Idea The least discussed component ... the case

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The least discussed component ... the case was created by Robbie

Hi all and best wishes for the new year!
’m just starting to assemble components for a new build and somewhat surprisingly (or perhaps not) one of the toughest components is proving to be the case.
For context I will be using an ATX board (z390) with an i7 9700k, RTX 2060 GPU, 32GB RAM, two 1TB NVMe drives and one 4TB spinning drive. Current plan is to use a Corsair H115i 280mm AIO liquid Cooler.

For the case I’m needing a mid tower (workstation space restriction), 2 external 5.25” slots to accommodate a Blu Ray burner and an old Canopus ADVC-50 Bay mount (analogue to digital converter). I’d also prefer no side window as I’d prefer the workstation not be mimicking a nightclub while I’m trying to colour correct. Also looking for a reasonable balance between silence and airflow, where most cases seem focussd on one at the expense of the other. FYI my last case was (is) a Corsair 100R (the silent version) which has been fine but I don’t think will cope as well with the hotter components and more intense rendering as I start doing more 4K.
There isn’t much choice for this type of case from reputable manufacturers carried “in stock” here in Western Australia and I will likely need to have something shipped from the East Coast. I’ve tried looking for case reviews and haven’t really come across many (Any) that have been overly favourable.

One I hadn’t considered has been the Be Quiet! Pure Base cases as I presumed they would have issues with cooling in comparison with others, and that seems to be the case from some of the reports I found (albeit mainly from overclockers) , but my interest was piqued when I saw that this specialist builder uses Be Quiet! cases for all of its mid to high end builds which include some potentially hot components.

So, any thoughts or suggestions for a mid tower case that would be ideal (or even suitable) for editing would be welcome. What cases are you using, and what has been your experience with it?

Thanks In advance.
Cheers, Robbie
01 Jan 2020 13:22 #1

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Replied by mmcswnavy24 on topic The least discussed component ... the case

Hi Robbie,

So, you don't want to follow all of the advice given by all those YouTube Gaming Experts of everything needs RGB Lighting to go faster; or NO ONE uses 5.25 inch drives or bays for anything? :silly:

Yeah, I feel your pain there! But, since you said you are in Western Australia, not sure if some of the ones I've used in the past, or seen reviews on, are available, but I'll give it a go.

1. Fractal Design Define R5 (older model) and R6. Can get both with either clear or solid side panel. R6 unfortunately only has one 5.25 in. bay, where the R5 has two. Had an R5, it was silent enough and components stayed cool. Currently have the R6 with a ThreadRipper 2920X and Asus ROG X399-e gaming. Parts stay cool as well. Just remember, if you have large projects to render, or pretty heavy tasking for the project, fans will ramp up. Physics still wins! The stock fans in both cases work well, though if you really need to, get some Corsair, Noctua, or other 4-Pin PWM High Pressure fans and connect to your motherboard, then use either the Windows application for the board, or BIOS/UEFI settings to either set at silent, or your own fan profile. My R6 case is able to "fit" that Asus X399 board, it is E-ATX (extended ATX), but the bottom of the board is almost against the PSU shroud that you can't remove, and the cabling for the typical 24 Pin is a little tight, as well as the PCI-E power for the GPU (nVidia RTX 2070 Founder's Edition in my case). Oh, both support 8 Internal 3.5, plus 2 - 2.5 behind motherboard tray.

2. Carey Holzman (tech YouTuber and also runs own company for building/supporting pc's - mostly business side though), really likes to recommend the Corsair 200R. Plain, simple, Mid-tower, no "window" side panel, and three drive bays. I would not try to install a motherboard that is anywhere "bigger" than a standard ATX board. It does have a cool 2.5 in internal setup for those SSD's or laptop spinning rust drives. Actually works well. Check out his build from around early November 2019 (Long Haul Build - or something like that).

There's a couple suggestions. The Doc may have a couple more, especially for "Y'alls Neck of the Woods". I really like the R6, but do miss having that one extra drive bay, but I did get the one with the front panel USB-C port, so I guess it is a trade-off. Got it since I have that ProGrade Digital UHS-II Dual SDXC slot card reader, which works fine with that front panel connection, and short cable.

If you notice, I also have in my "signature", my main editing rig, but no case mentioned. It is a Rosewill BlackHawk Ultra. NewEgg's site has the "newer" version now. But this case is huge, 10 internal 3.5 drive bays, 4 external 5.25 bays (one that has the 3.5 converter tray - removable), is able to support Two PSU's at the same time, uses lots of fans, and is HEAVY when loaded!

The one thing I have noticed with recent cases, is even watching reviews, you really have to pay attention to the "back side" of the case for your cable management. I am not a big fan of just jumbling the excess cables up next to the "hidden" psu. I want the room to actually "tie down" the cables, I prefer Zip Ties, and take my time to maneuver the cables as needed so I can easily put the side cover on.

Yeah, wish CoolerMaster would go back to how they use to make their HAF (High Air Flow) cases, as they provided a lot of ventilation, and typically had a lot of room to do cable management.

There's some examples. Hope that helps a little. Like I said, you still have to do the research, and I am not sure what you are able to acquire there in Western Australia. I still recommend getting some better fans (4-Pin PWM High Pressure), use the motherboard fan connections for better control - NOT the fan controller that may be supplied with the case (R6 is example). You also need to check the manufacturer's website for case on being able to install that Corsair H115i cooler. And, if you are really not tied to a certain size of case, the Corsair Obsidian 750D (either version), or the Corsair 760T are great cases, lots of room and ventilation, including Front Bay support, though the 760T does have that "Window" side panel - just don't turn on any RGB! I used this case in an X99 Asus Deluxe i7-5930k build, that now belongs to my nephew. It supported your cooler (I had the H110i), was quiet enough for me with updated Corsair fans, even when rendering. Will still hear some noise fan during heavy/long renders. Just go have a beer, cup of tea, walkabout, watch the Boob-Tube, or read a book - worked for me!

