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Question Starting my PC upgrade - case first!

x_marX

Member
Apr 23, 2020
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Hi guys!

I have a pretty old (7 year old) pc which is....misbehaving.
So, I'm thinking about upgrading the cabinet first as the prices of rest of the components are at a crazy level. I currently have a low end CM Elite case which I don't like. So, a new, flashy transparent case with the features mentioned below would be awesome.



1. Transparent side panel.
2. Fan management option built-in or a 5.25" expansion slot for a fan controller.
3. For ATX/m-ATX motherboards.
4. My psu (Seasonic G550) has short cables. So, need to extend the cables somehow or need a top psu mounted case.
5. Going to overclock the cpu and gpu. So, need good airflow and atleast a 280mm radiator mounting option.
6. Budget: 100 usd (I'm from India btw).
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
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i like Fractal Design very much; however, i would recommend you check out HardwareCanucks on youtube, as they do some pretty through reviews of cases.
 
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piokos

Senior member
Nov 2, 2018
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Don't buy the case first. It limits what can be put inside - it should be the last thing you choose (or second to last - before the PSU).

Correct order:
- feature requirements,
- performance target,
- core components (mobo, CPU, GPU, drives, RAM),
- the rest (case, PSU, fans)

Seasonic G550 is semi-modular, so just replace cables if it turns out necessary - no need to extend.
Fixed cables: main, CPU and GPU are pretty standard.
 
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x_marX

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I get what are you saying. But, as I said, availability (especially the ram) and pricing is really bad.
And yeah, my current case have some issue with non working leds and switches. So, I thought first select a decent case and start from there.

Btw, Fractal Design is not available in my country. But, CM, Corsair, Thermaltake, NZXT, Deepcool etc are available.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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lian li o11.

But i have no idea how expensive these guys would be in india. .
 
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x_marX

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Apr 23, 2020
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lian li o11.

But i have no idea how expensive these guys would be in india. .
Very costly :p
Btw, I saw a case review @gamersnexus and among the recommended cases, Phanteks P400A, Thermaltake Versa J24 and the NZXT 710 are available here.

The Thermaltake Versa J24 is well within my budget. Phanteks is a bit costly but my issue is that many users have complained of dust accumulation inside the case.
The Thermaltake case do have a secondary filter which keeps the dust away.
 

piokos

Senior member
Nov 2, 2018
554
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Very costly :p
Well, you didn't give any budget limits, so that's the kind of recommendations you'll get by default.
Btw, I saw a case review @gamersnexus and among the recommended cases, Phanteks P400A, Thermaltake Versa J24 and the NZXT 710 are available here.

The Thermaltake Versa J24 is well within my budget. Phanteks is a bit costly but my issue is that many users have complained of dust accumulation inside the case.
The Thermaltake case do have a secondary filter which keeps the dust away.
Out of the 3 cases you've mentioned, only the NZXT has something that could be considered an intake dust filter (for front and bottom intake).
The other 2 cases just have mesh panels and these could be considered bee filters - certainly not "dust".

The reason why J24 is "well within your budget" is probably because it's an awful case all-round. The full name perfectly sums up what they're trying to sell:
"Versa J24 Tempered Glass RGB Edition"
And I don't think they give you a solid top cover, so if you don't put outtake fans up there, it'll be sucking dust through at least 3 panels.

Given that you have something from CoolerMaster Elite lineup, that J24 is hardly an upgrade.

Do yourself a favor and get a proper case.
If RGB is the goal, you can get plenty of that from the components.
 
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x_marX

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Apr 23, 2020
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Are you talking about the top of the case? Otherwise, the front doesn't have any filters, and that's where the dust will enter (the front fans will pull it in).

https://www.thermaltakeusa.com/versa-j24-tempered-glass-rgb-edition.html
No, there is a front foam filter according to the review.

But, that filter really affects its performance.
 

x_marX

Member
Apr 23, 2020
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Well, you didn't give any budget limits, so that's the kind of recommendations you'll get by default.

Out of the 3 cases you've mentioned, only the NZXT has something that could be considered an intake dust filter (for front and bottom intake).
The other 2 cases just have mesh panels and these could be considered bee filters - certainly not "dust".

The reason why J24 is "well within your budget" is probably because it's an awful case all-round. The full name perfectly sums up what they're trying to sell:
"Versa J24 Tempered Glass RGB Edition"
And I don't think they give you a solid top cover, so if you don't put outtake fans up there, it'll be sucking dust through at least 3 panels.

