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 Post subject: Upgrade fail, could use some advice...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 5:25 am
Posts: 52
Location: East and West
I was planning to do a major upgrade of my desktop, but I've run into a snag. The Asus GTX 660 Ti I bought doesn't fit in my Antec Solo. The fixed drive cage prevents the card from being installed.

I've looked at drilling out the rivets and taking out the drive cage, but it appears to play a major role in keeping the front and bottom of the cage rigid with respect to each other. Plan B was to remove just the rivets on one side of the cage, bend that side out of the way and see if the card would fit protruding into the cage. That almost works. If I can get hold the side of the cage in place there's about 3 mm of clearance between it and the GFX card. The problem is holding it in place. There's enough spring in it that it keeps pulling back enough to be a worry, and I don't see any means of securely holding it in position.

Looking at options for a new case, everything seems huge. As it stands the Solo is already slightly bigger and heavier than I'd like, space tends to be a premium around here. The good news is I haven't bought the new motherboard yet, I planned for an Asus P8Z77-V LK + i5-3570, so I do have the option of going micro-ATX (P8Z77-M PRO?) and getting a smaller case. Trouble there is mATX cases are almost as big as my Solo. The one case I could go for is the unreleased mini P280. Which unfortunately is unreleased... And no news of a release date.

Thinking about it, my options are:

1) Cut up the drive cage. This is one thing I *really* don't want to do. I'd like to keep it intact, as a second older box if need be.

2) Small, cheap and temporary. Get a cheap mATX case to tide me over until the mini P280 is available. That assumes it *will* come to market and is a decent case. The Fractal Core 1000 seems to be cheap, but also looks rather suspect...

3) Small/tiny permanent but maybe noisy. The Silverstone SG-03 caught my eye because it's tiny. Heat and noise might be a problem with it though, the interior is extremely cramped.

4) Permanent, silent, big and not cheap... Worst case I could get a full ATX case, but I'd really rather not do that.


So are there any decent cases out there I should be looking at? I'm wary of Lian-Li as their boxes seem to be light, rattly aluminium. The Corsairs and Antecs seem to be big and expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade fail, could use some advice...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:49 pm
Posts: 1227
Location: UK
Lucien wrote:
The Silverstone SG-03 caught my eye because it's tiny. Heat and noise might be a problem with it though, the interior is extremely cramped.

I have an SG03 and it can be very quiet. What I would be wary of is HDD vibration. I soft mounted but still HDD noise dominates my system. Cooling wise it's amazing for the graphics card, not so amazing but workable for the CPU. I use a Scythe Zipand arranged without a fan so it really just atkes airflow from the front to cool it. This could be resolved very well with some ducting no doubt.

_________________
Silverstone SG03B: E8200, Asus P5E-VM HDMI, 2Gb RAM, Leadtek 9600GT+S1 rev. 2, Samsung 500Gb, Seasonic X-400, 2x Akasa 120mm, Scythe Zipang 2 fanless


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade fail, could use some advice...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:45 am
Posts: 524
Location: 128.0.0.1
You could go Mini ITX with a Silverstone SG08, for example.
Or a Lian Li Q08, Q11 or Q18. They have the same "PSU above the CPU"-issue that the SG03 has. I had the SG04 and didn't like that setup very much.

The best Micro-ATX case is Silverstone's TJ08-E. (though I preferred the predecessor without the -E)
Second best would be the Antec NSK-3480, if that's still available to buy.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade fail, could use some advice...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:32 am 
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Posts: 52
Location: East and West
edh wrote:
I have an SG03 and it can be very quiet. What I would be wary of is HDD vibration. I soft mounted but still HDD noise dominates my system. Cooling wise it's amazing for the graphics card, not so amazing but workable for the CPU. I use a Scythe Zipand arranged without a fan so it really just atkes airflow from the front to cool it. This could be resolved very well with some ducting no doubt.


I'm a little surprised... The two 120 mm intake fans are a good start, but with no exhaust fans at all, I would have though that restricts airflow by quite a bit.

Also I'm looking at running a i5-3570 and a GTX 660 Ti. Maybe less heat load from the CPU, but I'd think quite a lot more from the GPU as compared to the system in your sig. That worries me.


tim851 wrote:
You could go Mini ITX with a Silverstone SG08, for example.
Or a Lian Li Q08, Q11 or Q18. They have the same "PSU above the CPU"-issue that the SG03 has. I had the SG04 and didn't like that setup very much.

