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Treasures or Trash, 5 PC Cases for Gamers

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the soft-hardware dept.


An anonymous reader writes "Tom's Hardware has a look at 5 different customized PC cases and a few peripheral devices that may be of some interest to gamers. From the article: 'Those who believe it is impossible to make any missteps when buying a gaming case are sadly mistaken. In most cases, you get too much plastic for your hard-earned money. Case components, covers and door panels break off far too easily, and are hard to use besides. That's why we advise savvy buyers to spend a few more dollars on their cases, and make sure they're getting quality components - especially where plastic covers or door panels are present.'"

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But... but... (5, Funny)

PSXer (854386) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426080)

They have flashy lights and windows! That's all that matters, right, guys?

Re:But... but... (1)

wetfeetl33t (935949) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426133)

Sometimes I wonder if what drives people to buy cases with lights, strange logos and other gimmicks is the same thing that drives people to drive giant SUVs and wear expensive clothes. It sure seems like conspicuous consumerism to buy an expensive case that doesn't actually work well. Sort of like buying something for the sake of buying something, even if it isn't really needed.

Re:But... but... (1)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426171)

It's called "materialism"..

Re:But... but... (2, Insightful)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426229)

Well, there's conspicuous consumption, but then there's plain old bad taste. Pink Flamingos and Polyester.

Re:But... but... (4, Insightful)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426239)

No, they're the same people who buy old Civics and Neons, put giant spoilers, racing stripes, and "fart can" mufflers on them because they think it makes the car go faster. These are the same people who pay extra for flashing LCD's, clear side panels and lighted fans in their cases - they think it makes it compute faster.

Let's call them "Rice Nerds."

Re:But... but... (1)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426311)

Racing stripes DO make cars go faster.
Just like LEDs make my processer run cooler.

Re:But... but... (5, Insightful)

muhgcee (188154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426324)

Oy. I'll leave the car thing alone, but as far as the computers go, most people do it because they a) like how it looks and b) enjoy doing it.

I built my cousin a computer once and he wanted to mod it out. He spent 10 hours custom carving a biohazard logo in the side of it. I think he enjoyed making little tweaks to the appearance over the next few months as much as he liked playing WoW on it once he turned it back on.

So what is wrong with that?

Re:But... but... (2, Insightful)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426345)

Nothing, but that's exactly the point. Your case (or car, for that matter) can look as dull or as flashy as you want it to. It's how it preforms that makes it what it is. Even if I mod my case to have neon lights and a slurpee machine, all that won't matter unless it keeps everything inside working well.

Re:But... but... (3, Insightful)

donweel (304991) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426276)

Too much plastic ... that about sums it up. Some came with power supplies but I'm not sure the manufacture is trustworthy, I am not familiar with the ones included. Alternatively you could get an aluminum Lian Li [] like I did five years ago, it still looks like the day I bought it. I won't have to get another case unless form factor changes radically. And the big knurled nuts and sliding modular construction makes installing hard drives, power supplies or motherboards a snap. They cost a little more but they last a long time and don't break.

Too many pages... (5, Insightful)

jonoid (863970) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426086)

29 pages? No printer-formatted single page? I'd rather not give my wrist an RSI by all that clicking or waste my allotted amount of bandwidth downloading all those ads.

Re:Too many pages... (5, Insightful)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426095)

The article is actualy only 2 pages, the remaining 27 is eye candy on cases that you can go to an actual web store and see. Some are neat though with luminated keyboards and mice. I only looked @ a few pages after the the first 2. There isn't any other paragraphs to describe or prices. Mostly just images. You can find them on e-bay or froogle looking for luminated keyboard or mice or custom cases.

Re:Too many pages... (1)

Trindle (967054) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426327)

The irony is that in the "pro's" and "cons" of each case they have about 4 or 5 different sentiments total, there are more pictures of the crappy cases than discussion about each.

Re:Too many pages... (5, Funny)

daivzhavue (176962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426110)

I would <next>
Have to <next>
agree with <next>
you on <next>
that point. <next>
So I <next>
gave up. <next>

Re:Too many pages... (0, Redundant)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426298)

You must be viewing a cached version from several years ago. Here's a more recent version for you:

I <ADVERTISEMENT> would <next>
Have to <next>
agree <ADVERTISEMENT> with <next>
you on <next>
that <ADVERTISEMENT> point. <next>
So I <next>
gave up. <next>

Re:Too many pages... (1)

FooHentai (624583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426144)

Slashdot - Massive traffic, tons of content per page, but only a few ads
Tom's Hardware Guide - Wait... there was some content on that page? Let me check again...

Tom's approach to adding advertising is like Domino's approach to adding more cheese.

Re:Too many pages... (1)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426310)

> Tom's Hardware Guide - Wait... there was some content on that page? Let me check again...

This is why Dan's Data [] is pretty much the only hardware site I read. Obviously he doesn't review as much stuff as Tom, but his reviews are very detailed and his writing style is quite enjoyable. Only rarely is there more than one page (but it's one real page... with enough content to stimulate your brain, or something like that), and elsewhere on his site he encourages you to block his ads :)

All in all, if his RSS feed isn't in your feed reader, you should add it. :)

Re:Too many pages... (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426225)

I had a bit of free time so I clicked through the entire article (after blocking their ads). Not much worth seeing other than the insides of a few PC cases viewed from half a dozen angles.

