I just got a new video card hooray! It's too big for my current case boo
October 17, 2014 9:06 AM   Subscribe

I just got a new video card, the Gigabyte R9 270X. At 297mm it's too big for my current case! I would love suggestions on the best case to upgrade to.

I've been looking at the Tom's Hardware round up and their winner the Silverstone FT04 but 200 bucks for a case . . . I'm not positive I'll find it worth it if that makes sense. I was also looking at a Corsair Obsidian series, but honestly I haven't had to worry about a new case in at least 8 years so am coming at this with some fresher eyes. Regardless I'd love to hear either specific recommendations or experience with either of the two I've mentioned. Help me find the best case!
posted by Carillon to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Also I know I should have measure exactly but it was so close to fitting! Not quite big enough, but a quarter inch would have done it. Mistakes were made! :)
posted by Carillon at 9:09 AM on October 17, 2014

the antec 900 is $100 ($75 after rebate). i've been happy with mine for years. it's the top-rated case on newegg.
posted by duckstab at 9:27 AM on October 17, 2014

Best answer: I used the Tech Report system guide when I built my PC and was impressed by their recommendations. Here's the case page from the most recent guide.

I ended up using a Cooler Master N200 because I wanted a smaller case and it's a great case for the $50 price, although there are some irritating bits when assembling. I imagine it may not fit your video card, though. I have had nothing but good experiences with Corsair and in general they seem to be very highly recommended so I wouldn't hesitate to go with one of those (which is pretty much what TR recommends).

The youtube channel Hardware Canucks has some great videos of cases as well if you want to browse.

I really wouldn't spend more than $100 at the very most unless you have specific aesthetic or functional needs that just can't be met.
posted by selfnoise at 9:30 AM on October 17, 2014

(Here's mine with 3 full-size video cards crammed in it, back in the wild bitcoin days.)
posted by duckstab at 9:31 AM on October 17, 2014

I have a HAF912 which I bought because it was the top recommended case on one of the tech sites. It's ugly, but it's by far the best 50 dollar case I've ever had.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 9:38 AM on October 17, 2014

I always like the case recommendations and reviews from silentpcreview.com. There is a lot more emphasis on cases that will keep your PC quiet than a lot of the other places that review these things but they don't forget to talk about size and cost.

The last time I bought a case I bought an Antec Sonata Elite based on those reviews. It's big enough to fit my MSI Radeon HD 7970 if only just so it looks like it won't work for your card (which is 11.7" long) but I've been very happy with it.

I know the Antec P183 also gets a lot of good reviews and is a little larger than the Sonata and has a lot of the same features.
posted by VTX at 9:45 AM on October 17, 2014

Best answer: I am a huge believer in the INWIN cases. They have awesome access with most of the internal frame designed to slide out and away from the motherboard. All the drive mounts are on sliders that have detents in them for holding securely. They are VERY well built with no sharp edges to scrape your hands on.

The ways the cards slide in and out doesn't require screws and with the other hardware you do have to attach the special mounts with screws but after that you don't need any more fasteners to move stuff around in the case-it is all levers and snaps that are easy and quick and no need for tools.

Newegg and amazon both carry most the range and the cost is from about 100 up to several hundred depending on your needs.

I have decided it is pretty much the perfect fit for DIY/gamer computer build cases.
posted by bartonlong at 10:22 AM on October 17, 2014

What size of motherboard do you have? ATX? The FT04 you linked is actually an Extended ATX so it's massive (E-ATX fits pretty much anything), whereas the Obsidian 350D you linked is MicroATX and won't fit a regular ATX motherboard. (But it's a good case if that works for you)

Sorry if you already know this, but the main sizes in order from largest to smallest are:


You can put a MicroATX motherboard in an ATX case but the reverse is not possible. There are plenty of relatively compact/inexpensive cases that can fit all kinds of stuff.

The Cooler Master HAF-922 (ATX) fits up to 300mm and is really well reviewed on Newegg but the look might not be for everyone.

If you're looking to save money and don't care about stuff like a black painted interior and toolless assembly, the Antec 300 (ATX) is a robust, simple case that fits up to 318mm

The Fractal Design R4 (ATX) takes up to 470mm if you don't need the top-most hard drive bay. I've been really happy with even their cheaper products. The Arc Midi (ATX) is another good option from them, and supports up to 430mm without the top HD bay/

Most of Corsair's products are really nice, from the monster Graphite Series 600T (ATX) which supports up to 340mm without eliminating any hard drive space, to the midrange Carbide 400R (ATX), supporting up to 316mm, to the budget-friendly Carbide 200R (ATX) still allowing 340mm. In the unlikely event you have a mini-ITX motherboard, even their Obsidian 250D supports up to 300mm. There's also the Vengeance C70 if you want handles for LAN parties and a more military look.
posted by JauntyFedora at 10:27 AM on October 17, 2014

My favorite case BY FAR is the Cooler Master HAF 912. It's extremely affordable and quite spacious, though I would check exact dimensions inside it before ordering. Better yet, go to a computer store with your new card and see if it would fit; I know Microcenter and Fry's keep these things in stock, because I've bought about half a dozen of them just in store. It's my standard case for all things now. It's also very easy to install components like hard drives in these cases.

My first build was with an Antec 900, which was highly recommended based on reviews. I like the HAF infinitely more. It seems more spacious. It's MUCH lighter than than the Antec. Installing components is easier. And the HAF 912 is quite a bit cheaper. If it's still too small, you might check out a bigger size in the HAF ("high air flow" is what it stands for) series, even though I haven't. I just really like those cases, and I don't think you can beat the price.
posted by KinoAndHermes at 10:29 AM on October 17, 2014

The HAF-912 looks like it'll work for him, but only if the adjacent hard drive cage is removed.
posted by JauntyFedora at 11:21 AM on October 17, 2014

I have a Antec One, it's a nice simple case meant for gamers.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:52 PM on October 17, 2014

I have the Silverstone FT02. It is huge, heavy, fairly expensive, but totally worth it. It's definitely not for everyone though: the motherboard is mounted so that the I/O ports are at the top of the case, and there are 3 huge case fans at the bottom. The result is that it cools much more efficienly, the positive air pressure (and filters) keep dust out, and I had no problem fitting 2 Nvidia GTX 680s in there with room to spare.
posted by Venadium at 1:23 PM on October 17, 2014

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