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Windows 7: Cases

15 Mar 2011   #1

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Am just about ready to roll with my SB build (my first build ever) but cannot find anything on the type of case to get.

That is - is it easier to use a case that has the HDD installed from the rear as in the CoolerMaster Elite 430 Black with window or use the CoolerMaster Gladiator 600 that has the slide in the side HDD slots? (I have narrowed them down to these on price and functionality ie. airflow specs).

I was rather hoping that these were cases that both sides could be removed making for tidying up the cabling but as they are not the side entry Gladiator looks to be my best bet.

Plus I would rather like to find the US PSU site where the fellow who deals with this component has videos on the inside workings. I did watch it some timw ago but missed putting it into favourites.

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15 Mar 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64

I flat out like the Elite 430 Black hands down. It does appear that with great care you can run the cables fairly clean. If you look into the new NZXT line of cables and extension cables in black I think the cables will hide very well.
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16 Mar 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

You can't really tell about the HD mounting scheme without trying it, so for that aspect I'd say it's anybody's guess at this point. I've never used a case that mounted drives from the side. Rear is quite typical.

I would reject both cases out of hand, but I assume you have chosen these 2 to the exclusion of all others for your own reasons and that's fine. Coolermaster is generally a good brand.

Likewise, I've never owned a case that allowed you to remove both side panels.

The best 2 things you can do regarding cable management are:

1: take your time and use plenty of cable ties.
2: buy a modular PSU so you have as few cables as possible to begin with.

You can stash a lot of cables into unused drive bays or into any relatively small space that is otherwise unused.

The PSU site you refer to may be
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Mar 2011   #4

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
Hey thanks

Thanks to you both the cases I chose purely out of price / value and I did originally choose the Elite until I saw the Gladiator had a 140cm fan installed as standard, was slightly larger, and that slide the HDD in from the side feature.

Plus once you start looking at them all it becomes a bit of a blur for choice.

Anyway I just wasn't sure as it is my first go at it and knew you fellas would have a better idea than me re these cases.

Just by the by then ignatzatsonic what brand would you have gone and I only asked re the two sides as Scotty Mueller's video had a case where both sides came off making the tucking away of cables so much easier as well as getting to the back of the HDD's.

Again much appreciated!!
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16 Mar 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

I wouldn't choose a case based on brand.

Having said that, Coolermaster is a good brand. As is Antec and a few others.

My criteria would be as follows, in ROUGHLY this order:


Sold without power supply
120 mm fan capability rear and in the low front
No side windows
Generally conceived with an eye to keeping noise down
Favorable online commentary/reviews at respected sites


No side vents
All steel, no mesh
$60 or $70 max

The Coolermaster I was recently considering was the Sileo 500. As it turned out, I kept my old case when I rebuilt in late January. No regrets.
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16 Mar 2011   #6

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
Thanks again

Yeh ignatzatsonic yeh I was going with Corsiar HX 650 as everyone just about agrees the inbuilts aren't crash hot.

I did look at the Antecs - might even have another squizz although the Cooler looks the deal except for the windows they mostly all have.

Having said that the thing I can't stand is the Transformer look with those coloured fans - too distracting for me I'm afraid. Still worst comes to the worst I'll snip the cables to them, as the Aerocool my son gave me I can see them quite clearly and might evn be able to just pull them out.

I suppose by no side vents and windows you mean to keep the noise down and the Coolers have the underneath intakes too which I was quite taken with as they can be fited with 120 fans and it has the capacity for five too.

Actually Imeant to ask if you look at this you'l see what I mean by two sdided cases as the pic in the ad looks like it has access to the underside of the CPU mounting point - I could be wrong but that's what it looks like.
CoolerMaster Gladiator 600 [RC-600-KKN1-GP] - $79.00 : PC Case Gear

The Gladiator as I mentioned did have the advantage of a 140 in the top, no side window but unlike the Elite did not have any filters. Oh and yeh I have tapped into the review site testfreaks and another one called hardware something or other both had loads anyway.

Point taken though with the side vents etc - would not not be that hard to block them off if necessary eh?

As for price mate they are generally a fair bit more expensive out here otherwise I'd have gone a HAF or CM 690 - perhaps next time eh?
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16 Mar 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

I don't like colored fans and flashing lights either.

