Computer Project

I mostly swap out motherboards with everything on it every 6 years, every 4 years I switch the GPU.
Harddisks only when they’re about to break.

As long as the slots don’t change, this keeps your build a bit cheaper.



Finding a suitable case is proving much more difficult than I imagined. Standards have apparently changed since I last took this seriously.

I absoultely do not want:
Weird front panel styling.
A front door covering the drive bays and front I/O ports .
See-through side panels.
Internal lights (in fact, any lights at all - maybe one on the on/off switch - but no more).

I do want:
A large case - 460-500 mm high
Lots of 5 1/4 inch external drive bays - ideally, 6.
At least 6 usable internal 3 1/2 inch hard drive bays (full size graphics cards generally render at least two unusable. A big PCI/E SSD can scupper another two. So to get 6 usable bays, you generally need to have the manufacturer claiming 10).


These are right out. I’m not fourteen. To use one of these, you need a sense of humour, a sense of irony, and possibly your own circus. NO, No, no.


These are better, but for some bizarre reason, the manufacturers have chosen to put doors over the drives and I/O ports - which makes things really awkward. So no.


These are about the best I’ve found so far. Curiously, they’re also amongst the cheapest. But they’re still not big enough, and they don’t have enough drive bays. I may end up having to pay a lot of money for something that’s not what I want. :unamused:


You need a mini server rack.


That is going to be tough @Polyphemus. Not even sure if they even make full tower cases with that many 5 1/4 external front. They have decided to started using that front space for fans/cooling quite a while back. Then of course the emergency window on the side … No clue why almost every tower has some sort of view on the internals.

I did run into the same issue 5 years ago deciding on my case, as I love a minimal design. I more or less had to pick a case with a side panel window, which I HATE! Even back then not many external front 5 1/4 bays, but 3 was fine with me. Eventually got myself a Corsair Obsidian 750D because it had plenty of room inside for the 2 x 3 slots (modular) of 3 1/2 drives bays. It has a separate location for SSDs and if needed the trays for the HDDs have inlays for SSD. It easily fits my RTX 2080Ti, which is not strange for such a large case. Do I love my case? Yes for the space, no for the screen, but it was as good as I could get it …

You are basically forced to pick a large/huge case, where I am sure it either has a window or a door covering your needs. Some brands do actually have non-windowed versions, make sure to check. There will not be much choice though, which likely means you will spend more than you wish for.

For myself, I have been thinking of messing with an old case of mine. I might try to customize my old Vobis ‘Highscreen’ Sky Tower for that awesome retro look :wink:

I wish you luck @Polyphemus


That Vobis is a very fine case. I owned something similar up until about 15 years ago, but it got jettisonned in a house move (no space).

Corsair used to make a model, the Obsidian 900 D, which wasn’t exactly what I want, but it would have come close. Picture here -

Unfortunately, it seems they haven’t made them for some years, and they’re no longer available.

Oh well. Keep on looking.


I feel your pain. While I love my roomy case, I am not especially fond of the look and it only has 2 front usb ports. I prefer 3 since my wirless mouse never works properly from the back. I also use my Xbox controller from the front and I use my flash drives a lot as well. But, finding 3 usb ports on the front and getting other things I want and need, just did not happen. I got tired of looking.
Good luck!


That’s one of the reasons I want all those drive bays. I use them for mounting I/O ports and breakout boxes.

You can buy a gizmo that has six USB 3 ports, mounted in a 5 1/4 metal box. It slots into a big drive bay, and plugs into your motherboard. You can do the same with sound, microphone, card readers, etc.

I only use a few of the drive slots for drives - the rest just make life easier.


The Vobis tower was given to me by a friend of mine years ago. I loved it back in the days, because of all the room it had.

I was actually going to recommend the Corsair Obsidian series, until I realised availability would be an issue. I actually thought of getting the 900D myself instead, but it was just too pricey for my liking. I might still be able to get the 900D in only 2 or 3 internet shops in the Netherlands (±€400). Still shows as being sold on Yorcom for example. The Obsidian series are indeed no longer made (EOL), besides maybe the 1000D.


I guess it is cheaper for the manufacturer but a pain in the arse for us. The whole electronic world has gone dongle happy…like I need something else to misplace.

2 Likes,6&sort=-ext_525&page=1

Dropped front panel USB and side panel window. No filter for front door.,6&sort=-ext_525&s=0&u=0

Filter can be set for number of external bays.


Wow! Never seen so many cases. It’s overwhelming. Bookmarked :star:

All of these guys can be slotted into unused drive bays. You can give your PC some extra functionality, and you can make what it already has much more accessible.


Alternative to an off-the-shelf case…

Design and build your own, exactly the way you want it with everything personalised to suit your requirements.


Add a grill and a mini-fridge and you will never have to pause a game again. :smiley:


Kind of leaning towards this at the moment. I’m not too keen on the styling, but I can modify that, and remove the front lights. Probably remove the front fan, too, and adapt the space for hard disks.

Seems a bit crazy to spend that kind of money, and then butcher the thing - but there really isn’t a lot available in that sort of specification.


So what have you got against lights? Mine has a blue light. I don’t care for super flashy stuff but I don’t mind a faint glow. I am sure you can just unplug it though.


This could turn into a serious discussion. I think it’s a generational thing - but it could also be my age (which, when I think about it, is also a generational thing).

I find myself increasingly appalled by the modern triumph of style over substance. I don’t like pointless flash. Bling intended to convince me that something or someone is worthy, when they’re not.

A good computer is not a christmas tree - it’s a serious piece of kit. It deserves to be treated as such.

That’s what I think, anyway.


I understand what you are saying. Things like lights also add an unnecessary cost, I’m sure.
I still like my blue glow. :upside_down_face: :smile:


I also don’t like the lights but for me it is not philosophical. Lights, especially blinking or moving, are distracting. I keep electrical tape handy to cover all of the lights around my work area. (I also disable or remove popups, clicks, animated screen savers …) When I’m deep into coding or painting and a light flickers around my periphery, I just can not seem to ignore it. If they aren’t contributing, they don’t need to be there. (Kind of like the grand kids, but they do give purpose so they get to stay : -)


Tape…my best friend. I have an illumunated keyboard which I love because I often play in the dark. However, the light on my Xbox controller is the most obnoxious light ever. I keep it taped at all times. Who thought a bright light pointed at your face was a good idea?