Budget Casing Shootout - Affordable PC Housing

Front I/O & Rear Panels

Front I/O & Rear Panels

When purchasing a new casing, it is important to consider the options offered by the front I/O panel, as well as the expandability options offered by the rear. Increasingly, more and more casings are offering eSATA ports on the front panel, while grommets for water-cooling solutions are also becoming more common-place. However, since these are entry-level casings targeted at budget-conscious buyers, we weren't expecting such features to be present. However, we were pleasantly surprised that some casings reviewed here do feature them and can come in really handy.

The Antec Two Hundred

Here we find two USB 2.0 ports along with the usual headphones and microphone jacks. The USB ports and jacks are flanked by the power and reset button. Antec should have labelled these to make identifying easier.

The rear is mostly standard fare, except for the fan speed controllers located at the top.

Using these, you can control the speed of the casing's twin exhaust fans.

The Cooler Master Centurion 5 II

Neatly labeled, the front I/O panel consists of two USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, headphones and microphone jacks. An additional FireWire port is offered on other variants of this casing.

The Power and Reset buttons are located further down. The left most button allow users to turn on and off the LED lights on the front intake fan.

The basics are all accounted for here; nothing more, nothing less.

The Gigabyte Luxo M1000

The front I/O panel consists of only two USB 2.0 ports, headphones and microphone jacks, as well as the mandatory power button. No reset button is to be found.

The Gigabyte Luxo M1000 sports cut outs in the rear panel for liquid cooling setups. Rubber grommets to protect the hoses from the sharp metal edges of the casing would have been much welcomed.