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Getting ready to build. First, the case

IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,618Member Uncommon

I'm looking for a full size tower case. Budget is not much of a consideration but I don't really want to get into the Cosmos II range either. I'm looking for something with good air cooling--preferably with large quiet fans.

 

I'm leaning toward the CM Strorm Stryker but would love to hear about your personal favorites.

Comments

  • syntax42syntax42 Columbus, OHPosts: 1,305Member Uncommon

    I am not keen on cases which position power supplies to blow hot air onto the CPU, or the GPU in the case linked above.  It just seems like an oversight in design that has been accepted for too long.  My current PC was custom-built inside of a Pelican Case.  The air flow is designed to remove heat from the case for each of the major heat-generating components.  This is achieved with only two case fans - one for the GPU and one for the CPU.  The power supply's fan points toward the exterior of the case instead of toward the CPU.  Air vent holes are large, but positioned so air flows across the intended parts to be cooled before exiting.

     

    If you find a case with well-thought-out cooling, let me know.  My Pelican Case idea was mostly for travel, but the weight and size make it only suitable for road-trips.  I could use just about any computer case for that.

  • jdnewelljdnewell Spring Hill, TNPosts: 2,150Member Uncommon

    I used to use full tower cases but have switched over to mid tower for both my PCs.

    With a case as big as the one you linked air flow wont be an issue, neither will it matter where the PSU is. Which from the pics it is in pretty much the standard place in a case.

    If you are just putting together a regular gaming rig. I.E. One GPU, Air cooled CPU,  ect then you wont have any issues at all with cooling by using the fans that come with the case. If you are doing an sli / xfire setup with high end GPUs, high end liquid cooling, ect. then you may have to put a little thought into it.

    A case that big is really made for very high end rigs that need alot of airflow, fans, ect to disperse a large amount of heat. For most people a mid tower case with thought out fan placement is more than enough.

    I have and I5 2500k oc to 4.4, a 7870 OCd , SSD, 2x 2tb HDD, 16gb RAM, Corsair H60 cpu cooling,  Seasonic 550w psu, ect in my mid tower case with 3 fans. My temps stay fine even under heavy gaming load for hours and hours. Plus it does not weigh 40 pounds and serve as a desk when not in use.

    If you have used full tower cases in the past you know what to expect. If you have not then you may want to consider a really good mid tower unless your building an uber rig.

     

    Just my 2cp

     

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,179Member Uncommon

    With a full tower, as far as cooling goes, it will be hard to go wrong. If the case doesn't have fans stock, it's a simple matter of adding them where you want them (and fans are cheap, $15 for a very good one, $5 for a cheap one).

    I am personally a Lian Li fan. They are pricey compared to some of the competition, but I appreciate their clean no-frills designs, the well-thought out interiors, and the all aluminum chassis is sturdy, light, and easy to mod.

    Really, though, it comes down to aesthetics with a full tower. Whatever looks good to you - they are all going to perform more or less the same because you'll have so much empty space, even if you are doing 3xSLI or something that requires a lot of space. Full sized towers are ~big~.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,179Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by syntax42
    I am not keen on cases which position power supplies to blow hot air onto the CPU, or the GPU in the case linked above.

    Power supplies blow outward. They pull air from inside the case, which aids in overall cooling of the CPU/GPU.

    Once upon a time power supplies blew inward, way back in the original ATX standard (1995), when they thought they could get away with using the PSU fan for the CPU heatsink, and the CPU wouldn't require it's own fan. Once CPU's started requiring their own fans, it became a better idea to use the PSU to exhaust that heat out, rather than blow already warm air on the CPU, and ATX PSU manufacturers started to change back in the late 1990's.

    So no matter where you position your power supply, unless you install it backwards, it won't blow hot air onto a CPU or GPU. It will pull hot air out.

  • miguksarammiguksaram Fort Meade, MDPosts: 826Member Uncommon

    While there is certainly nothing wrong with the CM Storm Stryker I'm going to assume you choose it either based on looks and/or popularity of the model/brand.

    Might I suggest if money really isn't an issue (up to a certain point of course) that you look into getting a quality Aluminum case such as those available from Silverstone or Lian-Li.  There is also Caselabs which if I were looking into full tower would probably be my first choice.   They are hard to beat but will cost you a pretty penny, then again you do get what you pay for and can be customized to meet just about EVERY possible need through available additional parts.

