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 Post subject: New mid-tower case for playing with parts (pls not an Antec)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:04 am 
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I need a case, period. Mid-tower, as I hate the visual footprint of full boxes, but need some flexibility for mobo form factor.

I am tired of Antec: during these years they never updated the NSK3480, they never did a decent PSU for small enclosure like Minuet/1480 or ISK310, they never released the Mini P280, they never really take care of customers opinion, they don't do anymore Solo replace parts (I need the USB front assembly these days), they always do good but way overpriced PSUs, and so on... summarizing, even a strong supporter - like I am - can say "for this life that's enough, dear Antec".

Which one... after some years I've learnt that about no case is really "silent" (even if the Solo II is a clear improvement on fan noise, with reference to my Solo): lot of sturdiness and some flexibility is what I need to try to work out a "quiet" system.

I like the aesthetics of the Corsair 650D, but it has bad cooling, terrible fans and it's way overpriced (even if it's almost EOL).

I also like the appearance of the Fractal Arc Midi but I'm quite disappointed by the build quality of the old R2 (I was used to Antec Performance).

I even like the Lian Li PC-7HX (or HXW), even the price is acceptable, but owning a PC-A05NB I know that a full aluminium box is a bit more prone to resonance than a steel one, and that even cooling & airflow are usually a bit odd onto Lian Li enclosures.

All these cases look alike, I know, but I'm not stick with that fashion: just for example, I also like the slightly different appearance of the Corsair 350D (mATX only), but the fully fledged iteration of the same aesthetics (the new Obsidian 750D) disappointed me quite a bit (think it's a matter of proportions).

So, I'm looking for some suggests, if you have any, about a case whose price is less than a Corsair Obsidian 650D, and which is capable to host anything I will find along the road and throw inside it (well, right now I've a GTX 480 with a Thermalright Spitfire sitting in a corner and striving for some folding again) *quietly*.

Thanks in advance for sharing.

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 Post subject: Re: New mid-tower case for playing with parts (pls not an An
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:09 pm 
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Seems like the big innovation for quiet computing over the last several years is:
- make the damned case a little wider to fit 140mm (or bigger) fans
- do a better job of airflow through the case (better intake and lowering internal clutter).
Ok, they're are probably more :)

Corsair 550D, if you like the 650D.

Fractal R4 is much improved over the R2.

Instead of the Arc Midi, look at the Define Mini. The latter is tuned for quieter performance than the former.

I don't think there's a case out there that won't need some tweaking in order to maximize the thermal/noise performance.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: New mid-tower case for playing with parts (pls not an An
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:36 pm 
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One case that has piqued my interest recently is the Corsair Carbide Air 540. Here's a review from Anandtech:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7124/corsair-carbide-air-540-case-review

Not sure if it's really your price or size range, but it looks like a good case if you want to experiment with your setup a lot. And if you're tired of normal cases, it is different layout. I have a couple of homemade cases that are something like this, where the motherboard is on one side and the power supply and drives are on the other, and it does make it easy to change things up. Things like video card swaps or cpu swaps are easy when you can focus just on the motherboard and don't have to worry about other cabling. It also gets great performance for cooling. Although the reviewer mentions that the included fans are a little noisy, he anecdotally talks about replacing them with quiet fans and getting it a lot quieter with still good performance. I suspect a fan controller might also let you crank the high speed fans down to a quiet point. I do a bunch of folding myself (are you on our team? :D) so I'm always looking for a case with good cooling that I can make quiet. I have a dual gtx 780 folder in a coolermaster cosmos case that I'm thinking about putting into this case. The one down side of this case is that it doesn't support a lot of drives, but it looks like there's lots of empty space in the non-motherboard side. It looks like you could do a lot of drive suspension on that side, though. So it's a very intriguing case. As I said, not sure if it's really what you're looking for, but it is different.


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 Post subject: Re: New mid-tower case for playing with parts (pls not an An
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:42 am 
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Just a few, sparse comments (thanks to cordis and ca_steve)...

...Fractal Design Mini: nice look (better proportions than R4?) but µATX only, as like as the Corsair Obsidian 350D (which I'd rather, aesthetically, at the end)...

