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  1. #1
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    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
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    Great budget PC case

    I've been repairing a PC for a friend and we decided a new case would be good as the ventilation in the existing one left a lot to be desired (the reason it died was through bad ventilation and a build up of dust). This system is only ever used for office work and the kids homework and is an old P4 2.66GHz so doesn't need any fancy cooling for what they will be doing with it.

    After some looking around I spotted a budget case from Novatech that looked ideal for what I needed.

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/p...v-panther.html

    At only 15.98 + shipping it is quite a bargain.

    Plus as normal I selecting Novatech's budget shipping, which is 1.99 with an estimated 5 day delivery date. However it is a real bargain because I always use this and everything to date has always arrived within 2 days. As this case did. Much cheaper than the petrol to even drive there and collect in person.

    Now to the case. It is a budget price so you can never expect the same level of build quality as something from say Coolermaster, Antec or Thermaltake. However it is an all steel construction with a piano black finish, which looks very smart. It also feels reasonably solid and is quite light to move around.

    The front of the case is also a conservative all black, with a Novatech logo in the middle. 4x 5.25 drive bays, plus 1 3.5" bay. The top bay has a spring loaded CD tray flap with eject button, so you can hide whatever colour drive you like behind it and it will still look good. The bottom 5.25 bay is also already taken up by a pull down flap. Behind here is a front panel with 2x USB ports and Headphone and mic sockets. Something you don't expect to get on a case of this price. The power button is a large round button that lights up around the edge in blue which looks nice, and a smaller reset button below it.

    The side of the case has ventilation grills where 2x 120mm fans can be fitted if you wish for extra intake. The back has a space for another 120mm exhaust fan, and the front again has a space at the bottom for another 120mm intake fan. So overall you could fit 4 120mm fans in this case with ease, which would provide more than enough air flow for quite a demanding system spec.

    Opening up the case is easy thanks to the side panels being secured with 4 thumb screws, so no tools needed here. The steal is also rolled on the edges so you don't have any sharp edges to worry about. Once inside the tool-less theme continues with tool-less 5.25 and 3.5 bays, using detachable clamps to hold drives in place. So all very easy and straight forward. In total there are 4 internal 3.5 bays for HDDs and 4 external 5.23 bays, plus the 3.5 floppy bay, which could double up as an extra internal 3.5 bay if wished.

    The front is also fairly easy to remove as it just has some push locators that pop the front off fairly easily. You need to detach the front to install any 5.25 drives as you need to remove the blanking plates (held in by a screw each) and also if you wished to mount a front fan.

    Internal space is also fine for most general setups. You might need to check longer graphics cards as there is only 10.5 inches clearance from the back to the HDD cage, and some of the longer cards can be over 11 inches. The case comes with all the screws, motherboard standoffs etc that you will need. The only additional thing you would need to buy are case fans if you decided you needed any.

    All the case connectors are labelled so are easy to work out where they go. The front panel has standard audio and usb connectors which should both fit most motherboards.

    So a good budget case that is nicely thought out and provides enough for most system builder's needs. For general system builders on a budget this is perfect. So I would highly recommend this.

    The only reason for buying something more expensive, or from a known case maker, is durability, the need for more internal space, or the need to build a powerful system that needs special ventilation or large graphics cards and CPU coolers that might not fit.

    As a budget case, in a budget market I would give this 10/10 for amazing value for money and build quality at this price.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  2. #2
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    This really looks very nice, considering the price. Of course there's better looking cases. This one would definitely also be great to put into an arcade cabinet, although you wouldn't see it then. But it would also look nice when exhibited, to put under or even on a desk, although for an "ondesk" version I would go for a nice mini ITX case, which are unfortunately more expensive.

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