Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

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Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 1:14 am

It's kinda long story, but I plan to build a "legacy Windows XP machine" around nVidia GeForce GTX 285 video card. The reason I choose GTX 285 is because it belongs to the same generation with the GeForce 310M on my Lenovo B460 laptop (Tesla architecture), and it runs many old games without problems - as long as the said game runs on XP, of course. Needless to say that the GeForce 310M runs almost every old game I throw it to, from MDK (a Windows 9x game that happens to run on XP), Crimson Skies, Warcraft III, MiG Alley, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (yes, the first Medal of Honor), Emperor: Battle for Dune, Neverwinter Nights, and Silent Storm; and I run everything with AA maxed out without problem. The only game I cannot run is Jane's World War II Fighters, but that's what the Win9x PC is for.

The only problem is that GeForce 310M is not powerful enough to run some of those games with SSAA. So I guess it would make sense if I build a system around a same generation (Tesla), but with more power. So my choice falls on GeForce GTX 285.

I also plan to use mini-ITX case and mobo, since it's won't be a dedicated gaming machine, but a general-purpose (but game capable) system that will be put on my "boss desk" - the same way I'm using my Lenovo B460 laptop. So I would need a small footprint. Paper trays and file folders aside, I already have CH Fighterstick and CH Pro Throttle on my desk (which sometimes awe my employees :D ), and I also plan to put a wireless S/PDIF transport (because my amplifier is behind my head). So my desk is a little bit cramped already.

However, the GTX 285 is quite power hungry, so I need to use a full ATX PSU - and an ITX case that would accept full ATX PSU. I'm still not sure which case to use, though: should I better go with Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced, or Corsair Obsidian 250D? Or are there better suggestions?

I also plan to use Asus P8Z77-I DELUXE mobo due to its excellent Windows XP support (it has comprehensive Windows XP drivers), but are there better alternatives?

Many thanks,
-Kresh


PS: no, I won't use Windows 7 on this machine - I already have a Windows 7 laptop for that purpose, and there are already Windows 7 PCs in the garage office that I can use whenever I really need Windows 7 (which almost never happens). So this is strictly for Windows XP.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 1:32 am

Check out the Fractal Design Node 304. It takes ATX power supplies up to 160mm and graphics cards up to 310mm.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 4:51 am

I'm really happy with the Cubitek Mini Cube that houses my LAN box.

http://www.cubitek.com/products/mini-series/mini-cube

It is rather limited in terms of PSU length - I'm using it with a 125mm deep Nexus NX-5000 PSU, which fits really well and leaves space for a closed-loop watercooler for the CPU, along with plenty of room for a GPU - I've even had my GTX 780 in it with no issues, though it's currently got a 670.

Image

I've had a CX750 in the case too, but due to the modular cables on it I could only use a single fan on the water cooler - with the Nexus unit, I can use sandwiched fans. The GPU stays nice and cool too as it's positioned directly above the intake/CPU fans there in the pic :). I like that the only intake is on the bottom, means you can pile stuff in front of or on top of the case without restricting intake.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 4:57 am

MarkG509 wrote:Check out the Fractal Design Node 304. It takes ATX power supplies up to 160mm and graphics cards up to 310mm.

Mentawl wrote:I'm really happy with the Cubitek Mini Cube that houses my LAN box.

http://www.cubitek.com/products/mini-series/mini-cube

It is rather limited in terms of PSU length - I'm using it with a 125mm deep Nexus NX-5000 PSU, which fits really well and leaves space for a closed-loop watercooler for the CPU, along with plenty of room for a GPU - I've even had my GTX 780 in it with no issues, though it's currently got a 670.

Image

I've had a CX750 in the case too, but due to the modular cables on it I could only use a single fan on the water cooler - with the Nexus unit, I can use sandwiched fans. The GPU stays nice and cool too as it's positioned directly above the intake/CPU fans there in the pic :)

Thanks on both account.

I think the Cubitek Mini Cube is fine as long as it can accept GeForce GTX 285, as well as the necessary 500 watt PSU to power it.

By the way, what mobo are you using? Is it okay for single-slot mini-ITX mobo to accept dual width video card, as long as the enclosure has enough space?
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 5:05 am

The Cube has a dedicated intake vent for the PSU on the bottom - the Nexus I'm using is a 550w unit, so you should be fine.

