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Airmantharp
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Re: Form factor trends

Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:58 am

just brew it! wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:
But 5.25" bays? My next case, a Define R5 White, will have those removed. I do have a full-size Blu-ray burner in a USB3/eSATA enclosure for the ifs and whens.

I still like to have at least a couple of 5.25" bays. My current system has 3, all of them occupied: DVD drive, 3.5" hot swap bay, and dual 2.5" hot swap bay. Granted, I only use the DVD drive to rip audio CDs these days (which could easily be done with an external instead), but I do like having the hot swap bays.


My old Define R3 has a hot-swap bay in it; it may get the optical drive too in the future, as a legacy machine (I think I have enough Core 2 era parts!). Right now that bay isn't working, though, and I haven't been bothered to troubleshoot it...
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demolition
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Re: Form factor trends

Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:09 am

I would much rather have a big clunky tower underneath my desk than a small one taking up valuable desk space. I have lots of room underneath the desk that I am not using for anything else anyway. To save further desk space, I also prefer to have 5 1/4" bays where things are easily accessible. Currently this is a DVD-writer (mainly used for ripping audio CDs), a BD drive, a breakout box for my internal SB X-Fi so I can keep my headphones connected there and have a manual volume control for them and lastly I have a 3½" HDD dock which I am also using regularly. In the 3½" bay I have a card reader. If I were to replace the case with one without external drive bays, I'd need lots of small boxes on my desk to cover these use cases.

I value desk space so much that I have actually also wall-mounted my two monitors and speakers. I live in a small apartment and this desk is my main work area so one needs to be inventive to cram as much functionality into the same space as possible.

I really do like the design of the Taku though, but I wouldn't have it as my main computer. I am trying to think of other places I could use it so I have an excuse to getting one. :-)
 
Airmantharp
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Re: Form factor trends

Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:56 am

demolition wrote:
I really do like the design of the Taku though, but I wouldn't have it as my main computer. I am trying to think of other places I could use it so I have an excuse to getting one. :-)



I know, right?

I'm gonna set up the build as a Linux/W10 dual-boot, and have it available for visitors to game on, etc. outside of the 'man cave'.
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Re: Form factor trends

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:03 am

demolition wrote:
I would much rather have a big clunky tower underneath my desk than a small one taking up valuable desk space. I have lots of room underneath the desk that I am not using for anything else anyway.

I used to feel this way. but got tired of the dust issues that keeping the PC on the floor creates. My current system is on a table next to the desk.

demolition wrote:
To save further desk space, I also prefer to have 5 1/4" bays where things are easily accessible. Currently this is a DVD-writer (mainly used for ripping audio CDs), a BD drive, a breakout box for my internal SB X-Fi so I can keep my headphones connected there and have a manual volume control for them and lastly I have a 3½" HDD dock which I am also using regularly. In the 3½" bay I have a card reader. If I were to replace the case with one without external drive bays, I'd need lots of small boxes on my desk to cover these use cases.

Yeah, some people seem to ignore this sort of stuff.

FWIW I solved the external-volume-knob-for-headphones issue with an external headphone amp, which I double-sided-taped to the top of one of my speakers.
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Re: Form factor trends

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:19 am

The Define R5 has 5.25" bays. Not sure why Airmantharp said otherwise. There's a door, you open the door, and there are bays. The cage is removable, maybe that's what he means.

Pics: http://techreport.com/review/27719/frac ... e-reviewed

The Define S has no front bays, if that's what you want.
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Re: Form factor trends

Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:08 am

just brew it! wrote:
demolition wrote:
I would much rather have a big clunky tower underneath my desk than a small one taking up valuable desk space. I have lots of room underneath the desk that I am not using for anything else anyway.

I used to feel this way. but got tired of the dust issues that keeping the PC on the floor creates. My current system is on a table next to the desk.
FWIW I solved the external-volume-knob-for-headphones issue with an external headphone amp, which I double-sided-taped to the top of one of my speakers.

I never had significant dust issues with my PC eventhough I have always had it standing on the floor. The case (Antec P182) has dust filters in the front where the majority of the air is flowing in and I vacuum those maybe once a year but that is about it. There's hardly any dust to be found inside the case and I have never had to clean any of the fans. Perhaps the fact that I have wall-to-wall carpet is keeping most of the dust from flying around the room as it is stuck in the carpet until I can be bothered to pull out the vacuum cleaner. :-)

For my speakers, I am using a passive volume control fixed to the underside of my desk to the left of where I sit, so I guess that is not unlike your headphone knob solution.
 
