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  1. #1
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    Looking for a new case/advice

    Well, my old case is getting on in years. In fact, it's lately been giving off a literal death rattle.

    I've narrowed down a few candidates

    1 - BitFenix Ghost

    2- NZXT H630

    3- NZXT Phantom 630


    So my question is: Does anyone have experience/opinions with any of these, as well as any other suggestions.

    I'm after something good quality, that stands out, but in a relatively subtle way. Not an overclocker so cooling isn't the biggest deal, but I am looking for something quiet.

  2. #2
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    How does a case rattle?

    I mean some cheap cases can thrum (lots of bit pieces of thin metal vibrate with drives etc.) but I can't see how a case would suddenly start doing that!?

    You've chosen some premium cases there so I can't really help - I'm a "budget but decent" man myself - but then I tend to go inside the thing once a month to clean it and that's it!

  3. #3
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    It's about 10 years old, been through a lot of abuse. Floods, fires, hurricanes and LANs.

    I'm more than happy to go budget, if I can find one that looks pleasant enough.

  4. #4
    Activated Node Gurrah's Avatar
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    Don't know anything about the cases you listed, but I can highly recommend the Fractal Design, Define R4 - it's the case I went with when I was sick an tired of my old sturdy but rattling case. This one is very sturdy as well and fantastically silent, very well designed interior with lots of options - decoupled harddisks - and room to put your cables. I've never had a cleaner and more tidy case than this.

  5. #5
    Network Hub Colonel J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gurrah View Post
    I can highly recommend the Fractal Design, Define R4
    I had very similar requirements to the OP and went for this same case and like it a lot, big thumbs up here too. Mid range cases can be much of a muchness but the Fractal is a desirable step up in quality and features from my last two Antec cases (which were by no means bad). With one of the quieter models of graphics card and a cheap aftermarket CPU fan it's very decent quiet PC solution out of the box.


  6. #6
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    I too got the R4 for my new build and it's great. It's massive compared to my previous case but as I've no intention to lug it about anywhere it just means there's more space for everything inside.

  7. #7
    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    If it's rattling you should be able to fix it, but if you just wanna replace the whole thing the R4 would be a good choice for an ATX motherboard. It's ridiculously big for my preferences – mATX chassis > 30 liters are as big as I'd recommend anymore – but if you have an ATX board, not much you can do about that.
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  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    I have a Define R3, I don't know what the differences are between it and the R4 but it's a great case. Sure, it's the only one I've ever had, but I've had no problems and no complaints.

  9. #9
    I've always been a fan of Bitfenix cases because of their simple style. Although it is really up to preference as long as all the cases have good reviews and such.

  10. #10
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    No experience with those, but i've got to say that i love my Silverstone Raven 2 to death. They got newer revisions out by now, too. Can't say much about those, but what i like is that the mainboard is rotated by 90 with 3 120mm fans at the bottom and the panel with the connectors at the top. That way it really cools down everything nicely without the need for high speed fans.

    If that's too playful for you, there's also the Fortress with the same benefits but a more conservative look.
    Last edited by DanMan; 05-08-2013 at 09:55 PM.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Cephas's Avatar
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    I too have a Define R3 and I'm pretty happy with it.
    Couple of things for me though:
    - Fans are average (I just replaced them and it's quieter and cooler)
    - Door on the front is a bit annoying even if it looks good
    - The front fans have are sort of blocked by the hard drives bays

    I've heard Corsair Obsidian series cases are nice?

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cephas View Post
    I too have a Define R3 and I'm pretty happy with it.
    Couple of things for me though:
    - Fans are average (I just replaced them and it's quieter and cooler)
    - Door on the front is a bit annoying even if it looks good
    - The front fans have are sort of blocked by the hard drives bays

    I've heard Corsair Obsidian series cases are nice?
    The Define R3 has been replaced by the R4, which is improved in a few areas. For one, the hard drive cages are removable, making access to the front fan(s) easy.

    Corsair Obsidian are nice cases, but they're expensive.

  13. #13
    I looked at a lot of cases and went with the Cooler Master Storm Stryker.
    What a lovely case. And that carry handle at the top is just awesome if you need to.. well carry it around or move etc.

