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 Post subject: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:01 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:37 am
Posts: 24
Hi folks,

I'm in the midst of doing a new build that will be mostly dedicated to photo editing, and occasionally some gaming. The ATX case I will use will need to meet some specific physical dimensions to fit into a dedicated cubby in my desk. Specifically, the width of the case needs to be 8.5" (215mm), the height of the case needs to be 18.5" (469mm). My old system is built within an Antec Lifestyle Solo which I don't want to re-use as the front facing USB ports are not USB 3.0.

The highlights of the hardware I'm getting are as follows:
  • i5-4670K
  • Asus Z87-A
  • 16GB 1866mHz RAM
  • Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Undecided mechanical HD

You'll notice no graphics card listed as initially I'm going to just use the on-board graphics. I'll be adding a graphics card later once some PC games come out I'm actually interested in. Having said that, I will only be using a single GPU in this build, no SLI.

I've done quiet builds in the past before, and have done a lot of case research over the last few days. If it weren't for the physical dimension restrictions, I'd be all over the Fractal Design R4. However, I find that the majority of the silent cases that are considered to be good are simply too big, either too wide or too tall.

After looking at the offerings from Antec, Fractal Design, Corsair, Cooler Master, BitFenix, NZXT, and Zalman. My short list at this point consists of:
  • Antec Solo II
  • Zalman Z3

I'm not too wild about the Solo II, I'd prefer the I/O ports to be up top. The Z3's layout is ok, but I'm not wild about the aesthetics. Historically speaking, the Fractal Design R3 would have been the perfect case, but it has been superseded by the larger R4. My only other choice seems to be to consider basic non-quiet cases and hope that my internal components will be sufficiently quiet.

Are there any other cases I missed that might fit my scenario? I think not, but I'm open to suggestions.

P.S. Changing my desk to get one with a larger case cubby is a non-starter since otherwise my desk is extremely space efficient. It's like a bookcase with a desk built in that's really tall so it is really space efficient in my apartment.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4545
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Welcome to SPCR.

You could go mATX and get the Fractal Define Mini or Silverstone TJ-08E or the like.

I hope your cubbyhole isn't closed off in back!

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:37 am
Posts: 24
Unfortunately, since I've already bought an ATX mobo, going mATX isn't really an option. I admit it's something I should have thought about beforehand, oops. Hence my predicament of trying to balance reasonable cooling, silence, and compact size of an ATX case.

The cubby hole is indeed open at the back, so I can still get reasonable airflow.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:07 am
Posts: 100
Location: Vienna - Austria
Hi

Why the aesthetic is driving your choices, if you out it in the cubby, down your table?

As said by Steve, why planning atx if you don't have 4 HDDs and 2 GPU.
Even mini ITX could be a solution for smaller.

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(sold in Dec. 2013) Temjin TJ08-E / Be Quiet Straight Power E9 400W / GA-B75M-D3H / i3-3225 / 8GB / SSD 120GB / HDD 1TB / running Mac OS - Hackintosh


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 Post subject: Re: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:50 pm 
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Isn't returning the mobo an option?

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
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Location: Guatemala
I would return the motherboard if possible, even exchange if they dont accept refunds, you can get a micro atx asus motherboard or mini itx with almost the same features (aside form more pcie slots).

If you cant, i would try to sell it on ebay or something else for a small loss.

If you cant or don't wish to do the above, but you still want a compact case and still use the full ATX motherboard, even though alluminium is not the best for dampeing noise, its the smallest ATX case LIAN LI PC-A05FNB Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, because of its design the PSU will end up at the front, so the case is usually less tall than most atx cases, chose proper fans and hdds and you should still end up with a very quiet setup. Ill leave you a couple of pics of builds on the case,

Image

Image

_________________
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: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:29 am
Posts: 567
Location: de_DE
The Nanoxia Deep Silence 2 or Coolermaster Silencio 550 are inexpensive alternatives for quiet cases that fit your cubby.
"... the Solo II outperforms the Cooler Master Silencio 550 and NZXT H2 in convincing fashion." If you add an intake fan it will lower the GPU temps even more.

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Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit,
Evga GTX 670 FTW+ 4GB with Thermalright Spitfire and Thermalright TY-150 500-800RPM, Seasonic 460W Platinum Fanless


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 Post subject: Re: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:37 am
Posts: 24
Thanks for all your input, folks.

I thought long and hard about possibly getting a mATX motherboard and thus, increasing the compact case options available to me. In the end, I decided I'll stick with the ATX board I got. Aside from not having to take a loss on restocking or reselling it, I'll retain a little bit more flexibility for the future with it (if I ever decide to use additional GPUs, etc).

