I think the NZXT H440 has been the most popular case of the year. Everyone I know building a new system is using this case and I don’t blame them. The H440 has one of the most sleek designs I have seen in a while. This has been achieved by completely removing all optical drive bays from the case, another forward-looking design move by NZXT. NZXT offers this case in 5 different color combinations as well so you can really match your components. Two other features that really stand out on this case is the power supply cover and the solid state drive mounts on top of it. Modders have been making custom power supply covers for a while now and it is great to see a case company finally incorporate that into the design of their case. There are two SSD mounts on top of the power supply cover. These actually allow you to display your SSDs for the people to see through the large side panel window. This again is something that modders have been doing for a while now. I think out of all of the cases I reviewed this year the NZXT H440 was the one I was most surprised by.
The biggest thing I have seen with mini-ITX cases is while they are small they are extremely hard to work in and you really cannot fit a lot of hardware inside. So when Thermaltake sent me the Core V1 I was not that excited to review it honestly. That all changed as I started going through the review. The Core V1 is really a builders case and you can actually fit a lot inside. This includes dual-slot graphics cards up to 285 mm, CPU coolers as tall as 140 mm, two hard drives and a full-size ATX power supply. Looking at the case for the first time you really wouldn’t believe that, but believe me it all fits in there. Did I mention the installation is pretty easy and you don’t feel cramped! Oh yeah this case is only $50 at most retailers so that makes it a no-brainer if you are building a mini-ITX system.
There have been so many unique and interesting cases over the years, cases that really break the mold of the traditional PC case. While many case manufacturers have sort of steered away from this In Win has really embraced it. Just recently I had the chance to take a look at the D-Frame Mini, which is a smaller version of the original D-Frame and I was extremely impressed. Just take a look at it you can tell it is not your traditional PC case. The frame of the case is made of large aluminum tubes that resemble a roll-cage and the side panels are thick tempered glass. This makes for a really unique case and one that will definitely stand out at a LAN party. With these quality materials this case does carry a pretty heavy price tag, but to some people it will be money well spent.
Well that concludes this years list. Do you think we missed a case? Let us know in the comments!