Best Gaming PC Cases of Computex 2017

By Published June 07, 2017 at 6:31 pm
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This year’s Computex featured the usual mix of concept and prototype cases, some of which will never make it to market (or some which will be several thousand dollars, like the WinBot). We particularly liked the “Wheel of Star” mod at Cooler Master, the “Floating” from In Win, Level 20 from Thermaltake, and Concept Slate from Corsair – but none of those are really meant to be bought in large quantities. This round-up looks at the best cases of Computex that are in the category of being purchasable, keeping cost below $400. We’ll be looking primarily at ATX form factor cases, with one Micro-STX co-star, with a few “needs work” members in the mix.

This case round-up won’t include everything we saw at the show and will exclude the more exotic cases, like the Concept Slate and the In Win WinBot, but still has plenty to get through. Before getting started, here’s a list of the relevant coverage of individual products and booths that are discussed herein:

Best Cases of Computex 2017

Case

Price

Release

Lian Li Alpha 330

$100

 Fall/late Q3

SilverStone PS15

$60

2H17

SilverStone RVZ04

TBD

Uncertain Future

Cooler Master Cosmos C700P

$300-$350

October, 2017

Be Quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 (White)

$260

2H17

EVGA DG-7 Series

$70-$150 (multiple models)

TBD

Thermaltake View 21, Core G21

$70

Mid-July for G21
View 21 TBD

Cooler Master H500P

$140

September, 2017

 

Lian Li – Alpha 330 & Alpha 550

lian li alpha 330 1

We’re starting with Lian Li’s new Alpha series of cases, as the company makes another attempt to enter the mass consumer market. Rather than use aluminum in the Alpha 330 and 350 cases, Lian Li is using steel to lower price, and will be shipping the lower-end Alpha 330 without any included fans. The Alpha 330 targets a $100 price-point and uses the same tooling as the 350, for the most part, with the 350 case just running a taller build with front IO and additional buttons for LEDs.

We think the 330 is the most interesting and that it could make for one of Lian Li’s best ventures in the consumer market thus far. We’re not sure how airflow will pan-out with the glass front panel – the company might want to make some slits in the side of the front panel – but we’ll look at all that in due time. For now, the Alpha 330 is the one to watch from Lian Li. Both cases come in white and black finishes.

SilverStone – PS15, RL08 / KL08, RL07

silverstone ps15 1

SilverStone had three main ATX cases on display, though we’ll talk about the RVZ04 in a moment.

The PS15 is SilverStone’s most noteworthy case from the show. Everything is still subject to change, including case tooling, but most of the cases use some sort of familiar SilverStone tooling. We saw bits and pieces of the previous Kublai and Redline series cases in the newcomers, with the PS15 making the best mixture of function-focused cooling ventilation and some of the front panel looks. The RL06 case recently chart-topped our benchmarks with significantly better cooling than all its competition, something afforded by the case’s mesh front intake and focus on removing solid panel restrictions to airflow. The PS15 and more expensive PM02 take parts of this approach, but try to cover some of that panel to fit in with current trends. Also keeping with trends, the PS15 uses a tinted tempered glass side panel, with a minimalistic approach to drive support.

The case is more of a mid-tower, like all three of these SilverStone units. The PS15 will run $60 with tempered glass, the RL08 runs $70 $70– though SilverStone might rename it to KL08 – and the Redline 07 looks like it’ll be $80-$90, which features a geometric split down the center. The RL08 uses more of an S-shaped curve with red lighting. Neither of these two cases have a focus on cooling and are clearly trying to stick with trends of blocked front ventilation; for this reason, we think the PS15 is most interesting.

SilverStone – RVZ04

silverstone rvz04

As for the honorable mention from SilverStone, the new Raven RVZ04 is the smallest possible form factor that can still support a gaming machine. It’s able to achieve this by using a Micro-STX motherboard, which are available primarily from ASRock, along with an MXM video card. Here’s the problem, though: This case and its platform hinges on users being vocal about it. The RVZ04 can fit an MXM GTX 1070 and Micro-STX motherboard with a high-end CPU, but that won’t matter until AMD and nVidia make the MXM cards available officially. Right now, you can only get them gray market – and they’re expensive. We think that nVidia and AMD might be hesitant to make MXM cards available via retail because they don’t want users keeping old laptops alive, but we’re not really sure if there’s a more legitimate reason. If MXM ends up on retail channels, the RVZ04 and its micro-STX platform would permit one of the smallest gaming PCs possible. SilverStone is even making custom MXM GPU coolers for it. Everything about this case is TBD, as its existence hinges on market demand.

Cooler Master Cosmos C700P

cooler master c700p 1

Cooler Master’s Cosmos is a return to the big cases of yore, still useful for a shrinking market of data enthusiasts or large workstation users. The Cosmos C700P leverages its size to permit an invertible motherboard tray, similar to the Be Quiet! Dark Base Pro 900. The motherboard tray can be completely removed, the system can be installed, and then it can be replaced in the case either left-facing or right-facing. The side panels are also side-agnostic, making it easy to completely rotate case layout. This follows Cooler Master’s new modular focus.

cooler master c700p 2

Aside from this, the C700P can outfit 8 drives in the front – something we haven’t heard much in the last few years – and has additional space on the front of the PSU shroud for a primary SSD mount.

