I think the HAF X would have been easier, yes. I don't remember why we didn't get those.. maybe they weren't available at the time. Temps stayed lower with the cases closed, and temps will depend a lot on what your external temps are. I don't remember what those temps were.
I've managed to work out a deal with someone on the forums to take all these rigs off my hands. Thanks everyone for your interest.
Btw, we could use some help testing our our DGM pool, which is currently at 47gh and paying a 5% bonus: https://ogrr.com/viewtopic.php?f=373&t=1042