Putting the 'micro' back in micro ATX

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

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Putting the 'micro' back in micro ATX

Postposted on Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:16 pm

I'm thinking about retiring my beige box of doom for something smaller and built during the 21st century, but most of the good mATX cases have approximately the same dimensions as the ATX midtower I have now and the desktop boxes on Newegg all have features I don't particularly care for. Any other, less marketed vendors I should be looking at?

I will need one 5.25" slot, two 3.5" slots and clearance for a normal-length GPU. Would prefer an all-metal finish if possible. The Silverstone Sugo SG101B comes closest to what I'm looking for.
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Re: Putting the 'micro' back in micro ATX

Postposted on Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:47 pm

Some lunatic wrote: There are some good small micro-ATX cases that will still accept large gaming graphics cards. I believe that Silverstone offers the best compact cases. For micro-ATX, I'm very satisified with the excellent cooling in the Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E. The Rosewill Line-M is a bit smaller. The Sugo SG10 is a marvel of compactness. If you're looking for a horizontal case to fit into your media center, consider the Grandia GD05.
$50 Rosewill Line-M micro-ATX mini-tower case
$100 or $110 Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E micro-ATX mini-tower case
$95 or $105 -10MIR Silverstone Grandia GD05 micro-ATX HTPC media center case
$116 or $130 Silverstone Sugo SG10 micro-ATX SFF cube case
+ $42 pack
Some lunatic further wrote: Mini-ITX BitFenix Prodigy = 32.6 liters
Mini-ITX Silverstone SUGO SG08 = 14.8 liters
Micro-ATX Silverstone SUGO SG10 = 23.0 liters
Micro-ATX Rosewill Line-M = 27 liters
Micro-ATX SUGO SG04-FH = 28.9 liters (including handle)
Micro-ATX Temjin TJ08-E: 30.2 liters
Micro-ATX Fractal Designs Arc Mini = 40.9 liters
Micro-ATX Corsair Obsidian 350D = 41.7 liters
ATX Rosewill LINE Glow = 35.6 liters
That wacky lunatic wrote: Some of the really compact cases like the Sugo SG10 require that you use a slot-load slim optical drive since they lack half-height 5¼" drive bays. Slim-line optical drives aren't too hard to find and they won't break the bank. These laptop-oriented drives do tend to be a bit slower than regular half-height drives.
$59 or $98 Slim SATA tray-load Blu-ray burner
or $148 Slim SATA slot-load Blu-ray burner
or $29 Slim SATA tray-load DVD burner
or $69½ Slim SATA slot-load DVD burner
$9 Slim SATA to desktop SATA data+power adapter

Some lunatic also wrote: What motherboard features do you want that would help us differentiate between one of these Z87 micro-ATX options?
$210 Asus Maximus VI Gene
$208 Gigabyte GA-G1.Sniper M5
$173 ASRock Z87M OC Formula
$170 Asus Gryphon Z87
$140 Asus Z87M-Plus
$131 ASRock Z87M Extreme4
$125 Gigabyte GA-Z87MX-D3H
$113 MSI Z87M-G43
$105 ASRock Z87M Pro4
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Putting the 'micro' back in micro ATX

Postposted on Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:55 pm

NovusBogus wrote:I will need one 5.25" slot, two 3.5" slots and clearance for a normal-length GPU. Would prefer an all-metal finish if possible. The Silverstone Sugo SG101B comes closest to what I'm looking for.


External 3.5", or you just mean for internal drives? If you need external, that's a little trickier. So far, Silverstone and Lian-Li have been among my favorites for brands, and between the two there's some good variety in any given form factor.

I have the Lian-Li PC-354A, but the whole line appears to now be discontinued judging by them all being out of stock at newegg. Still, I can recommend the case. It's a little wider than your average case, sticking the PSU off to the side instead of above/below the mobo. This cuts down the height significantly (which was important for me). It has one stealthed DVD drive bay, and the internal layout is very flexible for either super-long GPUs or bunches of 3.5" drives.

Something a little more standard, but I'd have seriously considered if it was released at the time, is the Silverstone TJ08-e (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811163182).

But as you've observed, few of these are highly compact. I admit these days my tastes are leaning more mITX. If you're looking at the SG01, you might consider the mITX options. (Frankly, I'm largely disappointed, but there are still a few good options out there.)
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Re: Putting the 'micro' back in micro ATX

Postposted on Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:40 pm

As a mATX user for going on 5 years now, I will just warn you of one thing if you are looking for mATX cases that are meaningfully smaller than ATX mid-towers (meaning height or especially depth dimensions that are nearer 15", which is about the minimum that is practical, rather than 18-19"): mounting 3.5" hard drives is usually a challenge because once you get below about 17" depth the hard drive will overhang the motherboard. This makes for some tricky cable routing and component selection to make sure there is sufficient clearance for everything and good enough airflow.

When you pick a case, do your best to find pictures with 3.5" drives mounted to get an idea of the clearances.
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Re: Putting the 'micro' back in micro ATX

Postposted on Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:41 pm

Why not get a shuttle?
SH87R6 or SZ87R6. http://www.shuttle.eu/fileadmin/resourc ... 87R6_e.pdf

The SZ87R6 adds Z series motherboard, 2 Gigabit LAN, 500W Power Supply with 6 + 8pins & Brushed Aluminum front panels.

SH87R6 is going for $360 Aus which isn't bad for a Case, PSU, motherboard and CPU Heatsink. SZ87R6 is released early November and should be $500 Aus.
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Re: Putting the 'micro' back in micro ATX

Postposted on Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:42 pm

I only need internal 3.5", as much as I miss my floppy drive they're not supported by many motherboards anymore.

That discontinued Lian Li looks good, may have to see if I can find one from a secondary channel. Their newer products put the drive on the side of the box which is awkward and not corner friendly.

I already have some components and may get a sound card so barebones and mITX aren't viable options.
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