Picking a Good Full Tower Case

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August 14, 2014 at 16:08:51
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Hey Everyone,

I finally managed to convince one of my friends to join the PC master race, so over the next few weeks I'll be helping him build his first rig.

We aren't entirely sure about the budget, but it's probably around $1200. That leaves around $150 for each component: CPU, RAM, Mobo, PSU, HDD, GFX, Case, and Cooling.

For the build we plan on basically hiding the PC behind the desk, and mounting various devices (USB Ports, CD/DVD Drive, etc.) under the desk.

Because of this, the case really doesn't need many (if any) 5.25" expansion bays. We just need some internal 3.5" bays in the front (6+).

He plans on water cooling the rig, hence why we want a larger case. Hopefully, we could put a two-fan radiator on the front or bottom (as intake radiators tend to lead to lower temps). We'd also want to have a rear output fan and two on the top.

I have seen some cases that have the hard drives in the bottom, this might in fact be better as it would allow for the front radiator.

Whether we want intakes on the side panel we don't know, as whether they actually improve airflow seems to be debatable...

Oh, and it'd definitely have to be a bottom-mound PSU.

And it doesn't really have to come with much, no fans would be preferable - normally they come with cheap 800 RPM fans, we've found some nice 2400 RPM (75 CFM) fans for a great deal, so we'd probably use those anyway.

And a front panel isn't necessary either, since the computer will basically be hidden from view. Just another uselessly added cost.

Of all the cases I've looked at, two seemed pretty good to me, the Corsair Graphite 760T and the Thermaltake Core V71 were nice fits, especially within our price range...they don't quite match exactly what we're looking for, so I'm just posting this here to look for some more suggestions. Thanks!

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#1
August 15, 2014 at 09:59:24
Both of those cases are bottom mounted PSU. IMO that is not the best configuration to use.

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#2
August 15, 2014 at 10:30:18
He plans on water cooling the rig,

Why? Unless you are doing some serious over clocking, water cooling is a waste of money

A top mounted PSU and one exhaust fan is usually enough.

Forget about side mounted fans, they are usually cosmetic and little else.

Stuart


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#3
August 15, 2014 at 13:17:59
First off, I'd just like to thank you guys for the fast responses.

Now, to address the issues you both brought up:

"...water cooling is a waste of money..."

We would indeed be doing some overclocking, though whether you would consider it "serious" or not I don't know.

It wouldn't be that fancy of a water cooling system, probably just a Corsair H100.

"...Both of those cases are bottom mounted PSU. IMO that is not the best configuration to use."

Based on doing some research (via Googling "Top vs Bottom Mount PSU") it seems as though the majority of people on various internet forums feel differently. This is because of a variety of factors, mainly due to the fact that a few top and rear mount fans tend to cool slightly better than a PSU. In addition, having the Power Supply intake cold air instead of hot allows it to run at cooler temps, thus extending it's lifetime.

Whether this is true or not, it seems most cases on the market today are bottom mount, so we'd have better luck finding the ideal case by going for bottom mount.

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#4
August 16, 2014 at 19:00:25
I also agree that water cooling is a waste of money, but it seems you're determined to do it anyway. At least reconsider the case type. BTW, running without the side panel in place greatly reduces the effectiveness of the case cooling fans.

Read this: The Problem of Bottom-Mounted Power


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#5
August 16, 2014 at 20:14:16
I don't know where you got the idea that we wouldn't have the side panel on the case...we were just debating whether we should have fans on the side panel or not.

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#6
August 17, 2014 at 07:09:08
"we were just debating whether we should have fans on the side panel or not"

OK, I misread. But to answer that question - side panel fans are disruptive to the desired airflow pattern.

"we've found some nice 2400 RPM (75 CFM) fans for a great deal, so we'd probably use those anyway"

You didn't post the dBA rating. You realize that these types of fans are generally noisy, right? The average case size is less than 2CF, a single fan with the specs you gave will replace the air within the case 37.5 times per minute & you feel you need more than one? Plus you're debating side panel fans? And my guess is the case will have front intake fans as well? Can you explain to me why intake fans are even necessary?

http://icrontic.com/article/pc_airf...


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#7
August 17, 2014 at 08:01:15
You bring up some good points. I think we'll still get several of the fans, but I'll definitely have to run some benchmarks with various fan configurations after we get the computer put together.

Yeah, they would probably be pretty noisy, though how much so I don't know since the computer will be hidden behind some things...

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#8
August 17, 2014 at 08:34:34
Why do you ask for help making these decisions when you've already made up your mind and aren't willing to take the advise given to you by people with more experience in this area?

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#9
August 17, 2014 at 09:28:21
Well, the link Riider provided was fairly dated (the mobo had legacy PCI) so I'm still going to get the fans, but run my own benchmarking to see if what Riider was saying is true for our more modern setup. It's not like I'm completely ignoring what he said. The same is true for the dBA, we'll just have to set up the system and see if my friend finds it annoying...

I'm sorry if what I said makes me seem ignorant, I just prefer to test things out myself.

We are only getting 4 $8 fans, so even if we decide not to use all of them it's not like we've wasted that much money.

Like I said in Post #3, I'm only ignoring the advice about water cooling becuase:

1. We do indeed plan on overclocking the CPU

2. It's only a $90 unit

As for bottom mount PSU, I will repeat myself:

"Based on doing some research (via Googling "Top vs Bottom Mount PSU") it seems as though the majority of people on various internet forums feel differently...Whether this is true or not, it seems most cases on the market today are bottom mount, so we'd have better luck finding the ideal case by going for bottom mount."

And anyway, I was originally asking for Case suggestions, not Cooling/Airflow.

Oh, and Riider, what did you mean by this:

"...at least reconsider the case type..."

Are you suggesting we get a different case better suited for water cooling, a different form factor, or the PSU location?

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#10
August 17, 2014 at 09:42:09
see if what Riider was saying is true for our more modern setup

I could save you a lot of bother and tell you that what Rider is saying is true but I doubt if you would believe me.

Why should the basic principles of thermodynamics be any different now than what they were ten or twenty years ago,

Stuart

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#11
August 17, 2014 at 10:04:16
I was just assuming that modern computer components probably generate different amounts of heat than their older counterparts.

Having more heat generated by, say, the processor, and (relatively) less by the Graphics Cards, could greatly affect the airflow in computer cases.

The fact that most cases are Bottom Mount PSU nowadays could also affect this.

Also, we are water cooling the CPU, which could change some things.

Plus, the Case that we use could be a different form factor (likely larger) than some older ones.

So, to answer your question, no, I do not think the laws of thermodynamics have changed.

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