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 Post subject: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 780?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:27 pm 
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My old Vista (!) system with its GTX 260 is long in the tooth and so I'm planning a new build. I have an extra Solo case I bought on sale lying about, so I was thinking of using that.

But I had to mod the Solo to fit the GTX 260 by nibbling at the drive cage, and the 780 is the same size. So it would be nice to not to have to monkey with the case just to install a video card. I'm also wondering whether I'll need more ventilation with a 780 and a Core i7-4770 in there than the old Solo has.

Any experiences with the Solo vs. R4 would be appreciated. I know the Solo can be made quiet and generally well-built (except for the weak power button). Is the R4 as solid and quiet? Do I definitely need more ventilation than the Solo has?

The way the cases seem to stack up now are:

Solo pros:
    * Quiet, solid
    * Looks nice next to the existing Solo
    * Free

Solo cons:
    * Cramped
    * Needs modding
    * Maybe not enough ventilation

Solo II pros:
    * Same as Solo
    * USB 3.0
    * Top vent
    * No modding

Solo II cons:
    * Not free
    * Still somewhat cramped

Define R4 pros:
    * Lots of room for cabling
    * Lots of ventilation

Define R4 cons:
    * No built-in drive suspension
    * Seems bulky compared to the Solo
    * Not free

Anything else I'm missing?


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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:14 pm 
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I own a solo II and R4, never bought the original solo though. Out of the three i prefer the R4, it has very good room for cable management (solo II lacks a lot but not a deal breaker either just gotta get creative like the old days), the R4 is very wide and can fit almost any tower cooler out there (recommended Thermalright HR-02 Macho black n white to match the theme of the R4), I no longer use big mechancial hdds so the suspension is not a big plus for me i prefer more direct airflow for the components since the R4 is restrictive with the door/mesh/filter.... so i took all the cages out. The R4 can use 140 or 120mm fans, your choice, the included fans are pretty decent and with the fan controller built in on the R4 you can lower them to be very quiet, i would add one more to have 2 in and 1 out.

That said if you are still using one or two mechanical hdds i think the Solo II is a good choice, but you will need to find a very quiet PSU since its open on top, probably something like Kingwin LZP-550 would be a nice pick being semi passive, reviewed by SPCR Kingwin Lazer Platinum 550W Power Supply

And since you own it already and if you don't want to spend unless necessary you could try to build on the SOLO and see how are your temps, it might work fine, if you see temps going above what you like then get the another case.

Btw try to get the MSI N780 TF 3GD5/OC, with the twin frozr IV seems to be the quietest of all, check TechPowerUp Review MSI GTX 780 TwinFrozr Gaming 3 GB

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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:02 pm 
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Thanks for the reply.

Abula wrote:
I own a solo II and R4, never bought the original solo though. Out of the three i prefer the R4, it has very good room for cable management (solo II lacks a lot but not a deal breaker either just gotta get creative like the old days), the R4 is very wide and can fit almost any tower cooler out there (recommended Thermalright HR-02 Macho black n white to match the theme of the R4),

Yeah, I haven't looked at CPU coolers yet. I have a Scythe Ninja in the old Solo, but I don't know if that height cooler is sufficient for the Haswell i7 CPUs.

Quote:
I no longer use big mechancial hdds so the suspension is not a big plus for me i prefer more direct airflow for the components since the R4 is restrictive with the door/mesh/filter.... so i took all the cages out.

I'll have a SSD for the OS and some apps, but probably one mechanical HDD for everything else. Perhaps I could get by with a 2TB 2.5" drive.

Can the R4 drive cage be rotated so the air flow is a bit better? It doesn't seem like it.

Quote:
And since you own it already and if you don't want to spend unless necessary you could try to build on the SOLO and see how are your temps, it might work fine, if you see temps going above what you like then get the another case.

Entirely too lazy for that. :) I'm hoping to get it right the first time.

