Mini-itx case and psu?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by cami, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. cami

    cami
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    Hey!

    Have started building a new small pc but I'm still undecided on the two parts in the topic title.

    So far I've decided on the i3 Haswell 4330 I think is the model number. And an Asus motherboard. (H871-plus) and a scythe big shuriken 2 cooler.

    I'm in the UK but most stuff should be available here too hopefully.

    Been looking at streacom cases, particularly one that I saw in another topic on here. Also akasa ones but not sure if they'll fit the cooler.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. cami

    cami
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    Can't see how to edit on this Android app. Just wanted to add that the smaller the case the better.
     
  3. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    None of the Akasa mini-ITX ones are more than 68mm hight in total so they're unlike to fit a 58mm cooler (You also need to account for the thickness of the case material, the thickness of the CPU and motherboard, the motherboard stand-offs and a gap at the top so air can actually get into the fan).
     
  4. cami

    cami
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    Thanks for the response... And thanks for the info. I liked the look/price of them. Too bad. The only thing stopping me from going for a Streacom is that it'd have an unusable disk opening at the front which would spoil the look a little. Ideally, i'm after one that doesn't include an optical disk bit or if it does, it's easy to hide.
     
  5. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    Is changing the cooler an option? Both Scythe and Noctua do coolers of 40mm or less if you need a bit more cooling power/fan durability than the stock ones provides (Scythe Kozuti and Noctua NH-L9i).

    I take it from the cases you've linked so far that you don't object to having an external PSU?
     
  6. daverobson08

    daverobson08
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    Can recommend the CoolerMaster FT03-Mini
     
  7. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    1. The FT03-mini is a Silverstone case, not a Coolermaster one.

    2. At 17.6 litres it's big compared to some of the others mentioned, for example the Akasa Crypto is 3.7 litres, the smallest Streacom is 3 litres.

    It's quite a nice case, but apart from it's large size the other caveat is that it's the opposite way up to what you'd expect, so all of the cables usually plugged into the rear sprout out of the top.

    Have you see the Mini-ITX Store's list of cases:
    mini-itx.com - store - mini-itx cases

    The Morex Cubid 3388 from the list above may be worth looking at, 4.7 litres but that does include an internal power supply (Flex ATX). The other downside is that the front ports are only USB 2.
     
  8. cami

    cami
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    Sorry for the delayed response, I thought I'd set up email alerts for this topic but apparently not. Thanks again for the response.

    I don't object to an external PSU. I am flexible on the cooler too. Even the motherboard. Basically I really just want to build as small and cheap computer I can that has a Haswell with a minimum of HD 4600 GPU.

    Optical drive bay is really not wanted, external PSU is preferred to keep size down.

    The 3388 looks nice but hard to gauge the size. It seems quite long?
     
  9. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    In that case have you looked at NUC-based systems? They may be a little more expensive (~£500 for a basic one with HD5000 graphics and a 64GB SSD) but at 12x11x4cm it is smaller than any mini-ITX system (a mini-ITX motherboard alone is 17x17cm)

    Back to Mini-ITX then this is an interesting case:
    Coolcube Mini | Coolcube Mini | Cubes | Cooltek

    About the same footprint as the akasa ones but taller instead to allow an internal PSU and large CPU cooler. It depends on whether whether you're trying to minimise desktop space usage or want to hide it under/behind something.
     
  10. cami

    cami
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    I do want to "hide it" kinda, looking for a flat look rather than towering look. I have checked out NUC's and they look awesome but I like the idea of putting this together myself and it seems like it'll be cheaper too.

    If I get a Streacom F7C which I have my eye on, could I fit a bluray drive and keep the Haswell i3 cool? What cooler and PSU should I be looking at? I've found one at a good price but I don't want an unusable optical drive slot.
     
  11. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    It's not really a question of keeping it cool, a sufficiently powerful fan will cool (almost) anything. The real question is whether you find the noise levels acceptable. Given that you can get relatively small coolers from the quiet cooling specialists like Noctua, Zalman and Scythe that claim to be able to cool 65W processors quietly I doubt it'll be an issue.

    If you're really concerned you could go for an i3-4330T rather than an i3-4330 which is the low power model. The CPU part is a little slower but it comes with HD4600 graphics which are almost identical except they idle at a slower speed.

    Have you looked at the Streacom F1C Evo WS? Similar shape and heatsinks clearance to the F7C but it's a smaller case with no optical drive.
     
  12. cami

    cami
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    Ah, so smaller coolers = more noise? I was hoping to make it as quiet and cool as possible but not willing to sacrifice power.

    I had looked at the F1C Evo WS, it says "it is only possible to install a CPU cooler no taller than 34mm" which i think put me off. I really like the look of it though. Visually it's exactly what I'm after.
     
  13. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    A smaller heatsink means less surface area, so to get the same heat transfer you need faster moving air, faster moving air means a faster spinning fan and a faster fan means more noise. As I said though, I don't think it'll be an issue with an i3 unless you're after silent cooling rather than just quiet.

    I don't know what says that, but the Streacom website says:

    Max CPU cooler height:
    With 3.5″ HDD Installed: 26mm
    With 2nd 2.5″ SSD Installed: 42mm
    With no 2nd 2.5″ SSD Installed: 54mm
     
  14. cami

    cami
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    ahh i was reading at the bottom of this page
    Streacom F1C EVO Mini Home Theatre Aluminium Chassis

    I do like this case a lot. I also may go for the built in IR receiver. What cooler and PSU would you recommend to accompany it?

    It'll have a Samsung 830 SSD out of my laptop and ram sticks out of my desktop. "Corsair CML8GX3M2A1600C9B Vengeance Low Profile 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 Mhz CL9 XMP Performance".
     
  15. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    Ah, looks like they took it from the OD model and didn't realise that the removal of the optical drive tray changed things.

    I don't keep up to date with coolers so I don't know the full range available, but the Noctua NH-L9i and the Scythe Kozuti I mentioned above look like good picks. Personally I'd probably incline towards the Noctua for the extra clearance in case I ever wanted to add a second drive but there's a review comparing them here (SilentPCReview do focus on noise, so bear in mind any comments in that area are from people who are picky about it).

    I have next to no knowledge about DC to DC PSUs so I can't offer much there. The factors that spring to mind that I'd want to know are:

    1. Is the external power connector (the one that goes through the back of the case) standard? If it's not standardised then to get the perfect finish you'll want either the streacom one or one with a larger connector that you can enlarge the hole for.

    2. Does it regulate the +12V supply? If it doesn't then you'll need a power brick with a good quality +12V output as the ATX standard requires less than 5% variance (at 12V that's +-0.6V). If it accepts a range of input voltages than it won't need any particular power brick (as long as they're within that range) so just get the most efficient/best value.
     
  16. vertico

    vertico
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  17. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    With enough room left over for the family pet:

    [​IMG]
     

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