And yes, absolutely fine for a Mini-ITX board to use a dual-width GPU, as long as the case has the cutouts to support the GPU and the space.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 8:10 am

I'd second the Node 304. I just built a machine using that case, and I love it. The 304 supports long GPUs (GTX Titan / 780), but it's pretty snug in there unless you have a shallow modular PSU. I picked up a Silverstone 650w unit that is 140mm deep (rather than the usual 155? 160?) that will play nice with whatever graphics card I end up with. Not sure how long your GTX 285 is, but it should work fine in there.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 8:11 am

Not mentioned yet, or no comments:

  • Coolermaster Elite 120/Elite 130 - limited cooling, PSU hangs out the back making it pretty ugly. Perfectly servicable though....
  • Bitfenix Prodigy - fine, but it's huge. With it's massive "feet" it's even bigger than many of the uATX cases and comparable in volume even to some of the more compact full-ATX cases.
  • Silverstone Sugo SG08/SG09 - great shoebox with full ATX support
  • Corsair Obsidian 250D - like the Bitfenix, it's MASSIVE for an mITX build. the mITX board looks ridiculously small in contrast to the enormity of the 250D.
  • Antec ISK600 - bigger shoebox, but adds room for a couple of 3.5" drives and makes building easier.

Personally, I'd go for an SFX PSU if you want something compact, the SG05/SG06 can be bought with an 80+ SFX PSU on a bundle, and they use slimline opticals which shave off even more from the size.

If you want a mini-ITX case you're probably looking for something compact; Bitfenix and Corsair completely fail to understand this concept.
Last edited by Chrispy_ on Fri May 30, 2014 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 8:22 am

Mentawl wrote:The Cube has a dedicated intake vent for the PSU on the bottom - the Nexus I'm using is a 550w unit, so you should be fine.

And yes, absolutely fine for a Mini-ITX board to use a dual-width GPU, as long as the case has the cutouts to support the GPU and the space.

Yes, GPU support concerns me the most, because when using dual-width GPU on single PCIe slot motherboard, the GPU will be hanging on its slot when the mobo is turned side up to be put in the enclosure. Without support, I guess the slot will be stressed to support the GPU alone, which may eventually result in damage.

Terra_Nocuus wrote:I'd second the Node 304. I just built a machine using that case, and I love it. The 304 supports long GPUs (GTX Titan / 780), but it's pretty snug in there unless you have a shallow modular PSU. I picked up a Silverstone 650w unit that is 140mm deep (rather than the usual 155? 160?) that will play nice with whatever graphics card I end up with. Not sure how long your GTX 285 is, but it should work fine in there.

Interesting, thanks. The GeForce GTX 285 is 10.5 inches (267 mm) long and 4.376 inches (111 mm) wide, while its thickness is dual-width PCIe. Could either the Silverstone or the Node 304 accommodate the GPU? And how about GPU supporting cutouts?

Chrispy_ wrote:Not mentioned yet, or no comments:

  • Coolermaster Elite 120/Elite 130 - limited cooling, PSU hangs out the back making it pretty ugly. Perfectly servicable though....
  • Bitfenix Prodigy - fine, but it's huge. With it's massive "feet" it's even bigger than many of the uATX cases and comparable in volume even to some of the more compact full-ATX cases.
  • Silverstone Sugo SG08/SG09 - great shoebox with full ATX support
  • Corsair Obsidian 250D - like the Bitfenix, it's MASSIVE for an mITX build. the mITX board looks ridiculously tiny in the vast cavernous case.
  • Antec ISK600 - bigger shoebox, but adds room for a couple of 3.5" drives and makes building easier.

Personally, I'd go for an SFX PSU if you want something compact, the SG05/SG06 can be bought with an 80+ SFX PSU on a bundle, and they use slimline opticals which shave off even more from the size.

If you want a mini-ITX case you're probably looking for something compact; Bitfenix and Corsair completely fail to understand this concept.

Thanks. By the way, do all of them has GPU-supporting cutouts?



