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View Full Version : I need to buy a really pretty desktop case. help!



Radiant
07-12-2011, 08:56 AM
Hey.

As the title suggests I need to buy a really lovely looking case that, at the same time, is useful as a gaming pc.

I know the standard thing is to go for either the case that most resembles an armoured truck or one that looks like a tiny stereo.

What I need is a gaming [ie useful so I can pack it with stuff without it overheating and burning or worse floating it's way into the kitchen.] case that is very fashionable and lovely to look at.

Do you remember those Vivienne Tam hp notbooks?
Or the old wonderful gold nokia 7370's?

I've owned both those.

I need a useful case with great artwork and a great look to it. [no neon!]

Thanks hive mind typing "pretty case" into google leads me to serial killers.

pmh
07-12-2011, 10:28 AM
Check out some of the cases from Silverstone, Corsair, Lian-Li, and Fractal Designs. From there, I'd go with decals/paint/other modifications of your choosing if you want to stray from the more clean/industrial look.

DigitalSignalX
07-12-2011, 10:51 AM
Air flow is critical to a gaming rig unless you're going water cooled. So aesthetics should be secondary to cooling, and can be bolted on as you please in terms of lighting, stickers etc. I'm all for form over function - but in this case, function needs to dictate form to some extent. Like pmh said, there are some great cases to start with - but keep in mind you can mod the heck out of it once it solves the cooling issue.

thegooseking
07-12-2011, 11:14 AM
We must be getting near a total inversion of 10 years ago. Now a nondescript beige tower would actually be really unique.

coldvvvave
07-12-2011, 02:05 PM
Um, maybe I have a very different taste but I found my Cooler Master CM 690 II very nice to look at.

I even decided not to buy a DVD( who needs it anyway nowadays?) so my case remained intact.

http://i.imgur.com/tuRFy.jpg

No glowing cooler on mine, though.

President Weasel
07-12-2011, 02:45 PM
I went very much for function over form for mine and got a great big metal tower case. I rather like the black coolermaster one above though.
However if you want something a bit out there there's that BMW/thermaltake case where the separate components have their own boxes- doesn't seem to be great for gaming, though, given the reviews (http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/cases/354892/thermaltake-level-10/2).
Alternatively, you get a bog-standard case with a big fan on top of it, and pay for somebody arty to stencil the sides for you to your own liking.

db1331
07-12-2011, 03:31 PM
No neon really ups the difficulty. It's hard to find a case with fans that don't light up. You might have to take the fans that come with the case out and install some plain ones. I know this won't suit your taste, but this is my current case, and it's my favorite out of all I've ever used:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

If I could change one thing about it though, I would move the power button from the top of the case and put it on the front. One of my cats likes to use my PC to climb up to the window sill and bird watch while I play. I couldn't tell you how many times she stepped on the power button while I was in the middle of a close game of L4D or CoD. I moved my rig away from the window one day, and the little shit just sat there looking at me with sad eyes, so I had to move it back. I found that the little metal case my mouse weights came in fits over the power panel perfectly though, so I just keep that up there, and problem solved. Damn cats.

I've always wanted to do a build in a clear acrylic case, but I've heard they are easy as hell to scratch up, and that makes me nervous.

Bishop149
07-12-2011, 04:32 PM
The Silverstone TJ09 is a very popular case among those such as myself that can get a little over obsessed with cooling systems.
Its main advantage IMO is the fact its absolutely huge, loads of room for any expansion gubbins you might want to stick in + airflow.
You can even get all the kit needed for a full water cooling loop inside with room to spare. It also has a whole array of pre-modded bits and pieces available to buy for tweaking its functionality / aesthetics. Useful if your not comfortable with taking the power tools to your case.

Personally I have an Antec P180, which I love. I like the fact it has an entirely separate lower section for the PSU with its own air flow path, and you can also hide away cabling an upto 4 HDD's down there. I also like how "quick release" everything is, I can disassemble the whole thing in minutes.
It is a little on the small side for all the water cooling stuff I'm in the business of setting up, but then I've just modded the hell out mine rather than buy a bigger one.

IMO high end cases very rarely look bad, but then aesthetics tend to come second to functionality for me.

Mistabashi
07-12-2011, 04:39 PM
Look at Lian-Li cases, they tend to be a bit expensive and hard to get hold of but they also do some really nice looking, simple designs. They do some of them in red aluminium too, which looks pretty nice. If you want some kind of unique designs or detailling you're probably best off contacting a modding shop, there's lots of places that will do things like custom windows, transfers or powder coating / paint finishes.

