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Modern case airflow vs giants of yesteryear, results... wow!

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So, I decided to move my OC/tinker-with/tweak PC (9600k OCd to 5.233GHz @ 1.36v & 2 x GeForce 1070-8GB in SLI) into a 13 year old Cosmos 1000 that I refurbed over the last week or so (paint job, some panel modding, etc). For testing purposes, I set it up as such, airflow wise: a single bottom 120mm intake, a single rear 120mm exhaust, a single 120mm top exhaust. Three fans total.

Host case is a "modern" triple tempered glass RGB "errywhere" cube (Anidees Crystal AI Cube) with 4x120mm front intake, 4x120mm top exhaust, 1x120mm bottom intake , 1x80mm exhaust for the HDD cage.

All in all, 3 fans vs. 10 fans on the "modern" cube.

Observed results in the Cosmos 1000 were as such (oh boy!) (Cinebench R15 and 3DMark TimeSpy loops were used to warm up the hardware for 45 min a piece):

load CPU: 8C drop
idle CPU: 3C drop
load GPU top: 14c drop (!!!!!)
load GPU bottom: 12c drop (!!!!!)
PCH: 2C drop
VRM 6C drop

Yes, a 14C drop on the topmost video card!!! I was blown away a 13 year old case could do this with only 3x120mm fans. (albeit really good and somewhat loud 120mm fans, Kaze Ultra 133CFM non-RGB black brick looking things)

I blame the fact front glass pretty much chokes the intake on the host case (4x120mm front fans are pretty much drawing air from inside). Again, this is 90% of new cases on the market. The only viable intake on this cube is the bottom 120mm and that is choked off by the second GPU.

The latest move to "meshify" some of these modern tempered glass monstrosities seems prudent, but still differences I saw were major and I doubt adding $3 worth of plastic meshing up front as lame afterthought will fix what ultimately is poor design top-to-bottom (Entire supporting substructure of cases is tweaked, sometimes severely, to allow for better placement of thumbscrews or hinges for the tempered glass panels for instance.) I feel like modern cases need a major rethink and move towards airflow oriented design... that is if the Twitch-Fortnite-RGB-tempred-glass brigade will let us have it, since they are major group setting the trends nowadays. Sigh...


...
..
.
 
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I blame the fact front glass pretty much chokes the intake on the host case (4x120mm front fans are pretty much drawing air from inside). Again, this is 90% of new cases on the market.
I'm not surprised. A lot of modern cases are pretentious beyond belief and almost entirely about form over function. One of the coolest running budget cases I've owned was a Rosewill Line M. How come? Because aside from the front fan not being starved of air, having 2x 120mm side fans blowing cold air directly onto the CPU, GPU & VRM's made a far bigger difference on temps in practise than "modern" front-only air intakes that are "balanced" to top exhausts. The "obsolete" top-mounted PSU design had reversible screw holes so that it could be flipped (facing upwards), so simply cutting a 120mm intake in the top of the case above the PSU with a Dremel and adding a magnetic dust filter on top meant that it too could suck cold air straight from outside of the top of the case, but also passive / fanless PSU's could directly vent hot air straight up and out of the top of the case (the best of both worlds whereas bottom-mounting is cr*p for fanless PSU's in any orientation). Top-mounted PSU also = the flexibility to use an SFX PSU (eg, Corsair SF450) with an ATX-SFX adaptor, gain a huge amount of space and solve the cable management problem by simply having naturally shorter 35-50cm cables "just right" for MATX/ITX that don't have an excess that needs hiding in the first place. Combined with a HDD mounting near the front 120mm intake, every component in the case (CPU, motherboard VRM, GPU, PSU and HDD) had cold air blowing directly onto it. Finally, it had those rare highly flexible things called "drive bays" which even if you don't own an optical drive today, still allow you to add newer USB ports (eg, USB 3.1 Gen 2 C or perhaps 2x extra fast charge ports that draw straight from the PSU via a SATA power cable so that 20-30w charge actually meant 20-30w).