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Re: Form factor trends

Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:10 pm

demolition wrote:
I never had significant dust issues with my PC eventhough I have always had it standing on the floor. The case (Antec P182) has dust filters in the front where the majority of the air is flowing in and I vacuum those maybe once a year but that is about it. There's hardly any dust to be found inside the case and I have never had to clean any of the fans. Perhaps the fact that I have wall-to-wall carpet is keeping most of the dust from flying around the room as it is stuck in the carpet until I can be bothered to pull out the vacuum cleaner. :-)

Climate makes a vast difference in the amount of ambient dust running around, as does the presence (or not) of pets and children.
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Airmantharp
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Re: Form factor trends

Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:19 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
The Define R5 has 5.25" bays. Not sure why Airmantharp said otherwise. There's a door, you open the door, and there are bays. The cage is removable, maybe that's what he means.

Pics: http://techreport.com/review/27719/frac ... e-reviewed

The Define S has no front bays, if that's what you want.


Emphasis added- yup, I mean to yank them out, not that they're not there at all!

An H115i 280mm closed-loop cooler for an 8700k will be taking up the front two 140mm positions up top, while the back position will get the closed-loop radiator from my 1080Ti. Only the bottom drive cage will remain for the requisite spinners.

[in other news, I've got everything coming for the Taku except the Taku (which remains pre-ordered) and the SFX power supply- once all parts get here, I'll be using the R3 to prototype the 6700k ITX build...]
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Wren
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Re: Form factor trends

Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:13 pm

I have just ordered a Silverstone ML08B-H for my next build :)

I think the highlight of the build is the fact that I actually destroyed my budget and went and bought an Intel Optane 900P 2.5" drive. Lol.

Anyway back to cases, I love small mITX cases, the ultra-compact ones. Anything that takes a regular ATX PSU is too big for me. (I do have a BitFenix Prodigy and Corsair 380T but both were too big for my "tiny PC theme")... The Slimmer the better, because I love how they draw comparisons to consoles - yet are so much more powerful.

My favourites are Fractal Design Node 202, Silverstone ML08B and the handle version, and Silverstone FTZ01B. Although I also have an SG05 laying around that is quite cute too. :)

I did consider the even smaller ML06B which is also a very nice case but would have to be limited to a GTX 1050 Ti maximum because it's low profile. Which isn't too bad I guess. But still waiting for an Xbox One X-class APU to be released with HBM maybe for something gaming capable with a low TDP that would fit in my old Antec ISK-110. That would be really cool :)
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Re: Form factor trends

Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:20 pm

I wish Silverstone made an upmarket version of the SG05. It's a great little case but it's just a bit cheap and flimsy.

I'd pay 3x more to have the frame made out of a stronger steel and an anodised alloy shell rather than the badly-painted steel. Given the premium that mITX components command, there is obviously a market demographic willing to spend above average for their gear, so why make it cheap and nasty?
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Re: Form factor trends

Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:39 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
I wish Silverstone made an upmarket version of the SG05. It's a great little case but it's just a bit cheap and flimsy.

I'd pay 3x more to have the frame made out of a stronger steel and an anodised alloy shell rather than the badly-painted steel. Given the premium that mITX components command, there is obviously a market demographic willing to spend above average for their gear, so why make it cheap and nasty?


+1 Yeah, I agree with you. Mine's quite old and it's bent and scratched a bit :/ It's shame because it's probably the smallest (I think?) mITX case that can actually fit a decent size AIO. I managed to squeeze an H80i into mine back when I had an i7 4790K. Overclocked to 4.6 GHz in that tiny box with an R9 Nano. Those were the days ^_^ Trying to find the pic...
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Re: Form factor trends

Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:02 pm

That's just the usual race to the bottom, I guess. It probably doesn't help that most people think anodizing is something that's really hard and very expensive. It's actually something you can do at home without too much trouble. When I did it as part of a project it did make the place smell like pool chemicals for a day or so though, so there's that.
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Airmantharp
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Re: Form factor trends

Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:23 am

Redocbew wrote:
That's just the usual race to the bottom, I guess. It probably doesn't help that most people think anodizing is something that's really hard and very expensive. It's actually something you can do at home without too much trouble. When I did it as part of a project it did make the place smell like pool chemicals for a day or so though, so there's that.


Eh, every fractional cost to BoM increases end-price significantly, not the least of which is due to lost sales to competitors who are willing to skip the frills and sell lower.

