Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on hello@boards.ie for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact hello@boards.ie

Choosing a case - Bloody hard :/

Options
  • 26-04-2005 1:33am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 15,815 ✭✭✭✭


    I've got 3 manufacturer's in my mind:

    Chieftec preferably - good price, good build quality, damn hard to find suppliers which carry the full range, and poorly updated website.
    CAses: BX and CX series. The LBX-02 (deeper case, standard 3.5" cages and has front intake fans) is nice, but it seems to have been updated to match the CX range (90* 6-bay hdd rack, side-mounted fans, seemingly no intake fan).
    The CX-03/04 are nice, seem to have a nice side window. The only gripe with them is that I like to have an intake fan. I don't think the 2x 90mm fans mounted near the front of the right side-panel (behind the mobo tray) will actually take much air into the case as there's a vent on the left side-panel to let air pass through the drives and out of the case. They will cool the hard drives nicely though.
    The 90* orientation of the hard drives is a bit of a niggler too, especially concerning cabling. From what I've read 90* power and sata connectors are almost essential, and that means more bloody cabling and fidgets to buy.
    As regards colour, I want an all-black BX or CX with yellow inserts for the front bezel (to math the DFI Lanparty NF4 board).

    Next up is the Coolermaster Stacker, again in black.
    I really like the idea of this case.
    Three things:
    1. Will the 120mm fans in the drive bays be visable from the front? Can the mesh covers be put back in place after the 4-in-3 module has been installed?
    I don't like having the fans in view, at least with normal fan grilles, it ruins the otherwise smooth aesthetics of the case.
    2. BTX, I'll be using an ATX mobo, can the tray be flipped of the left side without reconfiguring it for BTX (swapping the I/O panel and PCI slots around)?
    3. Again regarding the BTX setup, can the side panels simply be swapped around, or are they fix? No real point in getting a window panel if the motherboard tray will be blocking it smile.gif
    If I can do these 3 things, I'll buy the case.

    Last is the Silverstone Tenjim range.
    These cases are cool, literally. WTX/Flipped ATX/BTX-ish config, 120mm fans front and rear at the bottom of the case.
    Only problems I see are mounting a PSU with a "bolted on fan" below it clashing with the drive cage, and again cable connectors to the hard drives.
    Add to that the piss-poor cooling for the rest of the case, cards etc. (especially when using the wind-tunnel - which I won't with the DFI's central cpu positioning), and the lack of cooling for the hard drives in either location (front 2 bays or 6 bay cage below PSU).

    A small aside problem: I would like to spray the inside/chassis of my case. To do this I need to be able to strip off all external panels. This is not totally neccessary, and there will be problems with spraying drive cages and avoiding the quick-release mechanisms.
    I'm going for a very dark case, with switchable UV lighting for the most part (maybe some discreet blue LEDs aswell, again switchable). I don't want a bright metallic/aluminium/steel interior taking away from the glowing UV components.
    This is going to neccessitate somewhat of a custom baybus to control the lighting, along with a fanbus to control all the 120mm fans and the 90mm HSF.

    I want to be able to go from cyclone air throughput and tasteful interior lighting when working or at LANs to dark and silent when sleeping.
    Ideally I'd rig up a POT to control the brightness of all the exterior/front panel blue LEDs too smile.gif.
    This is going to require alot of soldering and mucking about, so I want a case which will complement the work I do, and reduce the amount of stupid fiddly shít I've to put up with when testing and configuring the rig.

    Of course, when I go building this thing, I'll try to document the whole lot (particularly the lightbus) for you guys.


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,415 ✭✭✭Optikus


    I think the CM Stacker would best suit your needs, don't bother with the silverstone the windtunnel will be in the way of the CPU if your using the DFI NF4. Even with the windtunnel removed the airflow would not be great at all as the 2 120mm fans are right at the bottom facing each other. Have alook at the Lian Li V2000, it the case im soon to get for my new DFI SLI rig, loads of space and very clever airflow with the Mobo upsidedown like the silverstone but no windtunnel.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭sionnach


    yeah the lian li's have a brilliant seperated thermal zone setup but the price is a bit hard to stomach. I love the idea of painting the inside of the case black, tint the case window black too and the effect when you turn on the pc would be awesome.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,815 ✭✭✭✭po0k


    Aye sionnach :)

    There's no way I'm shelling out for a Lian Li.
    And aluminium is for "weak girlie-boys" smile.gif
    Steel chassis all the way!

