Suggestions for a micro ATX case

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Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:28 pm

Once I finally retire my current (DESKTOP) system, I am looking to build a new Haswell-based PC. I would like it to a microATX system, based on the Asus Gryphon Z87 chipset. I was wondering what case to install this new PC. I was thinking about this one. If you have other suggestions, please let me know here.

My proposed system includes:
ASUS Gryphon Z87
Intel Core i5-4670K
Sapphire Radeon R7 260X
Silverstone modular 550W PSU

Thank you in advance.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:50 pm

I think the Define Mini is worth a look.
What made you go with the Gryphon over something like the OC Formula or G1 Sniper boards?
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:06 pm

I built a kind of similar microATX system (Gryphon Z87, 4770K, GTX 770) and put it in a TJ08B-E. I am very happy with the result. I'm no building expert, but I didn't encounter any big issues--it all went pretty smoothly, considering my relative lack of expertise.

The SG10B looks to be quite a bit smaller than the TJ08B-E (23 liters vs 30 liters) so it might be a bit cramped to work in. I'm sure it's doable, but I'd be a little wary. But if you're a fearless, intrepid builder, don't let me discourage you.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:01 pm

I use a Lian Li PC-V354B and like it a lot. I wanted something 'micro' and most other high-end cases have dimensions comparable to an ATX midtower. The only snag I ran into was routing the front fan cables. Do note that the motherboard screws onto the side panel of the case which might be bad if you expect to change the 5.25" drive very often.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:06 pm

TDIdriver wrote:I think the Define Mini is worth a look.
What made you go with the Gryphon over something like the OC Formula or G1 Sniper boards?


That ASRock Z87M OC Formula looks really good. It may obviate the need for a discrete soundcard, given my current speakers.

Thank you for your suggestions. The Temjin TJ08B-E looks most promising.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:49 am

TDIdriver wrote:I think the Define Mini is worth a look.

+1

Although it took some "work" to make it silent, and I'm still tweaking the setup. But, overall I'm quite pleased with the result.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:11 am

TDIdriver wrote:I think the Define Mini is worth a look.
What made you go with the Gryphon over something like the OC Formula or G1 Sniper boards?


I'm not keen on front doors so I went with Corsair 350d A little larger than most but everything including my dual fan AIO water cooler fits nicely in it. See my build HERE.

Also as for the G1.Sniper board. I went with it and use it but I'll will be totally honest with you.....STAY AWAY FROM IT! While it is a nice mobo it isnt without its issues. First of all I am not happy with the implementation of the KIller NIC. It just plain sucks. I wish it had an Intel NIC. And as for the on board Creative sound, yeah that sucks too. I eventually disabled it and placed my Asus Xonar back in.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:07 am

Coolermaster N200 is a great cheap mATX case.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:46 am

cjcerny wrote:Coolermaster N200 is a great cheap mATX case.


Agreed, and for a little more cash, their Silencio 352 is even better.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:05 am

I just recently did this myself.

Corsair obsidian 250d. So far everything is great. My temps are much lower than I was expecting.
Here is my build log.
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=92689
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:05 am

Chrispy_ wrote:Agreed, and for a little more cash, their Silencio 352 is even better.


The Cooler Master Silencio 352 looks like a great case. Too bad that Newegg does not have it and Amazon has to have the case shipped in from overseas.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:07 am

Gandolf wrote:I just recently did this myself.

Corsair obsidian 250d. So far everything is great. My temps are much lower than I was expecting.
Here is my build log.
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=92689


Great Job. I was looking for a micro ATX, not mini-ITX. The 350D is probably close to what you have.
Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:29 am

riviera74 wrote:
Gandolf wrote:I just recently did this myself.

Corsair obsidian 250d. So far everything is great. My temps are much lower than I was expecting.
Here is my build log.
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=92689


Great Job. I was looking for a micro ATX, not mini-ITX. The 350D is probably close to what you have.