    Very quiet case, and nice and spacious and everything neat inside with the cable management system.
    It's a great looking case too..
    http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/prod...roduct_id=3099

    There are some good reviews from NewEgg about it, I can highly recommend it.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Full tower is just so...

    But I guess people like monster trucks too. ;)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    Full tower is just so...)
    Easy to keep cool while remaining virtually silent? That's correct! ;D

  16. #16
    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinnbeast View Post
    Easy to keep cool while remaining virtually silent? That's correct! ;D
    Heh!

    Well yes, there's simple physics at hand, but there's also the peculiarities of the design & the quality of the fans to consider (Fractal's included fans are not the greatest). For comparative purposes, a Silverstone TJ08-E with a flagship dual-fan GPU (EVGA GTX 780) and mainstream unlocked CPU w/tower cooler (i7 4770K w/CM Hyper 212 EVO) can be 41.8 dB at load measured one foot from the case by a human-weighted SLM with +/-1.5 dB accuracy and .1 dB resolution (with a noise floor of ~31 dB). I haven't tested an R4 with the same setup but having built computers in R4s I doubt they'd outperform the TJ08-E by more than 5-7 dB and their thermals would almost surely be worse (that's the tradeoff one makes with dampening).

    Also, the TJ08-E is 46% smaller than the R4 (30.2 liters vs 56.3). imo it's more aesthetically refined, too, but that's a ~taste~ issue (I'd prefer a version without the external bays, though).
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  17. #17
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    I'm not arguing, just offering a response. It's largely horses for courses. The TJ08-E is one of the best mATX cases on the market. I own the previous TJ08 (of which the E variation is a big improvement) and think they're great little things.

    But, I wanted a particular ATX board above all else, so the mATX case was clearly moot. SPCR commented that the airflow/cooling of the R series is very favorable against the likes of the Sonata/Solo (my previous case) series from Antec, and with the added flexibility of the additional fan slots should you wish to tinker a bit. Borderline inaudible with decent cooling is usually what I shoot for with my main workhorse PC. The R4 fits the bill easily - the HDD/case dampening do an excellent job.

    Just of interest, SPCR put the R3 a few degrees cooler than the Silverstone case (with a slightly leaner setup in the mATX box) on their test bed. They're still amazing though if you find a mATX board sufficient.
    Last edited by Quinnbeast; 11-08-2013 at 12:36 AM. Reason: Missed a word out!

  18. #18
    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    I'm just shooting the shit.

    Dampened cases can be quieter than those with open grill systems, yes. You're right about SPCR's findings, but consider that the only component that's the same between the tests is the RAM; everything else is different. I'd venture to say the R2 would cool better than the TJ08-E though given the differences. That's impressive.
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  19. #19
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    I ended up building most of my systems (wife, mine, server, etc) based on noise and cost. The easiest way to keep costs low and noise low at the same time was to go big with it stuffed with 120-200mm fans. One of the *big* advantages (imho) to a large case is the safety factor. My wife's PC ended up injesting enough cat hair and other debris over its lifetime that the CPU fan burned up. I didn't know this for *months*. One day I was copying some files off her pc and noticed a fan was clicking so I crawled under the desk to check the fans only to find out that nearly every single fan in the case was dead (antec case and fans btw). the only functioning fan was the single (now clicking) 120mm up front and the power supply fan. Even with only a single 120mm fan half working and a dead CPU fan the system keep rolling on and not overheating (though I wouldn't call it cool either. The cpu would run up past 70c under load).

    Contrast that with a friends build using a matx board in a "shuttle" style case because he wanted it as small as possible. He had endless problems with cooling and cable routing. He eventually scrapped the setup I believe. That said a few makers are now building "console" sized/shaped gaming systems that look really really interesting and well done.

  20. #20
    Network Hub Jambe's Avatar
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    The mATX form factor doesn't generate its own dust & hair...

    Bigger cases certainly have more capacity for detritus, but I think the important takeaway there is that one should hit the PC with canned/compressed air often enough to keep air flowing.

    It's trivially easy to build neat, well-cooled mATX PCs (even so with mini-ITX, which is over 50% smaller still). Tiny Pee Cees for all!

    \o/
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