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Smallest Case for ATX Mobo

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 7:54 pm
by treker
I am building a new HTPC. I have a MicroFly that would suffice but it uses mATX mobo. I would prefer to build with a full size ATX mobo which gives me more choices. BUT I want the HTPC to fit in my TV cabinet and NOT cost an arm and a leg for fancy front panels, etc and, of course, must also be QUIET.

Any recommendations?

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 8:25 pm
by GamingGod
Newegg has a advanced search feature that narrows down cases into atx, micro, middle, desktop ect. you should try that.

Posted: Tue May 29, 2007 8:41 pm
by fri2219
The Lian-Li PC-A05 is the smallest full ATX case I'm familiar with. The black version is currently ~$80 US at newegg.

That said, it's not:
  • - a great case for silent computing out of the box
  • - a typical HTPC form factor

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 12:25 am
by Henk Poley
Depends on what dimension you want it to be smaller:

Lian Li A05 A : 210 (W) x 381 (H) x 490mm (D)

Antec NSK4400 : 200 (W) x 420 (H) x 420mm (D)

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 4:32 am
by mimwdv
I've got a Silverstone LC02 (380wx100hx295d). It's tiny, takes a full ATX and fits in great with my stereo components, but not the best in terms of cooling. I'm using a picopsu, notebook HD, older sempron CPU and a 9600LE video card, plus an external USB tuner. I tried a passive 9550 and a 6600 with a zalman cooler, but it overheats :cry: If you go this route I'd strongly recommend you REALLY do your research and choose very cool running components.

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 5:21 am
by HueyCobra
These previous threads may be of interest:

• What is the smallest case that takes ATX PSU ?

• Smallest case fitting a full size ATX Motherboard and PSU ?

• Looking for smallest Full ATX case
mimwdv wrote:I've got a Silverstone LC02 (380wx100hx295d).
Very interesting. This case (140mm × 440mm × 370mm) is also interesting, though the space-saving placement of the PSU could create heat problems and/or damage the motherboard. I considered Antec's Overture II horizontal media case (432mm × 133mm × 489mm), but the reports weren't too positive and it requires a custom PSU.

Unfortunately, compromises are inevitable and they're not going to help in terms of cost, heat or noise.

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 9:30 am
by crispyfish
HueyCobra wrote:horizontal
Uhhhh... why did you link to a review of the NSK2400 when you're talking about the Overture II? They are VERY different cases...

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 1:41 pm
by HueyCobra
Aye, that they are. However, the first paragraph of the review contains a pertinent statement about the noise/cooling characteristics of horizontal media PC cases and mentions the Overture II by name.
Mike Chin with Devon Cooke wrote:Like most case makers, Antec now offers several horizontal PC cases in their lineup, including the fairly large Overture II and the smaller Minuet II. We have examined these in the past but found them average for noise or cooling. This is a common problem with all the horizontal media PC cases we've seen, examined or reviewed thus far. They are not great for cooling or low noise; usually both are problems.

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 1:55 pm
by crispyfish
Ah, I see. :)

I think I found the Right One for me

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 9:50 pm
by treker
After much research on this and AVS forums, I decided to go with someone's recommendation. Silverstone LC13. It was a little more expensive that I wanted to pay but it sits in the main room and the better half had something to say about its looks.

I hope to be able to keep it cool and quiet with all the things I learned here.

Thanks to all.

Re: I think I found the Right One for me

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:57 pm
by HueyCobra
Good luck, treker. If you have the time please let us know your progress with the LC13.

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:38 am
by treker
For those interested in the Silverstone LC13 case...
The Egg delivered fast, as usual.

PRO: Very heavy steel with aluminum front panel. High quality was evident through out. Nice rounded edges. Long cables with ferrite core for interference dampening. Front drop down panel uses cam gearing. Fast customer support for question.

CON: Lateral Bar support front to back (non removable) is directly over the cpu which SEVERELY limits your choice of HSF. No tower here! I had to use Zalman 7000 low profile. LOUD 80mm front fan with severe air restriction. Medium noisy rear dual 60mm fans. No RESET button! Very bright blue LEDs.
Removable cover is painted in a very soft finish, easily scratched.

I returned the LC13, incurring the 15% penalty and hefty shipping charges. It just wasn't worth keeping. Overall, I am disappointed. The rear fans, restricted front air movement, no hsf tower allowed, scratched cover...
Just not what I wanted in a HTPC case.

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:14 pm
by HueyCobra
Sorry to hear it. Have you started thinking about an alternative?