    Unless you have a very specific need or desire to have a full tower my recommendation for Air Cooling would be Silverstones Fortress (all aluminum, subdued look, called FT for short) or Raven line-up (mixed material, more drastic in appearance, called RV for short).  They are basically the same thing from an internal perspective and only differ slightly in outer appearance and construction material, which of course comes back to price as well.  They work of a direct air flow concept where by the "wind tunnel" never has to bend like in normal tower setups.  The 180mm fans that come with them are top of the line too and pretty quiet for the most part.

    Caselabs: http://www.caselabs.net/

    Lian-Li: http://www.lian-li.com/en/products/#42/1/list

    Silverstone: http://www.silverstonetek.com/product_case.php?tno=0&case=c_tower&area=en

  • BaratukBaratuk trinity, ALPosts: 14Member

    This case is really good, lots of room, nice air flow with big fans. Only draw back is it can get dusty in it faster than a normal case.

     

    Also, this is a link to tigerdirect, you might be able to find it cheaper in other places.

     

     

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4146085&CatId=1510

  • RecoreRecore Posts: 5,098Member Uncommon

    My current rig is the first full tower build I have done and I love it. Maximum air flow and just looks beastly. My case is related  to the one you linked.

     

    http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?product_id=3054&product_name=CM

     

    Raptr Gamercard
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,618Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mannish

    My current rig is the first full tower build I have done and I love it. Maximum air flow and just looks beastly. My case is related  to the one you linked.

     

    http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?product_id=3054&product_name=CM

     

    Yeah I actually prefer black also so I've been looking at the Trooper too. The main difference with the Stryker that has me leanig that way is the extra "bulge" on the right hand panel that gives you a bit more room for the cables. Either one is great though. Love the hot-swapable 2.5" drive slot, fan controller, that lovely storage box at the bottom front and all the attention to detail.

     

    I'm curious. Did you move the HD cage fans to the more conventional front to push air at the GPU or left them on the side for tidier cabling? 

     

    And the rest of you... thanks for all the suggestions. I've spent several hours following your links and reading reviews :)

  • miguksarammiguksaram Fort Meade, MDPosts: 826Member Uncommon

    If you seem set on the CM Storm Stryker or Trooper I'd highly suggest you check on Tiny Tom Logans review of each and his comparison vidoes on youtube.  He's a very reputable and thorough reviewer from Great Britain who typically gets first hands on review of hardware within Europe because of it.  The vidoes are LONG but that is only because he is raw (for a computer hardware reviewer that is) and tends to touch a MANY areas other reviewers leave out.  Well worth your time as he actually chose the Storm Stryker for a sentimental/tribute build OVER what some would have considered a higher quality Caselabs case and explains why.  That build in question and the video related to it is titled "Orca".

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDDovw39nTw

  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 4,625Member Uncommon
    If you don't have much of a budget, get a Rosewill case. They are cheap and amazing.
  • RecoreRecore Posts: 5,098Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Iselin
    Originally posted by Mannish

    My current rig is the first full tower build I have done and I love it. Maximum air flow and just looks beastly. My case is related  to the one you linked.

     

    http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?product_id=3054&product_name=CM

     

    Yeah I actually prefer black also so I've been looking at the Trooper too. The main difference with the Stryker that has me leanig that way is the extra "bulge" on the right hand panel that gives you a bit more room for the cables. Either one is great though. Love the hot-swapable 2.5" drive slot, fan controller, that lovely storage box at the bottom front and all the attention to detail.

     

    I'm curious. Did you move the HD cage fans to the more conventional front to push air at the GPU or left them on the side for tidier cabling? 

     

    And the rest of you... thanks for all the suggestions. I've spent several hours following your links and reading reviews :)

     

    I left the HD Cage fans on the side. Never had a problem with air flow so I did not change them. image

    Raptr Gamercard
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,618Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by miguksaram

    If you seem set on the CM Storm Stryker or Trooper I'd highly suggest you check on Tiny Tom Logans review of each and his comparison vidoes on youtube.  He's a very reputable and thorough reviewer from Great Britain who typically gets first hands on review of hardware within Europe because of it.  The vidoes are LONG but that is only because he is raw (for a computer hardware reviewer that is) and tends to touch a MANY areas other reviewers leave out.  Well worth your time as he actually chose the Storm Stryker for a sentimental/tribute build OVER what some would have considered a higher quality Caselabs case and explains why.  That build in question and the video related to it is titled "Orca".

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDDovw39nTw

    Yeah I had already seen Tiny Tom's Stryker video review. But I hadn't seen his custom Orca job... very nice! 