The best Micro-ATX case is Silverstone's TJ08-E. (though I preferred the predecessor without the -E)
Second best would be the Antec NSK-3480, if that's still available to buy.


I do like the SG-07 and 08, but a mini-ITX system is unworkable for me. I do sorta need a spare expansion slot, and the local prices for a decent mITX motherboard are a bit higher than bigger form factors. That would go on top of a new case that I didn't originally budget for.

Was reading the SPCR review on the TJ08-E. Interesting. Are there any alternatives to the 180 mm intake fan? And does having the GFX card on top have an impact on thermals?

I've been looking around at what's available locally, and to give you an idea of prices in local currency:

Fractal Core 1000 - $55
Corsair Carbide 200R ~$80 (I think...)
Fractal Arc & Define mini - $129
Silverstone TJ08-E - $155
Silverstone SG-03 - $165
Antec Solo II - $165
Antec P280 - $199

I think I've heard the NSK-3480 might still be available, but it's more expensive than the P280...

How are the Fractal Arc and Define Mini for a silent PC? Looking at the pictures on the Fractal website, the appear to be basically the same case, differing only in the front and top plates. Trouble is they're as deep as my current Solo (if not deeper!), and almost as tall... :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade fail, could use some advice...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:45 am
Posts: 524
Location: 128.0.0.1
Silverstone also sells the PS07, which is the TJ08-E with a different (uglier) front panel and 2x 120mm fans in the front instead of the 180mm.

There are quite a few alternative 180mm fans as well, some 200mm fans with 180mm mounting holes might also fit. There is no reliable information as to how quiet any of these are, I'm afraid.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade fail, could use some advice...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:56 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 676
Location: Germany
Lucien wrote:
I'm a little surprised... The two 120 mm intake fans are a good start, but with no exhaust fans at all, I would have though that restricts airflow by quite a bit.


I have made the experience that the exhaust fans determine the thermal and noise performance of a system. I'd rather have no intake fans at all and would move those fans to the exhaust position, provided i'd want to keep them.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade fail, could use some advice...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 10:26 am
Posts: 86
Location: Eastern USA
I know you said you didn't want to cut up the drive cage, but...

It sounds like you were thinking about removing the entire drive cage when cutting just a tiny portion might make the card fit.

See here:
http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=155312

The Asus card is 10 and 5/8 inches, and the GTX 260 is 10.5 inches. It's pretty close, so you should be able to do something similar.

Just an idea.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade fail, could use some advice...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 5:25 am
Posts: 52
Location: East and West
Lockheed wrote:
I know you said you didn't want to cut up the drive cage, but...

It sounds like you were thinking about removing the entire drive cage when cutting just a tiny portion might make the card fit.

See here:
http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=155312

The Asus card is 10 and 5/8 inches, and the GTX 260 is 10.5 inches. It's pretty close, so you should be able to do something similar.

Just an idea.

Good luck!


Yes, I was thinking of removing the drive cage entirely. The reason for that over just cutting out a bit was that drilling out the rivets is a reversible step... Cutting the cage would not be.

Also, the local climate is very humid and I'm not too far from the sea, so a cut like that would see corrosion very quickly. Given it'd be between the intake fans and the GFX card, that's the last thing I want.

I've hit on the idea of cutting some PVC piping to use as a brace to keep that one side of the drive cage out of the way. It's probably going to be fiddly, but it's sold in long lengths, and I only need a short section, so there's lots of opportunity to practice.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrade fail, could use some advice...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 5:25 am
Posts: 52
Location: East and West
tim851 wrote:
Silverstone also sells the PS07, which is the TJ08-E with a different (uglier) front panel and 2x 120mm fans in the front instead of the 180mm.

There are quite a few alternative 180mm fans as well, some 200mm fans with 180mm mounting holes might also fit. There is no reliable information as to how quiet any of these are, I'm afraid.



That's interesting... And SPCR has a review for that case too, as well as the Define Mini. I'm actually surprised that those 2 don't perform as well as the TJ08-E.

I'm hoping the plan with the PVC pipe will work out. If it does, I might use it as a temporary holdover until the mini P280 comes to market (or doesn't...). If not I'm considering the Define Mini. What I like about it is the front panel design, that, like the Solo, doesn't expose the fans directly.

The PS07 has that too. The trade of as I see it would be the PS07 is more expensive, appears to be of cheaper build and didn't review as well, though it is smaller.

I should probably try to find out if the mini P180 is available locally, it's around the size of the Define Mini. Plan A is still to get the PVC pipe brace working.


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