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View Full Version : For US$200, Would You Choose a High-End Mid Tower or an Entry/Mid-Level Full Tower?



Lian Li Tech
09-05-2012, 05:49 PM
Hi everyone.

Lian Li is currently starting to plan their next generation of products and would like your input.

Based on your preference, if you had US$200 dollars in your pocket would you be more likely to choose a high-end mid tower chassis or an entry/mid level full tower?

Feel free to post why?

Your input may directly influence the next-gen of Lian Li computer cases.

profJim
09-05-2012, 08:16 PM
My preference is for a higher end mid-tower case with the following features:

the motherboard is rotated 90 degrees so that the pci-e slots are oriented vertically
larger sized motherboards are supported
modular internal drive bays are removable and/or easy to customize
options for many cooling fans, all of which have easily removable filters and solid panels to block off unused fan inlets/outlets
adequate room for thicker water cooling radiators
adequate room for wiring behind the motherboard
removable motherboard tray
choice of several exterior case colors
e-sata hot swap bay(s)
usb 2.0 and 3.0 connectors with adequate space between the connectors
a better hard drive mounting setup that allows better air flow through the top and bottom of each installed hard drive
tall enough rubber feet on the bottom of the case to provide adequate ventilation for bottom mounted air intake cooling fans
case is wide enough for tall cpu cooling towers and provide room for internal sound absorbing material
I want the first prototype for testing and evaluation. :pinkie:

Acebmxer
09-05-2012, 10:41 PM
I think Profjim as hit the nail on the head with all his ideas.

Conners
09-06-2012, 06:55 AM
To expand on PJ's High end mid tower maybe a snap in/slide in PSU tray, 200mm or larger side fan or mutipul 120mm fans, MB fan, Acess to Heat sink without removing MB. Ability to use tripple, dual 120mm fans, or 200mm top fans. Better tool-less drivebays and addin cards design. +1 on thicker rad.

wazza300
09-06-2012, 09:08 AM
profjim you want ALL that for $200?

personally id choose a mid tower,full towers can take up alot of space!!

i think its important to take into account the tallness(wideness) of the high end air cooler heatsinks,silver arrow/phanteks/noctua d14,ive seen alot of cases where they arnt wide enough to accommodate them,some hotswap hdd bays would be nice also and some ssd mounting points somewhere in the case

another issue ive come across on some cases is having the headphone front panel ports too close to the usb ports and not adequately shielded resulting in crackling/interference when using the usb ports/charging phone/memory sticks ect

maybe a pull out clip to hang your headphones up?

profJim
09-06-2012, 09:36 AM
profjim you want ALL that for $200?Nope, I only want to pay $175 for the case which would also include at least 2 large fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) cooling fans.
I was going to suggest that they use Kevlar instead of plastic for all exterior case parts, but I must be marginally realistic with my features wish list.
I don't mind if they want to charge $29.95 extra for a pull out headphone clip option. :laughing:

One feature I'd like to see is a user manual that finally tells us the proper place to install the ferrite ring that often comes with computer cases.

Lian Li Tech
09-06-2012, 10:59 AM
My preference is for a higher end mid-tower case with the following features:

the motherboard is rotated 90 degrees so that the pci-e slots are oriented vertically
larger sized motherboards are supported
modular internal drive bays are removable and/or easy to customize
options for many cooling fans, all of which have easily removable filters and solid panels to block off unused fan inlets/outlets
adequate room for thicker water cooling radiators
adequate room for wiring behind the motherboard
removable motherboard tray
choice of several exterior case colors
e-sata hot swap bay(s)
usb 2.0 and 3.0 connectors with adequate space between the connectors
a better hard drive mounting setup that allows better air flow through the top and bottom of each installed hard drive
tall enough rubber feet on the bottom of the case to provide adequate ventilation for bottom mounted air intake cooling fans
case is wide enough for tall cpu cooling towers and provide room for internal sound absorbing material
I want the first prototype for testing and evaluation. :pinkie:


profjim you want ALL that for $200?

personally id choose a mid tower,full towers can take up alot of space!!

i think its important to take into account the tallness(wideness) of the high end air cooler heatsinks,silver arrow/phanteks/noctua d14,ive seen alot of cases where they arnt wide enough to accommodate them,some hotswap hdd bays would be nice also and some ssd mounting points somewhere in the case

another issue ive come across on some cases is having the headphone front panel ports too close to the usb ports and not adequately shielded resulting in crackling/interference when using the usb ports/charging phone/memory sticks ect

maybe a pull out clip to hang your headphones up?