Quote:
Btw try to get the MSI N780 TF 3GD5/OC, with the twin frozr IV seems to be the quietest of all, check TechPowerUp Review MSI GTX 780 TwinFrozr Gaming 3 GB

Thanks, I was leaning towards that based on your recommendation in other threads. I think this is the MSI N780 card at TigerDirect? http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... 7&csid=_61 It would be nice to grab it at the reduced price with the game bundle.


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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:04 pm 
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I'd go with an i5 for gaming and save $100. Very few games utilize hyperthreading. Definately have to mod the Solo as the MSI card is ~10.5" long and max length for Solo is 10.2". Solo can be quieter than the R4, but with the heat load of the 780 and i5/i7, it might be moot (higher gpu fan rpm in Solo vs overall higher ambient level in the R4).

...and the question I always ask: what's your monitor resolution? Maybe the 780 is overkill.

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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:28 am 
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jdunning wrote:
Anything else I'm missing?


Just a note: inside a conventional ATX tower, the cooler's design may significantly impact the system's sound signature, maybe raising the overall heat build-up.

Very recently I've made a test using an ASUS DC-II GTX650Ti and an MSI N650 PE (both lightly oc'ed GTX-650Ti 1Gb cards).
Bolted onto a CM Bench 2.0, the ASUS graphics was slightly but audibly quieter than the MSI, but when mounted into an Antec NSK 3480 enclosure (a similar design to the Antec Solo: upper PSU chamber, just one 120mm exhaust, 92mm intake) the whole system sounded somewhat louder with the ASUS card inside, than with the MSI one (both setups are very quiet, to be fair).

So, be advised: YMMV.

Last but not least, for any 780-class GPU, personally I would rather an R4-style enclosure (over the Solo/Solo II).

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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:37 am 
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jdunning wrote:
Yeah, I haven't looked at CPU coolers yet. I have a Scythe Ninja in the old Solo, but I don't know if that height cooler is sufficient for the Haswell i7 CPUs.
I can tell you my i7 4770K can reach 75C on prime95 with the HR02 (1000rpm the cpu fan) and the case fans at 650rpm, no overclocking nor overvolting, so it does get hot, personally i dont like to go over 80C. I dont own the Ninja to tell you how it will go, test it first and see how it goes, but the HR02 macho does offer good value for the money, and while the fan is not the quietest, its pretty good in my experience, specially with a motherboard that can take it down to 600rpms on idle. But i also agree with CA_Steve, unless you know you will benefit from hyperthreading, in most cases the i7 4770K is not worth over the i5 4650K, at least on gaming, but if you doing encoding or video editing, depending on the software the 4770K might be worth, up to you, but its $100 saving.

jdunning wrote:
I'll have a SSD for the OS and some apps, but probably one mechanical HDD for everything else. Perhaps I could get by with a 2TB 2.5" drive.
Here is up to you, i would probably just go with WD Green since its been the standard on SPCR for quiet drives for a long time, personally i dont need much storage on my gaming pc, for all the massive storage i do it on my server, but i do store localy stuff that i use on the constant basis or even move temporary movies. I havent tested the WD 2tb 2.5, but its really expensive for what it is, around $170, for that you could get a 4tb 3.5, so i woudlnt recommend the 2tb 2.5.

jdunning wrote:
Can the R4 drive cage be rotated so the air flow is a bit better? It doesn't seem like it.
Yes, the top one can be rotated 90 degrees for direct airflow to the motherboard/gpu, but i would just remove the top one and keep the bottom one, as you only need 2, one for the ssd, one for the mechanical hdd, the bottom cage has 3 slots, so you still have a slot for expanding more storage in the future =), removing the top cage will give you much better ariflow, as long as you do add an extra fan. What i would do, this is if you want to buy the cpu cooler, is to get it from nanagaming, Thermalright HR02 Macho $42.99 and click the add a TY147 for $12.00 (dont add the extra fan clip), use the TY147 for you back case fan, and move the included Fractal 140 to the front, depending on the motherboard you chose you might or not need the 4pin PWM splitter to control both fans, or just add an extra Fractal R2 140.

