the three and probably the best in terms of finish (though not as tough). You get a positive pressure setup out of the box at a much smaller footprint compared to the FT02. I also like the fact that there are no ventilation holes at the top or sides of the case (if we don`t count the front intake) resulting in very clean looks. Unfortunately, the relatively thin aluminium construction means this case will be more likely to suffer from cavity resonance requiring additional effort and expense to make as quiet as the best. Which is a little hard to swallow when it`s so expensive to begin with..
By the way, have you looked at the X500F? It`s identical to the X2000 only a little shorter. It also lacks the hot swap hdd cage but it retains the built in fan controller. There`s no harm in saving some money and personally, I prefer the proportions of the shorter model.


The size of the cases doesn't really bother me at all. I have my current one sitting beside my desk, there is nothing around it really, and nothing above it, so it doesn't really matter how tall or long it is. I saw a guy standing next to the X2000F, and I was like, holy crap, that thing is even taller than I imagined. Came about halfway up his thigh!

I wasn't aware of the X500F model, and after a little research, I think I know why. It doesn't appear to be available anywhere... That thing would probably be ideal for my setup, although I liked having the 3.5" external bay, but could probably use one of the 5.25" bays for my card reader, since I really only need one optical drive...wonder why it's so hard to find?

lodestar wrote:
If there is a case on your list that would make it as a 10 year buy I would say the Lia Li is the one. It has the latest features such as USB 3.0, and the only issue may be whether the 140mm fans will be quiet enough when turned down to 800 rpm with the in-built fan controller. I would think probably yes bearing in mind that the X2000F has features such as 2mm thick panels aimed at making it a quiet case. So there is a prospect that you could use this case straight out of the box with no need for fan swaps at all.


My original plan was to swap out the 140mm fans with 120mm Noctua fans (and the below adapters), however, I just noticed that Noctua also makes a 140mm fan, so I could use that instead.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/9004/duc-49/Bitspower_Low_Profile_140mm_To_120mm_Fan_Adapter_-_Black_BP-FA140120-BK.html?tl=g47c121s262#blank

ame wrote:
All three cases are overkill in terms of what you need to do with this machine. The FT02 in particular is no only huge in size but it's advantages are mostly for gamers who need to cool hot GPUs.

The X2000F is great, but the price... it might cost more than the components you'll fit into it. Since you seem to like it so much you might as well go for it if price was not an issue at all (are you really that rich? :roll: ). Disregarding price the X2000F is way too tall IMO. With all that room its more suited for a workstation with high workloads and tons of drives than an Internet/photo editing home PC. It looks good in pictures but like anything it grows on ya.

If price IS an issue why not take another look at Antec SOLO II. It is ideal for a silent low power rig and easy to turn into a positive pressure setup.


You have persuaded me to not get the FT02. Along with my own dislikes about the 180mm fans, and my concerns about having the I/O ports on top, I do not think I will ever own a top of the line GPU ever again, and while I think the cooling is a great idea, I'm not sure it's that necessary.

Price is an issue, which is why it has kept me from pulling the trigger on the Lian Li, otherwise, I would have already done so...just trying to justify it in my mind, I guess. Rich, well, most of us that can afford to even buy a computer should be considered rich... (http://www.globalrichlist.com/)

The Solo may be a decent case, I just can't seem to like the way it looks. Maybe seeing it in person would help, but I'm not sure of any computer stores that carry cases in my area...

PMcG wrote:
It seems as though you like the lian-li case best but I agree that it is crazy overkill and you would not be using most of its features. I would check out other Lian li cases, since you won't be worried about a graphics card anyways you really don't have any concerns sound wise so anything with decent design will work. Without the graphics card the pca05fn would actually be a great choice. I have a pc-9f and its great and way smaller then that monstrosity.

IMO I would go with a PCA05FN, invest the money saved in a larger ssd so you don't need a mechanical drive (since your main storage is a nas anyways), buy 2 noctuas or whatever your favorite fan is, use a seasonic x-560 and use the onboard graphics or a passive 6670. That will be a completely silent system. Parts choice > case choice for silence.


For sure, going to check out these other cases. Problem with Lian Li, is they have so many cases to choose from...


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 Post subject: Re: Build: Lian Li PC-X2000F, Silverstone FT02, or Antec P28
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:45 am 
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Posts: 808
Location: Greece
If you like the pc-X series you might also like this one:
http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_index=555&cl_index=1&sc_index=25&ss_index=62&g=f

Still expensive and I`m no big fan of the hard drive mounting system (I would remove the cage altogether and DIY soft mount the drive) but it might be worth a look. I do like the four usb 3 ports at the top though, even if the spacing is a bit too tight.

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 Post subject: Re: Build: Lian Li PC-X2000F, Silverstone FT02, or Antec P28
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:46 pm
Posts: 4
I've owned a Raven RV02 (same internals as FT02 but with tacky plastic exterior) and a P182. After adding a fan controller I found both to be reasonably quiet machines. The AP181 fans that silverstone uses aren't particularly quiet even on low mode, but since they are buried in the RV02/FT02 they are pretty quiet compared to their usage in the TJ08b-e, which I also own. I had to replace the AP181 with a Phobya 180mm fan in my TJ08b-e to quiet that machine sufficiently.

I also recently built an HTPC using an hdplex h3 fanless case. I bought it based on SPCR's review and was really impressed with it. The cooling is great for the Intel i3-2125 that I put in there and as SPCR mentions there should be thermal overhead for a quadcore in that system. My current workstation is built for gaming so I can't go fanless, but if I were building a workstation right now and didn't want to game on it I would definitely buy another H3 with maybe an intel 2500, stick an ssd in there with 8GB or ram and call it a day. Whenever I build a new workstation I always think I have a solid plan for making it quiet, but once I build the initial system I inevitably end up buying more and more fans, fan controllers, foam, etc to try to make it more quiet; with a fanless enclosure you spend the money up front and you're done with it. It's obviously up to you but you are listing some large cases that may be overkill for what you are describing.


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