This is Frilio Rolthnor’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:
Top 5 Mid-Towers
5. Antec Three Hundred – The Antec Three Hundred is an amazing case for the price. It has really good cable management for a mid tower and very good airflow. With the addition of two 120mm fans in the front brackets, it provides optimal circulation to its 120mm rear, and 140mm exhaust. It has three external 5.25″ drive bays, and six internal 3.5″ hdd bays. On the right side of the hdd bays is a large cable management compartment that has room for all your excess power supply cables.
4. Raidmax Smilodon – The Smilodon is a great case, especially for those who are building their first computer. Both the left and right side panels fold down easily, and the motherboard tray folds out too. There is a lot of side intake, and with the rear exhaust, this case has good airflow. All 4 external 5.25″ bays, 2 external 3.5″ bays and the internal hdd bays have a tool-less design. Because of these features, the Raidmax Smilodon makes a great case for the first-time build.
3. NZXT Tempest – The Tempest is a great mid tower because it has excellent airflow and a lot of space. It has three external tool-less 5.25″ bays, and two removable hdd cages that hold 4 hard drives each. Each of the cages has a 120mm fan that provides great intake, and keeps the hard discs cool. At the top of the case are two 140mm fans which provide excellent exhaust next to the rear mounted 120mm fan. Underneath the motherboard tray is a large opening for cables to hide behind making cable management that much easier.
2. Thermaltake Armor+ MX – The Armor+MX is a great mid tower case. Looking at its left side panel, one finds a massive 230mm intake fan, huge for a mid tower. In addition to that there is also a 140mm intake at the front and a 120mm exhaust at the back. There are 6 tool-less 5.25″ bays and a removable hdd cage with 4 internal tool-less hdd bays. This case has plenty of room for large power supplies, and if you don’t need one too big you can mount some large fans or a liquid cooling system on the top, and there are tool-less expansion slots.
1. Antec Nine Hundred – The Antec Nine Hundred is amazing for a mid-tower case. It has a total of nine bays, which can be occupied either by 5.25″ devices or its two hdd cages. Each three disc cage easily slides in and out, can be mounted in any three consecutive 5.25″ bays, and has a 120mm 3 speed fan. It has a massive 200mm exhaust fan on the top, and a 120mm at the back. This case has lots of room, a bottom mounted power supply, and it provides some of the best airflow one can find in a mid tower case.
The Top 5 Full Towers
5. Thermaltake Spedo Advance Package – The Thermaltake Spedo Advance Package case features many features, such as a 140mm intake fan, two 120mm exhaust fans, and a mount for a right side panel (behind the motherboard). The case has 7 external 5.25″ drive bays; an external 3.5″ drive bay, and 6 hdd bays, all of which are tool-less. In addition to its cable management holes that lead through the motherboard tray, there are also panels that can be attached behind the motherboard tray to keep cables in to aid in fitting on the right side panel. There is also a large window with a large 230mm fan on the left side panel. The advanced package has a separation panel that can be used to block mixed airflow between the expansion cards and the rest of the motherboard. Channeling air in this way helps keep the overall case temperatures less.
4. Cooler Master Cosmos S – The Cosmos S features a heat sensitive power button that needs no force to activate. There is a 140mm intake fan, a 120mm rear exhaust fan, two 120mm top exhaust fans, and a large 230mm intake fan on the left side panel. There are 7 external 5.25″ drive bays, and a removable cage that holds 4 internal hdd bays. Two large handles on the top provide a rigid way to move the case, and the top fans can be removed to add a liquid cooling radiator. This case is very large, and has many cable management holes to route wires to the back side of the case.
3. Thermaltake Armor+ – The Thermaltake Armor+ is a massive case, both in size and weight. At the front, there are 7 5.25″ bays, and a removable hard drive cage that will take 5 3.5″ hard drives. There are also two 3.5″ drive bays on the bottom that can be replaced with 2 120mm or 140mm fans. There is a 140mm intake fan on the front, a 120mm rear exhaust fan, and either 2 120mm fans, 2 140mm fans, or a liquid cooling radiator can be mounted on the top. This case is very large, so even extended ATX motherboards can be installed with its 10 tool-less expansion slots. The motherboard tray is also removable, so it is very easy to install the motherboard and components outside the case.
2. Antec Twelve Hundred – The Antec Twelve Hundred is a beautiful case. It has 12 front 5.25″ drive bays, and nine of those can be converted to 3.5″ bays with its three, three disc hdd cages. Each of the cages can be repositioned in any of the drive bays, and are equipped with 120mm fans and a fan controller is on each cage on the outside of the case. This case also has two rear 120mm exhaust fans and a large 200mm top exhaust fan, and two more fans can be added, one on the interior side of a hdd cage and another on the large window on the left side panel. There are many cable management holes, and the whole interior of the case is painted black, which looks very nice compared to most cases.
1. LIAN LI PC-P80 – The LIAN LI PC-P80 Armorsuit case is one of the best cases currently on the market. This case has 12 5.25″ bays, which can be occupied with hdd cages that will support up to 6 3.5″ drives. This case has a door, which features three 140mm fans that provide optimal airflow for cooling, along with a top 140mm exhaust fan and a rear 120mm exhaust. There is a large mount for even the biggest of power supplies, a video card support bar, and the motherboard tray is removable.