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 Post subject: Smallest possible case for 95 Watt CPU + SSD only?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:09 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 11:35 am
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Location: Chicago, Ill., USA
I've been toying with the idea of seeing how small I can make my main PC, which is based around an i5-2500k (Sandy Bridge). I use the CPU's integrated graphics (no external GPU), and only hard drive is a single 2.5" SSD. I have an unused 160-Watt PicoPSU which I believe could easily power this system. This is a 95 Watt TDP CPU, and I regularly max out all four cores. (And even if I replaced the CPU too, a comparable Haswell would be 84 Watts, so virtually similar cooling load.)

I'm sure I could cool it sufficiently cool it quietly in one of those "breadbox" style cases; anything that can fit a modern tower cooler should be adequate. But that's only about half the height of my current case, a Supermicro SC731i-300B. (Love this case by the way, just want a smaller system.)

What I'm wondering is, could I get away with something small enough to mount to the back of my monitor? Maybe something like this InWin BQS656?

A small case means a small CPU cooler. And a small cooler may not cut it unless the fan spins quickly (which wouldn't be silent obviously).

Another consideration is that I do need an optical drive. If I mounted the main system to the back of the monitor, I'd just get a slim external optical drive.

The other idea is the smallest case that also allows an optical drive, something along the lines of this InWin BP655. If it could silently cool a fully loaded 95W TDP CPU, then it could probably stand vertically right next to my monitor. But that's a big "if". :) That case comes with a mini PSU. Using my PicoPSU, I could remove the stock PSU completely, and use the space for an extra fan... but I'm not sure if that'd be enough to keep things sufficiently cool quietly.

Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Smallest possible case for 95 Watt CPU + SSD only?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:17 am 
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 9:09 am
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Location: Northern California.
cut a hole in the top of a m350 and use a full sized tower heatsink.

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 Post subject: Re: Smallest possible case for 95 Watt CPU + SSD only?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 2028
Location: Guatemala
I like Xan idea, but throwing a few more.

Something like Lian Li Q08 and using the Lian Li PSU cover could allow you to have full optical and a monster heatsink inside, not as small as M350 but not as big as standard case, there are some new offering from lian li that i havent really seen in person, but there could be some options.

A 2500K is relatively easy too cool off even under load, nothing like Haswell that on load they do climb up. So another option could be a type of HTPC styled case and using a cooler like Noctua NH-C14, maybe a noctua 14r redux for having pwm control on the fan and dropping it to inaudible levels.

Or if you want go fully silent... maybe something form HDPlex (H10 can take up to 125W TDP CPU) or Steacom (F8C Evo can take up to 95W TDP CPU), but fully passive a quad for a long time, idk would be risky.

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 Post subject: Re: Smallest possible case for 95 Watt CPU + SSD only?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:21 pm
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Location: NEW YORK WORD AND STUFF YEAH OK
I also would look at Lian-Li small cases. they make a lot of sense, are really nice looking and built well.


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