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  • Full Tower Case Recommendations

    Hello y'all.

    So, my next build is still a ways off, but I've been thinking about things I could get started on now. Cases don't change much in a year, and with a case I could start planning things out and buying some parts...

    I want to do a custom water cooling loop. Partly for looks, performance, and silent operation, but mostly because I think it would be a fun project.

    What I'd like to see in a "perfect" case would be:

    - Full tower case
    - A basement that I can put the pump in, possibly some rads, and soundproof it
    - A clear side-panel to show off the goods
    - Should have enough mass to kill someone if I drop it on them
    - Should look like something you would not like to meet down a dark alley
    - Preferred black aesthetic w/color highlights. (I'm thinking red highlights)
    - Front/top USB slots

    I've been looking at a few so far.

    Cooler Master HAF X - I've been using the old version of the HAF 932 for the past 7 years... It's a lovely case, but its side panel is small, its been bent and is missing pieces. The new HAF X has a much improved side panel and the case itself looks fantastic, IMO, with a red-and-black industrial aesthetic. Unfortunately, the case really is optimized for an air-cooled setup. The 200 and 230mm fan mounts, while awesome, are not conducive to radiator mounting, and it has no basement. It seemed so massive when I first got my HAF but really... it's a bit small for this application.

    Cooler Master Cosmos - Lovely looking cable management system, proper basement, quite a bit of space... but damn, is it ugly. No clear side panel either. Basement looks like it would require a fair bit of modification to fit in a pump and radiators.

    Cooler Master MasterCase 5 - Daaaaamn this thing is neat. Looks pretty good stock, nice basement design and cable management space. And now has an available tempered glass side panel (entire panel is glass except for a strip along the top). It's a shame this thing is a medium tower... but it could work. There's probably little point in me going with an E-ATX board other than the build theme of overkill... and that I aesthetically like bigass PCs and with bigass mobos. This would give me less total room to figure out the water system as well.

    Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 - Oh, the possibilities. Fantastic side window, tons of space in the separate basement/attic... Not quite as pretty as the HAF X overall, the separate section looks a bit odd. Maybe it will grow on me.

    Antec Eleven Hundred V2 - Nice big side window, kinda ruined by its perforations. Wait, full tower that doesn't take EATX? No basement.

    Antec Twelve Hundred V3 - Why do these guys write out their numbers? No basement. Not a great window. Another "full" tower that doesn't support EATX, and the 200mm top fan offers the same problems as the HAF X, with none of the good looks.

    Corsair Obsidian 900D - Well, that's certainly got everything I could ever want. Damn though, they're more than double the price of a Stacker 935. I'd almost be concerned aesthetically about not being able to fill the space in this beast.

    I'll be doing some more research on my own... anyone else have any ideas to throw out there?
    Last edited by Strait Raider; 01-10-2016, 02:31 AM.
    Teamwork and Tactics are OP


    Strait /strāt/ (Noun) A narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two large areas of water: "the Northumberland Strait".

  • #2
    Re: Full Tower Case Recommendations

    If you want to go huge and tick all your boxes...

    Phanteks Enthoo Primo ATX Full Tower Black/Red
    http://pcpartpicker.com/part/phanteks-case-phes813psrd
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1RzXMZ8BNI *red not shown*
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJDQVonZNMw *red not shown*
    |TG-12th|mantis

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    • #3
      Re: Full Tower Case Recommendations

      I have the cosmos and I love it but it's an air cooled system. Ventilation is just the best with fans under and over and easily removable filters. I know the panels have special holes lined with rubber fittings for water cooled systems. I never wanted a window and I've come to love the not so understand sleekness. The handles are something else though. It's heavy so I'm glad they exist but I'd hate to drag this to a lan party.
      sigpic
      |TG-1st|Grunt
      ARMA Admin (retired)
      Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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      • #4
        Re: Full Tower Case Recommendations

        Can't edit the original post, so I guess I'll continue listing cases here.

        Phanteks Enthoo Primo (Thanks FBMantis) - That is a damn fine case. Ticks pretty much all the design boxes. The look isn't quite my style. Looks a bit too much like my fridge and microwave with the brushed aluminium. Love the design of the dust covers, less so the ducted, hidden fans. I'd like to see the fan portion of the basement be isolated so that I could sound dampen it, and I'd like more fan space in the basement versus spread out everywhere for rads, but honestly this is all pretty damn nitpicky of me. Definitely one of the front runners here.

