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Question Who makes the best quality computer cases?

GeezerMan

Platinum Member
Jan 28, 2005
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Things change over the years.
Lian Li used to make high quality cases many years ago. Now, the ones I have worked on lately have soft steel, and thin metal.
I unscrewed a drive cage on one and got metal shavings in my thumb. One had fit problems in the PCI-E slot.

I think one of the problems is the heavy use of thick powder coatings that clog screw holes and cause alignment problems of the screws

Corsair is OK, lots of plastic, but fit is usually OK
Cooler Master, kinda like Corsair

InWin is one of my top picks for fit and decent quality. But, their cases are usually form over function
I think they make them in Taiwan. Seems to me higher quality goods come from Taiwan versus Red China

What say you?
 
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KentState

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2001
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Pretty much any brand has good and bad cases. Riser cable issues aside, the NZXT cases that I've had seem to be very well put together. BeQuiet also appears to build good cases.
 

GeezerMan

Platinum Member
Jan 28, 2005
2,103
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well, yeah, they all have good and bad cases, but in overall quality in their cases, I would rate InWin up there. Everything lines up, screw holes are correct, etc.

But, I don't build computers like I used to. So, my exposure is limited.

Rosewill has some pretty bad QC, with the ones I have seen
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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well, yeah, they all have good and bad cases, but in overall quality in their cases, I would rate InWin up there. Everything lines up, screw holes are correct, etc.

But, I don't build computers like I used to. So, my exposure is limited.

Rosewill has some pretty bad QC, with the ones I have seen
Most major manufacturers release budget cases (with lower quality) to compete with budget brands like Rosewill.

Inwin has nice cases if your prefer form over function (e.g. cooling).

It's best to find a case that fits your requirements (and looks), and then watch/read reviews on it, so you will know to expect.

brands like Be Quiet, Fractal Design, Corsair, Phanteks, etc. all offer some really nice cases (and some that are duds in the cooling performance department).
 

GeezerMan

Platinum Member
Jan 28, 2005
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well sure man, I have been building for 20 years . I understand the lower tier cases can be lower quality. I know about cooling, which is not a big deal for me since I dont game

Generally speaking, I find InWin to be a better quality case, and yes, they sure can be form over function.

I have a Lian Li PC-O11DW 011 as a main case, no gaming which makes me very unusual for a builder, no overclocking either, but it is all lit up like a Christmas tree. The case is very easy to build in, but the metal is thin, some of the screw holes were not quite lined up right. So, that was a let down for me. I would not call this case a lower tier case.

I have a 15 year old Lian Li case that is still new. It's a work of art, solid aluminum, and built like a tank. It just sits around looking good. Maybe those were Taiwan made back then
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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well sure man, I have been building for 20 years . I understand the lower tier cases can be lower quality. I know about cooling, which is not a big deal for me since I dont game

Generally speaking, I find InWin to be a better quality case, and yes, they sure can be form over function.

I have a Lian Li PC-O11DW 011 as a main case, no gaming which makes me very unusual for a builder, no overclocking either, but it is all lit up like a Christmas tree. The case is very easy to build in, but the metal is thin, some of the screw holes were not quite lined up right. So, that was a let down for me. I would not call this case a lower tier case.

I have a 15 year old Lian Li case that is still new. It's a work of art, solid aluminum, and built like a tank. It just sits around looking good. Maybe those were Taiwan made back then
Lian Li totally switched over from being a premium (expensive) case manufacturer to a mainstream case maker. They are showy, but I wouldn't put any of their current cases in the "great" quality category. They now focus on cases for people who want to stare at all the pretty RGB colors. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not my thing.

If you don't paying for the nicer quality cases, take a look at cases like:

https://www.bequiet.com/en/case/1203
https://www.phanteks.com/Eclipse-P600s.html
https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/define/define-7-dark-tempered-glass/black/

But my preference for bigger mid-tower quiet cases that don't look like Lite Brite toys might not be what you're after. :D

The best bet is to look at which cases fit your needs, and watch some reviews. They will talk about the overall build quality of the case.
 

GeezerMan

Platinum Member
Jan 28, 2005
2,103
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I like the RGB, and I am over 60 now. I don't game, so I am for sure the odd duck around here. I often use gaming motherboards too, and then install a Quadro workstation card that does not need a PCI-E cord. I usually run a power saver mode in Windows and run the CPU at 75%, unless I do some video encoding. Did I mention the pretty lights?
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
15,107
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I like the RGB, and I am over 60 now. I don't game, so I am for sure the odd duck around here. I often use gaming motherboards too, and then install a Quadro workstation card that does not need a PCI-E cord. I usually run a power saver mode in Windows and run the CPU at 75%, unless I do some video encoding. Did I mention the pretty lights?
If you like lights, honestly one of the best places for you to start your search in the build area over a PCPartPicker. 90%+ of the builds there are bright enough to permanently take away your night vision capabilities. :p

https://pcpartpicker.com/builds/

If you see a nice shiny build you like, you can look into a review of the case to see how good/bad it is.

Examples :oops::



 
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GeezerMan

Platinum Member
Jan 28, 2005
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I forgot about the 16 year old ? Antec P150 case. I think it was the first white case. 1mm steel . very heavy even when empty. The letdown is the flimsy power switch.

I still have a P150 doing TV duty with a 4th gen i7-4770. No RGB, except I put a RGB rear fan in it
 
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Furious_Styles

Senior member
Jan 17, 2019
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I forgot about the 16 year old ? Antec P150 case. I think it was the first white case. 1mm steel . very heavy even when empty. The letdown is the flimsy power switch.

