Unofficial mini-ITX case thread - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 668 Old 02-17-2011, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Where do you put the power supply? What type? What size??

DC-DC 120W PSU board to one side of the motherboard or the other. It would use an external AC-DC brick.

I'd have the ODD and HDD mount *under* the motherboard so you can have clearance above the board for mini-ITX boards that use a standard HSF.

 

 

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post #32 of 668 Old 02-17-2011, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kapone View Post

The problem with ITX (or even mATX) cases is this, if you want to keep a small overall footprint:

- If the optical drive hangs "over" the motherboard, then the case becomes high
- If the optical drive is positioned to the "side" of the motherboard, then the case becomes wider, but potentially thinner.

My perspective is that it's a compromise and an individual choice. Some folks like thin cases (but don't mind wide), some like them narrow even if they are higher.

An ITX motherboard is 6.7" x 6.7". Even though optical drives (full size drive that is)have varying depths, most modern drives are never more than 7" deep and 5.25"-5.5" (approx) wide. A 1U server chassis (1.75" high) easily fits a full size drive. As far as motherboards go, a fair number will fit, other than a few whose audio headers on the back panel are too high. Then you need to think about the one and only add-on card that you may want to add to the system. The "height" of a full size add-on card is 4.2"

So, let's start designing a case....

Case width = 6.7" (MB) + 4.2" (add-on card height) + 5.25" (optical drive width) = ~16.2"
Case depth = And that's where the design forks out into any number of configurations....
Case height = Has to be atleast ~2" and onwards....And that's also where the design forks out into any number of configurations....

Where do you put the power supply? What type? What size??

I agree K

I like the Fry's Raid Max because its not too tall, too wide or too deep. Its the same height as the Apex M1-008, turned sideways its no longer than that case either. Its roughly half the depth of the M1-008 and that's why I like it.

Plus the price can't be beat, the mini-box case is about $40 as well but has no room for a optical drive or a expansion slot.

If you turn the Raidmax horizontal, put some Radio Shack rubber feet on it (still have some) it becomes very much like a standard AV unit with its perforated grill. It uses standard size HDD and Optical. Save about $4-5 on the optical drive since the slim drives are a bit more and slot loaded drives are even more. You can get 1TB in a 3.5 size for about the same price as 500GB 2.5 drive.

I added it up a system with the ASRock board and come out to $282 and that's with a DVD burner, 1TB drive and only a few left Visiontek HD650 USB tuner because I would save the space when budget allows for a HD5670.....

That would be a nice little system now wouldn't? It wouldn't look half bad either.

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post #33 of 668 Old 02-18-2011, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

The problem with ITX (or even mATX) cases is this, if you want to keep a small overall footprint:

- If the optical drive hangs "over" the motherboard, then the case becomes high
- If the optical drive is positioned to the "side" of the motherboard, then the case becomes wider, but potentially thinner.

My perspective is that it's a compromise and an individual choice. Some folks like thin cases (but don't mind wide), some like them narrow even if they are higher.

An ITX motherboard is 6.7" x 6.7". Even though optical drives (full size drive that is)have varying depths, most modern drives are never more than 7" deep and 5.25"-5.5" (approx) wide. A 1U server chassis (1.75" high) easily fits a full size drive. As far as motherboards go, a fair number will fit, other than a few whose audio headers on the back panel are too high. Then you need to think about the one and only add-on card that you may want to add to the system. The "height" of a full size add-on card is 4.2"

So, let's start designing a case....

Case width = 6.7" (MB) + 4.2" (add-on card height) + 5.25" (optical drive width) = ~16.2"
Case depth = And that's where the design forks out into any number of configurations....
Case height = Has to be atleast ~2" and onwards....And that's also where the design forks out into any number of configurations....

Where do you put the power supply? What type? What size??

