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Recommend me a case :)
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Danny_G13
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Default Recommend me a case :) - 08-10-2017, 02:48 | posts: 244 | Location: Glasgow

Hi chaps, was looking for some recommendations for a new midtower.

I've been on my Antec P180 Silver Aluminium Super Miditower Case for a full decade and never had any need to 'upgrade' - sure the lack of hole underneath the motherboard CPU was inconvenient as hell but the general design remains the best I've ever used - PSU at the bottom with the HD bays, both closed off from heat rising.

Unfortunately my investment in both a Corsair AIO for the CPU (not a problem) a few years ago and now my acquisition of an EVGA 1080Ti Hybrid (a problem) has led to a ridiculous situation where I've had to temporarily clamp a fan to the outside of the case because the space inside wasn't enough.

It actually works well enough, GPU maxes out at around 50C, but God is it ugly. And potentially a tad dangerous!

So sadly I think the end may be nigh for this case, great though it's been, and I am looking for a new midtower.

My criteria for your recommendations:

1: Preferably HD and PSU in isolated chambers at the bottom of the case. Not critical but I prefer it. Most cases see these at the top.

2: MUST have the space for at least two 120MM fan standard AIO radiators with expansion to a third if I ever go SLI. Ergo lots of space for the significant thickness when one screws an AIO radiator with case fan attached, onto a typical 120MM 'exhaust' mount. I am looking for lots of these, in short, and inner space to accommodate them.

3: CPU hole. I am fed up of having to remove the mobo every time I want to work with the CPU.

4: Lots of internal cable storage. Let's face it, PC internals are a mess, no matter how neat you try to get it. But surely standards have gone up enough that cable space and wire storing has improved?

5: Organic HD mounting. On the P180 the HD bay has rubber dampers for my 3.5' disks screws, which is fine, but for my SSD at 2.5' I've had to actually blu-tac it to the HD because SSD didn't exist in 2007. So in short, HD and SSD mounting which works without separate adapters. Or blu tac

6: Plenty of space around the motherboard, especially below and above - the above will certainly help with the radiator spacing, but the below is because I have a PCI-E slot wasted on my rig because there is no space below the mobo for a large device to overrun. I'd also like a fair bit in front too.

Ok that's off the top of my head.

What would you guys also recommend for the best strategy re: airflow? I am looking for a couple (?) of 120MM fans to push air in and the two AIO fans to help suck it all out. Do I need more? Current temps are CPU idle around 34C and under solid (not max, not Prime95 etc) load around 70C+ roughly? GPU is 30/50. I'd like to reduce it all if I can of course but I know there's limits. And as I say on my P180 the PSU and HDs do not contribute much to the case temp, being isolated away as they are. So that definitely helps.

My budget has a roof of 150 but I'd rather spend less.

Thanks folks.
   
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Danny_G13
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Videocard: MSI 1080Ti FE @ 2GHz
Processor: 4790K
Mainboard: Asus Z97-A
Memory: Corsair 32GB @ 1866 C9
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PSU: Corsair 1000W
Default 08-10-2017, 03:16 | posts: 244 | Location: Glasgow

https://www.nzxt.com/products/h440-black

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Phanteks-En.../dp/B00LW3X1PA

The awful colour aside on the Phanteks, those are a couple of possible contenders so far?
   
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DW75
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Default 08-10-2017, 08:10 | posts: 334 | Location: Canada

I own the Phanteks Enthoo Pro in white. I actually think the case looks awesome in that color. If you don't like it in white though, it also comes in black. It is loaded with features. It has tons of room to work with as well, and fantastic cooling potential options. I think you will be very impressed. Just be very careful with the side panel. The window can be scratched very easily.
   
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fantaskarsef
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Default 08-10-2017, 08:49 | posts: 6,855 | Location: Austria (no kangaroos here)

Corsair 900D. Last case I will ever use, it can house 2x 480 rads (top and bottom) and 2x 240 rads (front and back). It's heavy, but you have lots of space to work with inside. It's also quite costly, and super large though... it's a piece of furniture hehe
   
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Danny_G13
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Default 08-10-2017, 13:49 | posts: 244 | Location: Glasgow

Quote:
Originally Posted by fantaskarsef View Post
Corsair 900D. Last case I will ever use, it can house 2x 480 rads (top and bottom) and 2x 240 rads (front and back). It's heavy, but you have lots of space to work with inside. It's also quite costly, and super large though... it's a piece of furniture hehe
That thing is a colossus. Does look pretty sufficient, but might actually be too tall! Also the price is mammoth! What's it like for sound levels?
   