Mike "The Chief" O'Sullivan
Asus X399-e ROG Strix /2950X/64 GB Corsair/XFX Radeon VII/SoundBlaster Zx/Win 10 Pro 64-Bit. Vegas Pro 17 Edit/Vegas MSP 16 Suite/SoundForge Studio 12.6/Magix Xara Photo & Graphics Design/Hitfilm Express 14. Intel 750 PCIe with OS & Apps, Samsung 960 & 970 1TB EVO PCIe for source footage.
The following user(s) said Thank You: DoctorZen, Robbie
02 Jan 2020 02:28 #2

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Replied by DoctorZen on topic The least discussed component ... the case

In my experience trying to find the right case can drive any person insane, due to the amount of cases on the market and then checking the dimensions to make sure your hardware will fit.

The last time I did a deep search on cases, I ended up liking Be Quiet! the most, mainly because in my next build I want to build super quiet computer.
PC Case Gear sells most of their range. I've been buying all my computer gear from PC Case Gear in Melbourne, Australia for the last 8 years and every order arrived without a hitch.
www.pccasegear.com/category/25_1715/cases/be-quiet-cases

The main things I like about Be Quiet! cases is the build quality, ability to highly customise the internal configuration and the overall quietness.
:idea: Remember to turn everything off at least once a week, including your brain, then sit somewhere quiet and just chill out.
Unplugging is the best way to find solutions to your problems. If you would like to share some love, post a customer testimonial or make a donation.
Peace :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: mmcswnavy24, Robbie
02 Jan 2020 16:17 #3

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Replied by Robbie on topic The least discussed component ... the case

Thanks Mike and Derek

Firstly, sincere apologies for not having acknowledged your responses sooner.

Great advice as usual that gives plenty of food for thought as I get back to looking for the case.
The Fractal R5 has some nice features and can still be purchased in Aus but no one has stock locally. Fairly wide case would allow reasonable space for cables behind the motherboard and still leave plenty of headroom for larger air coolers where required. Not deal breakers by any stretch but I generally prefer the I/O panel on the front rather than the top (less dust getting in the connectors, and easier access in some settings) and no front door ( I would probably end up leaving it open most of the time as I tend the leave the ADVC bay connected). Ideally the I/O panel would be located about half way down the front panel so the cables don’t’ trail over the optical drive tray’s. I have an older Thermaltake case that has an ideal external layout and design but unfortunately it doesn’t have USB 3’s on the front panel and the internal set up won’t work with the new build.

Unfortunately the Corsair 200R’s don’t seem to be available here anymore, and don’t seem to be appear on the Corsair website anymore. One I was looking at was the Obsidian 450D but from what I read it seems it’s heavy focus on airflow and cooling may be at the expense of noise. Yeah, I know … most of the noise results from the cooling equipment so the cooler things are the less work the cooling gear needs to do and the less noise there will be ….
And yes, Derek, finding a case with all the right features AND works with all the preferred components is proving challenging.

… always a compromise and/or trade-off :-) .

I’ll report back once I decide and finish the build.
Cheers, Robbie
19 Jan 2020 11:45 #4

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Replied by Robbie on topic The least discussed component ... the case

OK, I finally got round to putting this thing together a few weeks ago.

DoctorZen wrote: In my experience trying to find the right case can drive any person insane, due to the amount of cases on the market and then checking the dimensions to make sure your hardware will fit.


Yep, going with the H115 280mm liquid cooler (which I already had) severely restricted options in the Mid Tower. Cases like the Corsair carbide 100 and the Be Quiet Pure Base 600 just couldn’t accommodate it.
I ended up finding and buying a steel sided version of the Cooler Master CM694 at my local PLE store. The windowed model looked pretty sharp but wasn’t what I was after. It’s a well made and robust (=not light!) case which ticks almost all my boxes (would have liked to have the I/O panel on the front rather than the top but not a deal breaker at the end of the day. Being a relatively large case with decent interior design, assembling the PC was pretty easy – for the most part (more later). The case came equipped with two 120mm fans at the front and one at the rear. I didn’t try them but replaced them before assembly with Corsair ML-120s.
Now to the “for the most part" bit. First a minor annoyance -the case has four large plastic feet underneath the case. The feet are hollow, and the case has a few holes right above where the feet are mounted. On two occasions while changing the front fans I dropped screws which ended up rolling into the hollow foot and I had to remove the foot to get them out. Laughing about it now but that wasn’t the sound my wife was hearing at the time.
The other issue was a bit more significant. With the rear fan mounted I couldn’t get the radiator of the H115 far enough back to line up with a couple of the mounting screw holes. Same problem even when I put the original fan back. We’re only talking about 1mm, but no way could I get the screws through. If I’d known before starting, the Dremel would have fixed it no problems but with the Motherboard and some other components already mounted that wasn’t an option and I wasn’t keen to disassemble the whole thing. For the time being I’ve left the rear fan out and am relying on the front fans to force the flow through. Seems to be a good strong airflow out through the back vent and all the important internal temperatures are holding ok - but I’ll continue to monitor closely for a while.
Despite that I’m happy with the CM694.
Cheers, Robbie
21 Mar 2020 15:04 #5

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