    I like his reviews a lot--he's very conscientious and a good communicator to boot. "Thorough" is almost an understatement for his reviews image

    Another case that has caught my eye (which Tom has only "previewed" so far is the new Corsair 350D - a very interesting "double-wide" design that hides the PSU and HD bays behind the motherboard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPBVBzviVwQ&list=SPBDE3358367DB7324&index=2

    Some might say I'm obsessing too much over the case decision... I think of it more as fully savoring the planning stages--especially so since most other components for my build are pretty well decided already (see below.)

     

     

    Most of the rest of my build is decided: I'm keeping my ATI 7970 GPU (of course), my two SSDs, 1TB WD drive, Noctua NH-D14 cooler and Corsair 1000W PSU.

    The CPU will be either the i5 4670K or i7 4770K...still pondering how much my Photoshop and Premiere work will benefit from the i7. For gaming, either is great. Whichever one it is, the plan is to OC it to ~ 4.5 Ghz rate. 

    The MB will be one of the ASUs z87s...one that OC's well and easily...and, this time, looks good also.... not sure which yet. I've been using ASUS MBs almost exclusively for 20 years...I trust them.

    I'll probably add another HD-- a 3TB Seagate... 18 MPixel cameras make large RAW files :)

    And I'm getting new RAM - 16GB (2X 8Gb) of Corsair Vengeance pro (Noctua height compatible.) I currently have 3X 2GB on my old triple-channel ASUS.  

    I originally thought of going with a sealed WC kit, probably the Corsair H100i, but the differences in performance between it and the Noctua are minimal and the Corsair is noisier too. Pretty well ruled that out.

     

  • miguksarammiguksaram Fort Meade, MDPosts: 826Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Iselin
    Originally posted by miguksaram

    If you seem set on the CM Storm Stryker or Trooper I'd highly suggest you check on Tiny Tom Logans review of each and his comparison vidoes on youtube.  He's a very reputable and thorough reviewer from Great Britain who typically gets first hands on review of hardware within Europe because of it.  The vidoes are LONG but that is only because he is raw (for a computer hardware reviewer that is) and tends to touch a MANY areas other reviewers leave out.  Well worth your time as he actually chose the Storm Stryker for a sentimental/tribute build OVER what some would have considered a higher quality Caselabs case and explains why.  That build in question and the video related to it is titled "Orca".

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDDovw39nTw

    Yeah I had already seen Tiny Tom's Stryker video review. But I hadn't seen his custom Orca job... very nice! 

    I like his reviews a lot--he's very conscientious and a good communicator to boot. "Thorough" is almost an understatement for his reviews image

    Another case that has caught my eye (which Tom has only "previewed" so far is the new Corsair 350D - a very interesting "double-wide" design that hides the PSU and HD bays behind the motherboard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPBVBzviVwQ&list=SPBDE3358367DB7324&index=2

    Some might say I'm obsessing too much over the case decision... I think of it more as fully savoring the planning stages--especially so since most other components for my build are pretty well decided already (see below.)

     

     

    Most of the rest of my build is decided: I'm keeping my ATI 7970 GPU (of course), my two SSDs, 1TB WD drive, Noctua NH-D14 cooler and Corsair 1000W PSU.

    The CPU will be either the i5 4670K or i7 4770K...still pondering how much my Photoshop and Premiere work will benefit from the i7. For gaming, either is great. Whichever one it is, the plan is to OC it to ~ 4.5 Ghz rate. 

    The MB will be one of the ASUs z87s...one that OC's well and easily...and, this time, looks good also.... not sure which yet. I've been using ASUS MBs almost exclusively for 20 years...I trust them.

    I'll probably add another HD-- a 3TB Seagate... 18 MPixel cameras make large RAW files :)

    And I'm getting new RAM - 16GB (2X 8Gb) of Corsair Vengeance pro (Noctua height compatible.) I currently have 3X 2GB on my old triple-channel ASUS.  

    I originally thought of going with a sealed WC kit, probably the Corsair H100i, but the differences in performance between it and the Noctua are minimal and the Corsair is noisier too. Pretty well ruled that out.

     

    It's almost as if Corsair took a page out of Caselabs original design concept when they made the 350D.

    If you check the pics under my profile you will see my wife's system which she uses for Photoshop and gaming.  Most edits are done in a matter of seconds and it's an i5.  I can't claim one way or another whether or not you will see a noticeable improvement by jumping to an i7 because we don't currently own one but would you really need something to be faster than a few seconds anyway?

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,618Member Uncommon

    Update:

     

    Well I went for the Stryker after all. I saw one in person and it was nerd-love at first sight image

     

    I've already started the build: got the MB, CPU, RAM, 1 SSD and my new HD in there all nicely connected and cable managed,

     

    For the motherboard I didn't go with an ASUS after all (gasp! I feel like a heretic). The more I read and saw of the MSI Z87-GD65, the better it looked. It also happens to be a black MB with some red accents that actually looks great with the black and white Stryker theme.

