I'm in the middle of buying parts for a new build, but I'm re-examining my choices for the case. I have somewhat restrictive requirements, as I run two boxes (one Windows gaming/coding box, one Linux server) and they both sit in my living room next to or underneath my desk.
- ATX form factor
- Room for a GTX-560 Ti and Venomous-X
- No more than 230mm (9 in.) wide
- No more than 500mm (20 in.) tall
- No more than 520mm (20 in.) deep
- Front-to-back airflow. There will be little to no airflow on the sides of the case, and the cooler air is at the top/bottom/front part of the case.
- Excellent fans or mounts for standard fan sizes so they can be replaced
- Bottom-mounted PSU : The cats love hitting the power on the top-mounted PSU of my server. It's annoying.
- Refined, subdued appearance, so it fits in next to dark furniture with sharp lines
So, the frontrunner is really the Fractal Design Arc Midi
. However, it still isn't released and there are estimates that it will be available anywhere between tomorrow and June. So, I'm wasting time between now and May 1 or so trying to come up with an alternative in case the Arc Midi ends up being disappointing or doesn't show up at all. Options I have considered, roughly ordered by preference:Lian Li PC-9F
: Attractive, but made from aluminum (I have some Acoustipak which might help with that) and the cable management isn't as good as other cases.Coolermaster 690 II Advanced
: Decent, but others expressed concerns over build quality.Nexus Prominent 5
: Looks decent, some airflow restriction in the front. I don't see many people talking about it so I'm not sure what to think.Fractal Design Define R3
: Good, but with somewhat restricted air flow.NZXT H2
: Shows some promise, but I believe this case is also waiting to be released.Corsair 650D
: Very attractive and made from steel, but Corsair used some very non-standard fan sizes that make them all-but impossible to replace with good fans. Unlikely unless someone knows how the fan problem can be fixed.Antec P183
: Nice, but not attractive enough. Vetoed. Not in the running.Coolermaster HAF whatever
: Not even remotely "subdued". Not in the running.
Is there some other case I should consider? Is there something I'm missing? Can you actually put a 120mm fan (or two?) in the front of a 650D? Does anyone have any experience they want to share about these cases?