I'm in the midst of doing a new build that will be mostly dedicated to photo editing, and occasionally some gaming. The ATX case I will use will need to meet some specific physical dimensions to fit into a dedicated cubby in my desk. Specifically, the width of the case needs to be 8.5" (215mm), the height of the case needs to be 18.5" (469mm). My old system is built within an Antec Lifestyle Solo which I don't want to re-use as the front facing USB ports are not USB 3.0.
The highlights of the hardware I'm getting are as follows:
- Asus Z87-A
- 16GB 1866mHz RAM
- Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
- Undecided mechanical HD
You'll notice no graphics card listed as initially I'm going to just use the on-board graphics. I'll be adding a graphics card later once some PC games come out I'm actually interested in. Having said that, I will only be using a single GPU in this build, no SLI.
I've done quiet builds in the past before, and have done a lot of case research over the last few days. If it weren't for the physical dimension restrictions, I'd be all over the Fractal Design R4. However, I find that the majority of the silent cases that are considered to be good are simply too big, either too wide or too tall.
After looking at the offerings from Antec, Fractal Design, Corsair, Cooler Master, BitFenix, NZXT, and Zalman. My short list at this point consists of:
I'm not too wild about the Solo II, I'd prefer the I/O ports to be up top. The Z3's layout is ok, but I'm not wild about the aesthetics. Historically speaking, the Fractal Design R3 would have been the perfect case, but it has been superseded by the larger R4. My only other choice seems to be to consider basic non-quiet cases and hope that my internal components will be sufficiently quiet.
Are there any other cases I missed that might fit my scenario? I think not, but I'm open to suggestions.
P.S. Changing my desk to get one with a larger case cubby is a non-starter since otherwise my desk is extremely space efficient. It's like a bookcase with a desk built in that's really tall so it is really space efficient in my apartment.