Re:Too many pages... (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426294)

Am I the only one that finds it sad that a /.er would complain about ads? Get an adblocker or GTFO ... Plus its a webpage not an ISO get over it, i'm sure the few KB download won't break the bank .... unless you on 28.8 inwhich case GTFO.

Does a case matter (2, Insightful)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426089)

I would think the hardware in the case is more important for a gamer. A case doesn't provide power and storage, it just provides a place to put it. Go buy a metal slide on case with a a plastic face plate, perferably a decently large one, and cram all your hardware in that. I never really understood why to pay $100 or more for a case with a window and lights. Even @ LAN parties...the hardware is more important.

Re:Does a case matter (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426115)

I couldn't agree more. I used to have one of those flashy cases, and I realized that it really wasn't as high a quality as the non-flashy ones (namely Antec). Plus, if your computer is in your bedroom, you have to cover it with towels when you're trying to sleep, otherwise it's bright as day with all those lights on ;)

And maybe I'm crazy, but I've always thought a Shuttle would be the most impressive thing to bring to a LAN party, or at least excite the most comment.

Re:Does a case matter (5, Informative)

Silwenae (514138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426116)

The case absolutely does matter - but not for the reasons mentioned above (lights and looks).

It's all about the cooling - get the right fan placement and air flow in the right place and that's what matters. When you're running an AMD processor faster than a 4200 with an Nvidia 7800 SLI rig, it will matter that you have the right case to get it cool.

Re:Does a case matter (4, Informative)

deacon (40533) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426386)

Yes, but none of these cases do that.

The fans these cases use are absurdly small (so they can be really cheap to make) and using many fans creates added noise due to the beat frequency between them.

The correct way to go about this is to get a cheap steel case, like this for $20.75 E16811156011 []

Then get a fan like this for $9.95 19261386&item=16-1331&catname=electric []

Now to slow the fan down, to make it quiet, wire a motor run capacitor in series with the fan. Use a cap like this ($1.99) : 19273017&item=22-1186&catname=electric []

If you use a smaller value cap, the fan will run slower. If you use a larger value cap, the fan will run faster. The fan speed changes a lot for small changes in the cap value.

Now cut a blowhole in the top of the case, bolt the fan on top blowing into the case, and get rid of all other case fans. Leave the faceplates off on both sides of the video card so lots of air rushes out that way.

Stick a fork in it. It's done.

Same reason people rice out cars (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426123)

They want to try and impress others. I mean suppose you have a small economy car. If you want to improve it's performance, #1 thing you can probalby do for it is turbocharge it. Most engines that aren't TC'd can be. Problem is that just makes it perform better, it doesn't let everyone else know you did anything. So instead people add fart pipes (loud mufflers) and pretend they improve horsepower (they don't you need to redo more than just the end to make any difference), stickers for things like Vtec that they don't really understand but assume are good, and a massive spolier.

Well, same kind of idea with computers. In an unassuming case, there could be a 486 or a dual Opteron, you just don't know. So people go for flashy cases. They want you to see their system and be impressed.

Re:Same reason people rice out cars (4, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426145)

Unless your case looks like this, [] I'm not going to be impressed.

Re:Same reason people rice out cars (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426178)

Funny story, for an art class in high school I modded an old case with regular old fiberglass resin and sheet EPS to look like a Cray. The art teacher gave me an "F" because "It still just looks like a computer." I added some extra fans in the back because the resin caused it to retain a lot of heat, but I used it for more than eight years and finally retired it because my new motherboard didn't fit. :(

Re:Same reason people rice out cars (3, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426194)

Needs a VTEC sticker.

Re:Yes, but for other non-garbage reasons. (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426156)

People like shiny things, heck *I* like shiny things. But when I buy a case I look for some specifics that make things handy for me as a gamer:

-As mentioned earlier, cooling. The number and placement of fan mounting brackets is important to gamers.

-Flexibility. The reason why most gamers don't use those old beige cases is because we can't cram a terabyte of HDD, one or two video cards or a sophisticated cooling rig (water cooled, giganto Zalman, etc)

-Durability. Your case is going to be dragged around to various LAN parties, so you better be prepared to hit all sorts of trouble and survive.

-Weight. Again, if you are hauling your PC around to LAN parties you don't want to be dragging Godzilla's Pocket PC with you (at least I don't).

Looks is kind of a secondary thing, but for me I just want something simple, functional and hassle-free. Unecesarry doodads like plastic doors just get in the way, you really want front USB ports and other gizmos that will help you out AND look cool (if possible).

My case is the GMC Noblesse SE [] , which I have been dragging back and forth to events like Fragapalooza [] and home brew LAN parties for a couple of years now. Durable, easy to work in, not too gooped-up, a little heavier than I would like but otherwise great. And yes, there is a plastic door on this one I know but it doesn't get in the way or break off etc.

GMC makes a great line of cases.

Re:Yes, but for other non-garbage reasons. (1)

coleblak (863392) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426226)

I have that case(orig. version), via a different named company. It's total shite. The hinge plastic broke the second day. They wanted twenty dollars and shipping to replace it. I said screw it and put the trim peice on instead. As nice as that system looks with its USB and hard drive switch, I can get all that put into one 5.25 slot and into the unused 3.5 slot for ten bucks or so. I'll never buy anything from Ahanix again.

Re:Yes, but for other non-garbage reasons. (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426255)

That's unfortunate, this case has been through hell and back with the door on for almost three years with no problems at all. :-/

Re:Does a case matter (4, Funny)

teslar (706653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426175)

I would think the hardware in the case is more important for a gamer.
Nonono, you're approaching this from the wrong angle. Think about it this way - gamers are young males, probably not getting out enough, so this is all about impressing potential girlfriends.