The front of the case folds out for access to a dust filter, which also folds out, and reveals the 140mm fans. Another large dust filter covers the bottom of the case, where the C700P’s large legs elevate the enclosure for cool air intake. A radiator cage is present under the PSU shroud for this region of the case, though up to 3x 140mm front fans and 1x 140mm rear fan can be installed. Stock, the case comes with 2x 140mm front and 1x 140mm rear fans, none of which have LEDs. This is a true workstation enclosure. For now, Cooler Master is expecting pricing at $300 to $350, partially because of the 4mm thick tempered glass side panel with tapered sides and its hinge. Release is sometime in October.

Dark Base Pro 900 – White

be quiet dbp900 white 1 copy

This next one is quick, since it’s based on a case that we covered last year. Be Quiet! has refreshed its Dark Base Pro 900 with a new white edition, which will ship in a limited quantity of 2000 units at first. White is notoriously difficult to get right when mixing materials, so Be Quiet! spent the most time tone-matching the plastics and metals, and was able to get the white to match on all panels. The case should run about $10 more than the standard Dark Base Pro 900, making it around $260, and will otherwise be identical. Each case will include a nameplate with the case number of the production run. Availability will start in late Q3 or early Q4.

EVGA DG-7

evga dg 73 75 76 cases

For something more affordable, EVGA’s DG-7 series of cases will finally hit production after a long delay. We first saw the DG-7 at CES this year, but the case has now been finalized into a series of DG-73, DG-75, and DG-76. All three cases carry the same tooling, with the difference primarily being cosmetic changes to where the tempered glass plates are. The DG-73 will be more budget-focused and should be priced roughly around $60. EVGA’s DG-73 will include a single fan stock, will have only one tempered glass panel in the front, using an acrylic side window on the left side. This is a bit different from most cases that use tempered glass for one side, setting the DG-7 apart in some ways.

The high-end of the spectrum, the DG-77 and 76, are differentiated by the presence of a K-Boost button and an extra fan on the DG-77. The 77 should be priced under $150 and will include 3x tempered glass panels.

Thermaltake View 21, Core G21

thermaltake view21 core21

Sticking with the theme of more affordable cases, Thermaltake’s View 21 and Core G21 target the $70 price-point, and will do so with two different faceplates: The View 21 uses an acrylic with a rounded front, wrapping around the front of the case and allowing intake on the right side, while the G21 sticks with a mesh front. The mesh is a bit dense and not as breathable as the RL06, for example, but still breathes more than a lot of cases on the market. Both cases have a tempered glass left side panel, continuing the trend of cases in the $60-$70 range with tempered glass paneling. Details are TBD on how many fans are included.

Cooler Master H500P

cooler master h500p 1

As for the case receiving top honors, Cooler Master’s H500P has us the most excited for benchmarking and analysis. The H500P is a revisit to the company’s once critically acclaimed HAF line, featuring the likes of the HAF X that we once used for our main enclosure. The HAF series hadn’t aged well, though, and features old-hat design cues with a dust-heavy approach to the exterior. The H500P resurrects the HAF brand, but does so while borrowing modern design tropes to limit dust and noise while hanging onto the signature 200mm fans and high-airflow focus.

CM is including 2x 200mm RGB fans in the front, supports 3x 120mm top fans in the very top compartment (which tapers inward) or 3x 140mm top fans on the inside of the top, and radiator cage options throughout. We’ve got more detail on this in our H500P video.

Needs Work: BitFenix Enso & In Win 806

bitfenix enso 1

Finally, we have a “Needs Work” category for some cases at the show that are still in prototype stage. The BitFenix Enso lands on this list: It’s another case targeting the $60-$70 range while keeping tempered glass, but presently has absolutely no front intake. This case will heat up like a hotbox and has no means to get cool air in, but after talking to BitFenix, it sounds like the company is considering adding some mesh or ventilated front intake along with its included RGB LED strip. This is a scenario where we see looks taking priority over engineering, but it’s still possible for the two to coexist. The case is promising at its price and RGB integration – it just needs some more airflow.

in win 806 wood

Another case in the “Needs Work” category is the In Win 806, though we think it’s getting there. The 806 shows In Win’s unique idea to add wood to a case, making for a sort of modernistic design. This looks best on the Gaming A1 Cube, which could find its place in the living room of a Frank Lloyd Wright home, but still looks OK on the 806. We’re told that the 806 will use Senwood, which is effectively a plywood, with the other two cases using maple and Cyprus. The Senwood panel looks OK, but with a target price of $250, we’re hoping In Win does more to improve cooling than on the last halo case – the Infinity. So far, it looks like they’re on the right track. There’s about an inch of intake on the sides of the front and top, which In Win specifically pointed out to us, given our criticism of the Infinity. A bit more work could be done yet, but it’s well on its way to being a unique case that is still functional.

For now, though, we rank the Cooler Master H500P as the case to watch, with the others on this list following shortly thereafter.

Editorial: Steve Burke
Video: Keegan Gallick & Andrew Coleman

Last modified on June 07, 2017 at 6:31 pm
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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