How much does a case matter?

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#1 Posted by Nickprovs (1199 posts) -

I'm trying to buy a new computer and this is my final concern. I have the parts ready to buy and all but does a gaming case really matter?

Some core parts of this rig are its

I5 2500k processor

GTX 560 TI GPU

4gb ram

Enermax dual silent high performance fan (push-pull airflow)


I'm going to be using a xion echo gaming case.

I would link it but google chrome doesn't work with this stupid clipboard. It's pretty basic and its not full tower but I think its around 17-19in and it will have the fan upgrade.

Or should I shoot for a more expensive one.

Also, does anyone think I should upgrade to 8gb of ram for certain games like running crysis 2 on high or am I good?

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#2 Posted by MonsieurX (37410 posts) -
Cheap case = bad airflow + bad cable management = heating
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#3 Posted by Smoke89 (3575 posts) -

I really like HAF X cases. They are easy to work with and provide great airflow. Airflow is pretty much the #1 thing to look for in your case. HAF cases range in price from $50-$200 so finding one in your price range is quite easy. However, there are other options I just stick to cooler master.

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#4 Posted by commander (14701 posts) -
airflow, strength of the case, durability and quality of buttons and beauty. Can't see how airflow can be bad in a case that has holes in it. Buttons, well if your power button is broke, it's kinda of a drag. Strength of a case, If you assemble and it's a low quality case you will notice this, as long as you don't sit on it, it doesn't really matter. Beauty, that's a matter of taste. If you want to go really cheap , a cheap case is recommended If you have a decent system, it would be nice to have a decent case. I would go below 50$ then If you're planning to put multiple or heavy videocards in there it would be nice to have some extra cooling. You don't need a case for your computer to work but it comes in handy.
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#5 Posted by cole_793 (1393 posts) -

I really like HAF X cases. They are easy to work with and provide great airflow. Airflow is pretty much the #1 thing to look for in your case. HAF cases range in price from $50-$200 so finding one in your price range is quite easy. However, there are other options I just stick to cooler master.

Smoke89
This. I have an HAF X and its probably one of the best, if not the best cas you can buy at the price point.
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#6 Posted by RaseshX (404 posts) -
Anything above 6GB Ram is useless in terms of gaming atm. Hell, for now even 4GB is more than enough. You're fine!
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#7 Posted by gameguy6700 (12197 posts) -
A lot of people undervalue cases because the case doesn't really contribute to performance. And then those same people later lament about how they can't upgrade to a particular video card or heatsink because it won't fit in their case, or how their temps are high because they've got a bunch of hot components crammed together inside a tiny case with no cable management and one small fan. Keep in mind that while it may seem like a waste of money to blow $250 on a case, the case is the only component that can make it through an indefinite amount of builds, at least until mobos switch to a form factor standard that isn't ATX (granted PSUs are like that too, but they tend to wear out eventually). In other words, your case is the only component that can actually be future proofed. You may as well buy an expensive case now that has a lot of nice features like a plentiful amount of expansion slots, good cooling, plenty of room for cards and heatsinks, slide out mobo tray, cable management features, hot swappable HDD bays, etc. and use that case for your next 7 builds instead of buying a cheap case now and either buying a new case for every new build or suffering with a case that's frustrating to build with and which limits your options for parts.
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#8 Posted by Blistrax (1071 posts) -
Hear, hear. Gameguy6700 speak with straight tongue. And the case is the thing you have to look at for the next however many years, so make it look the way you want. Treat yourself to a bit of style. Mine is squared-off businesslike black, but one whole side is a window for techs appeal. And I'm really glad I got a full tower with seven bays, and not only because I rest my mouse elbow on it.
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#9 Posted by Nickprovs (1199 posts) -

haha thanks for the help guys

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#10 Posted by Avenger1324 (16344 posts) -
Buy a good case and it will likely outlast any component you put in it. I have a CoolerMaster Stacker STC-01 which I bought about 6 years ago - at the time it was one of the more expensive cases available, but was highly desirable due to it's size and potential. It took me a while to convince myself to spend the money, but have been very happy with it ever since. Great build quality and tons of space inside. When it comes to upgrading my PC I can safely browse through components without having to think about size constraints - it WILL fit. Extra height or length graphics cards can fit in easily without risk of hitting against harddrives. There is space to mount 2 PSUs, or 1 and a watercooling system. The form factor is adjustable to support ATX or BTX, and any of the smaller form factor mobo's. The motherboard tray is removable to make it easier to assemble. Cooling is so easy and quiet. I can mount 3 x 120mm fans one above the other down the front of the case, and still have room for 2 optical bays and a control bay (power, audio, USB). By having the space these can be low speed low noise fans that are whisper quiet, but still keeps my Quad Core idle below 30C and under 40C while gaming. Plenty of room for overclocking and pushing the temps up while still being in a safe zone.
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#11 Posted by Gambler_3 (7736 posts) -

Completely agree with Gameguy6700.