Scenario A: Girl enters room. Standard beige box and chunky CRT are the dominant features.
Girl: In your bedroom? You've gotta be kidding. *goes home*
Gamer: .... *sobs*

Scenario B: Girl enters room. Glowing... thingy and shiny LCD are clearly noticeable.
Girl: What are those?
Gamer: That's my flatscreen television and my mood lighting device, baby. It can cycle through very mellow sensual colours. Wanna cuddle for a bit and dream of beautiful memories... together?
Girl: Awwww.... *melts into gamers arms*

So you see, nothing at all to do with games. Beware of cases that don't do warm soft-glow red or pink though..... arctic chill blue does not incite to undress.

Re:Does a case matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426256)

Or in the real world....

Scenario B: Girl enters room. Glowing... thingy and shiny LCD are clearly noticeable.
Girl: What are those?
Gamer: That's my flatscreen television and my mood lighting device, baby. It can cycle through very mellow sensual colours. Wanna cuddle for a bit and dream of beautiful memories... together?
Girl: You *really* need to get out more and stop wasting electricity and money on that rubbish. Get a real case.
Gamer: *Perplexed look at his total misunderstanding of the female gender*

Seriously, it's just to impress his friends who are as clueless as he is.

Re:Does a case matter (1)

GTMoogle (968547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426306)

Maybe the hippie tree-hugger chicks would say that.

But really, do you think the kind of girl that shops for different slutty outfits for every day of the month, and 100 pairs of shoes is concerned with wasting electricity or money? Hah.

Thank god I found a t-shirt & jeans geek girl. She says it's only impressive if you mod your case yourself though. :)

Re:Does a case matter (1)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426290)

What have you been smokin'? A serious gamer doesn't have time to think about women. There's barely enough time for them to eat and breathe.

Re:Does a case matter (1)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426180)

Ease of access to internals
Ability to cool high power internals

All these are heavily influenced by your case. Also, a good case takes about twice as long to become obsolete as your internal hardware.

The above list is my particular order of priority. I care alot about choice of case, yet appearance is well down my list.

Re:Does a case matter (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426331)

From the article:

Case vendors always seek to attract younger buyers with extravagant form factors and outrageous looks.

These aren't gamer's cases. They're children's playroom cases.

My gamer's case is big, steel, biege with all the necessary interface bits right out in the open and if the cat gets too close to the intake vent I have to power down to get her unstuck.

A gamer is too busy keeping his ass alive to even notice that he has a case.


Re:Does a case matter (1)

archen (447353) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426337)

A case is also important if you want a quiet computer. Getting cheap thin cases that reverberate fan vibration can make a computer much more noisy. Stupid front engine fan aside, the Aerocool has my attention. I've been saying for YEARS that instead of small cheap noisy small fans blowing super fast, they need to put a HUGE freaking fan on the side of the machine. The page says "250mm fans are the latest trend" which could be a quiet PC modders dream come true. I can only hope some of the more high end machines start incorperating this design. The Aerocool unfortunatly looks like it fits into the "cheap shit" category, so I doubt I'd waste my time on it.

pages (4, Insightful)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426094)

my god, thats a lot of pages to scroll through... I'm inclined to be a little lazy when buying a case; I only put my feet on it so it doesn't really matter what it looks like. Inside they are all pretty much the same so long as they have enough room, and a construction which will allow you to put your feet on it safely.

I've had a friend who had a case with really bright blue lights on his computer; all that that meant was we had to stick post-it notes over them when we wanted to watch something to avoid blinding us. I wouldn't want lights on my case...

Terrible Review - For Shame Editors (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426096)

Can we please not have any more THG ?

They're rubbish.
This review is rubbish.

They call some of those pieces of crap "pretty". Whats wrong with an Antec/Coolermaster/Silverstone. Now those cases have the good looks and functionality that a gaming case should have.

My vote is... (-1, Flamebait)

JDark (512354) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426097)

trash, trash, trash, trash, and trash.

Now IBM Could Make a Case (4, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426105)

I used to do on-site tech support at IBM. Those guys could make a case, but not consistently. All their consumer model cases completely sucked, but their PS2 servers had some of the best designs I've ever seen. They had screw-free fasteners for everything, and the drive bays and power supply were on hinges and could swivel out to provide easy access to the motherboard.

Those little touches are incredibly easy to do, but no one ever adds them. I'd much rather be able to swing out my power supply so I don't have to disassemble my computer to add RAM or whatnot, rather than have my case look like it's got eyes on.

Flathead screws! (1)

sirwired (27582) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426155)

When I did desktop support in college, I spent many an hour cursing the engineer at Acer (which is where IBM OEM'd the Crap-tiva from), who decided that flathead screws with shallow screw slots had ANY place in a computer case. I got "bit" by my screwdriver several times trying to install network cards in those damn things. (Don't even get me started on what those boxes did once you actually tried to get Novell working on them.)

IBM's (err... Lenovo's) current "business" desktop cases are an intesting study in constrasts. Tool-free design, decent access, and a very sturdy all-metal chassis. However, the two bays intended for hard drives are too far apart to string an ATA cable between them. For newer models that use SATA, this isn't a problem, but it was more than a tad frustrating when I went to install a second drive in my two-year old P4.

I don't know anything about those new Lenovo consumer cases.

