Best Cases of Computex 2016
(HM: Yacht Case)
Less than $200
|Be Quiet!||Dark Base 900||$200 ($250 for Pro)|
|Corsair||400C White||$100 (?)|
Lian-Li's PC-010 case is presently a prototype, but will ship in 2H16 if it makes it to market. The PC-010 mixes aluminum and tempered glass to create a clean, likely expensive tower of smaller form factor. It's compartmentalized into the main compartment (ATX board and board components) and the right, concealed compartment (PSU and drives, cabling). The left panel is entirely tempered glass, and the front panel meets at the edge with more tempered glass. The right-half of the front panel is ventilated and the right and top panels are aluminum.
The PC-010 supports USB Type-C connectors, a noteworthy, standalone point. In terms of compatibility, the case requires SFX-L PSUs (Lian-Li will soon ship 550W & 750W PSUs) and can support ATX motherboards. Expansion bays support up to 7 slots and drive support was detailed as 2x 2.5” or 4x 3.5”.
(Above: A Yacht-themed case by Lian-Li. We're told it's popular with yacht dealers.)
A removable pump plate is also available, for folks looking toward open-loop liquid cooling.
There's a smaller, squared version of the PC-010, too – the PC-Q37, basically a shrunken model.
In-Win D-Frame V2
The D-Frame ($400) has been around since In-Win's original orange-and-glass version, but makes a return with tempered, semi-mirrored glass and nickel-plated aluminum piping. The D-Frame version 2 also introduces clever mechanical switches to allow easier assembly and disassembly of the joint top/front panel.
Three years after initial debut, In-Win has announced its D-Frame V2. We don't have full details yet, but expect the D-Frame V2 to have a limited run-of-life, like its predecessor, and cost in excess of $350-$400. It's all aluminum and glass, which drives price up, and uses an expensive set of tools (learn about how In-Win makes its tooling here).
For something more reasonably priced and targeted, the In-Win 509 case will soon be available for less than $200. We've been told that the target is $150 to $200, but don't have a final price or specs list yet. The case was displayed on the Computex show floor by some of the world's best modders.
Be Quiet! Dark Base 900
German case manufacturer Be Quiet! emphasized its focus on silence and quality in our recent Vendor Battle video, highlighting the Dark Base 900 as the point of example.
The Dark Base 900 impressed us at Computex. The case stands as a representation of high build quality while remaining within the reachable enthusiast market. It's priced at $200 for the non-Pro version (the only difference is tempered glass, a quick charger, and a PWM fan hub for $250), uses almost all steel and glass, and is built for both silence and showmanship.
On the flashy side, the DB900 takes steps to differentiate itself by allowing nearly complete modularity for users – all the way down to motherboard orientation. The board tray can be inverted so that core components are exposed to the right side (rather than the usual left-side exposure), hard drive cages completely removed, 5.25” cages added or removed, and so forth.
Read more about the Dark Base 900 in our preview.
SilverStone Primera PM01, RL05-B
SilverStone has been a mainstay in our annual convention coverage, and their Computex presence was larger than any CES showing the company has ever fronted. Although several new products were on-site, the stand-outs were the finalized RL05-B and new Primera PM01.
The Primera PM01 is named for being a first of its kind in SilverStone's lineup. The case looks somewhat reminiscent of the NZXT Phantom, a first in design exploration for SilverStone (though the RV02 is somewhat similar), and adds lighting and cable management features to draw attention.
The PM01 includes 3x 140mm front intake fans and 1x 140mm rear exhaust fan in its stock configuration, with room for up to a 360mm radiator. A rear-of-tray fan hub offers eight total fan ports, PWM controlled through the motherboard. Drive bays and concealed sleds support 2x 2.5” SSDs and 3x 2.5/3.5” drives. Cable pass-throughs are well-positioned and accompanied by Velcro cable ties, one of the few things we liked about Phanteks' P400.
RGB LEDs are available on the white model of the PM01, with the black model using a more simplified red/black theme.
SilverStone has taken reviewer feedback from previous cases and incorporated a PCI-e cable pass-through on the PSU shroud, something we're fond of.
As an honorable mention, the RL05-B (read about that here) has finalized design and will soon be entering production. The finalized model has significantly improved aesthetics and is still priced at the ~$60 price-point, making it a fierce competitor for the S340 and 400C.
Thermaltake – Core P3
Thermaltake's sticking to its guns with the enthusiast-driven, modder-friendly approach to case and component design. Tt unveiled its Core P3 at Computex this year, serving a market of enthusiasts left unsatisfied by the larger Core P5 ($150). The P3 is more accessible in price and size, but retains the wall-mountable dynamic of the larger version. VESA mounts are available for easy compatibility with standardized wall-mounting hardware, but a complete desktop stand/enclosure make the P3 possible to use atop a desk, too.
The P3 is an open-air enclosure with a large, clear glass side-panel for its left wall. This leaves the system exposed for viewing, making it more of a showy box than its looks might otherwise suggest. Complete support for liquid-cooling solutions is natively present within the case, but an LCS is not required to build in the P3.
Corsair – 400C (White)
We'll keep this short. The Corsair 400C – a case we reviewed positively just a few months ago – is now available in white. We'd normally skip inclusion of a case that's only undergone a color change, but the 400C is still fresh and well-executed. We've looked at a few white cases that fail to use the same tone of white paint across all panels – plastics and metals making for differences, mostly – but the Corsair 400C doesn't suffer from this 'discoloration.' It's a clean, monochromatic look on an already-performant case.
Rosewill – Cullinan
The Cullinan is Rosewill's best case in years, as we've already written. It's a complete refresh of the company's case design – lacking in the years since the R5 – and sticks Rosewill into the bleeding edge of 2016's case trends. The Cullinan uses tempered glass paneling on the left, front, and right of the case. It's a $150, mid-tower enclosure that shows promise in a competitive market, especially since Rosewill traditionally lowers its price after a few months on the market. Even at $150, the Cullinan is already one of the only sub-$200 cases available with tempered glass.
The case is almost entirely glass and steel, supporting radiators up to 360mm and promising 4-5 fans in the stock configuration (unfinalized). A total of 3x120mm front fans, 1x120mm rear fan, and at least 2x120mm top fans can be installed. We will have more firm information on this case as review time nears. For drive support and more info, check our initial write-up.
That's all for this round-up. Check back shortly for our look at the best video cards at Computex 2016.
Editorial: Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke
Video: Keegan “HornetSting” Gallick