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  • mattgmann - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Good article. My commentary is simply on the state of computer cases?

    It just seems that 99% of the "performance" cases out there are styled to appeal to a 14 year old boy's fantasy of some type of sci-fi prop.

    Lian-li and Silverstone seem to have stopped making sleek aluminum cases with decent finishes. At least, they're not what they used to be.

    There are certainly some custom chassis companies out there, but they've sacrificed pretty much all aesthetics for performance. They're certainly high quality, but utilitarian to say the least?

    Is anyone making good cases with solid, sleek modern designs? I'd like to see some cases with nice finishes too. NOT airbrushed pictures of chicks riding dragons! A good paint/powder coat job can do wonders for a case.

    Anyway, rant over. I'm just hoping someone at a major company will hear enough requests and hire some designers who don't dress like the cast of "Tokyo Drift".
  • vincentlaw - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    The Corsair 550D has a rather understated design actually, and Anandtech has a review of it. It's basically a black slab, with no obnoxious lighting or windows, and a nice textured paint job. Reply
  • Omega215D - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Along with Corsair's Carbide, Lian Li, Silverstone cases there's Fractal Design and A few Antec cases.

    My CM 690 is pretty conservative as well.
  • Operandi - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I agree this case is supremely stupid looking. Oddly enough Inwin do make some very clean looking cases. They are usually pretty light on features but they are very, very well built sadly they are not marketed toward the performance user. Instead we get these gaudy “gamer” cases that look like a prop from Starship Troopers.

    I have to disagree with your Lian Li comment though. Their modern cases are vastly superior to their old ones. All my high-end builds go in Lian Lis.
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    But I liiiike Starship troopers! D:

    Personally I liked the styling of the old silver Thermaltake Xaser 2 cases, think I might have one somewhere...

    Before my current case (Corsair Vengeance C70) I had an Antec Dark Fleet-85 that would light up like a Christmas tree, never again. :P
  • Samus - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I agree, even lan boxes/gaming PC's should look professional and not like they're designed by a 14 year old. I'm in my 30's and all Silverstone cases appeal to me, along with many Lian-Li cases. Just about everything else is styled like a bad joke. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Antec 280. Its a slick and business like version of the Antec 1100. Check it out. Its a great case to work with.

    Yeah, the $100 Antec 280 and 1100 are a better deal.

    In-WIN is a good company... they have made some very interesting and good cases for many many years... only in the past year or so have they made themselves public.
  • just4U - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I like cases with a window in them (im 43!) but like the rest of you I am not into the childtoy design of some cases. I've found that the Corsair 600T is probably the best modern design (look wise) i've seen in years.. I also like the Storm Scout from Coolermaster and several of Antecs more modest cases (the one, three hundred, & Sonata)

    I was hopeful with the new lanboys that came out.. thinking yeah a modern take on the old one.... then I saw them and wanted to cry. Right now I am running thru some of Silverstones MATX cases... their quite stylish.. and the builds when complete look really sharp but their not the type of cases you want to fiddle with internals when your done. (alot of us I think.. change out parts all the time..)
  • Belard - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    HAHAHA! Silly old man!

    A friend of mine bought the 600T... Its a good case. I tell friends and clients to pick what rubs them the right way. I do quite a bit of research myself and look at the construction, air-filter access, air-vents (I don't care for TOP vents), size, etc - as each build may require a different case. I got a $65 case on sale for $35 that was perfect for a client - but not something I would want... even thou its looks very good with brushed metal look ALL around.

    I'd really love to see an mATX size version of the P280... as I prefer my PCs on the desk, not the floor... but still look good.

    PS: I'm 42 :) But I'm in my 20s at heart and health (usually) - I still play 3DShooter games with some of the best.
  • db4williams - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Fractal Design's ARC Midi. I built my system using the ARC Midi and I will say it is simply amazing! It looks great, has great cooling capacity, and it's water cooling friendly! Fractal Design hit it out of the park with it's design IMO. Reply
  • colinstu - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Happy with my Antec P280.

    Good cases do exist out there, just gotta look at the right companies (cheapies like In-Win isn't one of them).

    Corsair 650D was looking like a nice option too, but the side window was a turnoff (I'm not into them these days) and it cost more money so I ultimately went with the Antec.

    The Fractal Design Core 3000 I'd go with if I wanted to cheapen it up some more, and the NZXT Source 210 if I wanted to really cheapen it up. I used this NZXT in a friend's build recently too and I was quite happy with it (and so is he).

    There's dozens more nice cases out there... but these 4 are my top easy picks (4 different price points) with getting a well featured case that doesn't look fugly.
  • peterfares - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I too have an Antec P280 which I bought for the same reasons. When I was 14 I loved cases like this one with windows and lights. My next build really toned it down and my latest case finally did away with all the useless and annoying lights and windows. I can't stand any lights or noise now, I even put electrical tape over the bright blue power and HDD LEDs on the case. I may just unplug them next time I open it up. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I've built a system with a P280... great case.

    I would LOVE to see a mini-version... designed to hold a single 5.25 drive, 4x 3.5/2.5 drives...

    I'm still on my Antec P120, which is a smaller and doorless version of the P180. The P280 blows away the P180. Its not as ENGINEERED as the P180 with its air-chambers, drive cages, etc.
    But its (A) Lighter (B) Cheaper (C) Easier to work on (D) USB 3.0.