Anyway, what do you guys think about the Asus P8Z77-I DELUXE mobo? I choose it because of its robust Windows XP drivers, but are there better alternatives? I don't really need fast CPU since it'll be a legacy system to play old games (Crimson Skies, MiG Alley, and the likes). AA will be maxed, so CPU won't be the bottleneck here. I think I'll be fine with Core i3.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 8:29 am

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:By the way, do all of them has GPU-supporting cutouts?

I'm not sure what you mean. They all have at least two PCI-E expansion slot covers to allow GPU's with double-width coolers to be installed.
All of them have either cutouts or adequate ventilation for a GPU, though some of them limit the length to around 10". I'd be wary of putting more than a 225W graphics card (2x 6-pin PCI-E power connectors, max) in either of those for cooling reasons.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 8:52 am

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Interesting, thanks. The GeForce GTX 285 is 10.5 inches (267 mm) long and 4.376 inches (111 mm) wide, while its thickness is dual-width PCIe. Could either the Silverstone or the Node 304 accommodate the GPU? And how about GPU supporting cutouts?


Another thing that's nice about the Node is that the motherboard sits on the "bottom" of the case, so the GPU won't be hanging off the PCie slot. The case supports dual-width cards, as well... I think I've only seen one Lian Li mITX case that didn't have dual-width GPU support.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 11:09 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:By the way, do all of them has GPU-supporting cutouts?

I'm not sure what you mean. They all have at least two PCI-E expansion slot covers to allow GPU's with double-width coolers to be installed.
All of them have either cutouts or adequate ventilation for a GPU, though some of them limit the length to around 10". I'd be wary of putting more than a 225W graphics card (2x 6-pin PCI-E power connectors, max) in either of those for cooling reasons.

Ah, my mistake. I thought the "cutout" is a placeholder or such to "insert" the video card in such way that it won't hang off the PCIe slot.

Terra_Nocuus wrote:
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Interesting, thanks. The GeForce GTX 285 is 10.5 inches (267 mm) long and 4.376 inches (111 mm) wide, while its thickness is dual-width PCIe. Could either the Silverstone or the Node 304 accommodate the GPU? And how about GPU supporting cutouts?


Another thing that's nice about the Node is that the motherboard sits on the "bottom" of the case, so the GPU won't be hanging off the PCie slot. The case supports dual-width cards, as well... I think I've only seen one Lian Li mITX case that didn't have dual-width GPU support.

I see, thanks! Node it is, then. :)


Anyway, how about the mobo? Is Asus P8Z77-I DELUXE good enough for the purpose?
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 11:18 am

If you don't need the 3.5" drive stack the Cooler Master Elite 120 has, you can go for the smaller Elite 110, which drops the conventional 3.5" drive rails, shaving off significant depth from the case, as well as having better cooling with a fully vented front face and 140mm front fan support. I've made quite a few machines on that case, and if you don't need a lot of drives, it's worth using over the 120.

Also I've built many machines on both the 110 and 120 so if you have any specific questions ask away, (I even have a 120 build running initial testing sitting behind my desk so if you wanted to know any specifics I can look/measure).
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 11:26 am

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:
Mentawl wrote:The Cube has a dedicated intake vent for the PSU on the bottom - the Nexus I'm using is a 550w unit, so you should be fine.

And yes, absolutely fine for a Mini-ITX board to use a dual-width GPU, as long as the case has the cutouts to support the GPU and the space.

Yes, GPU support concerns me the most, because when using dual-width GPU on single PCIe slot motherboard, the GPU will be hanging on its slot when the mobo is turned side up to be put in the enclosure. Without support, I guess the slot will be stressed to support the GPU alone, which may eventually result in damage.


I'm a bit confused by this - every GPU, even one that uses 3 slots on the back panel of the case, only has a single point of contact with the motherboard - the PCI-E slot. Dual-slot or tri-slot cards do not have two physical PCI-E interfaces, they only have one. There's no other way a card is supported (in 99% of PC cases) other than via the cutouts at the back and the single PCI-E slot.

You would also install the motherboard in the case before installing the GPU, rather than installing them in a single step.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 11:38 am

Mentawl wrote:I'm a bit confused by this - every GPU, even one that uses 3 slots on the back panel of the case, only has a single point of contact with the motherboard - the PCI-E slot.