This was one of the things that attracted me to the Gigabyte case. It's 17" wide (about standard for AV components), it allows for a full size ODD (even though I modded for a slim), and full size HDD (I used a 2.5"). But since it is only 2.5" tall, I was required to either use the stock DC/DC PSU or a Pico (which I chose). Of course, I was building a client box to go in my living room setup. If I were building an ITX server, I would probably opt for the Lian Li PC-Q08 since it allows for an ATX PSU, expansion card and several HDDs. Not to mention it has great air flow characteristics.

BT

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post #34 of 668 Old 02-18-2011, 09:03 AM
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Acutally you can cram 4 HDD a Blu-ray Floppy etc Plus a Hauppage 2250 (it is half height) into a custom 2 up chassis that is only 12 inches deep.
LL
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post #35 of 668 Old 02-18-2011, 11:32 AM
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I like the taller mATX cases because it also allows you to use 120mm fans.

The thinner ones good, but whiny little fans = fail.

Passive cooling is OK, but it ends up being more expensive and hotter running than the alternative.

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post #36 of 668 Old 02-18-2011, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dedwards View Post

hotter running

"Hotter" is not necassarily bad...

A CPU/NB/SB/HDD/GPU will happily run at 55 degrees all day long, for its lifetime. It is designed for that. And just because it runs "hotter" doesn't mean it's using up more energy or anything.

It's when you exceed the thermal threshold that things go south.

Cooling products follow the same marketing principles as life insurance...the more you have the better...IF you need it someday... We upgrade our systems long before they will ever wear out from running "hotter".
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post #37 of 668 Old 02-18-2011, 01:39 PM
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Good points.

What about hard drives?

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post #38 of 668 Old 02-18-2011, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dedwards View Post

Good points.

What about hard drives?

Studies show that temps around 40c give longest life. Temps below 15c or above 60c seem to have the most failures, duh! Google it.

BT

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post #39 of 668 Old 02-18-2011, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post
At Fry's they have a $40 mITX case with 300w and I think it looks fine, certainly better than the "cube" type cases you see.
That thing "looks better" than the cube type cases I've seen? No it doesn't. It looks like an 80s VCR LOLz!

Of course you know what they say about the eye of the beholder
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post #40 of 668 Old 02-18-2011, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jyzz View Post
Oooh that one is nice! (I could do without the somewhat tacky VFD though.) But it's definitely nice, especially if available in black. But the price? eek

Edit: Also, for $275 they sure do give you a turd of a PSU How about they take out the PSU, take out the VFD, and let's say $175? Okay that's still too much for me, lol, but at least it wouldn't have stuff I have no use for.
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post #41 of 668 Old 02-18-2011, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ES_Revenge View Post
That thing "looks better" than the cube type cases I've seen? No it doesn't. It looks like an 80s VCR LOLz!

Of course you know what they say about the eye of the beholder
True but I wouldn't say this case is attractive but looks less like a PC than those cube cases and that's my point.

My goal is an ultra cheap HTPC that will match my current HTPC. Right now I'm sitting at $230 in parts before taxes and shipping, using that case -

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post #42 of 668 Old 02-18-2011, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ES_Revenge View Post

It looks like an 80s VCR LOLz!

Having actually owned an 80s VCR I can tell you they were more ATX sized than mini-ITX sized. And, the remote had a cord.

 

 

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post #43 of 668 Old 02-18-2011, 09:08 PM
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Two Japanese cases.

Abee acubic S10, ~$360 USD. 84W PSU, no expansion slot, supports an older slot-load ODD.

The chassis is made from 3mm thick aluminum.

ASKTech NT-MC300i, ~$120. No PSU, a full-height expansion slot, tray-load ODD.

It supports picoPSU 150/160W too. Nice case for Llano.


LL
LL
LL
LL
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post #44 of 668 Old 02-18-2011, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Two Japanese cases.

Abee acubic S10, ~$360 USD.


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post #45 of 668 Old 02-19-2011, 01:15 PM
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where can u find these in north america?
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post #46 of 668 Old 02-19-2011, 02:03 PM
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Let me add two new reviews done by me, in this case are:
Both are an excelent cases with good finish.

Right now I'm doing a test to hfx micro, I keep you informed.