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Danny_G13
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Default 08-10-2017, 13:50 | posts: 244 | Location: Glasgow

Quote:
Originally Posted by DW75 View Post
I own the Phanteks Enthoo Pro in white. I actually think the case looks awesome in that color. If you don't like it in white though, it also comes in black. It is loaded with features. It has tons of room to work with as well, and fantastic cooling potential options. I think you will be very impressed. Just be very careful with the side panel. The window can be scratched very easily.
I do like the look of its features, if not looks, in white anyway; but can it definitely fit two or three 120MM radiators?
   
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jura11
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Default 08-10-2017, 14:29 | posts: 1,313 | Location: London

Hi there

I can highly recommend Phanteks Enthoo Primo if budget allows, I'm running there 7* 3.5" HDD and 4* SSD

Cable management in this case is awesome and really is just pleasure to work with the case

You have there space for 480mm on top and bottom(at bottom you can fit 2*120 or 2*140mm radiators or 240 or 280mm radiators if you don't want to have fitted 3.5" HDD cages)

PSU is isolated in separate chamber

There is plenty space at back to work and cable management

Its probably my best case what I owned and have great airflow which counts for me as well there

Regarding the airflow I would advise or recommend to use 2*140mm fans rather than 120mm fans, you need to run 3*120mm to have same airflow CFM as 2*140mm fans

Here is link on Enthoo Primo

http://www.phanteks.com/Enthoo-Primo-SE.html

And saw few times used one for 100 or around this figure which is still great price

Be prepared fully loaded case will be pretty heavy

Why I don't recommend Corsair is due materials used as these materials are so thin and feels so flimsy not like in Enthoo Primo where materials are solid and no thin material

Hope this helps

Thanks, Jura
   
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WhiteLightning
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Default 08-10-2017, 15:23 | posts: 26,553 | Location: Netherlands

i got that phanteks, in black that is. (well pro M) cant go wrong with the case, its a great case.
   
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fantaskarsef
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Default 08-10-2017, 16:46 | posts: 6,855 | Location: Austria (no kangaroos here)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny_G13 View Post
That thing is a colossus. Does look pretty sufficient, but might actually be too tall! Also the price is mammoth! What's it like for sound levels?
Yes, yes, and yes, and also yes

Well having rads on top and bottom (each 480), I can hear the fans of course. But also it's standing next to me, because of the size (and always reading the Qcode bios messages when booting out of paranoia) and also that at times I had to push the mainboard buttons. Also to get the heat away easier and get it up from the floor, avoiding most of the dust to be sucked in.

So I'm facing the back side of the case, which is "open", but that I will have to deal with at some point. So it definately is not as quiet as the old Fractal Design Define R4 (with sound dampening), then again, the components are not as loud during use like back in the days of air cooling, so I'm doing pretty fine. Using the case with a Noctua NH-D15 to test the components' functionality before putting on water cooling stuff, it was rather quiet though (which also might have to do with not gaming!).
   
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Danny_G13
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Default 08-10-2017, 21:18 | posts: 244 | Location: Glasgow

Quote:
Originally Posted by jura11 View Post
Hi there

I can highly recommend Phanteks Enthoo Primo if budget allows, I'm running there 7* 3.5" HDD and 4* SSD

Cable management in this case is awesome and really is just pleasure to work with the case

You have there space for 480mm on top and bottom(at bottom you can fit 2*120 or 2*140mm radiators or 240 or 280mm radiators if you don't want to have fitted 3.5" HDD cages)

PSU is isolated in separate chamber

There is plenty space at back to work and cable management

Its probably my best case what I owned and have great airflow which counts for me as well there

Regarding the airflow I would advise or recommend to use 2*140mm fans rather than 120mm fans, you need to run 3*120mm to have same airflow CFM as 2*140mm fans

Here is link on Enthoo Primo

http://www.phanteks.com/Enthoo-Primo-SE.html

And saw few times used one for 100 or around this figure which is still great price

Be prepared fully loaded case will be pretty heavy

Why I don't recommend Corsair is due materials used as these materials are so thin and feels so flimsy not like in Enthoo Primo where materials are solid and no thin material

Hope this helps

Thanks, Jura
Appreciate the indepth reply

Price is modest for what you get, but I have two queries - the two 120MM bays at the top and front top - will they BOTH fully accommodate a rad&fan combo?