jdunning wrote:
Entirely too lazy for that. :) I'm hoping to get it right the first time.
Then i would go with R4, overall would make your life easier to work with it, the layout is pretty straight forward, very easy to do the cable management and it goes on sale a lot, check CA_Steve thread, Fractal R4 @ Newegg for $80 (amazon also price matches once the sales goes on), usually goes at that price once a month, the last one just pass like two weeks ago, but i bet we will see it go down on November as well, been the tread on it for the last 4 months.

jdunning wrote:
Thanks, I was leaning towards that based on your recommendation in other threads. I think this is the MSI N780 card at TigerDirect? http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... 7&csid=_61 It would be nice to grab it at the reduced price with the game bundle.
Yes it seems the same, but check the SKU to be sure, sometimes pictures are just pure marketing. I don't buy much on TigerDirect out of they charge me taxes always no matter the state i send it, i have ordered on the past from them articles that i couldn't get elsewhere like my fanless GTS450 sparkle, and i have no complaints aside from the taxes that were charge to me. But if like the deal that its there go for it.

Btw unless you are playing BF4, the GTX780 is an overkill for most games at 1080p, you could get away with with a GTX770 $330 or GTX760 $260 fine, recommended also the MSI gaming twin frozr versions of them, all were the quietest GPUs i saw reviewed, i leave you the three reviews of the three cards for you to decide whats worth for the games you play and to compare noise levels on each,
TechPowerUp MSI GTX 760 TwinFrozr Gaming 2 GB
TechPowerUp MSI GTX 770 TwinFrozr Gaming 2 GB
TechPowerUp MSI GTX 780 TwinFrozr Gaming 3 GB

What motherboard you had in mind?

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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:19 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
I'd go with an i5 for gaming and save $100. Very few games utilize hyperthreading.

It seems like BF3 gets some benefit from HT, and I play that a lot. I guess I'm hoping the i7 would future-proof things a bit, but maybe I'm fooling myself.

Quote:
...and the question I always ask: what's your monitor resolution? Maybe the 780 is overkill.

1900x1200


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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:22 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Last but not least, for any 780-class GPU, personally I would rather an R4-style enclosure (over the Solo/Solo II).

Is that because of the side vent and accommodation for a taller CPU cooler?


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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:33 pm 
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Abula wrote:
Then i would go with R4, overall would make your life easier to work with it, the layout is pretty straight forward, very easy to do the cable management and it goes on sale a lot, check CA_Steve thread, Fractal R4 @ Newegg for $80 (amazon also price matches once the sales goes on), usually goes at that price once a month, the last one just pass like two weeks ago, but i bet we will see it go down on November as well, been the tread on it for the last 4 months.

That's good to know, though I may be too impatient to wait. :)

Quote:
Btw unless you are playing BF4, the GTX780 is an overkill for most games at 1080p,

That's the first game I'll be playing on the new machine, so it seemed like it would be worth it. And the price was just cut a lot, which helps.

Quote:
What motherboard you had in mind?

I haven't started researching motherboards yet. I've tended to stick with ASUS, so I'd probably lean that way, but open to suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:40 pm 
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CPU: BF3 doesn't care about core count...and BF4 is about the same.

GPU: BF4 @ Techspot and @ Tom's. You could easily drop down to a GTX 770.

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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:35 am 
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jdunning wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
Last but not least, for any 780-class GPU, personally I would rather an R4-style enclosure (over the Solo/Solo II).

Is that because of the side vent and accommodation for a taller CPU cooler?


Well, no: actually the Solo may host taller heatsink than the R4 does (174mm for the Solo, 170mm for the Fractal).

At any rate, the PSU placement and the larger volume could account for better thermals inside an R4 when such a hot graphic is used.

Sorry for the late reply, but SPCR doesn't notify me anymore of new posts.

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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:21 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Well, no: actually the Solo may host taller heatsink than the R4 does (174mm for the Solo, 170mm for the Fractal).

I guess I should've checked, but I'd assumed the R4 would have more head room, just because it's so much wider.