Radiant
07-12-2011, 05:20 PM
@bishop that's just it, it needs to look really pretty and still be useful as an upgradeable pc.

I was looking more along the lines of the Isotope case's:
http://www.scan.co.uk/shop/computer-hardware/all/cases-pc/isotope-cases

I really like the weird construction and the artwork on them the only issue is the small form factor.

I've got the usual half a million hardrives [that all contain that one thing I really need in the future so I can't throw them away] and power hungry gfx card that I may also crossfire/sli in the future.

Just trying to get away from the cliche black monolith with cut out window and neon case look that wives and girlfriends love to have sitting there in the living room humming ominously at the dog.

Bishop149
07-12-2011, 05:47 PM
Hmmm I think you've hit the nail on the head.

Cases that look "different" are always either small form factor or severely lacking in the internal space department.
I have never seen a good, functional case that is anything other than a "black monolith".

I think people that want such things tend to end up making them. . . . Quite an undertaking but my it can't half produce some things of beauty.

I love this one:
http://www.hardwaresphere.com/2009/06/29/edelweiss-pc-case-mod-best-ever-case-mod/

slick_101
07-12-2011, 06:41 PM
http://www.million-dollar-pc.com/

Mistabashi
07-12-2011, 08:11 PM
If you are deep of pocket and into steampunk you could get this guy (http://www.datamancer.net/) to build you one.

EDIT: Also I belive Mr Meer has one of these (http://ebuzz.etnews.com/upload/content/20060516/STUF_NP_044_01.jpg), which seems to be reasonably roomy inside.

EDIT 2: There's a smaller micro-ATX version of that called the PC-U6 (http://www.techpowerup.com/145546/Lian-Li-Introduces-Special-Edition-PC-U6-Cowry-Mid-Tower-Chassis.html)which actually looks somewhat nicer in my opinion, although it's obviously a bit more cramped. Still, should be enough room for two GPUs and a few HDDs without getting too cramped.

buemba
09-12-2011, 04:16 AM
I rather like the way the Corsair Graphite 600T and the NZXT Phantom White look since they wouldn't look out of place inside Aperture Science. Though if you want a truly unique case I'd look into the Antec Skeleton Black.

For my money the best looking case is definitely the Corsair Obsidian 800D, but it falls into ye olde black monolith archetype and apparently has terrible airflow (Since it's designed with water cooling in mind).

Kamikaze-X
09-12-2011, 10:37 AM
I have a Coolermaster Cosmos Black and it is beautiful, in an Obsidian Monolith sort of way. No flash lights if you don't want them, and will look pretty much fine next to a home theatre set up:

http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f214/rickykemp/th_IMG00035-20100327-0934.jpg (http://s48.photobucket.com/albums/f214/rickykemp/?action=view&current=IMG00035-20100327-0934.jpg)

Only thing is that this is a HUGE case. If it had wheels, I could ride it to work.

DarioSamo
14-12-2011, 07:49 PM
Only thing is that this is a HUGE case. If it had wheels, I could ride it to work.
That would be a great way to solve traffic problems in over-populated small countries like China. Forget about bikes, ride your computer to work, then just game on it while going back home. No need for a garage either, just put it back on your desk.

EDIT: Resurrecting old thread for a question as well, looking to buy a new Case here as well. Nothing way too fancy or big, but it needs to hold over a Radeon HD 6870 with decent temperature and as little noise as possible. Already got a PSU of my own, so it just needs a good case for better ventilation. What's out there for a $100 dollar budget?

The problem with my current one is that the GPU is so big it doesn't even leave any room for the HDD. Had to move it to a DVD drive slot for it to fit.

koen
14-12-2011, 07:54 PM
I have this case, and it's both stylish and very functional. Is a bit on the loud side however; I replaced the front 200mm fan with two 120mm fans.

http://www.guru3d.com/imageview.php?image=29949

buemba
15-12-2011, 02:26 AM
I have this case, and it's both stylish and very functional. Is a bit on the loud side however; I replaced the front 200mm fan with two 120mm fans.

I have that one too, but mine's pretty quiet - I keep it under my desk and can hardly hear it at all (The again, I keep the fans on minimum).

The only 2 complains I have are that quite a bit of dust gets in through the top vent since the exhaust fan doesn't cover the whole thing and the power light is bright as hell.

By the way, did you notice any improvements in the cooling after trading the front fans?

Rii
15-12-2011, 08:12 AM
To generate the same airflow as a 200m fan the 120mm fans would have to be running significantly faster to account for their markedly lower face area and the inefficiencies of parallel arrangement, and would therefore be noisier than a 200m fan and the noise would be of a higher, more irritating pitch.

