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apobull

Case Recommendation

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boredgunner    0

Actually there is nothing wrong with any of those temperatures. Not the hard drive or the CPU. As for the VGA air duct in the HAF-X, it doesn't even include a fan but I don't recommend using it since it is installed on the back of the hard drive cage. It would be blowing the heat from five hard drives towards your video card. It is really meant to be used with high end video cards and minimal hard drives in the HDD cage. The side 230mm intake fan is plenty for your video card.

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apobull    0
Actually there is nothing wrong with any of those temperatures. Not the hard drive or the CPU. As for the VGA air duct in the HAF-X, it doesn't even include a fan but I don't recommend using it since it is installed on the back of the hard drive cage. It would be blowing the heat from five hard drives towards your video card. It is really meant to be used with high end video cards and minimal hard drives in the HDD cage. The side 230mm intake fan is plenty for your video card.

Since the HDDs have no fans blowing on them at all and were consistently hot, thought their temps were a bit outside the normal range. I also failed to mention that I believe the drives / CPU were a tad higher than what I noted. A few months back, I became concerned about cooling and got creative with adding some additional fans (internal, side of case, and on top). I can't say how hot things were prior to that but certainly hotter than they get now.

If nothing else, I think that a better case might be good just to give me more room and certainly provide more than adequate cooling. Here's another question. Which one does better in the hot-swap department / provide more options there? The existing case has individual hot-swap trays. While I have not had to take advantage of that option, it is a nicety to have. Overall, which one would you suggest all things considered relative to my situation?

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boredgunner    0

No Lian-Li case has hot swap bays, but the HAF-X has two. These two hot swap bays can hold a 3.5" or 2.5" drive, but it is not tool free. I don't know of any Lian-Li case that has 2.5" drive support. I think you should go with the Lian-Li PC-A71F. It is very affordable, it has very good cooling (the 7 hard drives in the front are cooled by two 120mm fans, the 3 on the rear are cooled by a 120mm exhaust fan), you'll still have room for 5 optical drives with all 8 of your hard drives, build quality beats the HAF-X (but this is a solid case too), and cable management is still pretty good in this case actually. It has a removable motherboard tray unlike the HAF-X.

The HAF-X is meant for enthusiasts who need very good cooling for high end VGA setups, and it is a good choice for water cooling loops. It is also quiet. The PC-A71F has a more sleek design, it is meant to hold setups like yours with multiple hard drives, airflow is still good and overall it is a very solid case. Either way you'll enjoy whichever you choose.

Here is a video review of the HAF-X and here is a review of the PC-A71F.

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apobull    0
No Lian-Li case has hot swap bays, but the HAF-X has two. These two hot swap bays can hold a 3.5" or 2.5" drive, but it is not tool free. I don't know of any Lian-Li case that has 2.5" drive support. I think you should go with the Lian-Li PC-A71F. It is very affordable, it has very good cooling (the 7 hard drives in the front are cooled by two 120mm fans, the 3 on the rear are cooled by a 120mm exhaust fan), you'll still have room for 5 optical drives with all 8 of your hard drives, build quality beats the HAF-X (but this is a solid case too), and cable management is still pretty good in this case actually. It has a removable motherboard tray unlike the HAF-X.

The HAF-X is meant for enthusiasts who need very good cooling for high end VGA setups, and it is a good choice for water cooling loops. It is also quiet. The PC-A71F has a more sleek design, it is meant to hold setups like yours with multiple hard drives, airflow is still good and overall it is a very solid case. Either way you'll enjoy whichever you choose.

Here is a video review of the HAF-X and here is a review of the PC-A71F.

Thank you for the feedback. I took a good look at the Lian-Li case and really like it. It might be somewhat overkill for my current needs a tad pricier but thinking about their PC-A77F. It would appear to support 2 less 3.5 HDDs(9 total) rather than 11 (1 external) on the A71F but also provides support for USB 3.0, which would be nice. This would certainly more than future proof me. Thoughts on that? Cooling seems similar as well since it's the next one up from the A71F

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boredgunner    0

Oh yeah man go for the PC-A77F, you'll love it. Hard drive cooling is actually better - less restrictive hard drive cages allow the hard drives to be cooled slightly better but both cool hard drives just fine. It can also hold a 240mm radiator up top which means nothing for you but it means something for me. I'm currently looking into some of their cases as well, most noticeably the upcoming PC-V2120.