    My son has lights in his case (blue and red), also lets me know easily that his PC is on. I do like a little blue to glow from real air-vents, but nothing that lights up the room.
  • colinstu - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    Hey, on the topic of "mini" P280s... would a "Fractal Design Define Mini" be up your alley?

    Looks like an awesome option.
  • ssj4Gogeta - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    "I can't stand any lights or noise now, I even put electrical tape over the bright blue power and HDD LEDs on the case. I may just unplug them next time I open it up."

    Haha, for some reason I pictured you as a robot running around saying "Kill all lights... kill all lights".
  • ypsylon - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    That people still are interested in cases like this one. Steel and plastic. Brrrr... I know that aluminum is usually more expensive, but easily you can find good alu case around same kind of money. Try alu once and you will never go back. Simple as that. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    What, like Lian Li or Cubitek?

    Aluminum is HIGHLY overrated.
  • Flying Goat - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Who in their right mind calls a case "GRone"? Did anyone even try to read that phonetically? Reply
  • randinspace - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Larry the cable guy came to mind. Reply
  • sesante2000 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I could understand if this case had something unique or special to offer, But no, It's just ugly.
    Finding a good case that suites ones style and function is just as hard as finding the right motherboard to match.
    Cases like these perpetuate the nonsense that "gamer" cases have become.

    If I walked into someones house and saw this I would think they just didn't know any better.
    But they should, as they are building their own PC.

    But who am I to judge?
    I mean, This is the lowest common denominator in custom PC cases.
  • randinspace - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    It IS big. Reply
  • cjs150 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Lets start with the obvious, the front is ugly. They have taken the original Centurion Stacker and then made it a bit bigger and ugly.

    Sure it takes EATX motherboards which is useful for those that need that level of power and flexibilty. But other than that what does it actually do better than cases designed 5 or 6 years ago.

    There has been no thought applied to this case. Lets take some obvious ideas for improvement:

    1. If a case is designed for that many hard drives why is there no hot swappable ability?

    2. Similarly for that many hard drives it would be nice to see some thought applied to cable management and power distribution to the hard drives

    3. If the cases is intended for air cooling then cable management is vital - where is it?

    Antec 280 may not be my favourite case, but they thought about what market to go for and designed a case to meet that market. Fractal Design produces nice cases, with features thought through for a particular market (esp water cooling). Heck I even like Lian li for trying different things, even if they do not come off. And, despite some doubtful quality control issues, I own a Silverstone TJ07 and am about to buy the TJ08E.
  • Skidmarks - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Although I haven't seen it in the plastic & steel yet, judging it by the pics it looks like a dreadful mess to me. Reply
  • rickon66 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    As an Antec fan, 1100 still overall best buy. Reply
  • angrypat - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    It does seem to be in fashion for cases to be overdone and scifi comic book like, I would rather have understated looks and form following function. And no damn doors or hinged covers, if I want to open an optical drive or access a usb port I don't want to open a door first. The question I never see asked is why so few cases have an SD card reader, much more useful than a front ESATA port; storage for laptops, tablets, phones and cameras. Rear expansion slot mounted fan controls suck, very inconvenient, and they are tossed in with many cases. As for myself, I build a pc, then may tweak occasionally but I am not constantly working in it, after 40 plus builds no case has really annoyed me to work in whether it was $20 or $100. The delivery people beating the crap out of them on the way to my door is another matter of course! Outside of a media center case I don't see any reason to spend more than $100 unless you want to show off. Cooling fans can always be added or changed, run off the mobo or a fan controller. The most important thing is to know what you are building; gamer, media center, office, everyday web surfer or a serious number cruncher etc. Reply
  • Grok42 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    The reason door and covers are used is they provide a clean look for the front of the case. Because case manufactures insist on putting 3 to 9 external 5.25" bays in the case they have to cover them up so the case doesn't look like crap. I agree, get rid of the door as they just require more case depth. Instead, just don't have any external bays and it's a win/win.

    They don't put a SD card reader in the case because it's like putting a VHS deck or DVD drive in a TV. Remember those? Why build a piece of dead tech into the case itself? I still have a 10 year old Lian-Li case as my main workstation. I'm sure glad they didn't build a zip drive in it. The days of sneaker netting data from phones, cameras, tablets, etc are long gone. If you still have a few devices you must do it with, that is what $5 USB card readers are for.
  • bwcbwc - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I take it this should be pronounced "groan"?

    Unfortunately I fall into the hate it camp at least based on the front panel aesthetic - it looks like a prop from the original Battlestar Galactica. Other design choices are less "groan" worthy, but as you say there are other companies in this price range with alternatives I find more appealing.
  • Solidstate89 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    The GRone case? Are you kidding me right now? Who in marketing thought that would make a great name? Reply
  • MeanBruce - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Buy a man's chassis, the Corsair 650D was $161.99 a couple days ago on Amazon free shipping no tax. Stand Up Boy! Reply
  • Bonesdad - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    If you like the way this case looks, there is something wrong with you. Reply
  • pdjblum - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I would so much appreciate if you could list the materials in the spec list,. Cases made out of aluminium are not the same as those made out of other materials., so knowing the material is important., Reply

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