Server cases are something else entirely. For all the customer-replacable parts, cases from all three major vendors (IBM, HP, and Dell) are pretty much a piece of cake.


Re:Flathead screws! (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426387)

I remember taking off the side panel to replace a CDROM drive in a Packard Bell. Guess what? PB was too fucking cheap to use real screws. Instead, they mounted the factory drive with rivets. Yes. POP RIVETS!!!! The only way to get them out is with a small drill bit or dremel tool. Obviously I didn't have one available to use, so I just mounted it in the other drive slot and move the cables around.

How annoying.

Well if I were to recommend a case (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426107)

It'd be the one I just picked up, the Antec P180. Actually I opted for the P180B, the black version (the normal 180 is silver) but either way same case, different finish. It's a case that has it all, if you asked me. It's got the setup for extremely effective cooling, yet runs very quiet for all that. Plenty of interior room, good design, etc. The only real gripe I have is it takes a long time to properly install all your components what with the special mounts and such. However, you do that once and you've got a great case.

Of course it also looks stellar. It's extremely sleek and clean the whole way around. It's the kinds of subdued good looks that make you want to leave it alone, rather than put stickers on it and rice it out.

These cases I'd liken to a riced out Civic. You are going for flash to try and distract and wow people. The P180 is more like an Audi sedan, it looks so good it needs no modification.

Either way if you are willing to spend the cash on cases like this (the $100+ market) give these overly flashy jobs a miss and have a look at a P180. It will look good in just about any room and they really put some thought in the engineering of it. It's the first case I've seen that really seemed to think someone might want to have a system that's quiet AND high performance, but not want to screw with water cooling.

Why get a Civic with a spoiler and fart pipe if you could get an S4 without for the same price?

antec (1)

emmons (94632) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426217)

In my experience, Antec makes really good cases in general. I have 2 sonatas and a lanboy.. they're all awesome. However, you do have to pay for the quality.

Re:Well if I were to recommend a case (2, Informative)

Kazzahdrane (882423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426319)

Just want to agree with the parent, I just bought a new PC and the P180 was the case I chose. I have a lot of love for it already, its design actually made putting the rig together enjoyable, especially since the structure meant you could do it all in obvious stages (this was the first time I'd built a PC and I'd recommend the case to other newbies) and then slot it all back in. I originally chose it because I'd read good reviews praising its effective cooling but the best thing about it for me has to be the spaces inside.

The only thing worth mentioning is that it's quite a deep case, so much so that it doesn't fit on the ledge in my PC desk and has to sit on the floor beside it. All in all a great case though, well worth the money.

Re:Well if I were to recommend a case (2, Informative)

ip_fired (730445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426332)

I have the same case. It's great! Very quiet. My only complaint with it is that the Antec power supply that I bought with it didn't have a long enough 24-pin connector. The power supply is actually situated on the bottom of the case instead of the top like normal, so you need an especially long power cable if your motherboard has it's power connector near the top. I had to sit around for 5 days looking at the beautiful case with all the parts in it while the extension was mailed :)

Re:Well if I were to recommend a case (3, Funny)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426366)

Unless I was building some ~US$3000 SLI monstrosity*, I'd go for the P150 instead. It is quite a bit smaller, and has hard-drive suspension (for noise suppression) as a built in option.

* I.e. something that actually *needs* a >300W power supply, unlike 95%** of the computers fitted with >500W PSUs.

** 43.8% of statistics are just made up.

21 bay case rules all! (5, Funny)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426111)

Pfft. Those cases look pretty, and I'm impressed by the super huge fans in Aerocool, but they all cower in the shadow of my case [] .

Drum roll please. On May 29, 2003, I entered a new phase of PC ownership. That was the day that my Chenbro SR101 21 bay server case arrived. Perhaps you didn't hear me. I said it was a 21 bay case! It's 14.5" wide and 25" tall! (The 25" includes the caster wheels.) It's a monster and unless you're one of the lucky few who own a case like this, it would most likely eat your case for an after dinner snack!

It's a masterpiece of case design! There are holders for wires in it to reduce clutter. It's like running a network inside the PC.

It has spaces for up to 15 fans.

It has caster wheels.

The motherboard is on a removable platter so I was able to just take the platter out and put the motherboard on it instead of having to put it into the case directly.

It has 12 external 5.25" bays and 8 internal 3.5" bays and 1 external 3.5" bay for the floppy drive.

The floppy drive bay has a removable platter so you can attach the drive to it and then attach the platter to the case.

The case comes with rails for the 5.25" bays. You attach the rails to each 5.25" device (CDROM, removable hard drive, etc.) and you can just slide the device into the bay and it snaps in place. You just squeeze the sides to pull them back out. There's no need to have to screw each one in and out when you want to move them around!

There's room in the back for 3 power supplies (I have 2 installed right now) and it's possible attach power supplies into the 5.25" bays if desired which theoretically means you could have 7 power supplies in it, but you wouldn't have much room left over for anything else.

The back, sides, top, and front panels are all removable, so if I want to I can remove them and have them painted or even paint them myself! (I was thinking of maybe having the entire thing painted shiny dark black with 1 big yellow pacman on each side.) I wonder if they sell spoilers for PC cases... Actually, I think I may have no choice but to add neon lights to it.

Re:21 bay case rules all! (1, Funny)

sharkey (16670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426206)

(I was thinking of maybe having the entire thing painted shiny dark black with 1 big yellow pacman on each side.)

Do you have erotic dreams about Spider-man too?