Precisely, and dual-width GPU is heavier than single-width GPU. When the mobo is turned side up (like on this picture), then the GPU will be hanging off the PCI slot. Once I had a Pentium II legacy system with crappy CPU Retention Module, so the Pentium II CPU basically hung off its slot without additional support. It eventually suffered from contact problems.

I wonder if I would be safer with the Node, as Terra_Nocuus has explained:
Terra_Nocuus wrote:Another thing that's nice about the Node is that the motherboard sits on the "bottom" of the case, so the GPU won't be hanging off the PCie slot. The case supports dual-width cards, as well... I think I've only seen one Lian Li mITX case that didn't have dual-width GPU support.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 11:41 am

SuperSpy wrote:If you don't need the 3.5" drive stack the Cooler Master Elite 120 has, you can go for the smaller Elite 110, which drops the conventional 3.5" drive rails, shaving off significant depth from the case, as well as having better cooling with a fully vented front face and 140mm front fan support. I've made quite a few machines on that case, and if you don't need a lot of drives, it's worth using over the 120.

Also I've built many machines on both the 110 and 120 so if you have any specific questions ask away, (I even have a 120 build running initial testing sitting behind my desk so if you wanted to know any specifics I can look/measure).

It seems I'll only use a single hard drive - just like with laptop. The backup goes to external USB enclosure hard drive. How many hard drive does the Elite 110 can accept?
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 11:58 am

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:
Mentawl wrote:I'm a bit confused by this - every GPU, even one that uses 3 slots on the back panel of the case, only has a single point of contact with the motherboard - the PCI-E slot.

Precisely, and dual-width GPU is heavier than single-width GPU. When the mobo is turned side up (like on this picture), then the GPU will be hanging off the PCI slot. Once I had a Pentium II legacy system with crappy CPU Retention Module, so the Pentium II CPU basically hung off its slot without additional support. It eventually suffered from contact problems.

I wonder if I would be safer with the Node, as Terra_Nocuus has explained:
Terra_Nocuus wrote:Another thing that's nice about the Node is that the motherboard sits on the "bottom" of the case, so the GPU won't be hanging off the PCie slot. The case supports dual-width cards, as well... I think I've only seen one Lian Li mITX case that didn't have dual-width GPU support.

This is confusing. Comparing with your example about the CPU retention module, video cards also cling onto the case slots (most likely with screws as well). So it will not be just the PCIe slot alone that is shouldering the weight. There should be no concern. I would worry more about heavy HSF bending the motherboard like your CPU retention module case.

BTW, there is a frontpage deal this weekend for a 450W SFX PSU. It should work. You don't need a 500W PSU as long as it is a good quality unit that supplies enough amps on the 12V rails. TR's review of the GTX 285 only shows ~330W on load, and that's at the wall.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 12:04 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:
Mentawl wrote:I'm a bit confused by this - every GPU, even one that uses 3 slots on the back panel of the case, only has a single point of contact with the motherboard - the PCI-E slot.

Precisely, and dual-width GPU is heavier than single-width GPU. When the mobo is turned side up (like on this picture), then the GPU will be hanging off the PCI slot. Once I had a Pentium II legacy system with crappy CPU Retention Module, so the Pentium II CPU basically hung off its slot without additional support. It eventually suffered from contact problems.

I wonder if I would be safer with the Node, as Terra_Nocuus has explained:
Terra_Nocuus wrote:Another thing that's nice about the Node is that the motherboard sits on the "bottom" of the case, so the GPU won't be hanging off the PCie slot. The case supports dual-width cards, as well... I think I've only seen one Lian Li mITX case that didn't have dual-width GPU support.

This is confusing. Comparing with your example about the CPU retention module, video cards also cling onto the case slots (most likely with screws as well). So it will not be just the PCIe slot alone that is shouldering the weight. There should be no concern. I would worry more about heavy HSF bending the motherboard like your CPU retention module case.

Ah, never mind then.

Flying Fox wrote:BTW, there is a frontpage deal this weekend for a 450W SFX PSU. It should work. You don't need a 500W PSU as long as it is a good quality unit that supplies enough amps on the 12V rails. TR's review of the GTX 285 only shows ~330W on load, and that's at the wall.