I had always used cheap casings but only a few weeks ago I got the HAF 922. A few years ago I would have laughed off the thought of me getting a $100 casing but now my mentality has changed alot. I think about the long term now, as stated the casing lasts more than any other component so why not just invest in it heavily once and be done with it?:)

Not to mention that the cooler your components run the higher the lifespan or higher overclocks(whatever you prefer).

I can overclock my CPU to 3Ghz with just the stock cooler, it's all because of the large 200mm top exhaust fan, with my previous casing it wasnt possible.

My GPU also runs at 76C instead of 87C which allows me to overclock it as well.:)

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#12 Posted by LordRork (2691 posts) -

When I first built my own computer, I had a cheap case (no fans at all!). It was fine, since I had a whole bunch of mid-range components (The GPU was a 7600GT). However, as soon as I put the next upgrade in - a better PSU and an 8800GTX, it wasn't up to the task and would intermittently overheat.

So I bought the Antec 900 you see in my sig - it's still going strong now after multiple upgrades and a complete replacement of everything inside, bar the DVD drives. It was a good buy 5 years ago, and it will continue to be that way. My 5770CF sometimes gets a bit too toasty, but that seems to be the fault of Crysis 2 rather than the case...

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#13 Posted by Elann2008 (33028 posts) -
I own a HAF 932 Black edition case and it's the best case I've owned. Ton of space and excellent airflow. Cable management is a breeze. I should have purchased it a long time ago. But at the prices HAF-X and HAF 932 are going for, you might as well buy the HAF-X. It's a bit more refined and comes with a few new features to the case. I also love the HAF series look. My PC can really breathe. No issues with aftermarket heatsinks being too big either.
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#14 Posted by Jetset314 (234 posts) -

Here is my opinion on cases. If you are building a standard machine the case you choose is based mostly on what looks cool, clean, or classy to you (sexy even?). For more advanced users who tinker with over clocking, water cooling, and all the other fun stuff involved with high-end rig tweaking, then yes the case can matter.

I am a user who dabbles in the over clocking a bit so my main priorities are air flow and expandability.

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#15 Posted by GTR12 (13019 posts) -

Meh, its just a case, I care whats on the inside, its like having a Ferrari body shell and a measly 4 cylinder engine, its still slow. I'd rather have a V12 in there and the worst looking shell in the world, or no-shell, it'll keep it cool and its fine.

Thats what I do with my case, leave the side panel off and just vacuum the dust every 3-4 days when I'm doing the house.

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#16 Posted by commander (14701 posts) -
meh meh, i have a 50$ case that's 13 years old. Cases don't vaporize or desintregate. more than 100$ on a case is a waste of money if you don't have quad or triple sli.
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#17 Posted by Grey_Eyed_Elf (5736 posts) -
Cable management to improve cooling and fans to cool your system... cheaper cases don't have cable management and good cooling. A midrange case is perfect for anyone single/sli build. Full towers are a waste if you only have one GPU... waste of money and space. Mid tower's I'd recommend: Antec 902 Lancool K62 Coolermaster HAF 922 Fractal Design R3
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#18 Posted by Mr_BillGates (3210 posts) -

Rosewill says no.

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#19 Posted by gameguy6700 (12197 posts) -
[QUOTE="Grey_Eyed_Elf"]Cable management to improve cooling and fans to cool your system... cheaper cases don't have cable management and good cooling. A midrange case is perfect for anyone single/sli build. Full towers are a waste if you only have one GPU... waste of money and space.

What? Vertical space is rarely an issue unless you're trying to build a quad-SLI/CFX setup. It's horizontal space and width you need to worry about most often, both of which can be difficult to get enough of in anything less than a full tower. For example, my 5970 is a foot long. Most mid-towers can't fit such a long card or will only be able to fit it just barely if you're willing to have the intake slots blocked or remove some HDD bays. Same issue with heatsinks. Big heatsinks aren't an issue with full towers but can become an issue with anything smaller than that.
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#20 Posted by raynimrod (6860 posts) -

A good case is a must if you're concerned with airflow and cooling, space, efficiency, and ease of changing/removing/upgrading parts.