Re:21 bay case rules all! (1)

Lusa (153265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426279)

Don't forget to add on 2" in each dimension for the sound proofing...

Re:21 bay case rules all! (1)

Lusa (153265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426296)

And if I was getting something that big, it'd be more like one of these []

Re:21 bay case rules all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426364)

hehe i was just going to ad that i have a machine like that.
3x650w psu that rocks.

to bad that im missing the drivebays for adding more hardrives

Re:21 bay case rules all! (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426376)

If that was a PC case I'd love one of those. Do I need more room for expansion? No. I've still got 1 PSU, 3 front bays, and 8 back bays free. But, that case would put fear into anyone who walked within sight of it. That's important.

Re:21 bay case rules all! (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426390)

I'm pretty sure most of the sound comes through the front and back. I obviously can't cover those up because that'd kill air flow. Actually, at one point I installed some Tornado MAXX fans in there. The noise was so loud that I could barely hear myself when talking. I quickly removed them and went back to normal speed fans. I haven't had any overheating problems and the noise doesn't blow out my eardrums.

Computer Wrestling? (2, Interesting)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426113)

What are you people doing to your computers that you're breaking the plastic bay covers? I've been working on computers for at least 12 years and have never had one break on me. Sure, the occassional one pops off, but even though it's plastic it's pretty heavy plastic.

As for the doors, I can't stand them to begin with. I guess if you're going for looks and can't trouble yourself to paint the faceplates of your components it's one thing, but wouldn't you aim to buy the proper color to begin with?

As for everything else when it comes to cases, the main difference I've found is that the high quality ones bend the inner edges an extra time to prevent cuts, have heavier metal drive racks, and better air flow. That's it.

People who spend insane amounts of money on cases are the same as people that modify their cars to gain 5 extra HP... it just doesn't make much sense. The one exception is server cases, but this article is about gaming cases, so that's not applicable. :)

Case (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426129)

I just want a good case with good cooling. I don't want a door that I to open to get the CD / DVD divers I also want a lot of front ports on it and I don't want to pay $100+ for it.

Re:Computer Wrestling? (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426188)

"What are you people doing to your computers that you're breaking the plastic bay covers?"
Having been in and out of some computer stores and seeing some of the cheap ass cases they have there, it's not so much the PC enthusiast breaking the plastic it's more the plastic being thin and brittle and utter useless crap that is the problem.

I see a lot of those "alienware" rip-off cases at some chain computer part stores and cannot imagine how they stand up to any use.

Re:Computer Wrestling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426212)

What are you people doing to your computers that you're breaking the plastic bay covers?

Moving them? This article is meant for sort of the stereotypical gamer who goes to LAN parties while toting his own computer.

I don't do that, and have just moved my computer home from the dorms and back a few times (about a dozen round trips in four years) and even I've had my door break off. I don't really care because I took it off long before anyway, because I agree they're really annoying.

As for everything else when it comes to cases, the main difference I've found is that the high quality ones bend the inner edges an extra time to prevent cuts, have heavier metal drive racks, and better air flow. That's it.

No, that's not it. There are TONS of other nice things a good case will have. My case has a removable drive bay for the hard drives. That means two things: I don't have to take off BOTH sides of the case to install or remove hard drives, and I don't need to install hard drives while it's in the case. I can take out the hard drive case, install the hard drive in a totally uncramped location, and then put the bay back in. It latches in with a leaver, so I don't even need to screw it in place. There's also a spot for a fan at the back of the bay, so I have air blowing directly over the hard drives. The part that is POORLY designed about this is that it slides out of it's spot, and the AGP card blocks it. Thus I need to remove my video card to remove the drive bay. I've seen other cases where the drive bays SWING out; I think this is more likely to be good design.

I can also install fans without screws. There are snap-in mounts for two fans in back, two fans in front (one of these is in the hard drive bay), and one in the side. (Currently I'm using one each in the front and back.) Again, no tools required.

Dell used to make REALLY nice cases. There's an old dell (P200 I think) downstairs here with a nonstandard motherboard where the expansion cards are installed horizontally. If you want to put in a new PCI card, you pull a lever and the part of the MOBO with the PCI slots would slide out toward you, and you could install the card vertically instead of horizontally.

Another thing I noticed was that in at least some of their cases Dell had a cowling that went over the processor to a spot in the back where a CASE fan would pull air in and force it over the processor. Coming after my third CPU failure in one machine, that idea really appealed to me, and I still think it's a pretty good idea. (This is despite the fact that it breaks the standard intake in front, exhaust in back rule.)

There are all sorts of little touches that make certain cases a lot easier to work in. Thumbscrews or other toolless designs instead of screws everywhere. Rails that you mount to DVD drives then slide into place where they latch instead of putting the drives in then screwing them in place.

Granted, none of this matters (except the CPU-less Dell design I mentioned) unless you build your own computer or do upgrades, but if you do either of those things the case has a lot more to say about how easy those jobs are.

A bit of personal experience (4, Insightful)

BertieBaggio (944287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426125)

According to (a 30 page bonanza of mostly pictures) TFA, I own a something that could qualify as a 'gaming' case. And my vote for the "Treasures or Trash?" conundrum is: trash. Why?

LEDs on the front of the case

Yeah, they look cool. For about 5 minutes. They are dim enough not to illuminate, but bright enough to catch your eye. Hardware equivalent of a flash ad. Also, if you keep your PC in your bedroom, you'd better find something to put in front of the LEDs.