Thanks for your input guys. ProfJim you mentioned adequate space for cabling behind the motherboard tray, while you, wazza300, said you want space for high end air coolers and heat sinks.

How much width behind the motherboard tray do you consider enough these days? Can the width go too far for your stylistic preferences? And if there is a tradeoff, what is more important to you, cable management or cooler height?

Conners
09-06-2012, 12:24 PM
One other thought from me...please do away with the 4 pin molex connections on fans. Heck everything that uses one. Their ancient and fragile.

profJim
09-06-2012, 12:41 PM
Form follows function in my book, and I won't sacrifice performance, function or important features for a "better looking" computer case.
For me, stylistic preferences take a back seat to features, function and performance.
I believe that some of the current mainstream/enthusiast cases have 9" (225mm) or more in outside width. Many premium air cooled tower heatsinks are now more than 165mm tall, measured from the top of the cpu heat spreader.

Optimal cable management can noticeably improve air flow through a computer case by providing a less restrictive air flow path. Both of my current computer cases don't provide enough depth behind the motherboard for the thick 24-pin power supply cable and all the other cables and wires. Ideally the space behind the motherboard is deep enough so that cooling air can freely circulate without the outer case cover pressing against cables or wires that will restrict airflow.

I said:


adequate room for thicker water cooling radiators
adequate room for wiring behind the motherboard
case is wide enough for tall cpu cooling towers and provide room for internal sound absorbing material
removable motherboard tray

3/4" (19mm) of interior depth behind the motherbord would be about right for optimal cable management. If needed, I could live without room for internal sound absorbing material on the outer side panels and not having a removable motherboard tray. Computer case designers need to take a lesson from mobile phone and tablet manufacturers, where their products have a slimmer and classier look due to the beveled outer edges on the back of their products. I am not willing to compromise on cooler height or cable management.

Food for thought:
I'm seriously considering using a computer test bench setup for my next computer case if I can find one that that has an external enclosure that can be quickly removed for easy access. I might end up with an oversized custom HTPC computer case.
Let's see what your designers can do with this approach.

This isn't what I want, but it's a start:

5095

wazza300
09-06-2012, 07:24 PM
im no way an expert on tolerances/clearance issues but aslong as theres a good 1-2cm gap between all the top branded/performing air coolers (inc the ones ive mentioned) and the side panel id be more than happy,

profJim
09-06-2012, 07:58 PM
A 1 - 2cm clearance gap would be too tight if you wanted to install a standard 25mm thick case fan on the side panel above the top of the tall aftermarket cpu heatsink/fan assembly. I have two 140mm case fans mounted on the side panel of my CM 690 case. The lower side intake case fan directs air onto my video card and the upper side case fan directs air to the top of my ~155mm tall cpu cooling fins. The upper fan can't be mounted on the interior of the side case due to clearance issues, so I have it mounted on the outside of the side panel. My editorial comment for this setup, fully functional but ugly as sin. The sooner that computer case manufacturers compromise and do it my way, the happier I'll be. :laughing:

I'll take some measurements and post the desired case width with my "optimal" recommendations this weekend.

profJim
09-10-2012, 08:21 PM
Here are my non-negotiable requirements and measurements for a $200 high-end mid-tower computer case:

Motherboard mounting position rotated 90o clockwise for improved cooling
Support EATX motherboard
eSata Hot Swap Bays
Over-sized cpu access cutout + optional cooling fan for additional cpu cooling from the right side panel
Case width for tall cpu tower coolers
Removable side case window that can be replaced to allow for side panel cooling fans and filters.
Exterior exhaust fan shrouds with sound dampening material
Case cooling fan compatibility:
120mm, 140mm, and 200-225mm
eSata and optical bay access from the front and/or left side panel
HDD and SSD Cage:
Complete redesign to allow unobstructed cooling airflow.
Removable and using rubber mounted HDD/SSD mounting trays.
PSU mounting location:
The psu will be installed in the lower front corner of the case.
The psu will be mounted so that its heated exhaust air will exit the case from the left side case panel.
The psu power cables will exit on the right hand side of the case into the cable management area behind the motherboard panel.
Case width:
20mm behind the motherboard mounting panel for cable management.
225mm from the motherboard mounting panel to the inside of the left side case panel.
Able to install high end, 180mm long power supplies.
Case height:
There needs to be enough space below the motherboard for the longest high end video cards.
Tall enough for a thick radiator and 25-38mm cooling fans mounted on the bottom of the computer case.
Case depth:

Enough space at the rear of the case for a thick radiator and 25-38mm cooling fans mounted on the rear panel.
Exhaust case fan locations:
Above the cpu on the top of the case
Above the video card(s) on the top of the case
Rear case panel, top to bottom
USB and Audio Connectors:
Enough spacing for over-sized USB modules.