Also going by the imagery there's no space past the base of the motherboard?

Beyond these this does look a strong contender.
   
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Danny_G13
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Default 08-10-2017, 21:19 | posts: 244 | Location: Glasgow

Quote:
Originally Posted by fantaskarsef View Post
Yes, yes, and yes, and also yes

Well having rads on top and bottom (each 480), I can hear the fans of course. But also it's standing next to me, because of the size (and always reading the Qcode bios messages when booting out of paranoia) and also that at times I had to push the mainboard buttons. Also to get the heat away easier and get it up from the floor, avoiding most of the dust to be sucked in.

So I'm facing the back side of the case, which is "open", but that I will have to deal with at some point. So it definately is not as quiet as the old Fractal Design Define R4 (with sound dampening), then again, the components are not as loud during use like back in the days of air cooling, so I'm doing pretty fine. Using the case with a Noctua NH-D15 to test the components' functionality before putting on water cooling stuff, it was rather quiet though (which also might have to do with not gaming!).
Yeah, naturally physics dictates it's very hard to completely soundproof - my P180 is meant to be 'silent' but their silent and my silent is probably a bit different!
   
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Danny_G13
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PSU: Corsair 1000W
Default 08-10-2017, 21:20 | posts: 244 | Location: Glasgow

Just to clear one thing up - I am trying to accommodate closed loop radiators here, AIOs, rather than the more flexible but pricey custom loop kits.
   
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Poor Tom
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Videocard: 1080Ti SLI Hybrid modded
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Default 08-11-2017, 00:15 | posts: 50 | Location: USA

Take a look at Thermaltake F31 or X31 cases. Plenty of room everywhere for a midtower, ssd or HD mounts behind motherboard tray, option for 200mm/140mm/120mm fans front & top, cpu cutout on mb tray, dust filters, drive bays are removable, and can get a power supply cover with ssd mounts standard or optional (not exactly a separate chamber though).

I've got a 360mm AIO on top and two 120mm AIO's from hybrid video cards mounted in front on the X31 which is similar to the set up you are interested in. I admit the Thermaltakes aren't as sexy as some other cases but still very functional.
   
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Danny_G13
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Videocard: MSI 1080Ti FE @ 2GHz
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PSU: Corsair 1000W
Default 08-11-2017, 01:05 | posts: 244 | Location: Glasgow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poor Tom View Post
Take a look at Thermaltake F31 or X31 cases. Plenty of room everywhere for a midtower, ssd or HD mounts behind motherboard tray, option for 200mm/140mm/120mm fans front & top, cpu cutout on mb tray, dust filters, drive bays are removable, and can get a power supply cover with ssd mounts standard or optional (not exactly a separate chamber though).

I've got a 360mm AIO on top and two 120mm AIO's from hybrid video cards mounted in front on the X31 which is similar to the set up you are interested in. I admit the Thermaltakes aren't as sexy as some other cases but still very functional.
Yeah fugly indeed but it does fit a lot of the criteria. And it's pretty darn cheap.
   
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pimpernell
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Default 08-11-2017, 04:03 | posts: 317 | Location: Norway

EVGA DG-87/86.
It meets all your criterias. A bit on the costly side, but well worth it.

https://www.evga.com/products/produc...100-E1-1236-K0
   
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Danny_G13
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Default 08-11-2017, 12:27 | posts: 244 | Location: Glasgow

Quote:
Originally Posted by pimpernell View Post
EVGA DG-87/86.
It meets all your criterias. A bit on the costly side, but well worth it.

https://www.evga.com/products/produc...100-E1-1236-K0
It does. Apart from being a fulltower and not overly glorious on the eye! But yes, it definitely meets the lot.
   