"Cheap plastic USB port covers"

Yup, cheap is right. I snapped mine off literally about half an hour before reading the article. How's that for irony? To be fair, the cover was fine until now, just a bit superfluous. I won't miss it.

Side panels

I have seen about 3 PCs in my lifetime that get sidepanels right: easy to take off, but fit snugly and stay on well in spite of semifrequent access. For my last few boxes, I hav mostly kept my sidepanel off, but laying up against the case. Well, it helps cooling...

Sliding front / moving bits

I said the cheap plastic USB port covers were superfluous? My mistake. Any moving parts such as the case front are entirely superfluous and downright annoying. My last case had a sliding front. Up, it blocked the optical drives. Down, it blocked the USB ports. Argh...

Power supplies

Gaming cases tend to get these right, assuming they include a PSU with the case. No real complaints here in my experience.


I'd say that unless you are shallow and/or a showoff at LAN parties you'd be better off with a standard case. The money you save on the case can go on a bit of better quality RAM, or at the very worst, a round of beers. So if you have a big budget to blow on a computer you are going to be showing to a lot a people, then sure, get a cool-looking case. But make sure it's cool looking 'features' don't compromise its rather more important 'functions'.

Re:A bit of personal experience (1)

srmalloy (263556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426365)

LEDs on the front of the case
Yeah, they look cool. For about 5 minutes. They are dim enough not to illuminate, but bright enough to catch your eye. Hardware equivalent of a flash ad. Also, if you keep your PC in your bedroom, you'd better find something to put in front of the LEDs.

My laptop has three nice, bright blue status LEDs just below the display, where they're shining in your eyes all the time you're using the laptop -- which is why my laptop has a small rectangle of painter's tape over the LED slots, which obscure them just enough so that they don't distract too much from the display. The lack of any kind of brightness control is, after the decision to put the status LEDs there in the first place, the unit's most annoying design flaw.

Buy cheap crap (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426126)

get a cheap noname case, take out the included PSU and smash it with a hammer (the PSU, not the case).
mine is decent, classic looking, doesn't screws for the cards and drives, and has enough room inside. then, enjoyed the $50 or $100 you spared!

Re:Buy cheap crap (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426131)

ouch, sorry for the terrible engrish!

should read : mine is decent, classic looking, doesn't needscrews for the cards and drives, and has enough room inside. then, enjoy the $50 or $100 you spared!

Re:Buy cheap crap (1)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426205)

get a cheap noname case, take out the included PSU and smash it with a hammer (the PSU, not the case). mine is decent, classic looking, doesn't screws for the cards and drives, and has enough room inside. then, enjoyed the $50 or $100 you spared!

Although I agree with you 100%, I would also advise a bit of caution here...

The most recent "sort by lowest price" and "I feel lucky" case I bought, I consider one of the single best cases I've ever worked in (probably #3, out of over ten I've personally owned, and literally dozens I've helped others with). Thumb-screws everywhere, pretty nice looking, good solid feel (crap PS, as you mentioned, but I consider that a disposeable part of any case), even came with a (somewhat kludgy, but functional) 3-channel temperature probe and LCD display, all for under 30 bucks. I'd share the brand, but it counts as that no-name - Having thrown all the paperwork away, it doesn't have a single indication anywhere of the maker or model.

I have, however, bought more than one no-name case that I couldn't even use without liberal application of Mr. Dremel. I don't know how some cases can claim ATX-compliance, but you can get some real dogs when you buy the cheapest.
On the other hand, I bought a Li-Lian case late last year (I had a very specific requirement on size and number of bays, and only their PC-3077 met it) . Oh - My - God. You just cannot compare the quality of a Li-Lian with anything else on the market. Yeah, they start at over $100. But if I had the cash to throw away, I swear I'd replace every case in my house with a Li-Lian after experiencing just one of them. And if anyone reading this remember me raving about the ThermalTake iCage (A2309) - Li-Lian has the "EX-34 aluminum expansion kit", that works every bit as good as the iCage but lets you mount four drives (to the iCage's three) in three 5.25" bays, with a 12cm fan and just the right spacing to keep them cool. And it looks pretty sweet to boot.

Re:Buy cheap crap (1)

shoolz (752000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426328)

I just want to offer a couple of concrete reasons why the super cheap cases are a bad idea:

  • The metal deforms easily; you will find that it is bent to rat-shit after you swap hardware a few times;
  • The switches on the front cack-out very easily and are often made/molded in just a particular weird shape that usually prevents repair;
  • On one of the cheap cases I serviced, the metal mount for the PCI/AGP cards would deform gradually with temperature change, causing the cards to ever-so-slowly shimmy out of their slots (guess how long it took me to diagnose THAT one);
  • The thin, poorly fitted metal does not block fan noise well, and often leads to loud vibration noise with the CD/DVD drive spinning;
  • Every friend / family member / client for whom I have built a computer, and at their request used a cheap case, has eventually thrown it into the trash and payed the proper price for a proper case. End result : they have a nice case, but payed way more than if they bought for a proper case to begin with.

ugly!!!! (3, Informative)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426130)

29 pages for five cases? You've got to be kidding!

I hate to be the token apple fanboy, but these cases are amazingly ugly. all of them are significantly uglier than anything apple's produced, dating all the way back to the blue and white G3s.

that's not to say that OEM PC cases have to be ugly. IBM's produced some slick-looking cases, and so has Dell (for their small-form factor business stuff at least).

