It's a scenario that we have seen too many times. A user assembling a new system willingly forks out thousands for a high-end CPU, storage, memory and graphics cards, and then scrimps on the casing. Many a times, casings are overlooked and deemed unimportant when one builds a new system. And too often have we heard people commenting that “just any good-looking casing” will do. It most certainly will not, and looks aside, there are other things worth considering when getting a casing.
One of the most important considerations is size. While the old saying “bigger is better” is mostly true, much of it also depends on how the internals of the casing is configured. A hard drive cage that is placed few millimeters too close to the motherboard tray can spell disaster for those intending to use large graphics cards; likewise, an ill-placed railing can also prevent you from installing that spanking new 1500W PSU that you just invested.
On top of sheer size, one must also ensure that the casing has ample room for future upgrades. The more HDD drive bays, the better; as is a larger motherboard tray area to accommodate future graphics card upgrades.
And then there's the issue of thermal management. With more powerful CPUs and graphics cards, comes more heat, and therefore the casing must also provide adequate ventilation to ensure heat doesn't build up within the casing and damage your components.
Clearly, not just any “good-looking casing” will do, and today, we are rounding up six affordable casings, costing around S$100 (about US$60 to US$70), from some of the most illustrious names in the market to see which offers the most proverbial bang for buck. We'll be judging the casings based on design, features such as IO ports and expandability options, space, and ease-of-installation. Our contenders are as follows:-
So without further ado, head over to the next page to check out their specs and our evaluation of the six casings.