Quote:
At any rate, the PSU placement and the larger volume could account for better thermals inside an R4 when such a hot graphics is used.

That, and I'm hoping the straighter path for air from the front fan to the GPU, with the drive cage removed. I still prefer the looks and compactness of the Solo II, but it is a bit cramped inside, though it sounds better than the original Solo.

Then again, with the bottom drive cage no longer in the Solo II, the bottom 120mm fan also has a straight shot at the GPU, and the case did pretty well when SPCR tested it with the Radeon HD 4870. On the other hand, the GTX 780 has 100W higher TDP.

I've confused myself again.


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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:34 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Well, no: actually the Solo may host taller heatsink than the R4 does (174mm for the Solo, 170mm for the Fractal).
I'm not sure this is accurate, for a couple of reasons,

1) Assuming the I/O shield is standard and the solo II can only fit 120mm right above the IO, and the R4 can fit 140mm on the back, this alone will give you a bigger clearance with the side panel.
2) I own Arc Midi R2, the R4 and Solo II, from what i remember the Antec used to say 160mm heatsinks (although the SPCR review says 174) im not completely sure still, other websites have the 160mm clearance still link. Now Fractal website says 170mm for the R4, but on the Arc Midi R2 says 180mm, both have the same interior, and i placed an HR02 macho on my recent build (163mm) and its no way near the end of the 140mm case fan of the back there is at least 20mm from what i can guess. I think the Arc Midi R2 measurement is more accurate into what the R4 can fit. I'll leave you a pic to show you what i mean

Image

I'll measure on the weekend the R4 and the Solo II from the motherboard tray (or mounting side) to get a more accurate reading from both cases.

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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:58 am 
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Abula wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
Well, no: actually the Solo may host taller heatsink than the R4 does (174mm for the Solo, 170mm for the Fractal).
I'm not sure this is accurate


Sorry, I can't help: while waiting for your R4 measuring, against Antec "recommendation", IME the original Solo I can actually host a 170mm CPU heatsink, so I guess the Solo II shouldn't be less capable (but anything could happen).
However, that does not change one iota the substance of my argument.

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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Abula wrote:
2) I own Arc Midi R2, the R4 and Solo II, from what i remember the Antec used to say 160mm heatsinks (although the SPCR review says 174) im not completely sure still, other websites have the 160mm clearance still link.

Assuming the 160mm limit in the Solo II is correct, and that the HR02 Macho is 161mm, according to the review, do you think that cooler will still fit in the Solo II?


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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:01 pm 
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jdunning wrote:
Assuming the 160mm limit in the Solo II is correct, and that the HR02 Macho is 161mm, according to the review, do you think that cooler will still fit in the Solo II?


I am looking for Abula's answer too, anyway I may add that currently I've an original TR High Riser in an original Solo: about same height, and there's plenty of space above that cooler (as a matter of fact, I put an Archon inside that case a while ago, and it fitted).

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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:28 pm 
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I'm really sorry for not getting back to you guys, but I had family visits on the weekend and until sunday afternoon I had a chance to mount my HR22, I did meausre the R4, and its 201mm from the motherboard mounting tray (no motherboard mounts nor width of thmobo or cpu mount in consideration), ill meausre the solo II tomorrow (not going home tonight), so we can simply substract and stablish which has more space.

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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:59 pm 
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I tried measuring my Solo, from the top of one of the capacitors to the inside of the outer frame. Bit hard to do on a running computer, but it looked to be about 163mm. Given that the HR-02 is 161mm, and that where it sits is probably a millimeter or two below the top of a capacitor, I'm hoping it will fit. I guess we'll see...


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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:58 am 
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I have a HR-02 Macho in a P150 (white Solo) and it fits with a few milimeters to spare.


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 Post subject: Re: Solo, Solo II or Define R4 for new gaming rig with GTX 7
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:12 am 
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Tzupy wrote:
I have a HR-02 Macho in a P150 (white Solo) and it fits with a few milimeters to spare.

Thanks for the confirmation!


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