Given that you have something from CoolerMaster Elite lineup, that J24 is hardly an upgrade.

Do yourself a favor and get a proper case.
If RGB is the goal, you can get plenty of that from the components.
My budget is 100USD (mentioned in the first post).

NZXT cases are available from most retailers here.

Regarding the J24, they actually liked the performance of the case.

"It might not sound like it, but we like this case. It’s currently $90 on Newegg and $80 from other outlets, with Amazon also selling the J24 RGB. The ARGB version is on sale for $90 on Newegg as well, but the upgrade isn’t worth it. $80 is a good price for a case with four fans, a tempered glass panel, and a mesh front panel. The case is also unusually compact, making it interesting for at least one other reason than its price. The foam filter in the front panel doesn’t work well with the fans that Thermaltake supplied, but removing the foam isn’t hard, and Thermaltake is at least making an effort to improve cooling by including so many fans and mounting them right up against the front panel. This enclosure is a good option for budget PCs without much liquid cooling, as long as the dust filter is removed. The next step up would be something like a Fractal Meshify C, which runs around the same price but requires buying one or two additional case fans to perform on the same level."
 

x_marX

Member
Apr 23, 2020
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Fractal Design Meshify is available but its slightly above my budget. So is the Corsair iCUE 220T RGB & iCUE 465X.


But the below mentioned cases are within my reach.
1. Antec NX600
2. Deepcool Matrexx 55 Mesh
3. NZXT H510
4. NZXT H500i
5. NZXT H400
6. Thermaltake Commander C series
7. Antex NX800
8. Corsair 275R
9. Phantec Metallicgear Neo G
10. Thermaltake Core G21
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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What about a Phantek Eclipse P400? how much are those at your retailer?
Otherwise i would probably favor the NZXT are pretty solid cases for its value.

You really cant go wrong with either a NZXT or a Phantek.
 

x_marX

Member
Apr 23, 2020
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What about a Phantek Eclipse P400? how much are those at your retailer?
Otherwise i would probably favor the NZXT are pretty solid cases for its value.

You really cant go wrong with either a NZXT or a Phantek.
Yes, it's available.


But, there were some comments about dust accumulation inside the case.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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Yes, it's available.


But, there were some comments about dust accumulation inside the case.
I've never had a case that didn't get some dust inside the PC. Even with filters, some will get inside the case. However, between the case having a filter and setting it up to where their is positive pressure, you won't have to deal with a lot. I blow my computers out once a year, and I probably could stretch it out to 2 years if I wanted to.
 
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piokos

Senior member
Nov 2, 2018
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I've never had a case that didn't get some dust inside the PC.
I don't think there's a single mainstream case on the market that really focuses on being dust-sealed. Apart from filters on large vents, that would also require seals on assembly gaps (and ideally: forcing positive pressure).

A little dust doesn't harm a PC. Most can work for years without any cleaning.
Even with filters, some will get inside the case. However, between the case having a filter and setting it up to where their is positive pressure, you won't have to deal with a lot. I blow my computers out once a year, and I probably could stretch it out to 2 years if I wanted to.
Absolutely, same here. And even when I open my case after a year, there's usually less dust than on a bookshelf after 2 weeks.

It's a different story with some DIY cases (few were mentioned by OP): big intake fans with no filters, "covered" by a perforated front panel, will suck a lot of dust. And insects. And whatever comes near them, really.

There's also the visual aspect - which, to be honest, I don't really get, so can't give a lot of insight. But I assume that when someone buys a LED-lit case with a window, he wants the interiors to be clean.

Which brings us to the question of subjective "value": having to clean the interiors a lot more frequently vs spending $30 more on the case.
 
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x_marX

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Apr 23, 2020
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So, I have read a lot of reviews and observed how the fan placement affects temps of the components. Here are some of my observations reg. my purpose!

1. GPU:
I would be using the stock cooling option (no water cooler). So, for low temps, two bottom case (intake) fans blowing air directly to the card is ideal. Front case fans does have an impact but not that much as the bottom fans.

2. CPU:
I'm certain to use an AIO.
Placing the radiator outside the case is the best but can be impractical. I do not know if there is any case which has that option.
My idea was to get fresh air from outside and discharge the hot exhaust to the outside of the case so that it does not cause any issue with the other components. It may not be that practical.