So if that's not the case then it's safe to say the new arrangement is generating markedly less airflow than the old.

koen
15-12-2011, 03:23 PM
To generate the same airflow as a 200m fan the 120mm fans would have to be running significantly faster to account for their markedly lower face area and the inefficiencies of parallel arrangement, and would therefore be noisier than a 200m fan and the noise would be of a higher, more irritating pitch.

So if that's not the case then it's safe to say the new arrangement is generating markedly less airflow than the old.

This 'theory' works if every 120mm fan and every 200mm perform the same. However, they don't. I found that the front 200mm didn't move as much air as I would expect coming from a noisy fan like that, so I replaced them with 2 120 mm's which are both quieter and with the 2 of them move more air.

The thing is that the 200mm and the 120mm mm fans have the same surface area, as the 200mm was blocked of at the sides because of the case construction. Pics to explain:

http://img855.imageshack.us/img855/1361/img20111215150653.th.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/855/img20111215150653.jpg/)

http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/4731/img20111215150717.th.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/687/img20111215150717.jpg/)

@Buemba: my EAH6950 stayed a couple of degrees cooler during intensive gaming sessions, so yes!

DigitalSignalX
15-12-2011, 04:09 PM
He has a point, I've discovered some fans move more air then others of similar or even greater size. It's a bit perplexing, but often a testament to "getting what you pay for" (or shop for) in terms of performance parts.

---

That steam punk laptop (https://www.google.com/search?q=steampunk+laptop&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=shY&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=WA7qTrChAueq2gXE1aHDCA&ved=0CEIQsAQ&biw=1147&bih=917) is utterly gorgeous. If I were a rich man...

Rii
16-12-2011, 02:55 PM
This 'theory' works if every 120mm fan and every 200mm perform the same. However, they don't.

Sure.


The thing is that the 200mm and the 120mm mm fans have the same surface area, as the 200mm was blocked of at the sides because of the case construction.

lolz

Well, "shit that does nothing" is a time-honoured custom in the PC world. See: wildly over-specced PSUs, heatspreaders on RAM, 7.1ch headphones, etc.

koen
16-12-2011, 05:28 PM
Sure.



lolz

Well, "shit that does nothing" is a time-honoured custom in the PC world. See: wildly over-specced PSUs, heatspreaders on RAM, 7.1ch headphones, etc.

Your point being? I had a loud fan which made an annoying noise, replaced it and now my PC is quiet. Seems like an improvement to me.

imirk
16-12-2011, 06:34 PM
He's Agreeing with you and having a laff at form over function slash the specs are higher it must be better pc designs

koen
17-12-2011, 08:40 AM
He's Agreeing with you and having a laff at form over function slash the specs are higher it must be better pc designs

Oh OK, pardon me English is not my first language :)

nuh uh no way
17-12-2011, 06:10 PM
i have this (http://www.nzxt.com/new/products/classic_series/source_210) in white and i love it. the front has these subtle angles that are real nice. the power button is backlit (around the edges) with a cool-blue white led, as is the reset button (for hdd status. a small led in the middle of the button. same color)

437 (not my picture)

the rest of my setup is black and white, including coffee mug but excluding keyboard and mouse. new mouse is on its way (same brand as the case, same colors) and i haven't found a suitable keyboard yet.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7016/6526416341_4346ed5c71_b.jpg resolution too large to let me post. not the best quality anyway. need to do something about the lighting down here.

kingkio
19-12-2011, 01:29 AM
I think this case looks pretty nice, but that might just be my kind of tastes.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cosair-Special-Graphite-Mid-Tower-Gaming/dp/B004O0PAKW/ref=sr_1_11?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1324254500&sr=1-11

deano2099
19-12-2011, 01:21 PM
Have used the Antec Sonata range of cases for around the past 10 years.

They're black monoliths, but proper black monoliths in shiny piano-black. They're also designed to be as quiet as possible. I use the Sonata 3 with one 120mm fan and a replacement CPU heatsink with another 120mm fan on and it's almost silent.442

Arona Daal
01-01-2012, 10:27 PM
Build it yourself,worked for me :

http://www.flickr.com/photos/methodshop/895461709/

DigitalSignalX
02-01-2012, 04:49 AM
Build it yourself,worked for me :

http://www.flickr.com/photos/methodshop/895461709/

Brilliant - except cardboard is an insulator so heat might be an issue after a while unless you leave the top open, which is begging to have a cat jump in on your mobo if it was in my house.