I'm looking for a good case to house an i7-2600K and mid-high graphics card (with luck: GTX-570) for about six years of life (3 years as gaming/development, 3 years as Linux server/development). It will be one of two boxes which sit in my living room, so keeping it quiet (not silent) is a priority. Also, as strange as it is to say this, I need/want it to be compatible with our cats.
- ATX form factor
- No larger than the Antec P18x series
- Available to purchase in the US
- PSU on the bottom
- Power/Reset button on front/behind door
- Wire routing space behind motherboard
The options I've looked at now:
Antec P183 : Assuming that the new version is available (or that I can still find old stock of the previous version), this is an easy choice. My current gaming box is in a P182 and I found it to be a nice case. It's quiet, but a little warm. However, I'm not planning on doing huge overclocks, so its okay if it gets a little warm. If I go with this case, then it will probably be paired with the CP-850, despite the fact that its overkill for the system.
Fractal Design Define R3 : As much as I'd like the extra intake of the Define XL, it may be too large. The R3 seems almost as good, but I'm still unsure if there is much to be gained by using it instead of the P183.
Lancool K62/K7 : These are both nice looking cases which claim to reduce noise, but they both have open grills at the front of the case. This might be an improvement over the P182 for temperatures, but can they still be quiet?
Silverstone Fortress FT01 : This is probably the most expensive case I've considered, and while its got the SPCR seal of approval, I don't know if its worth the cash to buy a case with a non-replaceable front fan and similar airflow characteristics of cheaper cases.
Is there some other option I'm not considering?
On Cats: Our cats currently love my P182 as it houses a Core2 Quad and an 8800GTS G92, gets rather warm and has a blowhole vent on top. They will often take naps on top of it, especially while I'm playing games. Beyond being larger than I can fit into the space, this makes cases like the Fortress II and the Raven a bad choice, as a napping kitty would block most of the airflow out of the case. They also seem to enjoy hitting the power switch on my Linux box which is in a Sonata case with the PSU main power switch sitting close to the top of the case. I suspect that if the case power/reset button was on the top of the case (as with some Lian Li and Fractal Design cases), I might get some feline-based shutdowns as well.