    The silverstone is close to being a good case, but sucks for the reasons I outlined.
    I wouldn't be using the windtunnel anyways.

    I'm after registering on the coolermaster forums, and there seems to be a bit of a problem with the PCI backplane slots, they're not quite deep enough (towards the mobo tray/left-hand side looking at the rear of the case), and are a little narrow.
    Apparently they're fixing it (only half-way through the 5-page thread) for the new stacker versions/revisions.

    Along with that, there seem to be new versions coming out, trying to dig up more info.

    There is no black window side panel, though www.overclockers.co.uk have a blue trim Stacker with side window for sale, so I might pick that up. I don't like grey/beige/aluminium finishes. "Blue, black or red only please".

    I've found out that you can switch the left and right side-panels, though the CM logo will be inverted when you do. If it's removable, cool, otherwise I'll be looking for a sheet of acrylic to replace it - which could then be smoked (nice idea sionnach) or etched/aplique'd. Only bitch is that the curve in the upper left corner of the window panel would then be on the lower-right (when flipped), but that should only block the lower 2x80mm fans/PSU at the bottom of the case or at worst a bit of the mobo around the ATX connectors and Dimm slots. If the window doesn't show the drive bays, I should get away with just spraying the inside of the top, bottom and rear panels and the mobo tray, maybe the inside of the blank side panel too.

    I'm going to get as many UV internal components as I can, while still remaining tasteful and subtle.
    This is going to be a case with rather subdued "lighting", I hate the garish "PUT BRITE LEDS EVERYWHERE" trend. Smacks of boy-racer-ism.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,815 ✭✭✭✭po0k


    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention:
    I'll also be painting the rear panel exterior, ideally this will match whatever paint covers the rest of the exterior, but maybe not.

    I'd really like to have an all-black stacker (maybe even the aluminium front strips), but it'll probably end up being blue exterior, unless I can find an easy and safe way to paint the window panel the same quality black as the rest of the exterior.

    Actually.....it might not be a bad idea to just order the standard black stacker and do a DIY window mod on it myself....haven't done of these myself though. Might need to practice - or *borrow* a CNC machine :)
    I've a cousin who has an industrial plasma laser that would give razor sharp edges, but I'd have reservations about what it would do to the paint.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,815 ✭✭✭✭po0k


    Fig.

    Damn-all drives or fanbays come in blue.
    Looks like I'll have to do a DIY window mod after all. I've no problem with doing the actual mod, but I don't relish the idea of that black rubber lining, I'd rather have the acrylic glued or screwed flush onto the inside of the side panel.

    Can anyone direct me to a decent tutorial on this? Priority is to keep the paint on the side-panel in perfect nic.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 15,815 ✭✭✭✭po0k


    Internal Case Painting Guide

    Just for anyone that's interested.
    I've painted case exteriors before, and the interior would be even easier to sand and prepare once it's been stripped down


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,828 ✭✭✭unklerosco


    Get this months custom pc mag... big review on pc cases..


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,630 ✭✭✭gline


    SyxPak wrote:

    And aluminium is for "weak girlie-boys" smile.gif

    .

    hehehehe :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,082 ✭✭✭Nukem


    unklerosco wrote:
    Get this months custom pc mag... big review on pc cases..
    Seems to your bible for computers and its fast turning into mine as well.Cheers

    Nukem


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,762 ✭✭✭WizZard


    Nukem wrote:
    Seems to your bible for computers and its fast turning into mine as well.Cheers

    Nukem
    It's well worth getting, but the only place in Dublin that I know sells it is Easons in O'Connell St. :(


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,268 ✭✭✭hostyle


    While you probably know the answers to a lot of these altready, I'll go ahead and answer since I have a CMStacker.
    SyxPak wrote:
    Next up is the Coolermaster Stacker, again in black.
    I really like the idea of this case.
    Three things:
    1. Will the 120mm fans in the drive bays be visable from the front? Can the mesh covers be put back in place after the 4-in-3 module has been installed?

    You can put the mesh covers back on yes. The fans are slightly visible through the mesh if viewed head-on but you'd barely notice.
    SyxPak wrote:
    2. BTX, I'll be using an ATX mobo, can the tray be flipped of the left side without reconfiguring it for BTX (swapping the I/O panel and PCI slots around)?

