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TOPIC: Case options

Case options 5 months 3 days ago #15210

  • Lunatech
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Hello fellow enthusiasts, I am going to be building a new PC in a week or so and am down to deciding what case to get. I am building a high end gaming/ home use(work from home) PC with a geforce 1070 or 1080, 16gb of ram, a 2 gb ssd, intel 6600k skylake or 7600k kaby lake, which will be watercooled(CPU only) etc etc. I need 3 thing from the case ; for it to be silent, small, and as cool as possible. I was looking at the Fractal design define mini C, and was told that with the corsair water cooler I am using and 2 intake fans I would be fine in keeping the system cool. Any other compact small form factor matx or itx case recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Case options 5 months 3 days ago #15211

  • i7Baby
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I5s don't really need water cooling. They only have a 90W TDP.
And water cooling really doesn't go together with SFF/itx builds.

Noise and Temps can be a compromise. Personal tastes also make a difference. There are various recommendations eg www.pcgamer.com/the-best-mini-itx-pc-cases/
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Last Edit: 5 months 3 days ago by i7Baby.
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Case options 5 months 3 days ago #15220

  • skookam
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Hi - I don't know how "silent" your PC has to be. But from my own personal experience, I would recommend you going with Fractal Design Node 202. It's a very small itx case, you could compare it to an old VCR, PS4 or the likes. It's very minimalistic in design and neat. This was my first case I used when I came back into PC last year. I was running z170 motherboard with M.2 and SSD for storage, 16GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX ram. I used Noctua NH-9li low profile cooler. Didnt overclock CPU and it was going around 65C in games. For the GPU I started with 1060 for 1080p gaming on the TV and then upgraded to 1070 and 1080 when I got 4k screen. I used 2x Corsair SP120mm fans in the GPU bay, that were pushing air onto the GPU. With 1060/1070 I had twin fan cooler version and both GPUs were working very nice in terms of heat and noise. With 1080 I moved to blower style and it was louder under load but nothing I couldn't live with. As I am gaming with headphones.

Now I am running 7700k oc to 4.9 in Enthoo Evolv itx and m-atx with h115i AIO for the cpu. This is my first AIO I've ever used and my initial reaction was very disappointing. I didnt like it, it was very loud. The Link functionality is very badly designed, you have to connect USB cable going from the pump to the motherboard with the USB2.0 header. Asus z270i Strix mini itx mobo has no USB2 header... and it just looks ugly with this big bulky cable wrapping around the pump. Now I have Asrok Fatality z270 itx mobo so I am able to use Link and control the AIO fan speeds. I replaced the stock 140mm fans with Corsair ML140 Pro which are 25EUR each. With my current fan curve 4.9 in my case config reaches 65 during gaming, you can hear some noise but again nothing beyond what I had with Node 202 system. You'd be better off with the big noctua air cooler for less money. I like the AIO for its looks but its not as good as custom loop. Any other question let me know.
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Case options 5 months 3 days ago #15221

  • i7Baby
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My H110 is quiet - when in Quiet Mode. But, yeah, it gets noisy when working. But I'd go for an air cooler with an i5 - www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-kaby-...i5-7600,4870-10.html

I'm not sure if you can fit a NH D14 or 15 in any SFF Cases.
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Case options 5 months 3 days ago #15222

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I think it's fair to say that the AIO is not as quiet as one would expect from water cooled solution. It can be quiet but the temps will not be much lower than a good air cooler. In terms of size it isn't best choice for small itx cases (not all of them at least). So OP once you decide what case is for you then you will be able to build the rest around it.
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Case options 5 months 3 days ago #15225