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xIcarus
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Default 08-11-2017, 12:48 | posts: 732 | Location: Cluj-Napoca, Romania

I just finished assembling my new PC in a Fractal Design Define C, this case is something that you might consider. Aside from the fans which didn't seem to have any pre-drilled holes (I moved them around and bought 2 extra, it was a real pain with a normal screwdriver), it was a very pleasant experience.

1. Isolated chamber for PSU/HDD, SSDs without caddies go on the back of the CPU (more info on that later). Can install caddied SSDs in normal HDD space of course. Space for 2x HDD and 3x SSD.

2. Pretty ridiculous space for watercooling. Radiator/fan space goes like this:
- 1x 120mm at the back (pretty sure they say in the spec sheet that 140mm fits too but it DOESN'T, be careful with this),
- 2x 120/140mm top
- 3x 120mm OR 2x 140mm at the front.

3. Big ass CPU hole. I didn't need to replace the backplate for my Scythe Fuma but it could have been done with ease.
I mentioned earlier that the SSDs go at the back of the CPU on the other side. You have a sheet of metal that is mounted at the back of the CPU on which the SSDs get attached. That sheet can be removed in 5 seconds by unscrewing a toolless bolt.

4. Internal cable space could be a bit better I think. You can indeed cram a lot of sh1t in the PSU compartment and the back of the case where you tie up the cables is spacious enough, but don't expect any miracles without working for it.
But then again, it's quite a short case.

5. I didn't understand 100% correctly, but HDDs are mounted (with screws, has rubber dampers) on some caddies which slide into the enclosure. SSDs do not, they are mounted on that metal sheet I spoke of earlier.

6. This is a pretty small case compared to others, you won't have a ton of space if you plan to plant radiators everywhere. My only complaint is that the upper part is pretty cramped. Unfortunately one PCI-E slot will be rendered useless if it's right at the bottom. From what I've seen most cases with a PSU guard are like this.

About airflow I don't know really, I'm currently running on positive air pressure with 2x 140mm fans at the front, 1x 120mm fan at the back and 1x 120mm fan on the top.

As for price, newegg is listing it at $79, but I bought it for around 125EUR because Romania is the land where salaries are sh1t and tech is expensive.
   
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jura11
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Videocard: GTX1080 Ti +2*1080 FE EK
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Mainboard: ASRock X99 Extreme 6
Memory: 6x16GB DDR4 2133MHz LPX
Soundcard: AVID Mbox 2
PSU: Seasonic X1250W
Default 08-11-2017, 14:04 | posts: 1,313 | Location: London

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny_G13 View Post
Appreciate the indepth reply

Price is modest for what you get, but I have two queries - the two 120MM bays at the top and front top - will they BOTH fully accommodate a rad&fan combo?

Also going by the imagery there's no space past the base of the motherboard?

Beyond these this does look a strong contender.
Hi there

Here is my build



At top I'm running EK XE360 360mm 60mm thick radiator and at bottom I'm running Mayhems Havoc 240nm 60mm thick radiator and at exhaust side I'm running XSPC 120mm radiator

Its does offer lots of radiator space and if they accommodate radiators and fans yes as you can see, you can in theory put at front of the HDD cages 240mm 30mm thick radiator which I planned but I'm OK with my setup and temperatures are still pretty good for setup what I'm running, still there space at HDD cages for extra fan mounting etc

Yes there is space pass motherboard as you can see on my build, have run this case like with AIO or with NH-D15 and air cooled GPU and with EVGA Hybrid and still there has been space

Hope this helps

Thanks, Jura
   
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Open to Open Air?
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robtorbay
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Default Open to Open Air? - 08-11-2017, 14:53 | posts: 209 | Location: Canada

I actually had the exact same case for years, but when I went with the 980ti in Hybrid I needed something a little more user friendly as well. If your open to an open air case, I would recommend the Thermaltake Core P3 or P5.

tons of space for upgrading, several HD bays in the back and if you get the P5, there is also a bracket kit you can use which gives you the ability to mount AIO coolers for the hardware and 3 SSDs or Regular HDs.
   