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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:15 pm

TDIdriver wrote:I think the Define Mini is worth a look.
What made you go with the Gryphon over something like the OC Formula or G1 Sniper boards?

I second this. I use one myself and while it's a little big compared to some other micro ATX cases, the build quality and its features are really quite nice plus as a non-gamer and someone who enjoys non-tacky looking cases, it keeps a nice simple, professional look as well.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:40 pm

I have a Corsair 350D that I am very pleased with, however it is only a tiny bit smaller than my previous ATX case. Also, the Corsair cases are great for Corsair water coolers if you decide to go that route.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:39 pm

Most of the suggestions in this thread are for large cases. Cases like the Fractal Design Fine Mini or Corsair 350D are as large as many ATX cases. You're not gaining any size advantage but reducing the motherboard choices. Makes zero sense to go that route...
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:59 pm

I have the Asus Gryphon Z87 motherboard in a Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E case. It's been a good combination so far. With Asus' Thermal Radar 2 software, I've got the fans set to run nearly silently while browsing the web, but still spin up to provide excellent cooling during gaming.

The 23-liter Sugo SG10 case that you originally linked is an elegant triumph of packing a lot into a small space. Maybe they should have called it the T.A.R.D.I.S.
http://techreport.com/news/24179/silver ... components
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=89932
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:14 am

slowriot wrote:Most of the suggestions in this thread are for large cases. Cases like the Fractal Design Fine Mini or Corsair 350D are as large as many ATX cases. You're not gaining any size advantage but reducing the motherboard choices. Makes zero sense to go that route...


When you go from a full tower to the 350d it's like going from a mansion to an apartment. The 350d is small enough at least for me. There are a few features that I wanted and the 350d fit them all. So yes it does make sense to go that route.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:14 am

Another vote for the 350D.

I just built an identical system to yours, save for the PSU about 3 weeks ago. I am in love with this case. Not too big, not too small.

The PSU air filter has stopped a jaw-dropping amount of dust from entering my case. And the mesh grilles are super easy to remove for cleaning.
Last edited by eon_blue on Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:29 am

I build all the machines at work. That's about 10 builds in the last three years, which isn't much, but I've have been able to try some different cases.

Last build I used the Define R3 Mini. I hate it. It's bigger than an mATX case should be. The mesh dust filters require removing screws to clean. I don't like doors on cases. I generally don't like top-side positioning of connectors. Also, I don't like the bulge of the fan grilles on the top and side of the case. The one on the top is an annoyance when I have multiple USB drives connected to those top-facing USB ports.

JustAnEngineer wrote:Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E. It's been a good combination so far.
I've done a least five builds with this case. It presents minor annoyances, but overall is the best mATX case I've ever worked with.

The 23-liter Sugo SG10 case that you originally linked is an elegant triumph of packing a lot into a small space.
I'm intrigued by this case. I'll likely use it for the next build I do.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:51 am

jmcknight wrote:
TDIdriver wrote:I think the Define Mini is worth a look.
What made you go with the Gryphon over something like the OC Formula or G1 Sniper boards?

I second this. I use one myself and while it's a little big compared to some other micro ATX cases, the build quality and its features are really quite nice plus as a non-gamer and someone who enjoys non-tacky looking cases, it keeps a nice simple, professional look as well.



Third. I have done several builds with that case and it is put together well.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:23 am

While the Define might be a fine case there are some design features that are just ......bla. I am sure we have given the OP lost of choices to choose from.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:53 am

I seriously don't understand how someone could recommend the Fractal Define Mini. It doesn't have any advantages...

1. It's huge. Far larger than it should be for the limited capability.
2. Its very heavy. Even for its huge size its heavy.
3. Not quiet and poor cooling.

It doesn't do anything right out of the box other than look neat. Its one of my bigger regrets of cases I've bought.


tanker27 wrote:When you go from a full tower to the 350d it's like going from a mansion to an apartment. The 350d is small enough at least for me. There are a few features that I wanted and the 350d fit them all. So yes it does make sense to go that route.