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#21 Posted by Grey_Eyed_Elf (5736 posts) -

[QUOTE="Grey_Eyed_Elf"]Cable management to improve cooling and fans to cool your system... cheaper cases don't have cable management and good cooling. A midrange case is perfect for anyone single/sli build. Full towers are a waste if you only have one GPU... waste of money and space. gameguy6700
What? Vertical space is rarely an issue unless you're trying to build a quad-SLI/CFX setup. It's horizontal space and width you need to worry about most often, both of which can be difficult to get enough of in anything less than a full tower. For example, my 5970 is a foot long. Most mid-towers can't fit such a long card or will only be able to fit it just barely if you're willing to have the intake slots blocked or remove some HDD bays. Same issue with heatsinks. Big heatsinks aren't an issue with full towers but can become an issue with anything smaller than that.

That's exactly my point not only are the tall but wider, I still stand by my statement... average PC gamers dominate hardware sales midrange gaming rigs not people who spend £500 on a GPU and overclock it and need water-cooling and spend £100+ on a case just to reduce the heat by 2-3 degree's.

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#22 Posted by Threesixtyci (4451 posts) -

I've been using the same case for about 10 years already.... My idle temps are in the low 30C's and 40C max. And the case I'm using isn't fancy. It's an old Antec SX1030b. So, personally, I feel, as long as it's a Server sized case, with fans in front and fans in back... it doesn't really matter.

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#23 Posted by JigglyWiggly_ (24619 posts) -

A nice quiet case with insulation is my best friend. PC be so quiet. Antec p182 here.

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#24 Posted by ndawgdrake (534 posts) -

It does matter. I was using an old case from a pre-built HP for my previous build before I ugpraded to a HAF-X. Now I have cooler temps, better cable management, and just plain easier to work with all around. I also have peace of mind knowing that this case will be around for a long time and will likely fit everything.

Sure you could go cheap-o with a sub 30 or 40 dollar case, and it will get the job done, but without the benefits (which I have listed above) of a quality case. Even still, a quality case doesn't have to be expensive either. Rosewill challenger and the CM HAF-912 are both around 60 dollars and are excellent budget cases.

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#25 Posted by SinfulPotato (1381 posts) -
Quick tip. Go with a plain jane case. You might want that case with the flashy lights and the clear wall. In a few months you'd wish you got a normal case when you get past the aww of blue LEDs. Also spend more on the case, why? if will stay with you. My case was about $150. It is nearly 10 years old, I don't plan in buying a new one.
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#26 Posted by Gambler_3 (7736 posts) -

Quick tip. Go with a plain jane case. You might want that case with the flashy lights and the clear wall. In a few months you'd wish you got a normal case when you get past the aww of blue LEDs. Also spend more on the case, why? if will stay with you. My case was about $150. It is nearly 10 years old, I don't plan in buying a new one.SinfulPotato
Or you could buy a case with LED switch you know. I have 2 lights on my computer, one blue and one red and both can be switched off. I would NEVER buy a casing with a non-switchable LED.

I wish antec cases had LED switches as I really like their designs.

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#27 Posted by Elann2008 (33028 posts) -
[QUOTE="SinfulPotato"]Quick tip. Go with a plain jane case. You might want that case with the flashy lights and the clear wall. In a few months you'd wish you got a normal case when you get past the aww of blue LEDs. Also spend more on the case, why? if will stay with you. My case was about $150. It is nearly 10 years old, I don't plan in buying a new one.

I respect your opinion and all but I still enjoy looking through the window panel of my HAF 932 black edition case. I only have one LED Fan inside, and that's the only thing that lights up and glows. I don't like too many flashy lights either. I like how that one green LED fan attached to my hyper 212+ illuminates the inside of the case, in a subtle way. Like a little beacon of light in the night. :)
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#28 Posted by Gambler_3 (7736 posts) -

[QUOTE="SinfulPotato"]Quick tip. Go with a plain jane case. You might want that case with the flashy lights and the clear wall. In a few months you'd wish you got a normal case when you get past the aww of blue LEDs. Also spend more on the case, why? if will stay with you. My case was about $150. It is nearly 10 years old, I don't plan in buying a new one.Elann2008
I respect your opinion and all but I still enjoy looking through the window panel of my HAF 932 black edition case. I only have one LED Fan inside, and that's the only thing that lights up and glows. I don't like too many flashy lights either. I like how that one green LED fan attached to my hyper 212+ illuminates the inside of the case, in a subtle way. Like a little beacon of light in the night. :)

The red light on the HAF cases is very much bearable, I can sleep with my case light on easily. Blue lights on the hand are a different story especially on the antec 902 where you have 2 front blue LED's, one top blue LED and one back blue LED.:|

My power supply's blue light also gives the same kinda illumination and I am happy to have gone with a window version.:)

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#29 Posted by fishing666 (2113 posts) -
Im thinking about getting the nzxt h2(white), antec sonata iv w/ 620Watt Psu, or the fractal design R3 for silent mid end gaming.  this one is the nzxt h2  antec sonata iv  fractal design r3 all around $100-120 for silent computing and gaming