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ESlik
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Default 08-11-2017, 15:09 | posts: 2,336 | Location: Sault Ste. Marie Ont. CA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny_G13 View Post
It does. Apart from being a fulltower and not overly glorious on the eye! But yes, it definitely meets the lot.
I have this case, and no way would I recommend it. Very cheap build quality, side panel door is a killer to remove,and poorly designed front air intake and rear exhaust panel. For the price, there are much better cases available. I have five 140mm Corsair ML fans in the case, and I'm not getting anywhere near the air flow I expected. Just my opinion.
   
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jura11
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PSU: Seasonic X1250W
Default 08-11-2017, 15:30 | posts: 1,313 | Location: London

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESlik View Post
I have this case, and no way would I recommend it. Very cheap build quality, side panel door is a killer to remove,and poorly designed front air intake and rear exhaust panel. For the price, there are much better cases available. I have five 140mm Corsair ML fans in the case, and I'm not getting anywhere near the air flow I expected. Just my opinion.
Hi there

I have just built in this case custom water loop and will see how it performs and what temperatures my friend will hit or get

Regarding the build quality, is not bad, there are worse cases than DG-87, have look on Corsair 750D which is very cheaply made

Side panels are good, back panel has been first time pain to remove but still not bad, at back is lots of space and case is pretty roomy

60mm radiators can be problem to fit but is doable, friend running only 360mm at front and top plus fans in push pull configuration

Will see how is restrictive, front and top looks like can be and will do tests when all parts are here and how fans sounds in this case

At what RPM are you running yours fans, I would expect you need to run fans faster if you want to overcome restriction of front and rear exhaust panel etc

Its not bad case, but agree there are better cases, I recommended him Phanteks Enthoo Primo

Hope this helps

Thanks, Jura
   
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jmcc
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Default 08-11-2017, 18:18 | posts: 35 | Location: Brazil

Corsair 780T
   
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Danny_G13
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Videocard: MSI 1080Ti FE @ 2GHz
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Default 08-11-2017, 19:01 | posts: 244 | Location: Glasgow

There's just not enough suggestions so far

Thanks guys, I'll fully digest all this and reply later on!
   
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ESlik
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Memory: 32 gigs ddr4 @ 3200
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PSU: AX 1200i
Default 08-11-2017, 22:10 | posts: 2,336 | Location: Sault Ste. Marie Ont. CA

Quote:
Originally Posted by jura11 View Post
Hi there

I have just built in this case custom water loop and will see how it performs and what temperatures my friend will hit or get

Regarding the build quality, is not bad, there are worse cases than DG-87, have look on Corsair 750D which is very cheaply made

Side panels are good, back panel has been first time pain to remove but still not bad, at back is lots of space and case is pretty roomy

60mm radiators can be problem to fit but is doable, friend running only 360mm at front and top plus fans in push pull configuration

Will see how is restrictive, front and top looks like can be and will do tests when all parts are here and how fans sounds in this case

At what RPM are you running yours fans, I would expect you need to run fans faster if you want to overcome restriction of front and rear exhaust panel etc

Its not bad case, but agree there are better cases, I recommended him Phanteks Enthoo Primo

Hope this helps

Thanks, Jura
I run my case fans at 40 percent. ML fans have high air flow at 40, and run very quiet. Some DG 87 owners have had good experiences, but far too many have various issues. I'm sure you've checked the EVGA owners forum. Let me know what your temps etc. are once you have your cooling etc. installed. I might learn something here. Thanks..
   
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biggerx
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Videocard: ASUS GTX 1070 STRIX OC
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PSU: EVGA SuperNova G2 650w
Default 08-11-2017, 22:15 | posts: 3,576 | Location: Los Angeles

Quote:
Originally Posted by fantaskarsef View Post
Corsair 900D. Last case I will ever use, it can house 2x 480 rads (top and bottom) and 2x 240 rads (front and back). It's heavy, but you have lots of space to work with inside. It's also quite costly, and super large though... it's a piece of furniture hehe
My 400D has amazing space and it's a lot smaller than the 900D. You can fit at least 2 rads in it. It's actually quite light with everything installed due to not having any spinning HDDs in it.
   
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