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Doctor Venture
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Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:24 pm

My current gaming rig/office PC has an old i7-2600K Sandy Bridge, with an SSD for the boot drive, an HD7950 Radeon, and a bunch of multi-TB HDDs crammed into a HAF 932 case. It's served me well thus far, but I'm thinking about upgrading to a smaller mATX case, with a i7-7700K Kaby Lake (unless I wait for Coffee/Cannon Lake), and maybe get a 1070 or 1080 GFX card.

I've been looking at a few mATX cases, and am curious about what you kind folks might recommend as a good, high air flow case. If I end up taking the plunge and getting it now, What would be a good case that would let me use CLC systems for the CPU and the GFX card, while adding extra intake fans on the SSD/HDD side? The one thing I hate, is the trend to have one side be solid glass, since that cuts down on possible mounts for more intake fans. I've been eyeballing cases like a Fractal 840 (?) or on of the smaller Carbides.

If the CLCs for the GFX card and CPU only come with 80 or 120mm radiators, could I stick both up front, add a few more Noctua fans as intakes, with two as exhausts? I'm willing to forgo most of the extra HDDs in my current system, and just buy a NAS, and use it for long term storage.

Any ideas? Or am I just being an idiot (as usual)?

EDIT: I looked at the bulldog, which might be cool, and I like the idea of the Corsair ONE, but there's zero chance of my spending almost $3000 for a prebuilt Corsair One.
 
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Re: Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:17 am

Search on Youtube with a case you kind of like and see what shows up in recommended videos section. Besides what the reviewer says. That's how i got my case idea. Visually seeing how parts fit in gives best idea if you like case. (Im m-ITX so not up to date with m-ATX)

But i have to say, from your other thread, is there a reason for such a "very good" gaming PC? If you've been fine with HD7950 all this time and haven't felt need to upgrade. You could save a lot of money just running Windows 10 Pro on the TR build and using Hyper-V for your VMs. Unless there is special need for ESXi's better device pass through. Win 10's Hyper-v can do physical disk passthrough just fine. And Threadripper will be just fine for gaming if you don't need absolute "it's your actual income" level gaming performance. The native VMConnect app on Win 10 is rock solid. I watch 1080p YT videos in there just fine. The VMConnect client runs at 30Hz btw, not 60. I do all my work inside a Win 10 Pro guest VM.
 
Doctor Venture
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Re: Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:56 am

well, the gaming performance with Threadripper isn't all that great, and I was wanting to devote that to be just a workstation anyway. Some of the newer games don't run run all that great on my current PC, so I'm leaning to the i7 7700K Kaby Lake (speaking of, has anyone here used Silicon Lottery to de-lid their CPUs, and had good experiences with that company?). along with an Nvidia 1070 or 1080 for a change, and maybe plop in 64GB RAM.

I was just thinking about getting a smaller, high airflow case, so I could liquid cool both the CPU and GPU, add some Noctua intake fans on the system side, add a couple of SSDs and HDDs on the other side, and include more Noctua intake case fans, and then have a a few noctua exhaust fans.

Don't get me wrong, I like my current system and all, but it's definitely getting long in the tooth. When I get a new gaming rig, I'm considering semi-retiring this one, and only play older DX11 games, some of the older games from GOG, and then emulated stuff.

EDIT: BTW, most of the VMs I use do not have Hyper-V versions. The bulk are ESXi, Qemu, and only rarely Citrix. I've never seen a Hyper-V version of the VMs I use. To give you an example, I tend to run mostly networking stuff, like vMX, vQFX-10K, NX-OSv 9k, XRv-9K, CSR1000v, VMware NSX, some Firewall and Loadbalancer VMs from several vendors, some Qemu/KVM VMs, like from VIRL, Arista, Extreme Networks, CumulusVX, custom Alpine Linux servers I've made, as well as some OpenStack deployments that use docker containers and Kubernetes for orchestration, Ansible/Puppet/Chef/Salt, SolarWinds, Nagios, Ganglia, etc....
 
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Re: Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:16 am

It depends if you're after something very compact or not.

Great airflow generally means either a physically larger case, at which point mATX seems a bit pointless, or something weird like the Silverstone TJ08-E which is pretty cramped and requires that you give up the lower drive cage to give you genuinely decent airflow from the 180mm front intake.

In saying that, I quite like the TJ08-E for a system that prioritises the GPU and has an air-cooled CPU because you can put an SSD or two at the bottom below the 180mm intake and then convert one or both 5.25" bays to a silenced 3.5" disk bay with suspension caddies.
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Re: Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:55 am

You'd need a lot of fan mounts, and mATX cases rarely have enough. I've never personally seen an mATX case that could quietly cool high-end components, which is why I still use a tower.

Things like the Hadron Hydro are neat and look good on paper, but loud as hell under any sort of load.
 
Doctor Venture
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Re: Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:05 pm

Kougar wrote:
You'd need a lot of fan mounts, and mATX cases rarely have enough. I've never personally seen an mATX case that could quietly cool high-end components, which is why I still use a tower.

Things like the Hadron Hydro are neat and look good on paper, but loud as hell under any sort of load.


