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Cases SFF Mini-Tower (not cube), mATX or mini-ITX, full size GPU, no drive bays - any recommendations?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Altron, 16 May 2019.

  1. Altron

    Altron Well-Known Member

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    So I'm looking for kind of an oddball form factor for a build I'm planning later this year. I am not looking for a portable LAN system. I just want something that's a bit smaller under my desk so I don't kick it as much, and I've spent years using ATX full towers but most of them have been a single GPU with no expansion cards and only 1-2 hard drives. I don't think I've had an optical drive in my main rig since 2007. For storage, I plan to get a 1TB m2 SSD and use that for everything - one or two 2.5" or 3.5" bays would be okay, but I don't want one of those designs where the case has a rack that can handle 6-8 drives in the front.

    It seems like the majority of SFF cases are 'cubes' (basically, a wide and squat case with a horizontal mini-ITX mobo and the PSU above or below it) which isn't really what I'm looking for (they are the same depth as an ATX tower, just wider and shorter). I'd rather have something that's as tall as a normal tower, just shallower and/or narrower.

    As a minimum, I'd want something with a Mini-ITX mobo, a SFX PSU, and a full size 2-slot GPU. Which would point towards like a Fractal Design Node 202. I'm also looking at some which would handle a Mini-ITX, full size PSU, and the GPU like a Silverstone Raven RVZ01-E. And then at the high end, I'd also be interested in something that can do MicroATX, full size GPU, and a full size PSU like a Silverstone Fortress FT03. That's the kind of form factor I'm interested in.

    I'm planning on building this towards the end of 2019, with one of the new Zen2 CPUs when they come out, 16GB of RAM, and re-using my current Geforce GTX770 for the near-term. So I'm not locked into either mATX or mini-ITX, nor am I locked into a certain PSU form factor (although the GTX770 needs a 600w PSU). It seems like mini-ITX boards tend to have a 25-30% price premium over an equivalent mATX, and similar for SFX PSUs over a equivalent wattage ATX PSU. It seems like mATX has a bit of future proofing in that they have 4 RAM slots usually (so I could do 2x8GB this year, and potentially go to 32GB in the future if I wanted to, with just adding two more sticks). I'm probably not going to do any overlocking and was probably going to use the stock AMD cooler (although if it doesn't fit and I have to buy a lower profile one, that's OK as long as I can get decent performance out of it - some of the designs I've seen with ~50mm of clearance and having it butted up against the PSU seem like they wouldn't work with a high performance CPU like a Ryzen 7)

    Any suggestions for other cases to look at?
     
  2. Jeff Hine

    Jeff Hine Nothing special

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  3. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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  4. IanW

    IanW Grumpy Old Git

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    Cooler Master Q300L (mATX only) or Q500L (Same case, but can take full ATX mobo)
     
  5. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    I used hardwarepick.com to choose a case recently, it's a bit like pcpartpicker but i found it has more options for narrowing down the type of case i wanted.
     
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  6. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    Phanteks Evolv come in ITX and mATX flavours
    NZXT H200/H400

    Phanteks Evolv Shift/Shift X [ITX Only]
    Silverstone RVZ01B-E/RVZ03/ML08/FTZ01 [ITX Only]
     
  7. Altron

    Altron Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I decided to summarize it in a table

    https://imgur.com/a6NOsBE.jpg

    I did some highlighting. I plugged in the dimensions of my current GTX770 so I knew if it would fit, which knocked two off the list. It is actually really informative to look at the dimensions separately. I'm also surprised how much variance there is in weight - some are hefty. And one area I hadn't thought about was CPU cooler height. The stock AMD cooler is 70mm. There's a lot that are 80-85mm with vents which would work with the stock cooler, but that knocks my previous favorite the Node 202 off the list. I'm totally confused by Silverstone's product lineup, it really seems like there are several versions of the same case with just minor aesthetic tweaks.
     
  8. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    One case I forgot to mention for consideration... Fractal Define Nano S, I just built a new rig with one and it's great, silence is a big thing for me.

    I am not running a GPU in it but, if I were, I would use an SFX PSU to give a GPU more room to breath.

    It's not going to make you faint with its bling (it's a black box), but for silence, room inside for a decent GPU, cooling ability and fantastic dust filtering it's great.

    Edit: someone in another thread here bought one and installed a Gigabyte Windforce 2080Ti, 240mm Corsair 100x AIO and SFX PSU...plenty of room.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 16 May 2019
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  9. Altron

    Altron Well-Known Member

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    Heh, well I have a Define R3 and a Define XL, so I know my way around Fractal. I'm half considering just re-using the Define R3. Been plotting things and it's actually kinda interesting - first of all, there's a huge variation in weight and footprint, sometimes in surpring ways. Unsurprisingly the various Silverstone slim towers (RVZ01 and similar) are the smallest, but the FT03 is actually the lowest footprint microATX case, and is in fact smaller than a significant number of mini-ITX cases (NZXT H200, Fractal Nano S, Bitfenix Prodigy, Phanteks Evolv ITX). The FT03 is about 20mm wider than my current case, but barely more than half the depth. Another close contender is the cheap Silverstone PS08 - it's got a pretty small footprint.
     
  10. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    See my edit just now re: space inside for a large AIO and GPU.
     
  11. Jeff Hine

    Jeff Hine Nothing special

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    Maybe even a 2080ti... :p
     
  12. yuusou

    yuusou Well-Known Member

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    The year is 2019. But we won't be releasing the year 2020 quite yet. First, 2019Ti, with more weekend days and fewer working hours.
     
  13. bawjaws

    bawjaws Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what your budget is, but how's about an NCase M1?
     
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  14. Arboreal

    Arboreal Well-Known Member

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    Please, not a HUGE Evolv ITX, I'm sure I could get and ATX board in one. It has pretty poor front airflow despite a large fan too.
    Fractal Define Nano S - Better
    NCase M1 - ALWAYS!
     
  15. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Has anybody any experience with the cheaper Cougar QBX?

    I know it's not an M1 but it's under 50 quid clicky

    Edit: mind you it's about 20 litres so probably too big for thus thread. It does take a full size psu though.
     
  16. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Hehe, either too much Glenlivet or too many fat fingers.
     
  17. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Not seen them before but I am not a fan of 80mm or 92mm fans.
     
  18. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Quite. Yeah I overlooked the 120s only being top, bottom and sides.

    That's why I like my Antec, 120s front/back and an ATX PSU but it's probably to cubey for the OP.
     
  19. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Thats why I like the Nano S as well, a 120mm in the rear but room for 5 120mm or 140mm others as well if you would ever need them.
     
  20. jsbombjack

    jsbombjack New Member

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    I'm the one that built the nano s referenced above. There really is plenty of space in it for basically any type of configuration, and it's cheap as chips too. Factor in how quiet it is (with the right fans) and I think it's a winner.
     
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