Smaller case

Enclosures, modding, blowholes, and the power needed to run it all.

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Smaller case

Postposted on Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:16 pm

I've been happy with my current case, but I want to put it in my desk's computer compartment. It fits with little room to spare. However, the compartment only has a small ventilation hole in back, so I'm looking for a case with a smaller cross-sectional area so that hot air can easily escape around the sides and top. (Replacing or modifying the desk are not acceptable options.)

Newegg gives the dimensions of their cases, but they're apparently not searchable, so finding smaller cases is slow going. Moreover, many of the smaller cases seem to be cheaper (in the bad way). So I figured that I'd pick your brains. Does anyone have any advice?

Since I'd just be moving my current components to the new case, I don't need a case with a power supply. Also, I want to keep my current ATX motherboard.

For reference, the WxH of my current case is 7.95" x 17.13" = 136.1835 in^2 -- I'm looking for cases smaller in both dimensions. I have found a few:

APEX PC-389-C 7.25" x 16.00" = 116 in^2
Xigmatek ASGARD II 7.28" x 16.06" = 116.9168 in^2
COOLER MASTER ELITE 335 RC-335-KKN1-GP 7.28" x 16.26" = 118.3728 in^2
dlenmn
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Re: Smaller case

Postposted on Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:02 pm

Those compartments are called "computer coffins" for a reason.

It ain't worth it.
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Re: Smaller case

Postposted on Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:20 pm

I have a hole saw that I purchased for installing 92mm side fans in PC cases over a decade ago. I've more recently used it to improve the ventilation in a couple of those terribly-designed hotboxes.
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Re: Smaller case

Postposted on Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:54 pm

scpulp wrote:Those compartments are called "computer coffins" for a reason.

It ain't worth it.


Well, there is some case size at which this problem goes away -- it'd be fine if I had a little Shuttle case in there. I figure I'm in the clear if the cross sectional area for the exhaust to escape from the compartment (with the case in it) is a couple times the cross sectional area of the exhaust from the case. Say the case has two 120mm fans (one 120mm case fan and one 120mm power supply fan), then the exhaust area from the case is ~35in^2 (2 * pi*60^2 mm^2), and the exhaust area for the compartment with these cases would be ~60in^2, so I think we're getting close.
Last edited by dlenmn on Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Smaller case

Postposted on Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:55 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:I have a hole saw that I purchased for installing 92mm side fans in PC cases over a decade ago. I've more recently used it to improve the ventilation in a couple of those terribly-designed hotboxes.


That would be my first choice, except the desk came with the furnished apartment, so modifying it like that isn't really an option.
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Re: Smaller case

Postposted on Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:37 am

If your config is a high powered system there may be nothing else you can do if you try to put a space heater in that space. The fact that you care about the airflow suggest your system is not exactly cool running (if you have the something like mid-high range video card you already qualify in that club). Letting the hot air out the side and trapped there may not be such a good idea. How about generating higher air flow from front to back and then use some sort of ducting forcing the air to go out of the hole. You may just need to tape over the side hole(s) and make sure your front and back fans do a good push-pull job?

Or you may just need to use that space for something else. What is your system config and what is the dimension of the compartment? And how high and large is that "hole" in the compartment?
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Re: Smaller case

Postposted on Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:59 am

Flying Fox wrote:If your config is a high powered system there may be nothing else you can do if you try to put a space heater in that space. The fact that you care about the airflow suggest your system is not exactly cool running (if you have the something like mid-high range video card you already qualify in that club). Letting the hot air out the side and trapped there may not be such a good idea. How about generating higher air flow from front to back and then use some sort of ducting forcing the air to go out of the hole. You may just need to tape over the side hole(s) and make sure your front and back fans do a good push-pull job?

Or you may just need to use that space for something else. What is your system config and what is the dimension of the compartment? And how high and large is that "hole" in the compartment?


I'm out of town for turkey day, so I can't give dimensions right now, but say the compartment has WxH of 9" x 18" and the length is >6" longer than the case. There are three relevant holes of 3-4" diameter -- one in the top, one in the top back, and one in the top side. They're meant for cables, but I don't have cables in the top back one.

The computer has a Radeon 4850 and a 95W Phenom II X4 945. I already have the side vents blocked off for cleanliness purposes (and fans in front/back for a push/pull configuration). The computer doesn't run hot, and I'm not in to overclocking, so I could care less if the temperature goes up a couple degrees. I just don't want it to go up more than that and risk stability issues or long term damage to components.

Ducting may be a little tricky, but the suggestion made be realize that I could put fan(s) in one (or more) of the holes to increase airflow out of the compartment.

Another case I've come across:
LIAN LI PC-A06FB 7.36" x 14.76" = 108.6336 in^2
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