Tablets, schmablets: Build a full tower PC with some of the best cases around
We decided to go old school when we saw this ranking for the best computer cases for airflow. So many memories. Good times. It made us nostalgic for the days when size mattered. When power mattered and you could roast a turkey in a high-end rig.
Maybe some day, and it maybe some day soon, building your own PC will be kind of like putting together an MK4 Roadster. Heck, we used to love pimping our PCs for all those LAN parties (who does that anymore).
In the meantime, we'll trawl the Internet for some sweet hardware action. This is the latest ranking of Best Cases for Airflow from Bestcovery.com, in order of editor's choice:
The flagship of the High Air Flow line, COOLER MASTER's HAF X RC-942-KKN1 now offers USB 3.0 (along with the previous version's USB 2.0, 1394, e-SATA and audio) on the front panel. Otherwise, this year's update maintains the rugged, roomy reliability that made previous HAF X models the choice of many builders and modders. Six 5.25" and five 3.5" bays plus nine expansion slots to accommodate dual, triple, and quad video card configurations. Airflow comes from a giant (230mm) front LED fan, a 140mm fan on the back, and two 200mm fans (top and side). The trademark HAF air duct and tidy cable management options add to the airflow as well (as well the overall good looks, in conjunction with a side window).
The freshly futureproofed V3 edition of Antec's bestselling Nine Hundred Two model adds integrated USB 3.0 and 2.5" SSD support, as well as a much-requested CPU cutout to make heatsink and cable management tasks easier than ever. In addition to the new bottom-mounted 2.5" SSD drive bay, the Nine Hundred's famously flexible PC case design sports nine 5.25"/ 3.5" drive bays to handle nearly any combination of drives and front panel mods, plus 8 expansion slots (and plenty of space for multiple configurations of ever-longer video cards). Airflow is guaranteed by a perforated front bezel, three 120mm fans (one rear, two front with speed controls), plus the HUGE 200mm "Big Boy" fan on top. Not enough? Mounts are included for two more 120mm fans (side and middle).
Cooler Master's HAF series, and the 932 in particular, has been a bestselling choice for PC builders for years. HAF stands for "High Air Flow", earning the name with plenty of vented and perforated panels, a drive bay 'wind funnel:, 3 big 240mm fans (front, top, and side) and a 140mm exhaust fan at the rear. Although not exactly silent, the 932 is still surprisingly quiet for all the air that it moves. Looks are subjective, but this case commands attention with striking military looks and an acrylic side window to show off all of the components inside (luckily, it also has exceptionally clean wire routing). The "Advanced" version adds USB 3.0 port for futureproofing, and you can take it to the next level with water cooling support (60mm radiator space, rear tubing grommets, secondary PSU mount, and most impressively an easily-accessed fill port on top).
All props to Cooler Master for still kickin' ass with their cases. Just goes to show there is something to be said for being consistent and sticking to what you do best.