Five Budget Gaming Cases Reviewed

Test Settings And Benchmarks

Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E): 3.30 GHz, Six Cores
O/C to 4.25 GHz (34 x 125 MHz) at 1.40 V Core
CPU CoolerCoolink Corator DS 120 mm Tower
MotherboardAsus P9X79 WS: LGA 2011, Intel X79 Express, Firmware 0603 (11-11-2011)
O/C at 125 MHz BCLK
RAMG.Skill F3-17600CL9Q-16GBXLD 16 GB (4 x 4 GB) DDR3-2200
Benchmarked at DDR3-1600 CAS 9 defaults
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 580: 772 MHz GPU,  GDDR5-4008
Maximum Fan for Thermal Tests, SLI
Hard DrivesSamsung 470 Series MZ5PA256HMDR, 256 GB SSD 
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerSeasonic X760 SS-760KM
ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsNvidia GeForce 296.10 WHQL
ChipsetIntel INF

We reused the test platform from Four ATX Cases For High-Capacity Water Cooling, Reviewed, but at an overclocked setting that’s more appropriate for air cooling. It includes Asus’ P9X79 WS and a sacrificial C0-stepping Core i7-3960X.

While we normally choose a cooler for its low noise and high cooling, Coolink’s Corator DS provides the moderately-low temperatures and moderately-high noise needed to properly evaluate the airflow and noise-dampening capabilities of these cases.

Benchmark Configuration
Prime95 v25.864-bit executable, Small FFTs, 7-threads
FurMark 1.6.5Windowed Mode, 1920x1080, 4X AA, Stability Test
Maximum temperature
RealTemp 3.40Average of maximum core readings at full CPU load
Galaxy CM-140 SPL MeterTested at 1/2 m, corrected to 1 m (-6 db), dB(A) weighting
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  • bagpussroxx
    The trouble with case reviews is the subjective bit, looks.

    You can have the best case winning in all the criteria set, but if the case looks as ugly as sin, which to me the NZXT 410 does, there is just no way I'd have it sitting on my desk.