If you've had your fill of big windows and blinding lights in your PC case, Fractal Design's Define 7 mid-tower PC case is the cure for what ails you, and right now you can pick one up for just $129.99 at Newegg.
The Define 7 is basically the complete opposite of conventional gaming PC cases. It's a monolithic slab of brushed aluminum, with nothing but a power button, a single power/HDD LED, and a handful of audio and USB ports across the top to reveal that it is in fact a PC case and not just a weird slab of metal. There's enough space inside this bad boy to accommodate E-ATX motherboards, and the tool-less chassis opens to fully expose the interior on three sides. It comes with three 140mm cooling fans (and has room for even more), and if watercooling is your thing it also supports radiators of up to 420mm in size.
There's a lot to like about this case, but one of my favorite things is the "silence-optimized construction with industrial sound-damped front, top, and side panels," as the Fractal Design website puts it. That's not an idle boast: I have an older Define R4 case, and even with all the internal fans cranking away (not to mention the GPU fan when it gets going), I don't hear my PC running unless I'm standing directly beside it. I've had some loud gamer cases in the past (in fact, my Define R4 replaced an Antec Nine Hundred, which was fun for awhile but sounded like a jet taking off and sucked dust like you wouldn't believe), and after some time with a Fractal Design case, I don't miss them at all.
Fractal Design Define 7 | Tool-less chassis | "Silence optimized" design | Supports E-ATX motherboards |
$179.99 $129.99 at Newegg (save $50)
The polar opposite of conventional gaming PC cases, the Define 7 has no windows and no lights. Instead, it opts for simple, elegant styling, easy tool-less accessibility, excellent airflow (and room for beefy radiators if you're into water cooling), and—best of all—virtually silent operation.
The Define 7 also features multiplayer high-airflow nylon filters to help keep your internals dust-free, and the top panel can be swapped from a sound-dampened solid piece to filtered ventilation, if you'd rather have a little more cooling in exchange for a little more noise. Windowed models are also available, for $10 more—personally, I think the solid look is a much nicer way to go, but you do you.