        Phanteks Enthoo Luxe - Similar positives and negatives to the above, and loses most of the basement space.

        Inwin GR-1 - Really just a big fancy shell. Nothing exciting going on here. No basement. No surprises. No cable management grommets!

        Inwin Dragon Rider - A front panel to gaudy even for me, with a name to match. Again, absolutely nothing special inside the case and lacks cable management. Ugly mesh side panel. Actually not as large as it looks.

        Inwin 909 - Tempered glass side panels rock... unfortunately, while a somewhat better internal layout than the previous Inwins, still sacrifices function for form. (A somewhat silly form, if you ask me)

        Inwin 707 - Finally a decent cable management setup... but loses the lovely tempered full side window for a partial. A more sensical layout, but still nothing special.

        Lian Li PC-08 - Damn. Full tempered glass front and back, this thing is gorgeous. I like the partition so that you could put a triple-double rad setup in the back for a custom loop and keep your rads separate from your components. On the other hand, the front-section has abysmal airflow. This thing is custom water cooled or nothing. On of the things you'd really want to put in a basement (your pump) sort of has to be in the front, which is unfortunate. Very cool, but not what I'm looking for.


        I'm leaning pretty hard towards the HAF Stacker 935 right now. I still love the HAF aesthetic, and the idea of having a separate, straight-through flow radiator and pump housing really appeals to me from an engineering standpoint... The more I think about it, the more I like it. Unfortunately it seems like these things are selling like the proverbial hotcakes, because I cannot find a retailer that has them in stock. I'm on the waiting list, I think I'll pounce if I see one come up.

        Edit: NOOOOOOOOOOO! The HAF Stacker has been discontinued. The only for-sales I have been able to find are a pair in Australia... for 1000 ausdollars. :(
        Last edited by Strait Raider; 01-12-2016, 12:02 AM.
        Teamwork and Tactics are OP


        Strait /strāt/ (Noun) A narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two large areas of water: "the Northumberland Strait".

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        • #5
          Re: Full Tower Case Recommendations

          I have the 750D, and I love it. It's a pretty gigantic case in it's own right. And it's priced a lot less than the 900D. Just couldn't justify the big jump up in price between the two. There used to be a video on the NewEgg page for the case, but it looks like it's not there any more. So I searched and here's the video:



          I mean, just look how big the box is next to that tiny Asian woman. lol It's a good video, gives you a real good sense of the case and it's what sold me on it.

          I also like the understated clean aesthetic of this case as well, which may or may not suit your tastes.

          My requirements were very similar to yours, and I think this ticks all (or most) of your boxes, for only around $170.
          "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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          • #6
            Re: Full Tower Case Recommendations

            Originally posted by Randy_Shughart_ClwFL View Post
            I have the 750D, and I love it. It's a pretty gigantic case in it's own right. And it's priced a lot less than the 900D. Just couldn't justify the big jump up in price between the two. There used to be a video on the NewEgg page for the case, but it looks like it's not there any more. So I searched and here's the video:


            I mean, just look how big the box is next to that tiny Asian woman. lol It's a good video, gives you a real good sense of the case and it's what sold me on it.

            I also like the understated clean aesthetic of this case as well, which may or may not suit your tastes.

            My requirements were very similar to yours, and I think this ticks all (or most) of your boxes, for only around $170.
            +1 for this. I've been in love with Corsair cases (Carbide and Obsidian lines) for the last couple years. I've built out half a dozen of them and they are great to work with.

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            • #7
              Re: Full Tower Case Recommendations

              You cannot go wrong with any corsair tower of anykind. I have a corsair mini tower and love it. Before that I had the Corsair 750D (someone posted it above) and it also was amazing. Go with the 750D

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              • #8
                Re: Full Tower Case Recommendations

                I really dig what Thermaltake is doing with unconventional 'open' case designs. Check out their Core P5 and Level 10 GT.

                Also, you mentioned EATX motherboards - but there is so much more choice, support/testing, and deals in the standard ATX format which is compelling.

                Have fun!

                -=Zig
                -=Zig

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