So it's not uncommon to see £29 8 year old cases with drive bays and side air intakes that have better thermals and front USB connectivity than £99 8 week old overpriced pretentious tempered glass hotboxes, and if you listen carefully at night you can hear the latter quietly scream out "I don't want to be a greenhouse, please just drill some holes in the side of me to let some cold air in over the hottest components!!!"... ;)
 
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120x38s are pretty good, I have 4 in my case right now, but when I was running my Z77 the cpu cooler was lower so I was able to run 6x 120x38s. I mostly ran them at 7v, 12v for benching or stressing :) I’ve got a new z77 board coming so hopefully she works, if so I’ll be slapping my other fans back in if I can. It’s an eatx board so I might have to move back to my Define R4 which would be a bummer. Hopefully I can make it work.
 
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3 intakes ,3 outs is all that's required unobstructed.
Some glass cases are better than others and just as important.
Some builds are better at cooling than others.

Don't get me wrong though a good case doesn't become a bad case with age within Reason ,EATX has been solid.
So has that case, I always wanted one but wouldn't part with the cash.
 
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1. You can eliminate differences in air temps between top and bottom cards buy mounting a 120mm fan on the back of the HD cage blowoing beweteen the cards... or where one had historically been. You case is designed with a HD fan mount

2. Good description of the 3 fan case but lacking on "10 fans"

3. Normally, could improve things on the three fan situation:

Ideally, single bottom 120mm intake, a single rear 120mm exhaust, a single 120mm top exhaust, would be better served by single bottom 120mm intake, a single rear 120mm exhaust, a single 120mm front intake. But they don 't have a front fan mount Here's your issue.

a) Intake fans are limited by the intake air filters, once dusty, they can reduce air flow by up to 30-33 % ... general rule of them is to have 1/3 to 1.2 more intakes than exhausts. lets say your exhaust fans, w/o filters = 1.00 equivalent fans (EF) ... Let's be generous and say that you a bit anal about cleaning air filters and they never rop lower than 80%

Exhaust = 2 x 1.00 = 2.00 EF
Intake = 1 x 0.80 = 0.80

Since intake cfm must = exhaust cfm, that means 1.2 fans worth of air is getting in somewhere and that somewhere is mostly your rear grille and vented slot covers. Now what's back there ? Isn't that where your twin video cards exhaust ? And your 950 watt PSU ? Might not be bad on the workbench, but when typically placed on a desk with rear facing the wall, the hot exhaust from these components would surely be being sucked right back into the case. You can demonstrate this easily with a $39 garage band fog machine from Amazon

So if you're modding the case, adding 2 or 3 fan mounts , along the side down by PSU ==> HD cages would be ideal

Not enough info to address the 10 fan situation but I suspect, similar condition where hot exhaust is being recycled thru case.

BTW, I have never found a reason to use anything pushing more air than a 140 x 1200 rpm fan (well back in the 90s when rad fpi's were in to 30s, yes) ... I tend to use a lot of them (due to push / pull on rads) but they rarely break 650 rpm and are dead silent.
 
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Someone obviously hasn't been following GamersNexus's year-long crusade against poor airflow designs. Still interesting to see, but in no way surprising.
 

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So, I decided to move my OC/tinker-with/tweak PC (9600k OCd to 5.233GHz @ 1.36v & 2 x GeForce 1070-8GB in SLI) into a 13 year old Cosmos 1000 that I refurbed over the last week or so (paint job, some panel modding, etc). For testing purposes, I set it up as such, airflow wise: a single bottom 120mm intake, a single rear 120mm exhaust, a single 120mm top exhaust. Three fans total.

Host case is a "modern" triple tempered glass RGB "errywhere" cube (Anidees Crystal AI Cube) with 4x120mm front intake, 4x120mm top exhaust, 1x120mm bottom intake , 1x80mm exhaust for the HDD cage.

All in all, 3 fans vs. 10 fans on the "modern" cube.