     

    I went with the i7-4770k after all. I'm not saying it's better for gaming than the i5 equivalent but I happened to be flush with my old tax return check that's been burning a hole in pocket for a while... so why not?

     

    For the ram I went with 2 X 8GB of G-skill Trident X 2400-CL10.... not because of the 2400 CL10 but because I've seen several reports of it running at CL 6 or 7 and 1T @ 1866. That's what I'll be shooting for anyway. It doesn't hurt that they're black with red accents just like the MB :) And yes I know, 16 GB is also overkill for gaming. At least I'll see an occasional use for the extra ram when I'm doing some fancy edits of large 18 Mpixel RAW files in Photoshop.

     

    I'll probably finish the build today or tomorrow and I'll post some photos when I'm done. It's the best looking build I've ever done... but then, I've never gone for looks before... I feel shallow :)

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,618Member Uncommon

    Been meaning to finish off this thread with some photos of the build. So here they are. It's probably the best cable management job I've done...if I say so myself :)

    There are larger versions of the photos in my gallery here. Just click my name if you want to see them larger.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,179Member Uncommon

    Looks very nice. Great job!

  • ReizlaReizla AlkmaarPosts: 3,301Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by syntax42

    I am not keen on cases which position power supplies to blow hot air onto the CPU, or the GPU in the case linked above.  It just seems like an oversight in design that has been accepted for too long.  My current PC was custom-built inside of a Pelican Case.  The air flow is designed to remove heat from the case for each of the major heat-generating components.  This is achieved with only two case fans - one for the GPU and one for the CPU.  The power supply's fan points toward the exterior of the case instead of toward the CPU.  Air vent holes are large, but positioned so air flows across the intended parts to be cooled before exiting.

    I used to have a case with the PSU at the top. Recently I switched to one with the PSU at the bottom (same size, both from CM) and the temperature on my GPUs has dropped by 10 degrees Celsuis when running normally (40-70% load). When performing at top load (70-100% but that hardly happens) the GPUs are still 5 degrees Celsius cooler than normal. Reason is that the PSU (though blowing warm air) makes a forced airflow upward to the back fan that takes the warm air it out...

    @OP If you're planning on going SLI/XFIRE I'd advice the one you're using ;)

    [EDIT]

    See you already got one... Whenever you get heath problems (doubt it in your setup) turn the PSU fan up ;)

    AsRock 990FX Extreme3
    AMD Phenom II 1090T ~3.2Ghz
    GEiL 16Gb DDR3 1600Mhz
    ASUS GTX970 3x HD monitor 1920x1080

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,618Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ridelynn

    Looks very nice. Great job!

    Thanks :)

     

    Also running great right from the first POST. I'm just letting it burn in now before I start manually tweaking, but even so, I couldn't resist pushing the famous MSI OC Genie button just to see... it took the i7 4770k from 3.5 to 4.0 in a fraction of a second + a reboot, and since the MB and CPU are only running 12 and 14 C above ambient respectively, I'm just letting it burn in at that 14% OC... the CPU is not even cracking  60 in extreme CPU stress tests and peaks around 45 (23C over ambient) in GW2 or Rift. 

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,618Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Reizla
    Originally posted by syntax42

    I am not keen on cases which position power supplies to blow hot air onto the CPU, or the GPU in the case linked above.  It just seems like an oversight in design that has been accepted for too long.  My current PC was custom-built inside of a Pelican Case.  The air flow is designed to remove heat from the case for each of the major heat-generating components.  This is achieved with only two case fans - one for the GPU and one for the CPU.  The power supply's fan points toward the exterior of the case instead of toward the CPU.  Air vent holes are large, but positioned so air flows across the intended parts to be cooled before exiting.

    I used to have a case with the PSU at the top. Recently I switched to one with the PSU at the bottom (same size, both from CM) and the temperature on my GPUs has dropped by 10 degrees Celsuis when running normally (40-70% load). When performing at top load (70-100% but that hardly happens) the GPUs are still 5 degrees Celsius cooler than normal. Reason is that the PSU (though blowing warm air) makes a forced airflow upward to the back fan that takes the warm air it out...