Interesting, thanks!
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri May 30, 2014 12:17 pm

Yeah, that PSU looks like a good match for a mITX box. You'd want a fully modular unit, so that you don't have extra cables taking up the limited space in a shoebox-style case.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Sat May 31, 2014 4:58 am

What you're worried about is a long card damaging the slot under its own weight, supported only by the PCI-E slot and a screw on one end?

That's not an issue, not even remotely, Cards are very secure when screwed in and the PCI-E slots are extremely robust.

A bigger concern is a cheap graphics card that has a pound or so of metal hanging off a fragile GPU with no backplate or frontplate to support the rest of the card. The glassfibre circuit board isn't usually stiff enough to take the weight by itself, and as your PC goes through hundreds of heatup/cooldown cycles, the board sags, eventually leading to damage and failure. I know there are millions of heavy graphics cards working just fine without a backplate or support bar, but I've had cards come back from RMA with a support bar fitted to repair the design. That pretty much proves that it's a real problem where the engineers lost the fight with the beancounters.

I guess those support bars and backplates add 50cents to the cost, and that's half a million bucks on a million cards.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:11 am

Anyway, I'm also tempted to use Silverstone SG-08 or SG-08 Lite (since Cubitek Mini Cube is pretty hard to find - Quiet PC USA is willing to ship internationally, but I cannot send them emails anymore since they treat is as spam). However, the Silverstone SG-08 specs mentioned the following:

"Limitation of PSU: 140mm (remove VGA Card if you want install up to 170mm)"

Silverstone SG-08 Lite doesn't mention such PSU limitation, but since it's basically the same dimension (it seems the SG-08 Lite is basically SG-08 without Silverstone custom-made PSU), I think the same limitation applies.

So which PSU has 600w (or at least 550w) of power, its length no longer than 140mm, and also has dual rails and 6 pin and 8 pin connectors?
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:43 am

I'd recommend getting the bundled Silverstone PSU. It's a decent unit and it's a reasonable price for what it is. Narrowing your choices to 140mm when searching is a chore, because you'd need to lookup every single model and the specs are sometimes quite hard to track down.

The PSU is mounted sideways in the SG08 so if it's too long it fouls the graphics card.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:08 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:I'd recommend getting the bundled Silverstone PSU. It's a decent unit and it's a reasonable price for what it is. Narrowing your choices to 140mm when searching is a chore, because you'd need to lookup every single model and the specs are sometimes quite hard to track down.

The PSU is mounted sideways in the SG08 so if it's too long it fouls the graphics card.

Well I have found a very interesting candidate: Zalman ZM700 GLX. It is single-rail and it can generate 52.5 ampere through its 12V+ rail. It's also 140mm-long (deep), so it could fit nicely.

Originally I wanted to use Zalman ZM700 LX instead, but according to SS tech support, its power in plug is too close to the edge. So I'm considering the GLX instead.

But what baffles me, Silverstone's technical support never told me about the impressive Silverstone's own Strider Essential Gold, which can generate 56 ampere through its 12V+ rail. Again, it's also 140mm-long.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:14 pm

By the way, a GTX 280 doesn't need dual rail PSU, does it? I mean, as long as the PSU's combined +12V can yield at least 40A, then it'll be fine, won't it?
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:53 am

No, it does not need dual-rails. The number of rails is irrelevant as long as the card gets the required amps from the connectors you plug into it.
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:16 am

I see, thanks!
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:59 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:No, it does not need dual-rails. The number of rails is irrelevant as long as the card gets the required amps from the connectors you plug into it.

Anyway, does GTX 280 have known problems with more than two rails? Let say, quad rails?

Found a quite impressive PSU: FSP AU-600 Aurum Gold, an 600 watt PSU with 80+ Gold certificate (very high efficiency). It generates a total of 72 amps from its +12V rails. However, it is a quad-rail PSU, which each +12V rail generates 18 amps. So the total 72 amps is divided in four rails. The PSU will work nicely with GTX 280, won't it?
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
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Re: Looking for mini-ITX case that accepts full ATX PSU

Postposted on Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:57 pm

Anyway, if you have to choose, which one is better? Zalman ZM700 GLX or Corsair CX 750?
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
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