Observed results in the Cosmos 1000 were as such (oh boy!) (Cinebench R15 and 3DMark TimeSpy loops were used to warm up the hardware for 45 min a piece):

load CPU: 8C drop
idle CPU: 3C drop
load GPU top: 14c drop (!!!!!)
load GPU bottom: 12c drop (!!!!!)
PCH: 2C drop
VRM 6C drop

Yes, a 14C drop on the topmost video card!!! I was blown away a 13 year old case could do this with only 3x120mm fans. (albeit really good and somewhat loud 120mm fans, Kaze Ultra 133CFM non-RGB black brick looking things)

I blame the fact front glass pretty much chokes the intake on the host case (4x120mm front fans are pretty much drawing air from inside). Again, this is 90% of new cases on the market. The only viable intake on this cube is the bottom 120mm and that is choked off by the second GPU.

The latest move to "meshify" some of these modern tempered glass monstrosities seems prudent, but still differences I saw were major and I doubt adding $3 worth of plastic meshing up front as lame afterthought will fix what ultimately is poor design top-to-bottom (Entire supporting substructure of cases is tweaked, sometimes severely, to allow for better placement of thumbscrews or hinges for the tempered glass panels for instance.) I feel like modern cases need a major rethink and move towards airflow oriented design... that is if the Twitch-Fortnite-RGB-tempred-glass brigade will let us have it, since they are major group setting the trends nowadays. Sigh...


...
..
.

Basically the Cosmos 1000 was an experiment in negative fan pressure. You might of noticed a lot of dust collecting inside your case over the years of ownership. Thats down to negative pressure. Theres not enough air being pulled into the case with the one fan so air is being pulled inside the case from every nook and cranny that has access to the outside world from inside your case..

A better test would be to remove the top fan completely or reverse it and re-run all your tests. Even if you remove it, id say you'd probably get better temps as the airflow is more balanced
 
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With all respect to these older cases people here love (I always wanted a Cosmos, and have fond memories of my Sonata), but there are plenty of good airflow cases on the market, and some of the efficiency improvements in chassis design and components alike allow for a lot less airflow with good thermals. If you look to thorough reviews, like GN, you’ll see cases like the Fractal Define series, which borrow a lot from the best of older/standard designs, don’t fare well against a lot of newer (especially mesh) designs.

Check out this oldie but goodie (yes, a tragedy what’s been done to SPCR). With a little planning you can get a lot out of very little.

Still, I agree with all of you — we need better designs more than we need more bling. I’m dying to replace my FT02 with something more compact, but few manufacturers even attempt to make ATX (or even mATX, really) cases under 40L, and I’m not ready to shell out to smaller shops if they haven’t been reviewed.
 
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With all respect to these older cases people here love (I always wanted a Cosmos, and have fond memories of my Sonata), but there are plenty of good airflow cases on the market, and some of the efficiency improvements in chassis design and components alike allow for a lot less airflow with good thermals. If you look to thorough reviews, like GN, you’ll see cases like the Fractal Define series, which borrow a lot from the best of older/standard designs, don’t fare well against a lot of newer (especially mesh) designs.

Check out this oldie but goodie (yes, a tragedy what’s been done to SPCR). With a little planning you can get a lot out of very little.

Still, I agree with all of you — we need better designs more than we need more bling. I’m dying to replace my FT02 with something more compact, but few manufacturers even attempt to make ATX (or even mATX, really) cases under 40L, and I’m not ready to shell out to smaller shops if they haven’t been reviewed.
Mainstream/large volume case makers generally don't care about making their designs compact - there are other things more important to them (such as RGB and tempered glass, sadly). If you want truly compact ATX the Cerberus X (designed by Chimaera Industries, manufactured and sold by Sliger) does that excellently and seems to cool pretty well despite its closed off front panel. There's also an upcoming case from Chimaera, the CX2 that is going to be cheaper (sub-$200 reportedly), supports eATX, has a mesh front, and is about 23L. For reference, that's 3L less volume than my NZXT H200i :D Both do come with some compromises though: you have to choose between being able to fit an ATX PSU or the ability to mount a decent air cooler, but there's ample room for radiators all around. Of course these days there are great SFX PSUs that can power any high-end gaming system or workstation in the mortal realm (barring 4-GPU hotboxes I guess).
 