Lian-li's cases are also reasonably attractive [] , even if they somewhat appear to be knockoffs of the G5.

Industrial design seems to be an art lost to many theese days, which is a real shame... the G5's case was beautiful, functional, and able to cool several ridiculously hot G5 processors silently.

Re:ugly!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426220)

Please, the Apple cases look like something Willy Wonka fished out of the candy-appler after a drunken Oompa-Loompa tripped over a stack of precariously-perched PC parts.

Re:ugly!!!! (3, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426277)

Apparently you've never seen the G5 case, as they are truly works of art. arge.jpg [] _case.jpg []

And even the iMac Rainbow of the late 90's, which were colorful to a fault were admirably well thought out in terms of being functional. Sure, upgrading the internals was a royal pain, especially on the earliest models - but those cases were never designed to be opened by their owners; but they were quite functional. The only fault I'd give to modern mac cases is the lack of highly accessible usb ports -- for using with flash drives, cameras, and other similar devices.

The older generation at least had usb ports on the keyboard, but that's gone away with bluetooth/wireless. (And even then those ports weren't generally as well powered.)

Of course this is easily fixed with a usb hub and ipod dock combo device... ;)


Re:ugly!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426291)

It's not hard to see where the inspiration for that G5 case came from. It goes back a ways. []

Re:ugly!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426347)

Clue: When you're the only person in your hemisphere to hold a particular opinion, that's actually not usually a good thing.

why I love Tom's Hardware (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426132)

Want to know why I love Tom's Hardware?

Click here to read more.

Page: Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Next

Re:why I love Tom's Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426149)

It's all about the add page-impressions. 28 pages, that add get 28
impressions. Less than 1/8 of their page is dedicated to actual

Re:why I love Tom's Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426293)

get antipagination []

The problem is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426137)

that people buy cases over the net. So flashy pictures count for more than solid engineering.

When we are able to evaluate the engineering quality of something via the net, shops will finally cease to exist. But until then...

Re:The problem is... (1)

PSXer (854386) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426176)

Reviews at least help in that regard. Unfortunately, a lot of buyer reviews are two word "It's good" type things, but there are some good ones out there. if you're lucky, there'll be at least one professional review of the case you're thinking about buying. (Of course, anyone could put up a webpage with case reviews, so you have to take those with a grain of salt, too).

My eyes! The goggles do nothing! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426138)

Yeesh! Those are some fucking ugly, pre-riced cases. All they're missing is the oversized superflous fin, a coffee can-sized exhaust and gratuitous "Type R" and similar stickers, and they could be props in "The Fast and the Furious: Friday Night LAN Party."

My computer's case is as plain as they come... (1)

KimmoA (975372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426139)

I made a huge mistake the time before the last time I bought a computer case and picked a black one with one blue LED on it... It made me unable to sleep and was very annoying to look at. Never again. Now, my case (which I've had for quite a while) is back to good old semi white/grey. It doesn't have any stupid bullshit on it and that's the way it should be. Servers look nice in black, though...

Thermaltake rocks (1)

dysfunct (940221) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426142)

I have made really good experiences with Thermaltake cases, especially their Armor [] and Kandalf [] series. Good quality, easy to use and with lots of handy features. It's also easy to do some custom modding like water cooling and passive cooling as well as cutting out parts of the case because they have lots of space and are damn stable.

Their only real disadvantage is their weight. Many people forget to consider that a ~19 kg (40 pound, empty) case isn't exactly easy to take to LAN parties. Though with that weight comes a high degree of robustness that has often shown to be very valuable.

I've found that (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426152)

as long as you go with a name brand, you are *usually* ok... I'm using a cheap case I got on sale at newegg for 35 bucks... nothing fancy about it, but its a midsize and holds my water cooling just fine.

No point in posting the full text (5, Informative)

rabiddeity (941737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426158)

I was going to post the full text of the article, but there's no real point. Most of the "pages" just have three or four photos of parts of the case. The meat of the article is on page 26 for those who are actually interested. Ignore the last 2 pages, they're basically ads for "input devices that light up". Two entire PAGES with no relevance to the article topic at all. Man, what the hell happened to Tom's Hardware? You guys used to be good.

Re:No point in posting the full text (1)

KimmoA (975372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426162)

I can answer that! They went evil. That's what happened. Like everyone else...

Re:No point in posting the full text (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426314)

Man, what the hell happened to Tom's Hardware? You guys used to be good.

-rant on

That's an understatement, I remember when they were practically an authority on pc technology. The hardware reviews were relevant, and well done, and the content was well organized.

Now its just a giant sprawling ad-generation scam. Content quality has taken a nose-dive. Their benchmarks which used to be highly informative are usually utterly pointless...(Hint: 15 different games all within 1% of eachother on all the products in question merits a rethink in testing methodology.)

But the breaking point for me was when they introduced "intellitext" - I hate that more than popups. Sure I can block it with ad-block (and I do), but the fact that they are willing to annoy their readers by popping up worthless adds everytime they fail to dodge an ad trigger is ridiculous.

Its worse than the "catch the monkey" adds of a few years back. At least you could just ignore those. Now you *have* to play dodge with the page content. I fear the next big-thing will be ads that actively try to put themselves under your mouse... think intellitext but the keywords chase the mouse instead of just waiting for you run into them... (Hmmm... Patent pending... )

-rant off...

Re:No point in posting the full text (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426372)

The meat of the article is on page 26 for those who are actually interested. Ignore the last 2 pages, they're basically ads for "input devices that light up".

