Buying Guide Part 1: Computer Cases
It’s the holiday season and many of you are probably looking to get a good deal on a gaming PC or at least looking for deals on new components. Either way, I’ll share with you based on my experiences what the good brands and components are.
Even though I’m a gamer, I don’t go for the flashy computer cases with lots of LED lighting. For me, what’s most important, is a case with good airflow. The better the airflow, the longer your gaming PC lasts.
Also, when it comes to airflow, it’s also not about having a ton of fans. Too many fans pulling in the wrong directions can actually harm your computer. You almost want a net neutral or slightly positive pressure air flow.
For example, if you have all your case fans pulling air out with no intake fans and vents, you can actually suffocate your power supply and graphics card because they’re also trying to pull air out.
My Favorite Computer Case Brand
For the longest time, Antec was my favorite computer case brand. I’ve used the Antec 300 case for many of my own builds and I was extremely happy when they updated this case to include USB 3.0 ports years ago.
Within the last few years, however, my new favorite case brand is Corsair. If you can tell by my choice of Antec cases, you’ll know that I go for the simpler style of cases. With Corsair, my choice would be the Corsair Obsidian Series 450D.
The Corsair Obsidian Series 450D computer case has a sleek, classic, style case but with excellent features.
In terms of airflow, the case comes with 2x 140mm intake fans in the front and 1x 120mm exhaust fan in the back. The case allows for more fans in the bottom and top of the case but I would leave the case as is and not add any more fans.
If you add more, you’ll also add to the overall fan noise the system will generate so if you don’t want a loud PC, stick with the standard case fans.
If you want better airflow, then I would suggest replacing the existing case fans with better ones, but the standard setup is already good.
It’s nice that the front fans are 140mm sized fans and not the standard 120mm fans. In general, the larger the fan size, the lower the RPM it needs to run to move the same amount of air in comparison to a smaller fan. When it comes to the noise level, the higher the RPM the fan runs, the louder it is as well.
With the case coming with 2x 140mm intake and only 1x 120mm exhaust fan, you may think that it’s unbalanced. It’s not. Don’t forget, the power supply and graphics cards with fans are all exhaust fans so it’ll basically balance out once you get all the components in.
This is why I don’t recommend adding any more exhaust fans, especially on top. Naturally, heat rises. The vents on top of the case allow you to add more fans. It’s not necessary. Let the heat naturally escape up and out if there’s any. Sounds odd but the reason I recommend this is that you may add too much negative pressure and thus you are pulling air out and lessen the airflow available for your power supply and graphics cards.
If you’re the type that likes those flashy gaming pc cases, go for it. But remember that if you want your system to last, the airflow is the most important feature of the case.
Corsair products may not be the cheapest and you know how the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” While Corsair doesn’t do any of the manufacturing themselves, they do have a team of engineers that work with the overseas manufacturers on the specs and to make sure that everything is up to par.
Corsair doesn’t strive to be the cheapest and to sell the most products. They strive to sell great quality products that you can rely on and it’s not only just computer cases. You’ll find that across all the products that Corsair offers, that it’s hard to find a bad product.