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I'm on a PC at the moment that's in a modded Cosmos 1000 I got for $25 off Craigslist 10 years ago. I've done many things to it over the years for better airflow and last Fall I swapped furnace filters for the side panels. The 20x25x1 cheapos I get for 89 cents at the local hardware store fit perfectly. The 4790K @4.6Ghz is running at 83 degrees F and the XFX R9289X at 95 degrees F. Other than needing to blow the dust out of it every two months it's fantastic.
 
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I have an old Stacker STC-01 that you guys are making me want to put back in service :laugh:

It’s even got castor wheels:rockout:
 
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The Cosmos 1000 wasn't even a great case for airflow compared to its contemporaries such as the HAF series. I owned a Cosmos 1000 for a few years, great looking case! I recommend getting a 3x5.25 fan adapter. I got mine from Mountain Mods. I ended up cutting a hole in the front door for it.
I also ran a 120mm fan on the side window (I had the rare side window kit, which I cut a hole in and ran a 120 Phobya fan grill to make it less ugly.). I don't know if I have a photo of the fan mounted on it.
After running a Cosmos 1000 for a few years, the overall size of that monster case started to bother me and I switched to the smallest ATX case I could find, a Lian Li PC A05. I liked that case so much I acquired a few others for some family builds.

Overall I find my Lian LI PC A05NB runs even cooler, its a tiny case with not much interior volume, but I have a top 140mm intake with a very powerful Yate Loon D14BH-12 (a 140cfm monster) and a rear exhaust Corsair SP120L which is fairly powerful, the result is the case exchanges its air volume with the room easily and heat doesn't build up.

Anyway, here is how I set up the front intake mod:

 
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Mainstream/large volume case makers generally don't care about making their designs compact - there are other things more important to them (such as RGB and tempered glass, sadly). If you want truly compact ATX the Cerberus X (designed by Chimaera Industries, manufactured and sold by Sliger) does that excellently and seems to cool pretty well despite its closed off front panel. There's also an upcoming case from Chimaera, the CX2 that is going to be cheaper (sub-$200 reportedly), supports eATX, has a mesh front, and is about 23L. For reference, that's 3L less volume than my NZXT H200i :D Both do come with some compromises though: you have to choose between being able to fit an ATX PSU or the ability to mount a decent air cooler, but there's ample room for radiators all around. Of course these days there are great SFX PSUs that can power any high-end gaming system or workstation in the mortal realm (barring 4-GPU hotboxes I guess).
I’ve definitely looked into it, but I haven’t seen any reviews that mention thermals, although I admit that I haven’t looked at too many build logs. I saw one log reporting 95* on their 3700x with a NH-C14, but that may have been faulty reporting (according to the log). I didn’t bother to wade through the rest to find out if that was the case.

I’m a silence freak, too, so the small volume plus addition of filters (I am lazy) worries me, but, again, I don’t really know much about how well it performs. Curious to see some data.

I’ve long imagined a ~30L FT04 as my dream case (2 AP180’s and SFX, room for SSI-CEB boards, no HDDs), but have never gone further than sketches. I pitched it to the Silverstone rep over at OCN a few years ago, but they haven’t followed up with me yet for some reason. :p :kookoo: :rolleyes:
 
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Coolermaster HAF X, one of the best aircooling cases ive owned. 200mm fans were nice and quiet yet cooled every component well. Had to retire it due to wcing limitations.
STC-T01 was a great one as well @freeagent!
Still have both of them in my basement collecting dust along with the iconic lian li pc-65 aluminum that houses my retro c2q rig. 20yo case still looks great.
Like many have said the industry has for all intents flip flopped to form over function. There are still some really solid aircooled cases but the list get smaller and smaller.
 