But I'm with Chrispy_ on this: it'd be nice if they took the basic frame and reinforced it. I'm no fan of cheap PC cases, and regularly keep them for half a decade- longer if they don't disintegrate between upgrades and moves and occasional roughing up.
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Re: Form factor trends

Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:47 am

Airmantharp wrote:
But I'm with Chrispy_ on this: it'd be nice if they took the basic frame and reinforced it. I'm no fan of cheap PC cases, and regularly keep them for half a decade- longer if they don't disintegrate between upgrades and moves and occasional roughing up.

There's a good chance I'll still be using my old Chieftec full towers for my home server builds when they're past the 2 decade mark. They're at around the 1.5 decade mark already, and current gen motherboards are still ATX (I typically use hardware from about 2 generations back for my home servers).
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Airmantharp
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Re: Form factor trends

Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:18 am

just brew it! wrote:
There's a good chance I'll still be using my old Chieftec full towers for my home server builds when they're past the 2 decade mark. They're at around the 1.5 decade mark already, and current gen motherboards are still ATX (I typically use hardware from about 2 generations back for my home servers).

Got an old Lian Li PC-61 that is housing a desktop for a sibling, I know what you mean, and if I'd ever bothered to build a home server, it'd probably also be housed in whatever it started with. For another example: My Define R3 still works, and still works great, even though I've destroyed one of the two USB3 ports up top, ports that I bought a kit for from Fractal Design because the case shipped with USB2 ports (which I also probably destroyed- I'm good at that). I haven't bothered to repair those again because I simply don't need access to USB ports that often, and this Define R3 case, which is six or seven years old itself, might become a server of sorts. It's black, has all of its noise insulating panels (they're around somewhere), and has all of its drive trays, so it'll be perfect for the 'out of sight, out of mind' role I think.

But for performance and/or gaming desktops, and I'm sure you'll agree at least somewhat... things change :D

I'm moving to the Define R5 because I want to be able to put a larger CPU closed-loop cooler up top with the GPU closed-loop cooler on the back, and this configuration is not possible with the R3; not only are the drive cages non-removable, but the case is just a little too compact, as there's no room for a radiator and fan assembly above the motherboard. The 8700k I have coming will get baselined, delided, and then it's getting the screws, thus the desire to house a 280mm radiator and a streamlining of airflow- the 120mm closed-loop cooler that came with the 1080Ti is currently exhausting out of the bottom of the case! I'm looking for 5.0GHz for all cores under load for that one if I can, while my 6700k is good for 4.5GHz max with an H80i (120mm double-fan closed-loop cooler).

And you know that I'm doing this almost completely for fun: the Cryorg Taku that's receiving my 6700k is in no way a thrifty purchase, but it's at least mostly functional. It'll be part of a 'clean' workspace, something which I find ironic when I'll be using it to work with Linux builds that will probably be blown up weekly. I find that a little irony makes me more productive ;)
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Re: Form factor trends

Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:37 am

Airmantharp wrote:
But for performance and/or gaming desktops, and I'm sure you'll agree at least somewhat... things change :D

I'd add "quiet" to "performance and/or gaming". Those Chieftecs are built like a tank and are a breeze to work inside of because everything's spread out, but the lack of exhaust ports larger than 80mm and inability to fit tall tower coolers means it is difficult to build a really quiet system. The home server lives out of earshot (in the crawlspace), so the noise isn't an issue.
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Airmantharp
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Re: Form factor trends

Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:51 am

just brew it! wrote:
I'd add "quiet" to "performance and/or gaming". Those Chieftecs are built like a tank and are a breeze to work inside of because everything's spread out, but the lack of exhaust ports larger than 80mm and inability to fit tall tower coolers means it is difficult to build a really quiet system. The home server lives out of earshot (in the crawlspace), so the noise isn't an issue.


No doubt! After my younger years of balls-to-the-wall overclocking with small-diameter fans and Klipsh surround speakers, I go for quiet these days, regardless of performance targets...

I'm not worried about the desktop, pushing an OC'd 8700k and 1080Ti, the GPU is already silent at >2GHz under load (which is wild!), but I am kind of worried about the 6700k and GTX970 in the Taku. I have a Cryorg C7 coming for the CPU, which I expect will be a bit of a limitation, but the real problem child is the 92mm 'circulation' fan. Going to have to be careful with the first build out to make sure that everything is comfortable :D.
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Re: Form factor trends

Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:57 am

just brew it! wrote:
The lack of exhaust ports larger than 80 mm means...
...that those obsolete cases are long past having any usefulness.

