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OCC's Top 3 Cases of 2016


Top 3 Cases of 2016:

So, the year is almost over and it is time for me to talk about the Top 3 Cases of 2016. (If you want to see the Top 3 Coolers of 2016 - click here.) After reviewing many cases over the year, things really mush together and it can be difficult to keep all the different features of each case in my head. But some do stick out, and those are the ones you remember the most. Of course, a case is more than just a place to stuff all of your computer hardware. Well, I suppose it was that way many years ago, but now cases are really a very personal thing. They express how you feel about your system. Are you a gamer? Do you like bold and flashy? Maybe you are a little more conservative and like a plain, unassuming case that blends into the background. Regardless of your taste, case manufactures are constantly trying to hit the market with fresh new styles and features while keeping the cases affordable. There are a bazillion cases out there, but here are the top three from my 2016 reviews.


#3 Case: OCC Review of the CR1080 by RIOTORO

Starting off with the third case, we have the small, but mighty, CR1080 from the new kid on the block, RIOTORO. This new company comes out of the door swinging, and earlier this year I got to take a look at the much larger Prism CR1280 and it was an amazing case. (Click here to see that one). Then I got to check out the CR1080, which is considerably smaller than its big brother. But I quickly found out that while this little guy may be geared toward the micro-ATX or mini-ITX form factor motherboards, this case can in fact host a full-sized ATX motherboard. The large side window helps to show off your system goodies. Compact and capable, the CR1080 is a great case if you don't have much space to stash your case. (Say that three times fast!) It was tough to choose between the much larger CR1280 and the CR1080, but the smaller case, with its well-planned layout that makes the most of a tiny patch of real estate, won me over. See the CR1080 article here.

 Check out the video review:


#2 Case: OCC Review of the MasterBox 5t from Cooler Master

On to number two. This is the most recent case I reviewed and right away the red and black theme had me. I really like that color combination. And if you are an ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) fan like I am, well, this would be a perfect case for an ROG build. Of course, other motherboard and hardware suppliers have red and black themed hardware, so if that is your thing, then you have many options for a cool color-coordinated build. It seems that case modding and flexibility are becoming more popular, and Cooler Master is listening. The MasterBox 5t is somewhat modular in that regard and lets "You Decide the Inside." There are many ways to mount your hard drives and plenty of room for large coolers (up to a 360mm radiator up front) and graphics cards. The solid red back plane / motherboard tray really jumps out at you, and the smoked front fascia just begs to have a trio of 120mm red LED fans peeking at you from between the dual red mesh side vents. There is even a cool adjustable LED light bar at the bottom of the front fascia. And finally, the integrated top carry handle is a great feature. Article link here.

Check out the video review:



#1 Case: OCC Review of the be quiet! Silent Base 600

Number one. The top dog. The big enchilada. That is what the Silent Base 600 from be quiet! is. So what pushed this case to the top? Well, first let me say that be quiet! is fairly new to the case category, so I was a little skeptical at first. Coolers, fans, and power supplies - be quiet! has those all figured out. Some of the best you can buy. But cases? How well can the expertise in coolers, fans, and power supplies transfer over to cases? Turns out the answer is amazingly well. From a quality perspective, I was most impressed by the fit and finish of the case. Top notch all the way. And the focus of the design is to be quiet - and that is what this case is all about. The dual-layer side window is something I have never seen before. It really keeps the sound down, along with the extra sound-deadening material in the front and side panels. And they go a step further and decouple the hard drives, fans, power supply, and motherboard tray to reduce the chance of vibrations and sounds from making it out of the case. Throw in the side vent that allows the addition of a fan to move air behind the motherboard, and you have a winner. The accent trim is also available in several different colors. You can see the article here.

Check out the video review:


That's it folks - OCC's Top 3 Cases of 2016. They are all great cases and all very different, so if you are in the market for a new case, then you should definitely check them all out!

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