...Corsair Carbide A540: interesting, flexible, a bit overpriced (similar design Cooler Master HAF XB goes for 20% less), but above all *huge* (idem for the HAF XB, bulk), as much as a full tower...

...the Corsair Obsidian 550D, in my opinion, it's not aesthetically similar to 650D or 350D, but more probably that not it's a good all-arounder; when I say it's not similar to my other favourite Corsair boxes, I think I'm just tired of hinged doors since my last P182 (and P180 Mini), but I will take note of it as a possible, strong candidate.

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 Post subject: Re: New mid-tower case for playing with parts (pls not an An
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:42 pm 
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If I were to build a mid-tower today, my two fav's are the R4 and the 550D. I think the R4 would be quieter out-of-the-box, but I also like the looks of the 550D and think it just needs a little fan-fu.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: New mid-tower case for playing with parts (pls not an An
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:50 pm 
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I also recommend the Define R4 love the 140s, the only thing that i dont like about it its they not build strong on the top n bottom where antecs are like tanks all their steel is very heavy, in here where its not the case, the top n bottom have a lot of perforations, but at the end of the day it really its minor thing for me. It also very wide and allows about any cooler you want. I have an Arc midi R2 atm with me, that i wanted to test side by side with the Define, but my Noctua fans didnt like pushing down and being horizontal, made a noise that even at 400rpm was very annoying, so out of not having more fans, i prefered the moduvents and having the sides with Bitumen, the temps imo are higher than my TJ08-E, but its much more quieter. I'll probably show up some pics of my build tomorrow, i just go in from working and its raining, and im running a lot the fans with MSI bios (really wondeful i might add no software is needed), in case you are interested ill post tomorrow.

Now if you like the 350D go for it, its a nice case, personally not my flavor out if i want micro atx i would go with TJ08-E or PS07, but atm i needed/wanted a setup with more PCIe for dedicated lan and sound, and probably in the near future a SLI for a 4k monitor, if i didnt had any of those needs, i would have stayed on TJ08-E. I do think the 350D is very nice in a lot of aspects, specially with Gigabyte Sniper M5 that has the second PCIe x8 on the last and the 350D having an extra PCI slot will be very nice for air cooled SLI micro atx setup. But personally i prefer the layout of the ATX mobos for SLI config.

This is my favorite cases

Full tower on air: Silverstone FT02 (never bought it, expecting the new FT04 that sucked)
Mid tower on air: Fractal Design Define R4 (currently what i use atm)
Micro ATX on air: Silverstone TJ08-E (my old case for three years) / PS-07 (i did a build for friend, pretty nice case)
Mini ITX on air: Fractal Design Node 304 or Bitfinix Prodigy

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GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: New mid-tower case for playing with parts (pls not an An
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:00 am 
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Abula wrote:
I also recommend the Define R4 love the 140s, the only thing that i dont like about it its they not build strong on the top n bottom where antecs are like tanks all their steel is very heavy, in here where its not the case, the top n bottom have a lot of perforations

What do you think is the max weight the top can support an object? I plan to place my 5kg amplifier on top of it (due to lack of space and convenience).


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 Post subject: Re: New mid-tower case for playing with parts (pls not an An
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:00 am 
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yakuman wrote:
Abula wrote:
I also recommend the Define R4 love the 140s, the only thing that i dont like about it its they not build strong on the top n bottom where antecs are like tanks all their steel is very heavy, in here where its not the case, the top n bottom have a lot of perforations

What do you think is the max weight the top can support an object? I plan to place my 5kg amplifier on top of it (due to lack of space and convenience).
Its not that it will not support anything, just that it flexes, now weather 5kg will flex it will depend on where it supports, for example on the top but the begging and end its very rigid, i doubt it will flex if the weight is supported there, but if the weight supports on the middle it might flex some, but not to the point it will be really concave just a bit, just what i was pointing out that that Antec and Silverstone with mesh on top the hole pc is more rigid than fractals.

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GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: New mid-tower case for playing with parts (pls not an An
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:16 am 
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First of all, thanks to Abula for his sharing.

Along with the Corsair, Fractal and Lian Li, I'm putting under examination two more cases, the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 and the SilverStone Temjin TJ04-E: has anyone any experience or any educated advice about these two boxes?

Again, thanks in advance.

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Luca


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