No, it doesn't make sense. The same reduction in size would have been achieved with a smaller ATX case. If you're fine with a case the size of a 350D then you have numerous great ATX options open to you. Those options don't require you to get an mATX motherboard.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:20 am

Have you looked at the Fractal Design Core 1000? It is cheap (retails for around $35-40), relatively small and good enough to easily house a 260x.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:37 pm

I find it hard to recommend the Fractal Core 1000 - it does a few things I find horrible.

  • Foam fan filters that aren't removable for cleaning. They gunk up pretty horribly and are a nightmare.
  • It's flimsy, probably because there's no drive cage to give lateral support
  • There's nowhere to hide the spaghetti whatsoever, the only way to keep it tidy is judicious use of zip ties.
  • Drives need to be removed just to do something simple like changing a graphics card or some RAM, even more hassle when you have to cut all the zip ties.
  • The fit and finish isn't great. I know it's cheap and there's far nastier stuff on the market, but there are better-made cheap options from Coolermaster and Antec to name a couple.
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:52 am

What compact mATX cases (< 42cm deep) do Antec and CM offer?

Do you have a Core 1000?
There's no need to remove drives to change RAM and there's no need to remove the top HDD to change GPUs. The 5.25" bays could also be used for HDDs.
Why would you have to cut zip ties when you can just disconnect the cables?
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Re: Suggestions for a micro ATX case

Postposted on Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:10 pm

I'm putting together a very similar system to the OP in a Silverstone Precision PS09B. It's a tiny MicroATX case that can still accomodate 14" graphics card and 4 3.5" HDDs + 1 2.5" (floor mounted). But it's a tricky case to build in that's best for experienced and patient builders.
PROS: Very small (1516 cu. in), large GPU capability (14.1"), sound padding, 120mm intake fan (included) and 80mm front intake mount (empty), inexpensive
CONS: Cramped, 140mm CPU cooler height limit, 92mm exhaust fan mount (empty)

Some mATX case alternatives are:

Thermaltake Urban S1, $45 (2051 cu. in)
PROS: 5x3.5" HDD, 10.1" GPU, lots of vents
CONS: 80mm exhaust, intake fan not included (120mm mount)

Antec VSK-3000, $35 (1517 cu. in)
PROS: Inexpensive
CONS: No USB 3.0 front ports, 92mm intake (empty) and exhaust, no CPU backplate hole

Silverstone Precision PS07, $89 (1516 cu. in)
PROS: 2x120mm front intake fans, 120mm exhaust (empty), 6(!)x3.5" HDD bays, up to 165mm CPU cooler, up to 13.5" GPU, removable HDD cage
CONS: None that I can think of

Silverstone Temjin TJ-08E, $109, (1845 cu. in)
PROS: 180mm intake fan, 5x3.5"HDD+1x2.5" HDD, removable HDD cage, external PSU air feed, large CPU cooler and GPU capacity (can't find specs, but should be similar to PS07)
CONS: Price

Lian-Li PC-A04B, $79, (2037 cu. in)
PROS: 2x120mm intake fans, 1x120mm exhaust fan, 1x80mm exhaust (empty), 7(!)x3.5 in HDDs, Max GPU length 14.5" (requires removing one HDD cage)
CONS: Only 1 USB 3.0 front port

Corsair 350D, $79, (2484 cu. in)
PROS: 140mm intake, 120mm exhaust, lots of space to build in, up to 14.6" GPU, top mount for 240 mm radiator
CONS: very large for mATX case, only 2x3.5" HDD bays

There are several options I haven't gotten around to covering (Define Mini, Nanoxia Deep Silence 4 Mini), but this should give you a good idea of what to expect from a mATX case. Personally, I think either the Lian Li PC A04B or Silverstone PS07 strike the best balance between size, features and cost. The 350D gets recommended a lot, but it's stupid big for a mATX case (IMO) and is really best suited for users who intend to mount a 240 mm radiator.
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