    No idea. I can check it out some evening if you want. Why though? :)
    SyxPak wrote:
    3. Again regarding the BTX setup, can the side panels simply be swapped around, or are they fix?

    Yes. I accidentally put em on wrong a couple of times already :) If you get the cross-flow fan though the holes in the sidepanel may not line up anymore though.
    SyxPak wrote:
    I'm after registering on the coolermaster forums, and there seems to be a bit of a problem with the PCI backplane slots, they're not quite deep enough (towards the mobo tray/left-hand side looking at the rear of the case), and are a little narrow.

    Not sure what they're on about. I haven't had any problems.
    SyxPak wrote:
    This is going to be a case with rather subdued "lighting", I hate the garish "PUT BRITE LEDS EVERYWHERE" trend. Smacks of boy-racer-ism.

    I've never understood it either. I guess I should post a photo of my lighted case (not the CMStacker) sometime for appraisal. The two cathode tubes are hidden behind other things so the over-all effect is very subdued - just a light blue glow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,082 ✭✭✭Nukem


    WizZard wrote:
    It's well worth getting, but the only place in Dublin that I know sells it is Easons in O'Connell St. :(

    Poor ye. Have two of them in the back seat of my car at the mo. Old ones (for traffic reading) can get them in Cork handy enough

    Nukem


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭sionnach


    SyxPak wrote:
    And aluminium is for "weak girlie-boys" smile.gif
    Steel chassis all the way!

    Yes, aluminium cases are damned noisy too, you'd have to suspend the hard drives to cut down the resonance from the light aluminium


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 710 ✭✭✭Dundhoone


    Nukem wrote:
    Poor ye. Have two of them in the back seat of my car at the mo. Old ones (for traffic reading) can get them in Cork handy enough

    Nukem

    Yeah, Easons in Galway have it, they liked the Silverstone Tenjim 05 best if I recall right (the only one Komplett doesnt seem to have! )
    The stacker got a notable mention along with the Akasa E-62

    Is steel the way to go for peace and quiet ? Do you need a fork lift to move one?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,082 ✭✭✭Nukem


    Case Closed have them heres their review as well. Thats some heavy mother

    Nukem


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22 funny


    Indeed it is. Is there any case that has good air flow but isn't bloody huge?


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,815 ✭✭✭✭po0k


    Dundhoone wrote:
    Yeah, Easons in Galway have it, they liked the Silverstone Tenjim 05 best if I recall right (the only one Komplett doesnt seem to have! )
    Cool, I might pick it up tomorrow if there are any issues left.
    How much is it in Euros?
    The stacker got a notable mention along with the Akasa E-62
    Good good :)
    Is steel the way to go for peace and quiet ?
    Steel is stronger and more dense, it's thermal resistance is probably a bit higher, but that whole myth about aluminium cases making your case noticably cooler is a load of tosh. Once the heat has left the fins of the heatsinks through conduction, convection is the method by which the heat is removed. The majority of the heat in the air is generally expelled faster than the case can absorb it from the inside and radiate it outside.
    If you really wanted to make a case that cools your system you'd transfer the heat directly to the case surface using heatpipes or some method of conduction. I remember seeing one such case, it was basically one big heatsink. Cost a fortune though, and didn't look all that great imho.

    The main advantage of aluminium as a case material is that is' significantly lighter than steel. It also looks "shiney" (perfect for the ricers/pikeys/magpies) when brushed. You don't have to paint aluminium like you do with steel, as it doesn't "rust" like iron. It does oxidise on the surface though, but unlike ferro-oxidation, the layer of oxide on aluminium actually protects the metal beneath it from further oxidation - albeit it dulls slightly.
    Tear a coke can in half and sand the inside. Watch it over a few minutes and you'll see it get less shiney as it oxidises. This is all Junior Cert science to be honest :)

    The big disadvantages of aluminium are that it's flimsy as fúck at the thicknesses most case manufacturers use, that's due to it being less dense than steel. The other disadvantage is that it's damn expensive :)
    Do you need a fork lift to move [a steel case]?

    No, just a spine :)
    Mid-towers aint that heavy.
    I've a fulltower chieftec dragon, steel, loaded up with a dual AthlonXP. The case alone weighs about 17KG, I dunno how much it weighs with the kit in it, and it's only going to get heavier. I'll get casters for it soon enough. It is heavy, but it's an extreme example.

    In a fully loaded system, the 5-10KG difference between a steel and aluminium case is going to make sod-all difference, as you're going to have to be just as careful (with the case and with your back) moving either one.