Visit my blog on HTPC
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post #47 of 668 Old 02-19-2011, 04:01 PM
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Just browsing Ebay and came across this:

Very unique and very cool (and expensive), and even for those with av racks:

http://cgi.ebay.com/HTPC-1U-Computer-Media-Server-Kit-Small-Form-Factor-New-/230576564301?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35af6f284d
LL
LL
LL
LL
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post #48 of 668 Old 02-19-2011, 04:24 PM
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.....over the $500 mark, but with motherboard



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post #49 of 668 Old 02-19-2011, 04:41 PM
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more expensive cases

Atech Fabrication

http://www.atechfabrication.com/
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post #50 of 668 Old 02-19-2011, 05:32 PM
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those A-tech cases are the nicest I've seen, but can never justify the cost. I always tuck these away so nobody can see them anyways...
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post #51 of 668 Old 02-19-2011, 05:35 PM
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Wow. I would never spend more than about $150 on a case.

Ever.

And that would have to be one NIIIIICE case.
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post #52 of 668 Old 02-19-2011, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shftup View Post

where can u find these in north america?

Perhaps you will need to find an agent to buy it (by a US credit card) and ship it to US.
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post #53 of 668 Old 02-19-2011, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post

more expensive cases

Atech Fabrication

http://www.atechfabrication.com/

That goes under the title of "More Money Than Sense"

Love those cases, nice and hand crafted in America.

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post #54 of 668 Old 02-19-2011, 11:33 PM
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Lian Li PC-Q09FA $69.99 at Newegg




Review on German site teschke.de

I ordered this case from newegg. It comes with an internal 150 flex power supply and one 80mm case fan positioned on the opposite side. The Teschk.de review (link above) said the sound from the case fan was equal to that of the power supply without modifying it. If Google translate hasn't led me astray, I believe they are saying it is reasonably quiet as is.

Unfortunately, it's not for me. I'm doing a build for a relative. I was going to go with the mi-008, which I used for my own htpc, but then I'm pretty sure I'd be looking at an aftermarket cpu cooler to fit an athlon x2 255 under the psu. I know I had to replace the stock cooler on my e5300 to make it work in the mi-008. The extra cost would bring it to within $10.00 of the Q09 (mi-008 plus NT07-AM2 cooler = $59 at Amazon). The mi-008 also needs at least one added case fan (I added a 120mm to the right side vent).

My hope is that I'll manage to find a way to make a 3.5" hdd fit in the Q09, either attached under the lid or secured behind the front wall positioned on edge horizontally. Worse case scenario is I have to order a 2.5" hdd, but if I can get away with not having to do that I'll be pretty happy. If this case can be used as is, meaning no need to mess with (or add) psu, stock fan or case fan, then this will be by far the nicest case for the money I've seen yet for a sff htpc. The case doesn't have any expansion slots though, so that might be deal breaker for some uses (for this build on-board graphics and audio are more than adequate).
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post #55 of 668 Old 02-20-2011, 07:12 AM
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Hmmm.... Apex seems to have many interesting cases at a reasonable price.

They have three different series - MW, MD and MI. I see the MI series talked about here some, but not the others. I may be missing something about this other series that eliminates it from consideration.

http://www.apextechusa.com/products_cate.asp?cID=

Upon initial glance these seem like nice cases. I would be interested in everyones opinions. I like the option of have a 5.25 optical drive that is not slim size. really helps keep the price down. They seem to have quite a few options. Newegg has some in stock - the 107 is interesting, but no reviews...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811154099

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811154090

thoughts - this is a great thread lets keep it going
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post #56 of 668 Old 02-20-2011, 07:27 AM
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This case has potential - look at the bottom of page 9 in this thread from some good discussion between Stardog and Renethx.

The lack of 3.5 dive support is a bummer.... let us know if you find a good way to retro a 3.5 drive in there. Also why not put a standard size optical drive in it with the available space? Also as a general note (I am sounding like a broken record....) an IR window would be nice!




