Need a new CASE "maybe" mine is 14 years old.. suggestions ?

Candymancan21

Senior member
Jun 8, 2009
278
3
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I have an Apevia ATX case from 2004 below is the link so you can see the case

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811144089

was a fairly popular case back then when the Athlon 64's came out, and its served me very well over the past 14 years . It has 1 80mm top fan, 2 80mm rear fans, and 2 80mm front fans, with a 120mm side door fan. The door was fairly unique to where it has a handle you pull and walla the case door opens, to where as most cases today you still have to reach for screws in the back. And that is Kinda annoying and is a big factor into why i do but dotn wanna get a new case.

I modded the case as the years have gone by and i actually cut two more holes for 2 more 120mm fans. So it has 3 120mm fans on the door.. Yes 3. I also managed to get every wire behind the plate the motherboard sits on just like a modern case, the only thing is my drive bays are the old fashion bays so i wires still show as HDD fit front to back instead of side to side like a modern case..

Door fans are better for cooling then any 200mm front and rear fan combos. Its a proven fact that GPU temps can drop 10c with side fans vs a closed door. Something which seems people have forgotten today. I noticed there are almost 0 cases out there at least from what ive dug up anyway that have side door fans. Also i noticed cases dont have fans on the top either.. HEAT rises and a top fan is extremelyt important.. more so then some 200mm rear fan

It seems the flashy blinking RGB thing and neatness has caused cases to honestly be less useful and functional as far as cooling and are just used for looks.. But that i dont understand, my case door before the 2 extra 120mm fans was large enough where i can see inside the entire case, the blue LEDS were a thing back then, and i even rocked cold cathods which were the start of RGB lighting today. If anyone is as old as me "32" and built pc's back then, youd know what im talking about.

Anyway, Ive decided maybe i should get a new case, have some better wire management, and something big enough where i can put my entire watercooling setup inside, vs have the hoses go out the PCI slots to the pump/radiator and fan that are out the back. This case is just a normal sized ATX full tower from back then as isnt big enough for watercooling.

The only case ive seen that fits the bill is the old cooler master HAF X from 2010. Its got the large 200mm fans on top, and the 200mm side fan, and i think 140mm front and back fan, it has enough room on top for a 3x radiator setup it looks like, it has the side drive bays and can fit 2 SSD'S which i currently have but i might go to a 3rd later. I seems like the perfect case.. But it isnt flashy... by any means..

I was thinking maybe i should get back in the flashy PC theme, but i dont want to sacrifice cooling my case properly...

I also have a Dangerden Maze 3 waterblock i modded and im still using on my 4790k.. yes this is a block for an athlon XP.. lol it works just fine and my cpu can overclock to 4800mhz at 1.3v. I havent had to upgrade my cooling in 14 years either.. But im thinking of finally upgrading that as well.. MAYBE i still have yet to see a reason to do that if what i have cools my cpu just fine. The thing with watercooling is honestly.. a block is a block.. block design has changed for internals over the decades.. but a 1-5c different on todays cpu's isnt much like it was back then, which is why i have just been re-using my old block..


Anyway, can someone recomend me a case with a side and top fan.. that has all the wire management, and ALSO a handle to open the side door vs ahving to reach back for screws... This probably doesnt exist anymore sadly but its worth a shot
 
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Hendrickson

Member
Dec 30, 2016
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Cases have moved to a more looks focus over the last decade, and that isn't a bad thing as long as they don't ignore the cooling. There are also many more silence focused cases these day. Way more people keep their systems sitting on the desk now, and don't care for a noisy fan blowing right by your mouse hand. Also in some instances, having a fan on the side can impede the airflow in other parts of the case, and trade a cooler GPU for a warmer CPU or VRM (or in your case possibly the PSU). Most cases have also moved away from using objectively worse 80mm fans, to using mostly 120/140mm fans.

Top fans aren't as important as they were back in the early 2000s with moving the PSU to the bottom of the case most of the time, however they are still around on many cases, but are used more for radiators now.