Next option is mounting it in the top or front as intake. With the graphics card in the fresh air stream from bottom fans, it shouldn't get affected.
I think I should mount it at the top and populate the front fans as intake.
Kind of crazy to have 2+3+2 fan as intake and only one fan as exhaust.
May be I should configure the bottom front fan as exhaust (to vent hot air from the GPU)?

OR mount it in the front as intake and use top fans as exhaust.

3. Other components:
I'm not sure if other components are affect that much like CPU and GPU. So, I'm not gonna bother about.

The most important thing according to my theory is the bottom fan mounting option. . The issue is that most cases have power supply and hard disk positioned there blocking the fan mount.
 

Grimnir

Junior Member
Jun 8, 2020
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I've tried top mounted rad as intake with front exhaust. Didn't work too well because heat got stuck at the GPU. Even if I could get some of that heat out it wasn't enough for 1080Ti.

Top mounted rad as exhaust is not a fun option either. Pulling hot air through the radiator can give a significant rise in CPU temps.

Now I'm running front mounted rad in a Meshify S2 case. GPU temps are excellent, but then I have mounted two 120mm fans to it, so... not standard. CPU is fine, of course, but the mesh in the Meshify is a bit restrictive (adds a few degrees, but dust filtering should be very good).

I don't like having bottom mounted fans because I have my case on the floor. Even if the air is filtered it seems like asking for dust in the case (no filter is perfect, after all). Otherwise, yeah... those fans would probably help. But do you need them?

Having more pliable cables to the PSU should help with mounting bottom intake fans. The typical stiff cables could be difficult to get out of the way. It doesn't have to be perfectly clear though. As long as you're not completely blocking the fans the air will pass just fine. It's a bigger issue having cables stick to the fan blades.
 
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Feb 4, 2009
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I really like my phantex p600

Quiet
Solid
Fan hub
Hinged door(s)
Magnetic front & top cover
Looks sexy imo

No front drives so if you need a dvd may not be the best choice.
 

x_marX

Member
Apr 23, 2020
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I've tried top mounted rad as intake with front exhaust. Didn't work too well because heat got stuck at the GPU. Even if I could get some of that heat out it wasn't enough for 1080Ti.

Top mounted rad as exhaust is not a fun option either. Pulling hot air through the radiator can give a significant rise in CPU temps.

Now I'm running front mounted rad in a Meshify S2 case. GPU temps are excellent, but then I have mounted two 120mm fans to it, so... not standard. CPU is fine, of course, but the mesh in the Meshify is a bit restrictive (adds a few degrees, but dust filtering should be very good).

I don't like having bottom mounted fans because I have my case on the floor. Even if the air is filtered it seems like asking for dust in the case (no filter is perfect, after all). Otherwise, yeah... those fans would probably help. But do you need them?

Having more pliable cables to the PSU should help with mounting bottom intake fans. The typical stiff cables could be difficult to get out of the way. It doesn't have to be perfectly clear though. As long as you're not completely blocking the fans the air will pass just fine. It's a bigger issue having cables stick to the fan blades.
How about raising the case so that bottom fan dust issue?
It should work, right ?

BTW, I had a look at the Antec P120 crystal. Its got top mounted PSU but the bottom intake fan airflow wasn't that great according to the Gamernexus review. Its feet was obstructing the fan.

I really like my phantex p600

Quiet
Solid
Fan hub
Hinged door(s)
Magnetic front & top cover
Looks sexy imo

No front drives so if you need a dvd may not be the best choice.
Unfortunately, P600 is a bit costly even though I can manage with an external DVD drive and motherboard based fan control.

Fractal Design Focus G
That's actually a great option!
Not a flashy one but yeah...
 
Feb 4, 2009
30,234
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How about raising the case so that bottom fan dust issue?
It should work, right ?

BTW, I had a look at the Antec P120 crystal. Its got top mounted PSU but the bottom intake fan airflow wasn't that great according to the Gamernexus review. Its feet was obstructing the fan.


Unfortunately, P600 is a bit costly even though I can manage with an external DVD drive and motherboard based fan control.


That's actually a great option!
Not a flashy one but yeah...
Regarding the P600 if your timeframe isn’t urgent you typically can find it for less on amazon during a “sale” but some luck will be required
I think I paid $100 for mine.
 
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x_marX

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Apr 23, 2020
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Yes, I can wait. But, considering the low stocks of computer parts, I don't think they would discount it.
Let's see.

Btw, I'm still baffled by the Antec P120 Crystal performance in the Gamernexus review. I expected a big drop on gpu temps but it was not to be.
 

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