Note:

My cpu heatsink is 159mm tall, measured from the top of my cpu.
The top of this heatsink is ~165mm from the top surface of the motherboard.
The top surface of the motherboard is 8mm from the mounting panel.

I'll leave it to the Lian Li design wizards to make all of this work. :clap:

5101

profJim
09-11-2012, 06:50 PM
OK, I'm getting carried away with the design of my ideal mid-tower EATX computer case.
I looked at the Lian Li PC-X2000FN (http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_index=627&cl_index=1&sc_index=25&ss_index=62&g=spec) large tower computer case to see what the dimensions might be for a scaled down mid-tower EATX case with the expansion slots and I/O panel on the top of the case. With a slightly wider case, two 92mm cooling fans could exhaust hot air from the pci-e slot area. I have an idea for a blower setup, but the cost would probably be prohibitive.

It's not practical to have a dream computer case that is over 27" long from the front of the case to the back of the case. About 2 - 3" of length could be saved by not allowing a thick water cooling radiator to be mounted inside the case on the rear case panel. I think that the optimal cooling setup will be with cooler intake air entering the bottom of the case and exhausted out of the top of the case. Using case fans on the front and rear case panels will probably disrupt the bottom to top airflow.

Ignore the power supply mounting area in the attached picture.

5105

Lian Li Tech
09-12-2012, 10:06 AM
OK, I'm getting carried away with the design of my ideal mid-tower EATX computer case.
I looked at the Lian Li PC-X2000FN (http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_index=627&cl_index=1&sc_index=25&ss_index=62&g=spec) large tower computer case to see what the dimensions might be for a scaled down mid-tower EATX case with the expansion slots and I/O panel on the top of the case. With a slightly wider case, two 92mm cooling fans could exhaust hot air from the pci-e slot area. I have an idea for a blower setup, but the cost would probably be prohibitive.

It's not practical to have a dream computer case that is over 27" long from the front of the case to the back of the case. About 2 - 3" of length could be saved by not allowing a thick water cooling radiator to be mounted inside the case on the rear case panel. I think that the optimal cooling setup will be with cooler intake air entering the bottom of the case and exhausted out of the top of the case. Using case fans on the front and rear case panels will probably disrupt the bottom to top airflow.

Ignore the power supply mounting area in the attached picture.

5105

Wow, you are going above and beyond in terms of suggestions. :D

profJim
09-12-2012, 01:57 PM
Wow, you are going above and beyond in terms of suggestions. :D Be careful what you ask for.....
....you just might get it. :laughing:

boondocks
09-12-2012, 08:37 PM
I like large cases with large windows, and plenty of room up top for a >360 radiator and room for at least another 240 or 280 radiator. I only skimmed the thread but profJim's first remarks mostly suit me fine. I'm leaning toward B-ATX with left side mobo access these days, although I'm currently using a Switch 810. But I'm willing to pay a tiny bit more for a large tower with excellent water cooling options and options for two psu's. (sort of like the Azza Genesis but with the clean looks of the Lian Li).
Three of my 5 pc's are water cooled, one seriously so, but decent front to ? (rear/top) ventilation is good. The more modular the construction with removable trays etc the better I like it, especially if I don't have to drill out a bunch of rivets.
BTW I don't consider a few grommets in the rear of the case "water cooling options", but that's me. They're fine if you're going to run a remote rad stand or separate cooling box though. I just don't think Lian Li is well suited for water cooling but again that's only my opinion, I really need more/better looks at the new cases.

jackjack
09-27-2012, 06:02 PM
For US$200
1. Cable Management (at least minimum 50mm space at the back of motherborad tray)
2. Black Interior or fancy colour will do.
3. Support Tall CPU COOLER (160mm-165mm height) with a 200mmx1 Fan or 140mmx2 fan in side window case
4. 4 USB III port front panel, off course with Audio.
5. supports 140mmx2 fan or 1x200mm fan at front case.
6. supports 120mmx2 fan or 140mmx2 fan or 2x200mm fan at top case.
7. 120/140mmx1 fan at rear case.
8. 120/140mmx1 fan at bottom case.
9. 4 slot hdd bay (can convert to SSD slot or 2.5' hdd) + 2 slot for DVD/bluray drive.
10. support EATX board.

:D