I would suggest moving to a modern case and see what you have been missing out on. There is a huge difference in the build quality, and ease of use in modern cases, particularly when it comes to water cooling. I would recommend the Fractal Define R6, and adding a water block to your 1080ti. Your system will be far quieter than it is currently, look better, run cooler, and have more room for expansion. It doesn't have a handle for opening the side, but it does have a latch system that means you wont have to unscrew the 2 back screws to take off the side panel.
 

aigomorla

CPU, Cases&Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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But im thinking of finally upgrading that as well.. MAYBE i still have yet to see a reason to do that if what i have cools my cpu just fine. The thing with watercooling is honestly.. a block is a block.. block design has changed for internals over the decades.. but a 1-5c different on todays cpu's isnt much like it was back then, which is why i have just been re-using my old block..

actually the biggest reason to upgrade is the evolution on how easy things are now compared to back in 2005.

Thats when i started watercooling.
We had no micro fin channels, or even dedicated barbs, had to use pex fittings and plastic fittings.

But honestly, things have evolved a lot.
Prices have also evolved a lot as well. LOL.

Blocks are now more efficient to allow a lower flow to achieve good cooling, which translate to lower pump speed.
That means pumps can now be tired to a PWM controller, and ramp up as needed to control noise.
The D5 is still the most recommended pump, as its rock solid reliable, and has now more then 10yr service history in our hobby without going though any changes, except a pwm controller built in.

The D5 now has a TON of modular options. Reservior, tops, bay res, you name it, a D5 has an option for it to fit whatever needs you may have.

Radiators have also evolved a lot, with ports located everywhere.
Need to put barbs on the top, no problem, on each side again no problem, cross flow required for plumbing, there is options.
Need a small size, there are 40x2 radiators, need a "go large or go home" size, the monster is a massive beast of copper goodness.

Not finding the itch to upgrade to modern custom LLC parts.... wait until you see hard pipe builds and your probably get itchy.
Thats what nailed me on my last build... PETG hard pipe goodness.

Of course i would NEVER recommend a PETG build unless u have some history with LCS.


As for a case recommendation, were going to need more info?
Are you going to stick with LCS or you done with it? (how large are your radiators which is the biggest driving factor in this question.)

How much did you want to invest in the case?

How large do you want?

Temper glass and RGB LED's are a FAD these days.
The Youngin's say, if you cant RGB it, and doesnt have TemperGlass, its not even considered a top tier case.
Are you into those? :)

As for the handle to open the side panels, those dont exist anymore as far as i am aware of, but thumb screws and side out side pannels are just as convenient. But again if you have a temper glass side pannel, then you need to unscrew all 4+ thumb screws to get the glass off.
 

Campy

Senior member
Jun 25, 2010
785
171
116
I would also recommend the Fractal R6, and it's worth taking a look at their Meshify series too. Lian Li O-11 Dynamic and Airflow variants are good. Honorable mention to Thermaltake View 71 for a hinged door that might interest you.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
6,046
432
126
Another vote for the Fractal Designs Define R6. Side case fans have dropped out as more people want side windows. If you want the side fan, look at grabbing a windowless R5. They are still in production (you won't have the option for USB3.1C on the case like it is/will be for the R6, and it isn't as modular internally with respect to drive bays, but other than that, it is a very solid case). Oh, by-the-way, both the R5 and R6 have top fan locations, or you can put a water cooling radiator there, or in the front, or in the R6 on the bottom (if it is smaller, though the top is a much more efficient location).

I can say, I will probably replace my R3 with the R6 when I do my next build.
 
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ClockHound

Golden Member
Nov 27, 2007
1,108
214
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Some great suggestions so far...but consider getting a 8-10 year old case used this year, then a 5 year old one next. Case culture shock can be brutal - best to to ease your way through the maze to RGB lighting under glass. ;-)
 

BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
26,084
1,561
126
I recently changed one of my boxes from an Antec P180 to a cheaper, smaller, simpler Cooler Master N200.
It's an easy case to work with, has descent wire management, and has a spot for a 120mm intake fan for the GPU.

It can have radiators for water cooling, but, I use air cooling and have no experience with liquid cooling PC components.

Now, my other box is in a Rosewill THOR, which has a shitton of 230mm fans all over the place, but it's not exactly "new."