Oh come now, everyone on slashdot needs a Hello Kitty keyboard [] .

Who needs a case (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426166)

A case keeps in all the hotair, for best ventilation, just let your motherboard lay on the ground. I gave mine a cardboard case so it doesn't feel completely naked. Of course it could catch fire, so I never leave it on overnight.

Re:Who needs a case (1)

PSXer (854386) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426186)

Yeah, but who has the room for that kind of setup? (let me guess, you) A case that has the mobo vertical takes up quite a bit less room than just spreading it on the ground.

Also, if you ever take your computer outside to a LAN party or something, it'd be much harder to carry.

One more thing- What keeps your PCI cards firmly in place?

One word is all you need when it comes to cases: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15426177)

Supermicro [] .

Ugly. (2, Insightful)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426181)

The more P.C. cases I see, the more I appreciate my Mac.

portability is more important (3, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426192)

Attractive design holds some merit with the gaming crowd but most however don't want to lug these overdone designs around to lans. Want to sell a good gaming case? Make it small, portable, easy to work with using standard parts, and cooling a big consideration. Even if it looks somewhat bland, it will be a guaranteed sell. They will mod it.

This Calls For... (5, Informative)

8ball629 (963244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426222)

29 Pages?!?

An article like this calls for Anti-Pagination [] !

Re:This Calls For... (2, Informative)

imunfair (877689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426343)

That plugin doesn't seem to work on tomshardware. This one does though: []

It does take quite a while to download all 29 pages though. Definitely far longer than it should. I'm still waiting for it to finish loading, but I can see it's been downloading stuff, unlike the first one.

Re:This Calls For... (1)

8ball629 (963244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426369)

It worked for me.

Re:This Calls For... (1)

GTMoogle (968547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426385)

This would be a good opportunity for someone to explain how to use anti-pagination, with this article as an example. I can't get it to do ANYTHING.


Treasure or Trash? I vote for the second option. (1, Troll)

FSWKU (551325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426231)

I'm inclined to think the article itself is trash. Twenty-nine damned pages pages that are all exceedingly short on content, no printer-friendly single page, and oh yeah, ads EVERYWHERE, even when using AdBlock.

Twenty-nine ad-infested non-pages on top of a site run by one of the most arrogant blowhards on the entire net. Give me a fracking break. I clicked next to go to page two, thinking that MAYBE there would be more content on each following page. Boy was I wrong. After seeing that the second page was similarly lacking, I gave up on TFA. No way in hell will I give that web design abortion any more page views (and thus ad impressions).

As for cases, who the hell needs flashy cases with funky designs and lights all over the place? Certainly not me. I like to keep things simple, understated, and little an eyesore as possible. Having an outrageous case design with flashing lights and all sorts of useless readouts is a surefire way to tell an prospective mate that you care more about your computer than human companionship.

No, what I really want to see in a case are some simple improvements. A completely tool-free design (I don't want to have to pick up a single screwdriver to use the case), a design that's as much at home on the desk as it is tucked somewhere out of the way, and maybe even a power supply with a small battery source connected to some ultrabright white LED's that I can switch on only when I open the case so that I can see what I'm doing. Or better yet, something that can be placed basically anywhere, such as the Shuttle X100. Unfortunately, the price for that system has become far too high ($899) for something that has been gimped from a dual-core to a single-core system.

Bottom Line: Tom can take this article (all 29 pages of it), along with the rest of the site, and shove them up his ass.

Don't like any of them (2, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426238)

The only thing I need access to is a DVD/CD rw and a USB connection. So all I need is an external enclosure with 2 USB connection. That I put on my desk and all the rest I stuff away out of sight as far as possible.

Enclusures enough, just not one with extra USB connections.

Sadly, I am not eligible (3, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426250)

I am unfortunately unable to utilize any of these terrific looking cases, especially the Dragon case, as my application to become a ninja was sadly declined last week.

Lots of fans (2, Funny)

BigDuke6_swe (899458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426273)

Put a paper bag in one of those and you have just built your first vacuum cleaner...

My ideal case (2, Interesting)

Billnvd65 (566170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426341)

I have purchased probably 15+ cases over the years. I have found two that almost meet my expectations. 1. Enermax - CS10181 Pros: Affordable
Cons: Fan air flow paths not well thought out(requires mods to get good airflow) Cheapo ass front door(I hate doors, especially plastic) No front panel anything connections

2. Antec - Lanboy Pros: Affordable
Cons: Cheap ass front door(god I hate this) Not very sturdy(100% aluminum) No inlet fan filter

I dislike ----> Spaz cases, HUGE cases, tiny cases! Make the damn things functional, clean lines, solid construction and good airflow.

Note to case makers: Doors suck, doors that break really suck! AIRFLOW via 27 fans all just randomly blowing air around is not GOOD AIRFLOW! I want a computer case, not a freaking white noise generator. NO tools Front Panel Connections

Re:My ideal case (1)

Billnvd65 (566170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426358)

ooops, messed up the formatting and lost 1/2 the post. ummm, nevermind, I am not retyping it.

Caviat Emptor!!! (1)

linguizic (806996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15426360)

Once I ordered a case from newegg. It looked good, it was cheap, and it looked like it could keep a Mexican woman cool after you just told her that her age old family recipe for mole was crappy (Not mole as in the animal. It's pronounced mol-ay, like the last part of guacamole). It arrived in the mail. I opened it up, and before I could put a power supply in it, the bastard blew up!!!
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