Let’s face it, if you’re building an extended-ATX build, there’s a good chance you’ve got a fairly large budget to work with. However, not everyone likes the idea of dropping nearly $200 on a case.
Options tend to slim out when you edge close to the $100 mark. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great cases to choose from. NZXT’s entry with the Source 530 offers all of the basics for a relatively low price.
The Source 530 offers a lot of the features of the other cases here, but skimps on a few feature that we find in more expensive cases.
First off, the S530 offers filtering for air intake on all sides except the top fan and radiator mount. For those obsessed with dust, this can seem like a big no-no, but regular cleaning can keep dust to a minimum. The big dusty areas at the bottom and front are adequately filtered, so just don’t brush your hair over this case and you should be fine.
The top fan mounts are exposed to the outside of the case, which can make the case look unfinished on the top as well. Again, for the budget-minded this aesthetic might not matter.
Internally, the case has removable hard drive cages, which gives it a step above the Trooper. On the downside, the case has flat side panels, which makes cable management less forgiving. Trying to close the panel behind the motherboard tray can be a struggle of wills at times with these types of cases. Luckily, the S530 tries to compensate with plenty of loops for zip-ties and hook-and-loop straps to assist in keeping cables under control.
The Source 530 is a fine case with a few quirks, but we’ve been pretty darn happy when we’ve used it in our builds. For under $100, it’s a really good option.