Here is the updated version of the case I am still using; now called the HEC Compucase 6XR8 - HEC 6XR8 Black 0.8mm Thickness SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

The good: solid, quieter than average, 120mm front and rear, no glitz, no windows, no PSU, thumbscrews included I think, fans mount quickly via clips; I got it on sale for $45. audio connectors on front side; It's a clone of an early Antec design.

The bad: side vent, which I have covered to reduce noise.

It's hardly spectacular, but sturdy and probably a 7 plus on a 10 scale. If forced to buy another case, I wanted an Antec Solo, but they are pricey and have not been updated in 3 or 4 years, so I decided to stick with what I have.

Yeah, I'm told you can use wire cutters and simply cut off unneeded cables with impunity. Be sure to shield them from each other via tape or caps so they won't touch wire to wire and short, which could be disaster.

Be sure to get a set of thumbscrews for the case. $3 or so and very convenient.

Here is a fairly sane PSU requirement calculator that may keep you from going overboard.

eXtreme Power Supply Calculator

Another good source of legit reviews, with emphasis on running quietly: | Everything about Silent / Quiet Computers

Recommended fan brands:

Nexus and Scythe (particularly Scythe "Slipstream" model).
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16 Mar 2011   #8

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
Thanks again

Hey ignatzatsonic thanks mate had a look at the Antecs and just wish we could get them here at your prices the nearest to what I want is the Antec Three Hundred Case.

The Solo that you mention is $120 and shoves my budget a bit over so looks like either that one or one of the Coolermasters.

Just a pity that Newegg didn't ship here and the company that does ship their stuff someone has said is not terribly reliable and can end up costing as much as a high end case out here. Never mind their videos on YouT are good to watch at least!!

Might just go with either the Gladiator or Centurion as they do have 140 fans so hopefully quieter than the Elite, will just have to get a quiet side fan or block the vents off eh??.
Yep found that calculator this afternoon but the silentpc site I am going to have a look at first before I finally decide - like you don't like noisy stuff and well you know what I thin re those LED lights.

Actually my son's Aerocool V-xe case he gave me had a 200mm fan in the side and I noticed that one of the LED's wire had been just pulled out of it's connectionduring transport so might not even have to cut the wires if I need to disconnect any eh?.

[Edit] Just had a look the scythes are sold out and hey I just realised I have a pack of 5 silent 120 nexus's on my shopping list for $45!! and the thum screws too!

Getting a bit weary now or senile one of the two lol!!
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16 Mar 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Looks like you have it under control.

Do your due diligence on the power supply and RAM--2 critical parts. No need to go overboard, but get solid performer from highly reliable manufacturer. The tendency is to buy too many watts from a dodgy supplier on the PSU and to buy unnecessarily fast RAM of incorrect voltage with heat spreaders and flashing lights when not overclocking the RAM.

You will be confronted with the option of AHCI controllers on one of your first boots after Windows is installed. Gigabyte boards will nag you about it... "Do you want AHCI or SATA".....on each boot. It isn't critical and you may not be able to tell the difference. I chose to go with AHCI and have no issues. It provides a little bit of functionality not otherwise available.

Download all possible drivers from mobo manufacturer site just before you start to build. You may not need them all. For Gigabyte, you will need the NEC USB driver and the Intel HD video driver (for on-processor graphics).

Get the Intel Chipset Installation Utility. Gigabyte may have it available, but the newest version should be at Intel itself. It is not mandatory, but if you use it, install it IMMEDIATELY after Windows, before you install any other software or hardware.

Then fully update Windows, get antivirus running. Then your other hardware and applications.

Intel Stock heatsink/fan is pretty good. Quieter than I expected. The mounting mechanism is a bit frustrating. Take your time with it. Install the RAM, processor, and heatsink before you mount the motherboard in the case. Inspect the bottom of the motherboard AFTER you install the processor and heatsink to confirm that the heatsink is properly seated. All 4 of the black mounting pins should protrude equally through the mounting holes and be clearly visible when you look at the motherboard's underside by maybe 3/16 of an inch. It's much easier to do outside the case.

A slightly magnetized screwdriver and strong small flashlight are very handy. You will be fumbling and dropping screws when you mount the motherboard and must retrieve them rather than letting them rattle around inside where they can short something out.
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16 Mar 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I would recommend the Cooler Master ATCS 840. Not only does it look great (imo) but the motherboards tray slides out the rear on roller bearings. This, and it's enormous size, make it a very easy case to build in and upgrade. You can simply take out the tray and build it on a horizontal table. Also, it's solid aluminium, no plastic here:)
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