Case wise, it looks like I'll get the Solo II. I knew I would likely have to make a compromise, and in this case, I'll have to "settle" for front facing I/O ports that aren't near the top of the case. Pretty much a "first world" problem, right? :) The Nanoxia Deep Silence 2 was a very intriguing option, and I think if it were more available in Canada I'd give it more thought. The only downside to the DS2 would have been that while it would have fit the cubby, it would have done so _just barely_ height wise. I think I would have had 2-3mm of extra space (assuming the posted measurements include the feet). The Solo II will give me about 30-40mm (2-2.5") extra space.

In case anyone is interested, it looks like my full build will look as follows (http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/2wf2m). Posting details below so that you don't have to open link:
  • CPU: Intel i5-4670K (Haswell)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212
  • Motherboard: Asus Z87-A
  • RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series C9 1866mhz
  • Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
  • PSU: Seasonic G-series 450W (Gold certified) (cross referencing shows this to be Haswell ready)
  • Case: Antel Solo II

I thought about going with a Scythe Mugen 4, but I think the CM 212 should be sufficient. Similarly, going to check noise levels with the included Antec Solo II fans before considering replacing them with any alternatives. Any additional comments welcome.

Cheers.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:37 pm 
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Looks nice. The 212+ fan is probably the weak link for noise.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1824
Location: Guatemala
I think you have chosen very good components, i would spend the extra $20 for the mugen4, it will have a very good quiet fan on idle and can be ramp up depending on the conditions, it was editor choice on SPCR.

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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: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:37 am
Posts: 24
Lol, you guys changed my mind -- I'll order the Mugen 4. Will do the rest of my ordering tonight. I just hope that the slightly larger footprint of the Mugen 4 won't be an issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1824
Location: Guatemala
qualdoth wrote:
Lol, you guys changed my mind -- I'll order the Mugen 4. Will do the rest of my ordering tonight. I just hope that the slightly larger footprint of the Mugen 4 won't be an issue.
It should be fine, even though mine is Solo II + Mugen 3, its the same size so you will get an idea on how it will be on yours,

Image

One last comment, while i never had an issue with Seasonic PSU, i even used a G550 and G360, there has some been some people that have reported some whining and coil, so as an alternative you could go with Corsair RM450, that they are marketing as it wont have any of those issue, but reading reviews as all PSU there are some that do, so there is guarantee with either.

_________________
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: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:37 am
Posts: 24
Thanks for posting that picture, Abula, it is helpful. It's a little tough to tell from the picture, but does the fan in the picture block access to the RAM slots or does it provide enough room below it that you can still have RAM modules there?

I'll just roll the dice with the Seasonic for now, as you mentioned, there's no guarantee either way.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:20 pm 
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If you go with std height RAM (with heatspreaders that wrap around the sides) or low profile RAM, there is clearance. Probably an issue with the Ripjaws. I went with Ares and there's clearance.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1824
Location: Guatemala
qualdoth wrote:
Thanks for posting that picture, Abula, it is helpful. It's a little tough to tell from the picture, but does the fan in the picture block access to the RAM slots or does it provide enough room below it that you can still have RAM modules there?
Ii would go standard height ram or low profile, memory dont need cooling as in the past, todays its more about marketing, either way i leave you the pic so you get the idea,

Image

_________________
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: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:29 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:37 am
Posts: 24
Thanks for the additional input, CA_Steve and Abula. I guess it looks like despite my best efforts with analyzing the components I was choosing I may end up running into clearance issue with the CPU Cooler and RAM I've selected. At this point, I'll wait for everything to come in, will do a test fit, and will go from there. Worst case scenario is that I'll return/resell the Ripjaws and get something else. I'll be in a much better position to identify exactly what will fit since I'll be able to measure clearance and make sure I buy modules with an appropriate height.

It looks like all of the parts are now in transit and I expect them to arrive over the course of this week. I don't know that I'll dare to post any pictures of the build seeing how obsessive all you folks are about cable mgmt, etc ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:47 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:37 am
Posts: 24
Quick update, in case anyone is following and/or stumbles on this in the future.

As was pointed out in the thread, I did have clearance issues with the RipjawsX (I might have been able to make it work but it wouldn't been too close for comfort). I replaced the memory with the Ares line, and have plenty of room beneath the Mugen 4 fan. While I haven't buttoned everything up just yet (still waiting on an intake fan to come in, and a couple of cables) I've started doing software installations, etc. Even with the case still opened, the machine is very quiet. I still have to do a load test as well, but things are looking pretty good.


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 Post subject: Re: Compact Case Advice
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:07 am 
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Enjoy your build :)

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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