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apobull    0
Oh yeah man go for the PC-A77F, you'll love it. Hard drive cooling is actually better - less restrictive hard drive cages allow the hard drives to be cooled slightly better but both cool hard drives just fine. It can also hold a 240mm radiator up top which means nothing for you but it means something for me. I'm currently looking into some of their cases as well, most noticeably the upcoming PC-V2120.

One minor issue is that my motherboard MSI MS-7514 does not support USB 3.0. As such, would need an add-on card, which at this time are all PCIe-based it seems. I have an X1 and X16 slot and both are currently in use. Might be able to replace the X1 card with a PCI-based version instead but will have to see. Is this motherboard tray removable on this one as well?

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boredgunner    0

The motherboard tray is removable on the PC-A77F as well as nearly every other Lian-Li case. $350 is a bit steep but I'd like to have one. I might get that instead of the upcoming PC-V2120 which will cost around the same - the PC-A77F is more useful for me. Now I have to start saving up. :bom:

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EsaT    0
Regarding airflow needs, most of the HDDs in my existing case plus the CPU are running rather hot constantly -- thus the need to get them in a better cooling environment.
HDDs themselves produce very little heat, only bare ten watts per 7200rpm desktop drive (compare to 250+W semiconductor heaters claiming to be graphics card) but problem is in old cases cramming them tightly together like sardines in tin causing heat build up. And with drives tightly together even fan has harder job in cooling them because airflow is blocked from flowing between drives.

With 1cm/0.5" space between drives airflow needed for cooling them is actually rather small. Google's study of data gathered from their file servers suggests than in 24/7 use (no thermal stresses from daily powering off/on) little higher sounding around 40C temperature might be actually optimal.

I took a look at the PC-A77F, which really looks impressive aside from the +$300 cost.
That Fashion version is downgraded from original PC-A77: It lost PC-A70 family's top rear cage for three HDDs so besides higher price also its storage capability is inferior to cheaper A70/A71 models. (9x3.5"+3x5.25" vs. 10x3.5"+5x5.25")

And in case of you ever becoming interested about silencing A71's noise containing design needs only mass damping (like bitumen mat) for realizing potential while gamer cheese graters and open front cases will always leak out every mechanical noise and frequency spike unmuffled no matter what you do. (been there...)

Compared to PC-A77F Coolermaster's ATCS 840 could in practise fit same amount of devices with less noise leaking design.

I/O port module can be changed at least in Lian Li's full towers so lack of USB3 isn't any problem. Especially considering there isn't even any internal pin header meaning current USB3 port systems might become obsolete/hard to use when they standardize internal pin header connector for USB3.

Oh yeah man go for the PC-A77F, you'll love it. Hard drive cooling is actually better - less restrictive hard drive cages allow the hard drives to be cooled slightly better
No need to freeze drives. I have original PC-A71B and with its push-pull fan config around HDD cage I would be worried about drives running too cold if those fans were running much above 1000rpm.

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boredgunner    0

I have the ATCS 840 but I'd much rather have a PC-A77F. Airflow would be better since the hard drive cages are less restrictive - I'd put my hard drive in a 5.25" to 3.5" adapter since I will only occupy 3 slots including the hard drive. The hard drive cages will be used for cooling - stock fans on the front and a Panaflo 120mm x 38mm fan on the back of each one. But yeah I wonder why they removed the top PSU mount/HDD cage, but oh well. The ATCS 840 has too much plastic for me (most Cooler Master cases do) and the side panels and top fan cover are pretty cheaply built and bend quite a bit. But the PC-A77F is way overpriced, I really want a sleek aluminum case with good cable management, a CPU retention plate access hole, decent water cooling potential and very good airflow. I believe my ATCS 840 is the only case that fits all of these requirements by default but I do mod cases, but whatever I'll stick with my ATCS 840 for now... it is still a very good case. I'll invest in a water cooling setup instead of a new case.

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apobull    0

Given the recent replies, it sounds like the PC-A77F is a tad overpriced and perhaps not worth it as opposed to the PC-A71F? USB 3.0 is nice but think a simple add-on card would do the same trick. I think I'm sold on Lian-Li --- just a matter of which model

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