Least Expensive Case with PS in the bottom?

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Devonavar

Post Reply
Plekto
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:08 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Least Expensive Case with PS in the bottom?

Post by Plekto » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:00 pm

I'm trying to build a system and while I like the Antec models, I really just need a basic case - cheap as possible.

Need:
- No side fan.
- 12cm fan at the rear.
That's it.

Would like:
- 12cm fan on top
- removable front cover or none at all.
- soft mountable drives or at least room for 4-5 3.5 drives inside with decent airflow over them(don't require a front fan - the rear will do the job)

Planned setup is a couple of small and fast SATA drives in Raid 1 as the boot(Raptor or similar) and another raid 1 array for programs.(have a lot of 300GB IDE drives and it has IDE and SATA raid, so why not?)

This of course means good airflow over the drives, lest they turn into a "heat brick" in my case.

Am I just stuck with paying $100+?

JaYp146
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:17 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH
Contact:

Post by JaYp146 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:53 am

Check out the new Coolermaster cases. Centurion 590 and CM 690 might be just what you're looking for.

thejamppa
Posts: 3142
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:20 am
Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
Contact:

Post by thejamppa » Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:24 pm

but both have 120mm fan on side.

So does Antec three hundred but that will be a cheap case with bottom psu.

Nexus caterpillar would fit your bill too, but there are some issues with Sata HDD's and drive cage...

Plekto
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:08 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Post by Plekto » Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:02 pm

That Coolermaster 590 case looks to be ideal. I can rip the lower drive bay cage out entirely and epoxy a piece of black metal over the side openings.
That would leave a bare intake area(no fan, moot, really), and 3 120mm fans blowing outwards at 5V, plus the PS not causing heat on the rest of the system.

The 3.5 drives would be in the 5.25 area in a suspension mount.

You guys have to review this - it looks like it may be the best budget thing out there. Massive airflow and almost no restrictions, plus PSU in the bottom. All for half the cost of the Antecs. We just need to figure out what to do with the side vents.

NeilBlanchard
Moderator
Posts: 7681
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Maynard, MA, Eaarth
Contact:

Post by NeilBlanchard » Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:16 pm

Hello,

It has more fan grills than you can shake a stick at! How is it better than a Solo?

yukon
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:25 pm
Location: Canada

Post by yukon » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:28 pm

PSU at the bottom. Antec Solo has it at the top.

Nexus Caterpillar is 145$ here. That's more expensive than the P182 here. It has foam in it that could turn yellow or degrade, and I imagine the foam can hold a static charge. I prefer to have a door over noisy CD drives.

Normally I'd say to not go with Coolermaster. It's 72$ here though. I usually tape up extraneous vents with coloured tape to match the side panel, then add some mass, like vinyl or something to prevent noise escaping through the tape. The two side ones would have to go, and I'd probably tape up the top two and the bottom one unless the case is going under something (to prevent direct line-of-sight for noise to travel) or on top of something to prop it up from the floor. I dislike how it doesn't have a door, and that front mesh won't reflect noise from the hard drives (direct line of sight. You can see the HDs through the mesh). However, it is the cheapest for the bottom-PSU setup, which I like. Note that 120mm fanned PSUs may be oriented downward in this case, since it has a vent on the bottom.

Good find. I still prefer the P182, or what this coolermaster 590 would be with a door.

Scoop
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:28 am

Post by Scoop » Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:17 am

Are you sure you don't want an intake fan? Your HDDs might heat up a bit. I have the CM690. It's a nice looking case with good features and great price. Obviously it isn't targeted at the silent market. I have two fans in it. Rear exhaust and front intake. The intake fan blowing through the HDD cage keeps them cool and helps with the GPU temp.

I like the ease of installation of.. well everything in this case. Only the motherboard and PSU use screws. The PSU goes to the bottom, fan down, taking cool air outside of the case since there's a grill right under it. The case comes with three fans, I'm only using two of them, took the side fan out. The fans are nice enough when running at 700RPM (full speed 1200RPM), and I don't care what kind of noise the system makes under load when I have my headphones on.

Here is a nice tour on the case covering it thoroughly http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=527998. It certainly has the features you listed but if you like the CM590 more, the call is yours :)

NeilBlanchard
Moderator
Posts: 7681
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Maynard, MA, Eaarth
Contact:

Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:19 am

Greetings,
yukon wrote:PSU at the bottom. Antec Solo has it at the top.
I realize that -- but with all the modifications that would need to be done to the CM case, and given that having the PSU at the bottom is a nominal advantage at best -- the minor price advantage would seem to be barely worth it? :?:

What thickness is the steel in the CM case? Most of the fan grills need to be blocked off (to prevent noise escaping), and the front intake is straight, so more noise will escape there, too. There is no dampening on the side panels, and no HD suspension, and no cable management -- is there space behind the MB tray?

I got a Solo for $26 shipped not long ago...

Plekto
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:08 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Post by Plekto » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:01 pm

The entire front is one giant metal mesh/opening, so there's really zero reason other than spot cooling to put any intake fans on it. Imagine dropping a 12cm fan in the middle of an open window...

Yes, it would need some modding, but that's easy enough, and it's cheap. So is spray paint and some sheets of tin. Will it be quiet? No. You'll need quiet components(padding the drive cage would be my only real suggestion).* But thanks to the zillion fan openings, you could run every fan at 5V I bet and get fantastic airflow.(4-6 fans at the rear at 5V).

I just have a problem with paying $100+ for a case. I like the PSU on the bottom due to cabling issues and that with a little work, I can make a duct for the drive bays and use the PSU to pull air in that way.

*You could also put a dark acoustical covering over the metal mesh/screens in the front to block direct noise transmission from the drives

My only gripe - and I'm emailing them about it is that we can't just get a plain black side with no holes in it. Ie - just make one and don't drill any holes on either side. (There's another one on the back side near the CPU, dunno why)

Willy Higinbotham
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:39 pm

Post by Willy Higinbotham » Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:08 pm

Plekto wrote:....snip.....

(There's another one on the back side near the CPU, dunno why)
I remember reading in some reviews that you could put a 80mm fan (x10mm) if you want to cool the motherboard.

This feature comes both on CM 690 and 590.

thejamppa
Posts: 3142
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:20 am
Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
Contact:

Post by thejamppa » Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:49 pm

and NZXT Tempest which have around 99 $ price tag and comes with six 120-140mm fans.

yukon
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:25 pm
Location: Canada

Post by yukon » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:18 am

[quote="Plekto"]
*You could also put a dark acoustical covering over the metal mesh/screens in the front to block direct noise transmission from the drives

My only gripe - and I'm emailing them about it is that we can't just get a plain black side with no holes in it. Ie - just make one and don't drill any holes on either side. (There's another one on the back side near the CPU, dunno why)[/quote]

Interesting idea, thanks. It's a lot of modding to cover mesh screens, and there's issues of where to intake after that, but interesting.

I agree with Neil though. The PSU location really isn't much of an issue, and the top mount could help exhaust the rising warmer air...it is the title of the thread but you might want to reconsider the requirement.

I think one of Intel's ATX specifications called for side vents. Silly idea, unnecessary, but standard.

Post Reply