I still have a P150 doing TV duty with a 4th gen i7-4770. No RGB, except I put a RGB rear fan in it
You should be able to replace that power switch pretty easily.
 

GeezerMan

Platinum Member
Jan 28, 2005
2,103
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well, it's the cosmetic plastic button attached to the door that hits the actual power switch on the P150 and Solo cases. It's a real bad design. Lots of discussion on 15 years ago. You can epoxy the flimsy plastic legs, but the legs eventually lose their springiness and fail to push the plastic button back out again.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,471
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^ I'd have to see it in person to know for sure, but there has to be a way to just throw a spring behind the switch like many cases used, or just remove the old switch button and switch itself and put a panel mount switch in its place.

There's some pretty nice ones out there, arcade style or vandal proof metal if you want to pay a bit more for that.

 

bigboxes

Lifer
Apr 6, 2002
33,294
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I have a couple of old-school Lian Li cases that I still use. They are built like a tank despite their aluminum. As @UsandThem said above, Lian Li is building cases for the masses now. They are not the quality they once were.

I built the rig in my sig 6 months ago. I am so happy with the quality and engineering of the Fractal Design Define 7. They offer a version with a window if bling is your thing. When I told my younger coworker that I was not getting a window you could feel his disappointment. Function over form. Silly me.
 
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Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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Yeah, I have been using Fractal cases for a number of years now and they are my typical first place look for a new case anymore. I should give a few other companies a try, but I almost always pick a fractal lately (exception being HTPC cases).
 

Hans Gruber

Golden Member
Dec 23, 2006
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I just got a Be Quiet! Pure Base 500dx. 140mm x 3 fans. No sharp edges anywhere. Great airflow and an LED front panel light show if you want it. It replaces my Phanteks P400 that didn't have the airflow front cover. My temps went down 6-7C with the case switch.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,471
825
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What say you?
Ultimately I say, why keep buying new computer cases? I have a lifetime's worth (as long as they stay ATX at least), but really only need a single spare case so whatever system I want to replace, I have a spare to get ready, put a build in to replace it, then have that case from the replaced system as the next spare.

I've built *pretty* systems for other people, though mostly relatives under 16 y/o as that was the age group more mesmerized by what they had at home rather than getting a driver's license, then car and exploring the world.

UFO looking, glowing LED color schemes... meh, I guess everyone's entitled to whatever hobby makes them happy, but I prefer my case under my desk, out of the way where I never see it. This leaves a lot more room on my desk to do other things.

I see setups like the one pictured below and it blows my mind that someone did this, threw 10+ fans at it and didn't even remove the mostly obstructive stamped sheetmetal grills behind them, so they are more spinning decorations rather than effective air movers. Total fail at system design.

 
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Harry_Wild

Senior member
Dec 14, 2012
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I been looking into cases and about 90% say gaming quiet cases in the description! Many are only air filters on the front and side panels for letting in air and dampening sound or have a side tempted glass. Many have design for water coolers. Most place the on/off and inputs- usb and audio ins on the front top end. Most cases look cheap and they are up to $200.00. Many have led lights built-in side the case.

Very much a culture shock when I owned Lenovo Thinkstation towers and SFF cases. Completely lost as to what to buy in computer cases.:(;):eek::oops:

Now I know why old conservative OEM empty PC cases sell for so much on online sites. I thinking of just using my Lenovo tower case and use an new motherboard and call it a day! Hopefully the power connectors and other connectors are the same to reconnect the new motherboard. Lucky I switch over to a Silencer quiet power supply.
 
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mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,471
825
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^ That's the main thing with OEM cases, "sometimes" they case connectors and USB/audio ports in such a way that you may need to graft on standard connectors... when I clear out old, less desirable cases, I always keep things like that, the wiring and switches.

Most of not all my OEM cases pre-date USB3, so I just get a pin header dongle off ebay for that. Sometimes I don't even try to reuse the original USB port location, cut a new hole and screw the dongle on there if it's important, other times just use a USB3 hub connected to a rear motherboard port... there's the other annoying factor with some of the older OEM cases, that they had the motherboard ports stamped out of the same steel that makes up the rear panel of the case instead of an insert, so a couple times have cut out that area to take a standard rear port plate.

Sometimes I had to make a cutout for a standard ATX PSU too, or add a drive rack for more drives, etc. It's often not worth the bother but some of the old OEM cases were 1.2mm thick steel, didn't have excessive perforations everywhere, were built like tanks though this is going back ~20 years ago, can't remember any OEM cases thicker than 1.0mm since then.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
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I like Corsair's upper end models. They have smoked glass panels that let RGB shine through while hiding cables, and the build quality and attention to detail is generally good. You can probably do better in terms of pure cooling performance (but with more noise or dust; the best cooling is with no case anyway). I don't mind spending a bit more on a case because they last practically forever.

I have had some Cooler Master cases in the past, which were decent quality (not as good as my current Corsair one) but built like tanks and made of thick steel. Lian Li's old V cases were great back in the day, but I don't like the layout of their current ones.
 

Harry_Wild

Senior member
Dec 14, 2012
553
59
91
Looking through pcpartpicker app and most are either RBG filled or ugly black plastic cases for the most part. What is the appeal of the lighted multi-color cases if you are not a gamer? I do like the clear transparent cases but they to have the multi RBG fans everywhere too! Cannot win!

Update: Found a Lian Li case that is transparent and has no RBGs, $270.00.
 
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mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,471
825
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^ You could just not plug the lighting in, or if hardwired into fan power lead, snip that connection.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
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I like to just set the RGB to one color, and change that color every few months. White looks especially nice through the smoked glass.
 
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