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 Post subject: advice on, alternatives to Define Mini or CM Elite 431 Plus?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:12 am
Posts: 19
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Are there other cases I should consider, esp. aluminum ones (but see the Lian Li ones I rejected)?

I am looking for a less than full ATX case for a mATX MB and modest power CPU/GPU (see below). I hope to get one that's
not real heavy or large (but not strictly so--see the Define Mini),
easy to work in (a key requirement), with enough
room for a 160 mm HSF (Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo) and
USB 3 on the front panel
Right now my top choices are the
Fractal Design Define Mini - http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1230-page1.html
Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus - http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6737
I lean toward the Elite 431 Plus because it is lighter and has plenty of room while being rougly the same size. I know the 431 Plus is not a premium case and uses cheaper sheet metal and plastic, I like the lack of all the extra sound deadening materials, but if people have comments on how to boost it's anti-vibration, etc. behavior, I'd appreciate it since I know it's a risk. My components won't make a lot of noise.

I looked at what other people are considering in this forum and have rejected the SilverStone Temjin TJO8-E, Lian Li V354 & PC-A04 & -A05, Antec Solo II.

_________________
New Build: no case yet, AMD A10-5800K, ASUS F2A85-M Pro, Seasonic G360, CM Hyper 212 Evo, Intel 330 SDD, WD Caviar Green 2TB, LG BluRay, 2 GB 1333 Dimm for now

2005 Build: K8N Neo4 Platinum 7125 with Athlon 64 X2 4400+ and 2 GB Patriot PC3200 DC2G3200LLK
Gigabyte GV-NX66256DB PCIe, Antec Phantom 350W PS, 2 Seagate Barracuda 300GB SATA HDDs
Plextor PX-716A, Kubuntu Linux, Antec P160 case


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 Post subject: Re: advice on, alternatives to Define Mini or CM Elite 431 P
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:49 pm
Posts: 1196
Location: UK
Why do you need plenty of room to work inside it? It's not like you're going to climb inside it is it? The trouble is that with just about any big heatsink you're going to send up taking it the motherboard out anyway to fit it, hence it doesn't make much difference.

If you are using a modest CPU and graphics card you can go much smaller than those two. Why have you rejected the other cases?

_________________
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: advice on, alternatives to Define Mini or CM Elite 431 P
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 708
Location: Denmark
There's also the Silverstone Precision PS-07 though in many ways it's very similar to the Temjin TJ08-E

_________________
Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: advice on, alternatives to Define Mini or CM Elite 431 P
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:12 am
Posts: 19
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Thank you, edh and kuzzia, for your question and suggestion.

I neglected to say what motivated me to want that extra room.
A key part is the desire to add fast RAM with high, integrated heat spreaders, in particular Crucial's 16GB kit 1866 DDR3 PC3-14900 memory module, http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartspecs ... 00A5CA7304 It is one of the few at that speed known to be compatible with the ASUS F2A85-M Pro MB and the only one with 2x8GB DIMMs.
The extra depth in both the 431 Plus and the Define Mini provide that space.

I took another close look at the Silverstone Precision PS-07 and was pleased to see it is deeper than the TJ08-E, but, unfortunately, only 1.5 cm deeper, much less than the almost 10 cm extra with the 431 Plus. Any hard drives will block the heat spreaders (as happened in the TJ08-E that I returned). See the bottom photos of the PS-07 at http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1276-page4.html

If there are other candidate cases that have that RAM space or strong arguments for the Define Mini vs 431 Plus (each of which has tradeoffs), I hope people will let me know.

_________________
New Build: no case yet, AMD A10-5800K, ASUS F2A85-M Pro, Seasonic G360, CM Hyper 212 Evo, Intel 330 SDD, WD Caviar Green 2TB, LG BluRay, 2 GB 1333 Dimm for now

2005 Build: K8N Neo4 Platinum 7125 with Athlon 64 X2 4400+ and 2 GB Patriot PC3200 DC2G3200LLK
Gigabyte GV-NX66256DB PCIe, Antec Phantom 350W PS, 2 Seagate Barracuda 300GB SATA HDDs
Plextor PX-716A, Kubuntu Linux, Antec P160 case


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 Post subject: Re: advice on, alternatives to Define Mini or CM Elite 431 P
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1898
Location: Guatemala
Unless you want to add more hdd than what you have on your sig, the TJ08-E can fit the Intel 330 on the bottom (it has a 2.5 hdd space attached from the bottom of the case) and the Caviar green on the bottom cage (just above the ssd slot), you can still keep the hdd cage if you want to rest a big GPU (i dont see you have one) or just drop the top hdd cage if you are without gpu. I still use the hdd cage in my build but mostly for supporting the GTX580 if not the cpu heatsink will touch the gpu... I would assume its the same for the PS07 but crosscheck it.

