Can't decide on a new case!

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Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:38 am

For various reasons I will be replacing my current case. Current mobo is mATX.

So I'm torn between 2 cases:
1. Lian Li PC-9F
2. Lian Li PC-A04B

Basically they're quite similar with 9F being the mid-tower ATX version of A04B. Technically A04B fits my current rig perfectly, I could remove the center drive cage and stick a big videocard in there. All the stuff that I have now would fit ok. However, being mATX it's not particularly expandable and obviously I'm limited by using only mATX boards in the future. The other case gives me much more freedom but is a bit less neat in the looks department and is much bulkier. Pricewise they're $10 apart (with shipping) so it's negligible. What do you guys think?
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Re: Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:49 am

I'd go with the 9F, it would just be easier to work with and I'd appreciate the extra space for better cable management and suchlike benefits of extra space.
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Re: Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:05 pm

With the northbridge getting subsumed into the CPU, and the arrival of fast external cable stanards (eSATA, USB 3.0, and eventually lightpeak), I have a hard time imagining ever again needing a desktop ATX board. I doubt I'll ever again have a personal build where I even fill all the slots in an mATX motherboard. In fact the only reason I have for hanging onto a full ATX case is that it fits conveniently under a desk with the top-mounted ports right at hand. But I doubt I'd buy another.
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Re: Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:14 pm

as long as you are not overclocking it's fine
I wouldn't like my GPU and CPU in such a little case even though it has a top vent
that little case looks loud too with all the fans

one think i have run across in my ATX board is I was running out of PCIEx1 slots :D
the TV tuner takes one and a sound card another
and the GPU is double slot, that would take up all 4 of your slots in back
so if you were going to add USB or something else you might be out of luck
but since you already own a matx board... maybe you should get a mini size case as well
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Re: Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:04 am

Well I have always been a fan of big cases, just a lot easier to work in them. My trusty Lian-Li PC-70 has lasted me through 6 seperate computer builds over the last 13 years. Although I paid a lot for it back in the beige case days of 1998, I find it absolutely easy to work in with tons of room, along with no issues fitting anything I need in there. I always feel you should give yourself more room than you think you need in a case, as you never know what will come down the road. You could really want a full size board down the road, and it would be a shame to be locked into a mATX case that you can not use for anything else. Go with the midtower, as it gives you the ability to use both types of boards.
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Re: Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:59 pm

So you guys are split down the middle too? Looks like 2 for each. Same conclusion I reached as well. :))
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Re: Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:07 pm

+1 for mATX and the mini tower. I can't see myself buying a mid-tower or full size ATX board again.
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Re: Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:44 pm

Strangely enough, the PC-A04B offers more 3.5" bays. That's turning into a main focus of mine. Seeing as my current mobo is an ATX mobo, however, I could not go with a m-ATX case myself. The added flexibility of being able to choose an ATX or m-ATX mobo is worth something - worth more than the extra 3.5" bay, and worth having a slightly taller case too. IMO. So, the PC-9F gets my vote.
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Re: Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:53 pm

I think it is ATX no question. There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to make an upgrade down the road and not being able to due to limited space. The mid tower is not THAT much bigger, but it will make a difference if you ever upgrade.
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Re: Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:32 pm

S-stone FT-02 - Perfect for mATX :lol:
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Re: Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:48 pm

BloodSoul wrote:I think it is ATX no question. There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to make an upgrade down the road and not being able to due to limited space. The mid tower is not THAT much bigger, but it will make a difference if you ever upgrade.

This. This is the point. The mid tower is simply not that much bigger. Is it bigger? Yes. Is it that much bigger that it is going to cause some issue that you would not have had with the mATX case? Very unlikely. I'd say if you are not in some specific situation that you need the smaller dimensions of the mATX case then the added flexibility is possibly going to be quite an asset for a future build, and if not, all it cost you was 2 inches of space.
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Re: Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:48 pm

PainIs4ThaWeak1 wrote:S-stone FT-02 - Perfect for mATX :lol:

That's a nice case but it's about 2x the price. Considering a new PSU is in order I'll pass.

flip-mode wrote:
BloodSoul wrote:I think it is ATX no question. There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to make an upgrade down the road and not being able to due to limited space. The mid tower is not THAT much bigger, but it will make a difference if you ever upgrade.

This. This is the point. The mid tower is simply not that much bigger. Is it bigger? Yes. Is it that much bigger that it is going to cause some issue that you would not have had with the mATX case? Very unlikely. I'd say if you are not in some specific situation that you need the smaller dimensions of the mATX case then the added flexibility is possibly going to be quite an asset for a future build, and if not, all it cost you was 2 inches of space.


That's a fair point and one I've been pondering myself. The difference between the two is the following:

A04B - 7.4" x 15.2" x 18.11" (whl)
9F- 8.27" x 18.62"x 19.61" (whl)

That's a pretty sizable difference of over 3 inches in height's case. If I was ever to move a smaller case would be a lot easier to lug around obviously.
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Re: Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:01 pm

Synchromesh wrote:That's a pretty sizable difference of over 3 inches in height's case. If I was ever to move a smaller case would be a lot easier to lug around obviously.

Obviously, but you're not talking about the difference between easy and inconvenient. You're talking about the difference between inconvenient and a bit more inconvenient. How often do you move the case? If it's once a week, or even once a month, then it's probably a consideration. If it's 2, 3 times a year, probably not worth factoring in. Dunno, that's IMO. All I know is, I have run into situations where a PC case is decidedly too small, and inconveniently too large. Usually, too small is much more limiting than too large. Too large means it's a little more cumbersome to carry; too small means I can't buy the motherboard I want. And that's the real bottom line. If you think mATX is all you'll ever need, then the mATX case is the best choice - especially (IMO) since it has more 3.5" bays. If you think there is a possibility that you may still one day get an ATX motherboard then it's clearly best to get the ATX case. :D
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Re: Can't decide on a new case!

Postposted on Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:18 pm

OK. How about this? I cannot decide which case I should get for this Sandy Bridge build I would like to get: FT-02B or a 600T. Please advise.
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