I still have 3-5/8" hole saw in my tool chest that I used for cutting blow holes in those cases for 92 mm fans.
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Re: Form factor trends

Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:37 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
The lack of exhaust ports larger than 80 mm means...
...that those obsolete cases are long past having any usefulness.

...unless the system is somewhere that nobody can hear the fans.

I can fit 12 3.5" HDDs in them, half of those accessible via external hot swap bays. For a server build, that's pretty good for a "free" case. (I did learn that a full tower with 8 HDDs already installed is *really* heavy though; lifting it into the crawlspace was a little challenging.)
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Re: Form factor trends

Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:25 pm

...or the person can't hear the fans in the system. :lol: I've commented before I have one of the Antec versions of that case. Asked my father three times about the noise of the system under his desk but to his ear he just doesn't hear it nor does it bother him. That case is well past a decade in age. Hadn't given a thought to the fans in it but they're still working last I went to fix an issue on his system. (He'd managed to trigger the BIOS flash screen by leaving a TV remote sitting on the DEL key when powering it up, and the strong warning displayed about flashing had worried him).

The 80mm fans in that thing have to be ancient though, can't even remember the last time I replaced one.
 
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Re: Form factor trends

Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:04 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:
there is still a long way to go in the form of the desktop PC to make them worth having over a laptop/tablet/phone.

What? The desktop PC is all about massive amounts of computing power and the ability to upgrade key components. That is what makes them worth having over a laptop/tablet/phone.


SpotTheCat wrote:
Nobody needs 5.25" drives. Good to see these go, I didn't use them a decade ago, and I sure won't use them now. Good job, industry.
Next up is 3.5" drives. I only use 3.5" drives because they are left over. I use an M2 SSD as my main drive and I love it. We won't need 3.5" drives soon, though they may linger until they feel like a 200GB HDD does today.
There shouldn't be a need for dedicated cards other than graphics... Why is full size ATX still a thing? Micro ATX is huge. How expensive is WiFi that it isn't included on a default motherboard vs a second Ethernet port? Nobody should crave a dedicated audio card... "just" figure out one good enough for everybody that you can integrate for less than a dollar and sell a few tens of millions of it over a decade... what are all of those expansion slots actually used for? Likely nothing. Enthusiasts prefer today's performance over compatibility with last week's technology.
I want AMD and Intel to start selling CPUs outside of the current LGA/socket setup and do non-removable integrations with board partners without a need for chipsets and replaceable RAM... sort of like buying a graphics card. This would enable cheaper devices, fewer purchased components and compatibility issues for the user, less user-handling, and smaller/cheaper desktops could be built by leveraging mechanical advantages over legacy (~1993) system designs.

Hopefully in a decade cases can progress as much as they have... The P180 is bigger than the PCs I used in the early 90's. Hopefully the big 500+ watt PCs can keep coming down in size/cost over the next decade. I think to stay relevant they'll have to be much smaller and better integrated than my current PC.

My most recent build used a Corsair 400Q.. I'm just using M.2 drives so the case looks empty. You may complain about ATX motherboars but ATX sized cases are beneficial for cooling (360mm rad compatible). The 400Q is a very small case and tucks neatly out of the way.

I've given up on the HTPC - replaced by both an Apple TV 4K and a Chromecast Ultra. I'll AirPlay my desktop over to the HDTV if I want to use the HDTV as a display.
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Re: Form factor trends

Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:48 pm

I don't know why mini ITX cases that are actually small aren't more popular. Most mini ITX cases are bigger than my current micro ATX case.

Check out the Antec ISK 110, if you don't need dedicated graphics or something other expansion card it's very compact.
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Wren
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Re: Form factor trends

Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:58 pm

Well, I finally got it built:

Image

Had a little snag, though. The 900P is too thick to go in the ML08B's 2.5" drive cages, so I had to improvise and used some thermal adhesive tape to stick it where the slim optical drive would have gone. Actually worked out quite well. Just hope the tape doesn't damage the drive surface :/ I guess it'll also help transfer heat from the drive to the case?

Other than some slight popping on the Motherboard's onboard sound (I am using HDMI audio now though), it went quite well :D Lovely case!

spiritwalker2222 wrote:
Check out the Antec ISK 110, if you don't need dedicated graphics or something other expansion card it's very compact.

It's a lovely little case, I was thinking about building an AM4 Raven Ridge APU system in one for the living room to replace my Athlon 5350 HTPC.
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