    @OP If you're planning on going SLI/XFIRE I'd advice the one you're using ;)

    [EDIT]

    See you already got one... Whenever you get heath problems (doubt it in your setup) turn the PSU fan up ;)

    Yeah I though about flipping the PSU, but don't really need it at the moment. This case has a dust filtered intake just below the PSU so I just left it with its own isolated cooling for now. I won't be going X-Fire until the new generation ATI cards come out and the 7970s drop in price...not that I need it lol. It's already 10,000+ in 3DMark 11 with a single, slightly OC'd (950 -> 1100 core) GPU.

  • SavageHorizonSavageHorizon ParisPosts: 2,086Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Iselin

    I'm looking for a full size tower case. Budget is not much of a consideration but I don't really want to get into the Cosmos II range either. I'm looking for something with good air cooling--preferably with large quiet fans.

     

    I'm leaning toward the CM Strorm Stryker but would love to hear about your personal favorites.

    The best case i've ever had is the one you mentioned, it's second to none imo. You reckon budget isn't an issue then why not get one of the best case ever made.

    Coolermaster Cosmos II Case
    Corsair AX1200W Modular PSU
    Intel Core i7 3970X OC 4.50GHz
    Asus P9X79 PRO Intel X7
    16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 PC3-1866MHz
    840 Series 250GB SSDs
    Seagate Barracuda 2TB HDDs
    EVGA SuperClocked GTX TITAN 6GB GDDR5 SLi

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,179Member Uncommon

    Power supply at the bottom benefits a GPU (particularly internal exhaust GPUs) the most because it pulls the hot air right off their fan and pushes it right out of the case.

    Airflow, in a properly configured ATX case, should go front to back, not really top to bottom. You really, really don't want the PSU blowing warm air into the case to try to create some sort of updraft (if you mean by "flipping" flipping the internal fan around so it blows inward). If by "flipping" it you mean turn it upside down (so the fan is on the up side) - then absolutely, but then the fan is pulling down and blowing out, and all the rest of your fans on the back are blowing out, so there really isn't any vertical air flow path to speak of - it's from the front of the case and out the rear.

    Since your power supply is at the bottom and can pull the hot air right off the GPUs, they stay cooler. The flip side to that is, if your PSU is on bottom, it's not pulling the hot air off your CPU cooler, so your CPU probably runs marginally hotter. If your PSU was up top, that hot air from the GPU would get kinda stuck around the bottom and eventually make it's way up to the mid-exhaust fan (the one that usually sits behind the CPU), and the power supply pulling from up top (which would benefit the CPU by the same concept).

    It really just depends on if you want to rob Peter to pay Paul - or which component your wanting to drive harder. At stock speeds, it probably doesn't matter at all, one part or the other may be cooler, but everything is probably well within tolerances in the first place.

    I usually recommend that people install the PSU up top to assist with the CPU if their case has the option, and if you need to pull more air off the GPU's, there are PCI slot fans that do it cheaply and effectively. The PSU is uniquely sized such that it's fan is directly on top of the CPU heatsink, and it's hard to get a fan more directly placed than that.

    For example:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150006

  • SeariasSearias Edmonton, ABPosts: 712Member Uncommon

    Good Job! that's a nice looking build. :)

    I am currently using a Corsair Obsidian 900D, I love this case but without handles to hold on to the thing is  hard to move around. I think my case's overall weight now might be over 70 pounds.

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  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,618Member Uncommon

    No. By flipping it I meant sucking hot GPU air as opposed to the way I have it now which is sucking in ambient air, cooling the PSU only, and exhausting it out the PSU's back.

     

    Back in the days when bottom mounted PSUs were a new thing, I had an Antec silent case that did this. Except they went a step further and had a divider isolating the bottom PSU + HD compartment from the upper MB/CPU/PCIe compartment. I OC'd that system on air as well and it worked well. I see Corsair has gone back to this separate compartment system with their latest Air 540 cube case. The only difference is that they've gone horizontal with their PSU + HDD separation.

     

    My GPU just doesn't need the extra help atm from the PSU pulling hot air from the GPU. And besides, in this case it's much farther away from the GPU than it would be in a mid tower. This GPU has a Gigabyte 3-fan system that isn't the standard HD 7970 cooler. Heat isn't a problem for it. Also, as you can see from my pics above, I left the upper HD cage totally empty and turned it 90 degrees so that its 120mm intake fan does nothing but blow filtered room air directly at the GPU. The bottom HD cage is full, has it's own intake fan from the left side and exhausts it out a grill on the cases's right side.

    And my CPU certainly doesn't need any more air help: beside the Noctua's 2 fans in a push/pull config, there is a 140mm fan exhausting out the back + a 200mm fan just above it exhausting air up.

    I've been using bottom mounted PSUs for several builds now and I'm comfortable with that set-up.

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