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Coolermaster HAF X, one of the best aircooling cases ive owned. 200mm fans were nice and quiet yet cooled every component well. Had to retire it due to wcing limitations.
STC-T01 was a great one as well @freeagent!
Still have both of them in my basement collecting dust along with the iconic lian li pc-65 aluminum that houses my retro c2q rig. 20yo case still looks great.
Like many have said the industry has for all intents flip flopped to form over function. There are still some really solid aircooled cases but the list get smaller and smaller.
PC-65 are still worth a good amount, real collectible.
 

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I have now hit 31 years in building rigs. Case airflow management is one of my specialties. I refuse to use any of the modern day cases because of they think is adequate in cooling. I also refuse to listen to the advice of many of those Tech (influencers, really talking heads pushing product) sites on youtube.

I have a Coolermaster HAF X and someday I'll do a real old skool case mod to it, but by hands down favorite are the Corsair Carbide 400r and Corsair 500r as I get excellent cooling results with 3 fans. I have 3 in storage and that should last me for the rest of my life.

I am running hot components in my current rig, such as the MSI X570 A-Pro MB and the reference Rx5700 (Visiontek) video card.
My System Temps are on the average 15c degrees higher the ambient temperature of my room. My rig runs 16 hours per day.

My SSD and HDD run 1 to 3c degrees warmer than ambient room temperature.

My Video card temps varies but the hottest recorded was 74c degrees and the ambient temperature of the room at the time was 105f (40+c) degrees. My man cave gets hot in the summer as the sun hits the south facing almost all year around.

Currently I am watching a video and typing this up. The video card temps are 44c junction with a ambient room temperature of 31.4c degrees as of this typing.

The reason why I am giving the temp info on my rig is that there is a great deal of suspect misinformation by influencers to sell product on how cool their case, their cpu/gpu coolers to make a fast buck.

You do not need the current case trends nor cpu/gpu cooling trends.

What you need is honest accurate data to make a honest decision when making the build.

IMHO the current cases are not that good. You have to pay for your cooling performance what you got free 6 plus years ago.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
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System Name Gaming System / HTPC-Server
Processor i5 8700K (@4.8 Ghz All-Core) / R5 3600
Motherboard Z370 Aorus Ultra Gaming / MSI B450 Mortar Max
Cooling CM ML240L / CM Seidon 120XL
Memory 16Gb Hynix @3200 MHz / 16Gb Ballistix @3600Mhz
Video Card(s) Colorful 1080Ti / Gigabyte RX 5700 (XT Bios)
Storage 750G MX300 / 8+4 TB WD Reds + 250 Sabrent NVMe
Display(s) 2x Dell U2515H/18D / 50" L50U50 4K TV
Case Xigmatek Aquarius Plus / Zalman HTPC case
Audio Device(s) On Board Realtek
Power Supply FSP 850 W Gold / Andyson TX-700 Platinum
Mouse Logitech G502 Hero / K400+
Keyboard Wooting Two / K400+
Software Windows 10 x64
Benchmark Scores Cinebench R15 = 1542 3D Mark Timespy = 9758
Tempered glass cases are always going to be bad for airflow. Probably the best TG case for airflow is the Aquarius Plus which I have (a Lian Li Ripoff)
3x120mm bottom intake going directly to the GPU. 3x120mm side/front intake/exhaust. 3 top intake/exhaust and 1 rear exhaust.
This is a grand total of 10x 120mm fans! But, more importantly, the fans are going to the right places.
 
