A case of case indecisiveness
I'm looking to build a new rig (you may or may not have read over my earlier post asking for opinions on the specs I had laid out), but I can't seem to decide on which case to get. I'd like to generally keep the total cost (case + PS) at around $120 at most - maybe more if the case is truly exceptional. Here's how my new system is looking:
AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 939-Pin Processor, Venice Core, OEM ($120)
Thermaltake A1744 Venus 12 CPU Cooler ($33.99)
Hitachi 80 GB, 7200 RPM SATA II HD ($56.50)
eVGA GeForce 6600 GT ($135 after rebate)
EPOX EP-9NPA+ Ultra SLI nForce4 Motherboard ($105)
Corsair 1 Gigabyte Value Select RAM Kit ($84.80)
Total thus far: $526.75
Not too bad of a total so far, all things considered. I'm pretty much decided on everything I've got listed there, and I've got the other hardware not listed (opti drives, sound card, et cetera) more or less covered. But I need a case that's going to deliver a lot of good cooling at a fairly reasonable price...the only reason I'm building a new comp in the first place is because my current mobo got completely fried. It was extremely hot in my room to begin with, but the fact that the case only had a single fan puttering along in the back was a recipe for disaster.
So anyhow, here are the contenders as I see them to house this new computerized creation that I intend on building:
*Aluminum Aspire X-Navigator (~$150)*
This is the big kahuna of the bunch, price-wise. It's got 5 fans to start plus room for another one - and that's plenty of cooling. There's also a nice little knob in the front to control the fans, which is always nice. The only thing holding me back is the price and the fact that the power supply and my motherboard aren't on the same page. It's definitely a lot of money.
*NZXT Nemesis Elite ($120)*
I can't imagine a better-looking case than this one. You've got to admit that, everything considered, this case looks absolutely incredible. It's also got 3 120mm fans, which is obviously a lot of cooling - but I've heard that the intake for the front fan is somewhat obstructed.
It's also got a little LED fan controller which supposedly keeps the fans running at appropriate speeds, but I've heard that it's extremely cheap in construction. It's only held on to the top by a single screw (!) and its breakdown seems to be an inevitable thing from what I've read.
The power supply is what's really holding me back from buying this. It's an Orion 400W PS and I've heard nothing but bad things about it. And at $120, I don't want to fork out more clams to buy a decent PS if I can avoid doing so.
*Steel Aspire X-Navigator (~$90)*
This seems to be the most likely choice. It's basically the same thing as the Aluminum version, as far as I can tell, with a few downgrades. It comes with a 450W PS which I've heard is very reliable, and it comes with 4 fans with room for one more which definitely isn't that bad.
I guess I'm not sure about this one because the PS is comes with won't jive with my motherboard. Oh, and the fact that it isn't quite as light as aluminum (heh) is also a downside.
I've poured over cases reviews and specs, believe me, and those are the top 3 contenders. What do you think?