Looking for a case w/ good dust filters

Hey all

Giving my computer an overhaul before too long and I'm looking for some cases. I'd like to go MicroATX preferably, but I'd be okay with an ATX case too if it's not too pricey. Looking for <$100ish, and dusting my computer is basically the bane of my existence so I want a case that has GOOD dust filters for all intakes - although I've also come across a website that sells dust filters for 120mm fans. Does anyone know whether it would be more effective to buy these and if they work for all cases, or if I should just look for a case w/ good filters prefitted?

Some of the cases I've narrowed down to are:


Cooler Master N200 - though I've heard its dust filters aren't incredible and small dust particles still easily make their way in.

Silverstone TJ08B-E - a little expensive, haven't really been able to find a source that describes how good its filters are, plus it has a top mounted PSU which I'm not entirely sure would be an issue for my OCZ ModXStream 600W semi-modular power supply which has rather short cables.

I'd also love to go Mini-ITX but my PSU has a length of 165mm + is semi modular so conflicts with video cards in pretty much all of them.


Corsair 200R and Corsair 230T - both of these I've heard the bottom fans' filters cover only the PSU and don't do much to prevent smaller dust particles from entering, but I like that for full ATX cases they aren't *much* bigger than a microATX case, plus they're both $60ish

Any help would be appreciated

My two cents: you want something relatively closed off. The 200R is definitely not a good choice for avoiding dust as it has open ports everywhere for fans. It does have a filtered intake fan that does keep out some dust and a bottom filter for the PSU that at least keeps cat hair out. 

Alright, and regarding the 200R that's about what I figured. No biggie since I'd rather go Micro anyways. What about the Bitfenix Phenom? Seems rather closed off and does have filtered intakes. I've heard its microATX variant is rubbish but I'm good with mini ITX, too. Would just need to look up the PSU and heatsink dimension restrictions... would love to use the Hyper 212 EVO, which I know is asking a lot for a mini ITX system. Plus my PSU is quite large

How about the Fractal Design Arc Mini R2? It has foam filters at the front and the top (best type of dust filters because the foam pores are very small), and a mesh filter at the bottom. They are easy to access too. It's about $100.

It's a little bigger than I'd like, but it does look really solid. Seems to be a good contendor. If it is my best option (and it does look really good) I'm considering going full ATX just so there are more options when it comes to upgradeability. Do the Fractal Design Arc Midi (ATX) and Define R4 have the same level of quality in the dust filters?

Fractal Design Define R4.  Best looking case i've seen. Amazing build quality, easy to build in, and very good dust filters.  I like that they are so easy to remove.  Look at an overview video of it.  Honestly it's one of the best cases for the money.  

Alright, sounds like I may have a winner then. Thanks! Will definitely look up some videos tomorrow once I'm finished this Star Wars marathon.

The front fan filter on the Arc Mini R2 (or Midi R2, they are practically the same, except for the size) is easier to remove than the filter on the Define. You simply push on the two top corners and it pops out. To remove the front filter on a Define R4 you need to open the front door, drop the latch in front of the fan, tilt the bracket that holds the fan then pull up on the fan filter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=xCoAcidhMN4#t=223). It's also mesh, not foam, like on the Arc, which means that it doesn't offer as much protection against dust. The difference though might not be noticeable.

Another thing worth mentioning is how the top vents are covered on the Define R4. If you don't mount a fan there, there is no chance for dust to enter the case. If you do mount a fan there, you will have no dust filter, so dust can seep in when the fan is not working (if you set it to exhaust. If you set the fan to intake, dust will get in all the time). The Arc has a foam filter there which will not prevent dust entering the case as well as a solid piece of material, but will be a lot better than the Define if you decide to mount a top fan in the Define.

That being said, if you like how the Define looks, go for it, you will be looking at it every day for a few years. The differences I mentioned above are not very noticeable (if at all), and the sound dampening quality of the case is definitely a plus.

Thanks, brother, very informative. If I did end up adding a fan to the top of the Define (which I don't think I would for quite some time, I'm not running dual GPUs or doing insane overclocking at this time so I don't have to worry about temps for the most part), do you think some dust filters from http://www.demcifilter.com/c1/Standard-Fan-Filters.aspx would work fine for that top fan spot?

I've watched a video on both the Define R4 and the Arc Midi R2 from HardwareCanucks, it looks like the Arc might work a bit better for me. The Define looks great, I generally put my case against the side of my desk, so I would think that would slightly limit airflow on the Define given that in the front it draws in from those 2 side ducts (one of which would be against my desk) on the front panel rather than the Arc which just draws straight in the front - and has the foam filter up front rather than the mesh filter behind the front panel which I'd probably have to open up very frequently to clean (which isn't a huge issue, but eh) since I imagine dust would make its way in those side ducts easily enough.

i have the arc midi r2 and i love it. it looks great, has lots of dust filters and was really easy to work in.

That filter looks like it would work, I don't have any experience with it though. And you would probably never have to clean it if your fan is set to exhaust: the dust that settles on the filter when the computer is powered off would be expelled by the exhaust air from the fan.

Here's a review of the filters: http://www.custompcreview.com/reviews/demciflex-dust-filter-review/873/ The video review looks more like a commercial than an actual review, but at least it shows the filters.

Go with the R4. I'm planing on getting one soon 'cause I stay in a very dusty area. It'll be a big improvement over my Cooler Master Storm Scout, and should be perfect for you as well.

For an alternative, you could get some Silverstone FF141B magnetic fan filters. There's also 120mm ones. They're supposed to just connect to a metal surface, and most of the Fractal cases are built out of metal so...

If someone made them available over here in SA, I'd buy 6 and put them everywhere,