Quote:
Originally Posted by gt573 View Post

Lian Li PC-Q09FA $69.99 at Newegg




Review on German site teschke.de

I ordered this case from newegg. It comes with an internal 150 flex power supply and one 80mm case fan positioned on the opposite side. The Teschk.de review (link above) said the sound from the case fan was equal to that of the power supply without modifying it. If Google translate hasn't led me astray, I believe they are saying it is reasonably quiet as is.

Unfortunately, it's not for me. I'm doing a build for a relative. I was going to go with the mi-008, which I used for my own htpc, but then I'm pretty sure I'd be looking at an aftermarket cpu cooler to fit an athlon x2 255 under the psu. I know I had to replace the stock cooler on my e5300 to make it work in the mi-008. The extra cost would bring it to within $10.00 of the Q09 (mi-008 plus NT07-AM2 cooler = $59 at Amazon). The mi-008 also needs at least one added case fan (I added a 120mm to the right side vent).

My hope is that I'll manage to find a way to make a 3.5" hdd fit in the Q09, either attached under the lid or secured behind the front wall positioned on edge horizontally. Worse case scenario is I have to order a 2.5" hdd, but if I can get away with not having to do that I'll be pretty happy. If this case can be used as is, meaning no need to mess with (or add) psu, stock fan or case fan, then this will be by far the nicest case for the money I've seen yet for a sff htpc. The case doesn't have any expansion slots though, so that might be deal breaker for some uses (for this build on-board graphics and audio are more than adequate).

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post #57 of 668 Old 02-20-2011, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gt573 View Post

Lian Li PC-Q09FA $69.99 at Newegg

I ordered this case from newegg.

Do you think this case would fit a stock AMD HSF or would it need something lower profile? Thanks.

 

 

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post #58 of 668 Old 02-20-2011, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerlin View Post
This case has potential - look at the bottom of page 9 in this thread from some good discussion between Stardog and Renethx.

The lack of 3.5 dive support is a bummer.... let us know if you find a good way to retro a 3.5 drive in there. Also why not put a standard size optical drive in it with the available space? Also as a general note (I am sounding like a broken record....) an IR window would be nice!
I will keep you posted on the 3.5" drive. I looked at the thread you linked to, Stardog pretty much put it as I see it. I would add that the entire power supply is in the case so that should be considered when critiquing its size. The pico psu style power supplies may be more efficient and better from a heat/space/noise standpoint inside the case, but if you're going to nit pick at a case this small then I think you have to factor in that the external adapter those smaller cases have does require some space of its own (not that it would matter to me, I'm just saying if we're going to really get into every aspect of space occupied). Also, since both the cases used as a comparison are 1.8" shorter and place the optical drive above the board, you would definitely be looking for some crafty alternatives to a stock cpu cooler. I think those cases are really meant for motherboards that have the cpu integrated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post
Do you think this case would fit a stock AMD HSF or would it need something lower profile? Thanks.
I'm hoping. I'll definitely post back and let you know. I searched and searched, but I could not find measurements for the stock cooler on the amd athlon x2 255. I also don't know how much room I'll have to work with in the case. A rough estimate would be 3.5" from top of mother board to ceiling of case, judging from the pictures on the Teschke.de site. Note that the height for the version with an internal psu is actually 4.78". In your discussion with Renethx you used the shorter dimension of the external psu versions. I don't know how the height is measured though. If it is from the bottom of the feet to the top of the lid I could be in trouble. Wouldn't be a deal breaker if I have to replace the stock cpu cooler, just disappointing.
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post #59 of 668 Old 02-21-2011, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I ordered one too. I couldn't resist.

My daughter's preschool might need a new PC so I am going to use the PC-Q09, a Zacate mobo, 2GB RAM, 160GB 2.5" HDD and slim DVD. It comes to around $275 w/o the O/S. Perfect.

 

 

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post #60 of 668 Old 02-21-2011, 09:50 AM
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so.... that is a great price. The black version is $65 more - and with a smaller power supply. I wonder how efficient the power supply is.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...PC-Q09%20black

what am I missing - the silver one looks like a steal!
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