Originally Posted by cheezit73
Thanks for your informative thread!!! Please answer some questions and help my brain from exploding
I have been racking brain researching and ultimately I have decided I want a small form factor and lowest cost. The problem is I keep coming back to the APEX MI-008 case. I really like the way it looks and like the cost.
My concerns are is the power supply reliable?
How big of a deal really is it that the 2100 NON t CPU cooler touches the power supply? I cant imagine it transfers any heat to the CPU and I plan on adding the side fan.
I am buying from Amazon since I have a gift card and the 2100t is 145.00 vs 125.00 for the 2100 so quite a difference.
You recommend the case in your mini ITX and your sweet spot, yet elsewhere express your disdain for it... is it realllllllly that bad??? I don't mind if it is a bit of a pain to put together I mean once its assembled I am done inside it.... is it just relative to other cases it is a pain. This is not my first computer build.
Originally Posted by assassin
You are welcome.
My main complaint with that case is the placement of the PSU. As I have stated over and over you CAN use the 2100 with that case but the CPU fan and PSU will definitely touch. And it will be tighter with less airflow.
ALL ITX cases are extremely small and cramped. That's just by design. The Rosewill is a much better designed case but is unavailable. Also some people don't like its appearance as much.
So you can use the 2100. I guess it just depends if an extra $20 is worth it to you for an easier build, much improved airflow and potentially increased lifespan on your other components (because of the improved airflow and cooling).
To me that's worth $20 (only $10 at newegg).
Originally Posted by GatoEnFuego
From first hand experience I can say the APEX MI-008 and i3-2100 combo isn't a big deal but they do touch with a moderate amount of pressure if you tighten down the top screws on the power supply all the way. I leave those just finger tight so the supply just "rests" on the cpu instead of pushing on it. Can't speak to the quality of the psu itself, it has plenty of power for any HTPC use but who knows how long it'll last...
I also added the 120mm fan on the side of the case and there is plenty of airflow to keep it cool, even with how cramped everything is.
If I could do it all over again, I'd go Micro ATX and get the more component style case. More room, looks like a standard home theatre component and the cost should be about equal. The micro ATX boards are slightly cheaper (cost wise) which should offset the more expensive cases. If you're dead set on the cube style case, then the APEX looks nice and is built very well. Just be prepared for a tight fit and a secondary fan on the side (NO Ripjaw memory though!). Good luck, it's a fun process.
Originally Posted by assassin
We can agree to disagree here.
Call me crazy but I don't want any "moderate pressure" being placed on my CPU and don't want to have to leave screws loose.
Especially if I can fix all of that for $10 by going with the 2100t.
The 2100 in that case is doable --- but I am still not going to fully recommend it when there is such a simple and affordable solution available.
No significant heat would be conducted from the power supply to the CPU. The PS rests on the fan cage, which is made of a plastic such as ABS or nylon and acts as an insulator between the PS and heat sink. This means it has very low heat conductivity and correspondingly high thermal resistance compared to metals that are used as heat conductors, like aluminum, copper, silver and gold.
The pressure that the PS would exert on the CPU, whether it is resting on the cage or screwed down, is a good concern, but it's probably fine. The clamping of the CPU and heat sink to the motherboard is designed to generate a decent amount of pressure (easily 50 PSI) for the necessary heat transfer, but there are limits to what the CPU case can handle. Check that mounting the PS doesn't deform the fan cage and affect the fan bearing, or deflect the motherboard that is below the CPU.
The greatest concern is the airflow. From the pics in this thread, it looks like almost half of the CPU fan is blocked by the PS. Any time a fan has a surface near its inlet or outlet faces, resistance to flow goes way up, so flow is reduced. The PS is effectively starving half the fan of air, and because of the heat sink's radial fin arrangement, half the CPU is getting less air flow which causes a local hot spot. The overall effect is that the CPU runs hotter for a given power level, and it could hit thermal shutdown sooner than otherwise (it protects itself). Component life could be affected, although devices are designed and rated for pretty harsh conditions. You miight never experience a problem in real operation, especially if you add the side case fan.
Those who built with the Apex MI-008 are our guinea pigs. I don't remember, did they post CPU temps?
Assassin's recommendation to use the i3-2100T, with lower power dissipation because of the clock rate, and the shorter heat sink to promote air flow, is cheap insurance to have greater peace of mind.