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Loose in space
System Name "The black one in the dining room"
Processor Intel i7 5960X @4.6GHz
Motherboard Asus X99 Deluxe
Cooling Corsair H105 w/4 Silverstone FM121 fans @110cfm ea on the radiator
Memory 64GB G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4 2600 (8x8)
Video Card(s) XFX R9 Fury X
Storage 960GB MyDigital NVMe. 480GB MyDigital NVMe, 1TB Samsung 860, 4 Western Digital 2TB Black
Display(s) 40" Samsung 8000 series 4K
Case Modded Corsair Carbide 500R
Audio Device(s) Asus Xonar D2X
Power Supply Corsair AX1200i
Mouse Logitech Performance MX
Keyboard Logitech K750 Solar, DiNovo Edge
Software Win 10 Enterprise LTSC
The Corsair Carbide 500R may be the perfect case for airflow and ease of modding. I have two and got them years ago when they were $59 after rebate on Newegg. That liftoff top panel makes externally mounting a radiator as easy as bolting it on after Dremeling slots for the hoses.
 

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I'm not surprised. A lot of modern cases are pretentious beyond belief and almost entirely about form over function. One of the coolest running budget cases I've owned was a Rosewill Line M. How come? Because aside from the front fan not being starved of air, having 2x 120mm side fans blowing cold air directly onto the CPU, GPU & VRM's made a far bigger difference on temps in practise than "modern" front-only air intakes that are "balanced" to top exhausts. The "obsolete" top-mounted PSU design had reversible screw holes so that it could be flipped (facing upwards), so simply cutting a 120mm intake in the top of the case above the PSU with a Dremel and adding a magnetic dust filter on top meant that it too could suck cold air straight from outside of the top of the case, but also passive / fanless PSU's could directly vent hot air straight up and out of the top of the case (the best of both worlds whereas bottom-mounting is cr*p for fanless PSU's in any orientation). Top-mounted PSU also = the flexibility to use an SFX PSU (eg, Corsair SF450) with an ATX-SFX adaptor, gain a huge amount of space and solve the cable management problem by simply having naturally shorter 35-50cm cables "just right" for MATX/ITX that don't have an excess that needs hiding in the first place. Combined with a HDD mounting near the front 120mm intake, every component in the case (CPU, motherboard VRM, GPU, PSU and HDD) had cold air blowing directly onto it. Finally, it had those rare highly flexible things called "drive bays" which even if you don't own an optical drive today, still allow you to add newer USB ports (eg, USB 3.1 Gen 2 C or perhaps 2x extra fast charge ports that draw straight from the PSU via a SATA power cable so that 20-30w charge actually meant 20-30w).

So it's not uncommon to see £29 8 year old cases with drive bays and side air intakes that have better thermals and front USB connectivity than £99 8 week old overpriced pretentious tempered glass hotboxes, and if you listen carefully at night you can hear the latter quietly scream out "I don't want to be a greenhouse, please just drill some holes in the side of me to let some cold air in over the hottest components!!!"... ;)
You are right on the Rosewill. 3 weeks ago I did a care package rig for a friend of mine who needed a new computer, which was 9 years old. So I built one for free and that case for my friends build.

Drive bays as you have stated are really that important in all of my current builds.
 
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System Name Cumquat 2000
Processor AMD RyZen R7 3700X
Motherboard Asus Strix x470-F Gaming
Cooling Cryorig R1 Universal
Memory 16GB GSkill TridentZ DR4-3200 16-18-18-38 1.35V
Video Card(s) Sapphire Pulse RX5700 8GB DDR6 1750/1700
Storage 1X Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SATA AHCI 1x Sandisk 128GB PCIe, 12TB of HDD Storage
Display(s) ViewSonic VX2457 MHD 75Hz FreeSync 1920x1080p
Case SilverStone Raven RV02B-W + 3x SS AP181 + USB3.0 upgrade
Audio Device(s) Realtek S1220a + Pioneer VSX-531 amp Technics 100W Speaker set
Power Supply Enermax RevolutionXT II 750W 80+ Gold
Mouse Logitech G502 Proteus Core
Keyboard Logitech G105
Software Windows 10 X64 PRO (build 1909)
Benchmark Scores it sucks even more less now ;)
The one reason I've yet to get rid of my Silverstone RV02B-W it simply is the best air cooled case around as proved by Gamers Nexus
 
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