    Bend your knees, not your spine!


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,815 ✭✭✭✭po0k


    funny wrote:
    Indeed it is. Is there any case that has good air flow but isn't bloody huge?

    Any case that has fans for the front drive cages and 2x80mm/1x92-120mm over the ATX panel should have decent airflow.

    Drive arrangement and cable routing are the two quickest methods of optimising your current setup. Thank Bog™ for SATA cables :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,815 ✭✭✭✭po0k


    hostyle wrote:
    You can put the mesh covers back on yes. The fans are slightly visible through the mesh if viewed head-on but you'd barely notice.
    That's no problem at all. I don't mind fan[grille]s being slightly visible, just so long as they don't stand out and dominate the front panel.
    hostyle wrote:
    No idea. I can check it out some evening if you want. Why though? :)
    I plan on putting a 120mm fan intake in the lower batch of 3 bays to have direct intake (no fans - immediately ;) ) flowing over the cpu and ram slots. And because I've always liked the look of WTX configurations.
    And because it's "different" ;)
    hostyle wrote:
    Yes. I accidentally put em on wrong a couple of times already :) If you get the cross-flow fan though the holes in the sidepanel may not line up anymore though.
    I can live with that, or at least I can mod it to suit me later :)
    3x80mm fans with a 90* manifold directing air towards the mobo.....though that could be redundant with all the front cooling fans and the possibility of water-cooling down the road (one of the reasons for getting this case I keep hidden to myself)
    Apparently it's not too hard to get replacement side-panels if you botch a panel mod. SCORE!
    hostyle wrote:
    Not sure what they're on about. I haven't had any problems.
    The slots aren't quite as spacious as they *could* be. It just means whipping out a dremel or even a hacksaw and trimming away the offending metal.
    I couldn't believe the whinging bollocks who was building a PC with his father (a big kid with a big budget). They baulked at the idea of removing one of the rentention screw-sockets things on the lower side of the loest DVI connector to make the card fit down snugly. Like it matters for a static machine :)
    hostyle wrote:
    I've never understood it either. I guess I should post a photo of my lighted case (not the CMStacker) sometime for appraisal. The two cathode tubes are hidden behind other things so the over-all effect is very subdued - just a light blue glow.
    Cool, pix would be nice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭sionnach


    SyxPak wrote:
    Any case that has fans for the front drive cages and 2x80mm/1x92-120mm over the ATX panel should have decent airflow.

    front fans can actually hinder airflow as demonstrated here Apparently a good intake is all you need in the front although i'm sure it all depends on the system you have.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 15,815 ✭✭✭✭po0k


    Just balance the air-pressure :)

    It would be great if all fan manufacturers gave a CFM/rpm index for their fans.
    Would aid tuning the cooling setup.

    {edit} and having a big bank of side fans just sucks ass.
    I'm planning my intake fans to come in the lower front of the case and the rear and top fans to extract it.
    I'm considering mounting the PSU on the bottom of the case too, and putting 2x 80mm fans up top.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭sionnach


    SyxPak wrote:
    It would be great if all fan manufacturers gave a CFM/rpm index for their fans.
    Would aid tuning the cooling setup.

    it'd be great if they didn't lie through their teeth about those figures either, thermaltake (wouldn't buy a TT product if you paid me) and silenX are notorious for it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,268 ✭✭✭hostyle


    SyxPak wrote:
    Cool, pix would be nice.

    http://humanenvelope.com/boards.ie/hydrogen/

    *This not the CMStacker (just so no ones confused)

    Something about the lighting in this room (its really dark even with the light on and the bulbs point up instead of down) makes the cathodes look awfully bright. First image is with room lights on, second with them off. Flash is also off. But when you're there in the flesh its very, very subtle. EDIT: Added a video aswell. Thats with the lights ON in the room - its really weird room lighting! and cameras do not like it at all. (If you don't have broadband, ignore the video - its crap and theres nothing much to see, and I couldn't be arsed optimising/re-encoding it)

    Anyway, sorry for going a little off-topic. I'll see if I can have a go at re-arranging the back panel sometime soon. Gentoo is currently being installed on that box, so it may happen sometime this week :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 710 ✭✭✭Dundhoone


    Custom PC is about €6.50 , cheaper than most of the other modding /hardware mags. At least it doesnt come with a cd full of a load of rubbish !


Advertisement