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Cases Small dust-proof case?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by wyx087, 15 Jun 2020.

  1. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Currently rocking a huge Silverstone FT02 case. Love it, it's silent and pushes a lot of dust-filtered air through, no problem with cooling. Apart from clearing out dust filter, I've not needed to touch inside for over 5 years so far. It's placed on the floor so one'd expect it to be full of dust, but positive pressure really works, everything still looks new-ish only have a very very thin coat of dust. It's also silent when idle, only the massive fans at bottom are spinning lazily at 300rpm during idle.

    But when I wanted to move it, transporting this behemoth took half boot of a large-boot car. It was also too heavy to move around easily.


    So I want to downsize at end of the year (with new Ryzen and RTX 3000) As small as possible without limiting thermal or dust-proof performance.
    Goal is to build a VR gaming PC that would allow me to easily take to another house.

    Requirement:
    - small footprint, light weight
    - dust proof, positive pressure
    - silent when idle
    - all air cooled, ideally I'd like to re-use my Noctua D14 CPU cooler
    - can fit a full sized graphics card


    I see FT05 is a possible candidate, but it's EOF now (according to Scan). It also ATX mobo sized, so there's scope to be lighter and smaller.
    Any other cases that does similar airflow scheme as FT02 but in a smaller lighter package?
     
  2. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    What do you mean by dust proof?
     
  3. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    The machine sits on the floor and it will run and run for years without needing to clean inside (individual components) for dust bunny.

    I find positive pressure and dust filtering will work. My FT02 only have 1 120mm exhaust fan, rest are just opening. There are 3 180mm fan at the bottom pushing clean, dust filtered air through the system.
     
  4. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    I have tight dist filtering on all the inputs to my PC-011D but it was still really dusty after a year...
     
  5. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    I don't think you'll find an awful lot of cases with that bottom to top airflow style, outside of Silverstone's offerings. You also need to be careful how small you go, having a good airflow through a case gets harder the smaller the case as there's less room for air to move freely through the case.

    Maybe a Fractal Define Mini C (Scan Link) or Meshify C Mini (Scan Link). Both matx cases that are reasonably compact, but you can have 3x120 in the front and 1x120 rear for a good positive airflow. A Non-fractal alt would be Coolermaster NR400.
     
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  6. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    That's dependant on case design and airflow layout. Having more empty volume in a case means there is more opportunity for air to slow down and pool rather than flowing through the case. Less empty volume means you need fewer fans to perform the same changes/min of internal case air volume, and having the fans located closer to the components being cooled raises local air velocity (as opposed to the fan sitting half a meter away on the other side of a large case).
     
  7. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    That Coolermaster NR400 case looks nice. I can have 2x 140mm fan up front, filtered. Somehow cover up whole of top grill, may leave a bit of opening near the back. Then have similar effect to FT02, where airflow is one way and constantly forced through.

    The Coolermaster is 5.5kg whereas the two Fractal are 6.9 and 6.5kg.

    I've learnt from Antec P180 days that just having filters is not good enough. Need to have massively positive air pressure to be dust-free.
     
  8. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    The PC-011 mini does bottow to top airflow, but it is noooooot cheap...
     
  9. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Well-Known Member

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    True provided the case doesn't push the components so close together that the fan is unable effective push the air through the case, as is the case is some of the really small volume cases.

    The only dust proof case are the passively cooled systems with zero air flow. I doubt you'd find one capable of handling the CPU and GPU your considering and if you do, the passive heat sinks will make it less portable than your current case. Does give me an idea for a mod, a hybrid case, where the components are mounted in area with no air flow, thus minimal dust, and the heat is piped into another dedicated area for force air cooling. Easy to clean as it only heat sink fins and fan(s).

    As for siting on the floor, when I place a tower on the floor (typically carpet) I will place a small mat (spare bookcase shelf, cut down old chair mat, cardboard) under it to lift it off the carpet. This dramatically reduces the dust in side the case. I still need to dust them out but it's a layer of dust rather than dust bunnies.
     
  10. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    Yes, I think the reason there's so little dust in my FT02 is because GPU and CPU are passively cooled most of the time. Only when under heavy load the fans start to spin. When passively cooled, only those massive 180mm fans along the bottom operate pushes dust-filtered air up. There are no conflicting airflow, all airflow goes up.

    The PC-011 does have bottom-up airflow possibility, but the motherboard isn't mounted specifically this. A huge slab of graphics card will restrict this airflow.

    It seems Silverstone are the only ones who did this type of case design :(

    What about Silverstone FT03? I see there's one in the market place.
     
  11. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    Thinking about it, the best way to avoid dust would be a top down airflow, which in a case that size wouldn't be much difference to a bottom up with decent fans :)
     
  12. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I've got a Corsair 650D. had it for a LONG time now, and I've only just cleaned it this past week for he first time on 4 years. It wasn't even that bad inside. It seems to have positive pressure with it's 200mm front fan, and low speed 120mm rear fan. and if you have the top radiator (if fitted) blowing in, rather than out, it seems to stop anything from the bottom PSU filter entering. The inside of my PSU is spotless. It also sits on a carpet under the desk. The removable, washable filters just click on and off, and the bottom dust filter just slides out. It's been a brilliant case. No longer made, but I reckon anything with washable filters, and capable of positive pressure and top down airflow inside will serve as well.
     
  13. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    To my simple mind, it seems counter intuitive to have top fans blowing down? Surely hot air rises?


    I'm no longer looking to replace my FT02. But very happy to keep the conversation going to discuss how to dust-proof cases.
     
  14. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    You need to think of it in fluid dynamics terms. If you're doing passive cooling, then yes heat rises, but with fans in a small enclosure it doesn't matter as the fans overcome it with a tiny amount of their power. In a small enclosure with big enough fans you're basically swapping out the air every few seconds, so it doesn't matter what the inside is doing :)
     
  15. IamJudd

    IamJudd Well-Known Member

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    I cleaned the FT03 about three times in its history mainly when upgrading something else. It was a complete strip down the second time due to a fan not doing its job properly and everything running a tad hotter. Wire management is key and I had the mATX in there, full size card, 2xssd, 3xoptical, closed loop cooling and 2 other fans.

    It would be better with an ITX.
     
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  16. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    I installed new Ryzen setup over the weekend. This is the amount of dust in my FT02 after 5 years of constant use (even some mining over summer using excess solar) and only cleaning the fan filters.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    I'm so jealous! My playce is apparently the land of dust!!!
     

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