Case without drive bays?

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Case without drive bays?

Postposted on Wed May 28, 2014 11:48 am

Hi everyone,

Now that M.2 SSDs are a thing, I was thinking of making a computer without any drives. Are there any compact ATX cases that have just enough room for the PSU, mobo, and expansion cards? I can't seem to find any (but I've just started my search) If anyone knows of any on here I would appreciate any information.
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Re: Case without drive bays?

Postposted on Wed May 28, 2014 12:20 pm

How small did you want to go? ATX cases are fairly large, but I'm sure you could find some mATX or mini ITX cases without many drive bays. If you usually purchase long graphics cards too (over 9.6" since that's the max width for an ATX motherboard) then you'll probably get drive bays regardless since there's nothing else to put in that empty space.
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Re: Case without drive bays?

Postposted on Wed May 28, 2014 12:48 pm

I guess I could consider mATX and ITX cases without drive bays, too. I am really looking for an ATX case though. I want passively cooled everything (except maybe 1 or 2 fans), and to get good graphics performance I was planning to use SLI or Crossfire on lower end cards.

[Edit] And drive cages take up unnecessary space and block airflow.
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Re: Case without drive bays?

Postposted on Wed May 28, 2014 1:10 pm

Takeshi7 wrote:I want passively cooled everything (except maybe 1 or 2 fans), and to get good graphics performance I was planning to use SLI or Crossfire on lower end cards.

IMO it makes very little sense to do that. With passive cooling you're either going to be stuck with very low-end cards (which will suck even in SLI/Crossfire), or very expensive cards with huge radiators or waterblocks on them. You will also discover that the intersection of "passively cooled" and "SLI/CrossFire capable" is pretty close to a null set.
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Re: Case without drive bays?

Postposted on Wed May 28, 2014 1:26 pm

IMO it makes very little sense to do that. With passive cooling you're either going to be stuck with very low-end cards (which will suck even in SLI/Crossfire), or very expensive cards with huge radiators or waterblocks on them.


I'm well aware of the drawbacks of such a setup, but I still want to make a passive cooled rig, and I could definitely make one that is more powerful than my current 8800GTS 640MB SLI setup. I just want a nice, small, case with no drive bays to put it in.
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Re: Case without drive bays?

Postposted on Wed May 28, 2014 1:36 pm

Takeshi7 wrote:I guess I could consider mATX and ITX cases without drive bays, too. I am really looking for an ATX case though. I want passively cooled everything (except maybe 1 or 2 fans), and to get good graphics performance I was planning to use SLI or Crossfire on lower end cards.

[Edit] And drive cages take up unnecessary space and block airflow.


There are definitely cases out there where you can easily remove most of the drive cages. This doesn't really help with the size department but it at least meets one of your criteria. Off the to of my head, Fractal Design's Arc Midi R2 can do this (more can, but that's the first I thought of).

If size is a factor you can pretty easily downsize to mATX and still get SLI/Crossfire. For a mATX case you could check out Fractal Design's Arc Mini R2 as you can also remove the drive bays.
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Re: Case without drive bays?

Postposted on Wed May 28, 2014 1:37 pm

This mATX guy forgoes the drive bays for the most part though I'm not sure how good cooling is going to be: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811235043
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Re: Case without drive bays?

Postposted on Wed May 28, 2014 1:46 pm

I think the only option to get a case like I want is with some custom modding. This is the closest I can find to the case I want.

Image

From http://www.overclock.net/t/1416077/lightbox/post/20550470/id/1596972
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Re: Case without drive bays?

Postposted on Wed May 28, 2014 2:07 pm

The NZXT H440 mid tower ATX case does not have 5.25" external drive bays, though it is not mATX/mITX.
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Re: Case without drive bays?

Postposted on Thu May 29, 2014 2:11 pm

Removing the drive cage from the Silverstone TJ08 gives you unfettered airflow from that front 180mm fan. The case still has a 3.5" drive mount on the bottom (high-capacity hdd?) The fact that the TJ08 is one of the shallower (front-to-back) cases is one of the reasons it's so good for air cooling. Doing a simple case mod of installing a 120-140mm fan mount in the top of the case (above where the 5.25" drive bays would sit) will give you even more airflow for dual GPUs... if needed.

Are you sure you need a completely passive system? Picking a good CPU cooler and quiet GPU(s) can leave you with near-silent operation in the first place. The two 120mm fans in the front of my case are the only thing I can hear from the system in my signature.
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Re: Case without drive bays?

Postposted on Thu May 29, 2014 3:10 pm

Removing the drive cage from the Silverstone TJ08 gives you unfettered airflow from that front 180mm fan. The case still has a 3.5" drive mount on the bottom (high-capacity hdd?) The fact that the TJ08 is one of the shallower (front-to-back) cases is one of the reasons it's so good for air cooling. Doing a simple case mod of installing a 120-140mm fan mount in the top of the case (above where the 5.25" drive bays would sit) will give you even more airflow for dual GPUs... if needed.

Are you sure you need a completely passive system? Picking a good CPU cooler and quiet GPU(s) can leave you with near-silent operation in the first place. The two 120mm fans in the front of my case are the only thing I can hear from the system in my signature.


Thanks. I will definitely take a look at all of these cases with removable drive bays. I definitely want a passive system. I know I won't be able to get super high performance from it, but completely silent operation is important to me, and passive cooling seems like less maintenance/hastle than water cooling or mineral oil submersion. I was hoping there would be at least one case manufacturer that makes a case that completely gets rid of 2.5",3.5",and 5.25" bays to save space and increase ventilation. :-/
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Re: Case without drive bays?

Postposted on Thu May 29, 2014 4:28 pm

Oh, BTW, you might want to take a good hard look at Asus' Strix GPUs. One of those is probably your best bet.
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