  • Lunatech
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Thank you both! Your answers get me going in a direction. Let me specify some things to perhaps make my intentions clearer. I became visually disabled and lost my Job last year, as such I had to move in with a relative and was unable to work because i cannot drive a car. I was lucky to find employment at home this year, and have set up my current PC in my bedroom on a desk next to my bed. I can hear my PC even if the TV is on and its very annoying, as I often keep it running while doing other things and can hear it.I am going from a geforce gtx 660TI to the newer 1070 or 1080 graphics cards, am foregoing any mechanical HD in favor a a larger capacity 1-2gb SSD, and have yet to decide on a 6600k skylake or 7600k kabylake, I will not overclock.. I understand that with an i5 i can go with an air cooler, I have 2 nocturas i can decide upon for that option, but was misinformed from another source. I would watercool the i7. The compact case comes from the desire to put it on top of my desk, without a side panel window( read no glass or any window to see the inside) while my desk can hold a mid tower, id prefer a smaller case .Besides work, I game quite a bit, so there is that consideration also. I am inheriting an Asus PG279Q display from a friend, which is why I am running the 1070 or 1080. I like the fractal design cases, so maybe i will go with the Node, but would prefer the define C mini, or a phanteks eclipse p400s, or something similar.
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Case options 5 months 3 days ago #15226

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Thanks for the additional info. And sorry to hear about all the hard time you had in your life, hope all goes well from now on for you.

Getting back to the business though, few things:
- if you dont overclock you dont really need the unlocked version of the CPU (the K one) - there's no point paying for the functionality you will not be using, so have a look at the 6600/7600/6700/7700 models, if you're on tight budget even look at lower models such as 6500 etc.
- if you are not going to overclock and will go with non-k CPU dont buy z170/270 motherboard, b150 should be enough, even h110 will be good for your needs, not all of them have m.2 slots and wifi - if this is something you might need, personally I would favour m.2 over wifi - so keep that in mind too
- there is variety of itx cases on the market, I went with Node 202 because I liked the clean looks, no bling that you have these days, I was able to put it behind the TV so it was out of the view, but because of how its shape, I had it standing upright rather than sitting flat to maximise the intake of cool air, I also installed another fan where the CPU fan filter is to help with the intake of fresh air (nothing fancy just few zipties, then I got noctua NF-A15 fan that came with the rubber pegs that made it even easier to attach it to the case there (I removed the dust fitler from the case in order to fit it) - dont think it made much difference though and it was bit louder
- 1070 / 1080 - this is a nice gaming screen, for 1440p check the reviews of the GPUs focusing on games you will most likely play to see what performance you can expect (again this all depends on the case you decide to go with, if small itx then blower style is best but its not as quiet) if your case will be big enough get 1080 with a decent cooling and you will have plenty of power to run most of the games, I had 1080ti Aorus in my Enthoo Evolv micro ATX and it was amazing, my case fans were the only noisy parts, I couldnt hear the GPU fans at all, and it kept around 65C when I was playing Wildands
- if you go with Node 202 you will be able to fit 2 slot GPU + 25mm 120mm fans to improve the intake, with a little brute force modification of the case I was able to fit the monster Inno 3D 1080 iChill in it - it's a 2.5 slot gpu i was super tight fit length wise too, I had no slim fans at hand at the time but I think you'd be able to fit 2 slim ones in there - I believe there was just enough room for that (but can't confirm). However that particular GPU had a backplate and it went all the way up to a 100C when the case was closed, when I took off both panels of the case, it was running 60C in games.
- skylake or kabylake will work with z170 or z270 motherboard and the lower versions of these chipsets respectively so again dont pay for things you won't be using (you dont need z-chipsets as they are for overclocking), you also mentioned that you will not use the hdds. My set up is m.2 for windows and 1tb ssd for storage (256gb samsung 960 evo and 1tb sata wd blue). You dont need the latest chipset for optane as this will only speed up the hdds.
- the case - this is really down to what you like, your esthetic taste, just make sure you can fit the GPU you want to buy, and what size is it you're after

It's great fun to chose and build your own PC so enjoy it :) Hope this helped a little :)
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Case options 5 months 1 day ago #15232

  • Lunatech
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Thamk you very much Skookam, very informative and helpful. Very appreciated ;-)
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