Computer Build — Part #2 — The Case

I built a computer last year. I had a budget of around 1000$ and wanted to get a machine that would allow me to game a bit — but also do some investing (that is for another tale/blog post).

819aYj7mNPL._SL1500_The case I chose was from Amazon. It’s called the Sentey Blade Mid-Tower Gaming Case — in Black. It includes a transparent side which allows you to see inside the case — if you’re at all interested in that. The case ran about $70 USD and arrived on time in a well-packaged box. I was surprised how light the case was in comparison to some of the other cases I’ve purchased – which seem bulky and heavy due to their construction. **Some people like that feeling, but I was going to load this computer up with a bunch of stuff anyway – so I didn’t need a heavy case on top of all the components.

There is a front button which is in the shape of a silver shield which acts as the main Power Button. It also has a mesh front behind the button panel to allow the install of fans and air flow through the machine.

It also included 2 case fans which were initially positioned on the back of the case, but I moved them onto the CPU CoolMaster heatsink. I then purchased other fans to improve airflow.

There is a Bay-Port unit at the top of the machine. It includes a 2.0 USB, a 3.0 USB and Mic and Speaker ports — should your motherboard support that. Your motherboard instruction manual (which can be found online if you’ve lost it) should tell you where to plug in the cables (which are included with this case). I have found this bay-port unit especially handy when it comes to connecting my Bluetooth keyboard and mouse receiver to the unit. No more reaching around back. The 3.0 USB unit also is handy but plugs into 3.0 ports on the motherboard – which are different than the 2.0. Again, you’ll need to make sure that your motherboard can handle these cables. Lastly, there is an indicator light on this bay port which shows the CPU activity.

IMG_0843The feet that come with this case are crap. They are thin plastic and I do not trust them. Instead, I ordered small rubber feet from Amazon and installed them with standard screws – slowly turning the screws through the plastic feet on this case. Not only does it help the computer not more around when it gets bumped, but it also eliminates any vibration between the desk and the computer case.

IMG_3947The case is designed to be see-thru, so purchasing case lights are likely in your future. I ordered a pair of 3-feet blue LED strips. After I realized they were shipped from China and about 2 weeks of shipping, they arrived. I plugged them into my power source and taped them down. They really do help with the brightness of the case. I have one in the roof of the case and one in the front, behind the power button panel.

IMG_4274There are 5 places for fans to be placed in this case. There are two spots behind the power button panel on the front, two on the top of the case and another on the rear. You can set these up to move air in the most desirable fashion you wish, but I have mine moving in from the front, out the rear and top. There are also two fans on the CPU Heatsink that point towards the rear exhaust. I’ve found that this orientation works well – especially when playing high graphic games through the G1 Gaming Windforce graphics card. I have noticed that when I am playing a game, the room temp does rise – which means two things – the unit is working – and this system gets HOT.

IMG_0845There are some things that I don’t like about this case — however. First, I don’t like the lack of cable management space. The side panel comes off and I have fed all my wires into the back of the machine — but a basement would have solved a lot of this problem. I also should note that the Power Supply sits on the bottom of this case which I don’t mine, but it doesn’t look amazing – again, which could have been solved with a basement. Second, things are tight in this case – including the cables and my large graphics card. A few more inches longer and wider could have solved this complaint. Lastly, the front interface feels a little cheap because it’s all plastic. A few metal trim items would have solved this.

For the price of the case, I am happy with it — but there are lots of cases out there for that price range. Mine works well, but I’m not super impressed. It is functional and works for my needs.

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