Btw imo memory heatsinks on ddr3 are just pure marketing, specially the tall ones, there are plently of standard size with low height heatspreaders that work fine... but to each to its own, if you feel you need or like those heatspreaders go for it.

Now out of the two i would pick the define mini, just their design imo is really nice, their steel is decent and had plently of hdd slots, the only reason i would go on Coolermaster was on HAF series if i need much more airflow.

_________________
GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: advice on, alternatives to Define Mini or CM Elite 431 P
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:12 am
Posts: 19
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Thanks, Abula, for the comments and suggestions.

I think you are right about being able to fit both the SSD and one HDD in that bottom, non-removable Temjin TJ08-E cage. That said I would not want to forclose the possibility of adding more HDDs in the future.
For anyone in my dilemma, I recommend trying it first BEFORE buying the high heatspreader RAM....
The TJ08-E has many nice features, but building and updating ease is not one of them.

I also agree with the hype on the heatspreaders for that particular Crucial RAM. I wish Crucial had not done that. But its the best choice I have unless someone knows of another sure compatible option. I want the RAM but the tradeoff is living with those spreaders. They are not removable.

I agree with the better build quality of the Define Mini, but the tradeoff is 2X the cost and 2X the weight, plus some tight spacing along with fans that can't be controlled by the ASUS MB.
The 431 Plus has plenty of ventilation. The tradeoff with the 431 Plus upgraded case is no cable management (you have to do your own with ties), and possible non damped sheet metal noise. If I need more fans, I can get quiet ones and have them controlled by the MB.

_________________
New Build: no case yet, AMD A10-5800K, ASUS F2A85-M Pro, Seasonic G360, CM Hyper 212 Evo, Intel 330 SDD, WD Caviar Green 2TB, LG BluRay, 2 GB 1333 Dimm for now

2005 Build: K8N Neo4 Platinum 7125 with Athlon 64 X2 4400+ and 2 GB Patriot PC3200 DC2G3200LLK
Gigabyte GV-NX66256DB PCIe, Antec Phantom 350W PS, 2 Seagate Barracuda 300GB SATA HDDs
Plextor PX-716A, Kubuntu Linux, Antec P160 case


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 Post subject: Re: advice on, alternatives to Define Mini or CM Elite 431 P
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 708
Location: Denmark
The Antec NSK-3480 perhaps?

_________________
Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: advice on, alternatives to Define Mini or CM Elite 431 P
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:12 am
Posts: 19
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Thank, you, kuzzia, for the Antec NSK-3480 suggestion.
I jumped at another possibility....

Unfortunately, there is insufficient room for my large CM Hyper 212 Evo cooler.
Also, it would be a challenge to add another HDD in the future.

How has your experience been with the Cooler Master Elite 341, its noise level, build quality, etc.?

I have never worked with a Cooler Master box, only examined one in a local shop. They recommend and use them because of their ease of working in them.
The Elite 431 Plus is a tad bigger (for that 212 Evo) then the Elite 341.

_________________
New Build: no case yet, AMD A10-5800K, ASUS F2A85-M Pro, Seasonic G360, CM Hyper 212 Evo, Intel 330 SDD, WD Caviar Green 2TB, LG BluRay, 2 GB 1333 Dimm for now

2005 Build: K8N Neo4 Platinum 7125 with Athlon 64 X2 4400+ and 2 GB Patriot PC3200 DC2G3200LLK
Gigabyte GV-NX66256DB PCIe, Antec Phantom 350W PS, 2 Seagate Barracuda 300GB SATA HDDs
Plextor PX-716A, Kubuntu Linux, Antec P160 case


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