These are the smaller, high air flow cases I was looking at, for a potential Kaby Lake and Geforce 1070 or 1080 build (I included the fan mounts listed in the specs, with links to them on NewEgg):

Corsair Carbide 240 High Air Flow

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139044

Rear 2x 80mm
Front 2x 120mm
Top 2x 120mm
Side 1x 120mm

(the 2x 120mm bottom fans are only available if you use a mini-itx motherboard


Fractal Design Node 804

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352047

Front 4x 120mm
Rear 1x 120mm/140mm
Rear 1x 120mm
Top 4x 120/140mm

HAF XB EVO

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119265

Front 2x 120/140mm
Rear 1x120mm or 1x80mm
Top 1x200mm

I really like the look of the Corsair One, especially since the motherboard is on one side, and the 1080TI is on the other, and both use CLC for cooling:
http://www.corsair.com/en-us/landing/one

There's no way in hell I'd pay over $2700 for it, especially since it only comes with 16GB RAM, a 2TB HDD, and a miserly 480GB M.2 SSD.


Now, for the threadripper build, I'm likely going to get either another HAF 932 Advanced, or a HAF X:

HAF 932 Advanced (I currently have this case for my Sandy Bridge PC, and it's really quiet)

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160

Rear - 1x140mm
Front - 1x230mm
Side 1x230mm (or 4x 120mm)
Top - 1x230mm or 3x120mm

HAF X

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119225

Rear - 1x140mm
Top - 2x200mm
Side 1x200mm
Front 1x230mm
 
Kougar
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Re: Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:29 am

I just say upfront that I think you will be hard pressed to find an 80mm fan that moves a lot of air but isn't loud.

Doctor Venture wrote:
[

Now, for the threadripper build, I'm likely going to get either another HAF 932 Advanced, or a HAF X:


My old tower is a HAF-X, didn't even realize they still sell them. It has alternate mounts for dual 140mm fans in the top, I added a third pair and mounted a triple 140mm radiator up there. It moves a good volume of airflow to keep high-end parts cool under 24/7 load but remains pretty quiet doing it. As of right now under full load a 1080 Ti is 41c, 4970K @ 4.2Ghz is ~60c

If you have any questions about the HAF-X I can try to answer them, I would definitely recommend it over the 932 if nothing else. My main gripe would probably be insufficient space behind the back panel to properly route cables for a really clean look. I have a bunch of loose SSDs hiding in the drive bay (more than was intended) so all the cabling gets squished when closing the case panel, was forced to route some cables in the open. That said I was never any good at clean photogenic builds anyway. :lol:
 
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Re: Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:44 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
Silverstone TJ08-E which is pretty cramped and requires that you give up the lower drive cage to give you genuinely decent airflow from the 180mm front intake.

I have the PS07 which is the same internal layout as the TJ08-E but with 2x120mm front fans instead. My brother has the TJ08-E.
I'd actually argue that the drive cage BENEFITS the airflow by channeling air toward the CPU. Meanwhile, there is still enough of the 180mm fan sticking above the drive cage to get air to the GPU.
It's actually almost preferential to go with a 120mm CLC mounted on the rear exhaust fan mount to provide ample space inside. I have a tower air cooler, my brother has a 120mm CLC. His is much easier to work in than mine.
FYI we both have a 3.5" hdd in the bottom slot (below the removable cage) and a 2.5" SSD in the drive cage. A more modern build may swap the 2.5" SSD for an M.2 SSD hence leaving the drive cage empty and able to be removed if desired. I'm pretty sure that would allow me to put a 240mm rad in the front of my [PS07] case.

Phanteks Enthoo Evolv is another one I like a lot.
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Doctor Venture
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Re: Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:28 am

Kougar wrote:
I just say upfront that I think you will be hard pressed to find an 80mm fan that moves a lot of air but isn't loud.


Even the 80mm Noctua's? That sucks... :/

Doctor Venture wrote:
[

Now, for the threadripper build, I'm likely going to get either another HAF 932 Advanced, or a HAF X:


Kougar wrote:
My old tower is a HAF-X, didn't even realize they still sell them. It has alternate mounts for dual 140mm fans in the top, I added a third pair and mounted a triple 140mm radiator up there. It moves a good volume of airflow to keep high-end parts cool under 24/7 load but remains pretty quiet doing it. As of right now under full load a 1080 Ti is 41c, 4970K @ 4.2Ghz is ~60c

If you have any questions about the HAF-X I can try to answer them, I would definitely recommend it over the 932 if nothing else. My main gripe would probably be insufficient space behind the back panel to properly route cables for a really clean look. I have a bunch of loose SSDs hiding in the drive bay (more than was intended) so all the cabling gets squished when closing the case panel, was forced to route some cables in the open. That said I was never any good at clean photogenic builds anyway. :lol:


Yeah, the 932 didn't have enough room for cable routing, either. One other thing that ticked me off about it, was that the HDD cage up front has slots for 6 drives, but you'll never fit that many in there. The SATA cables with the angled ends would get in each others way, and the slides would refuse to fit flush. I only managed to get 4 in there.

Does the HAF-X have the PSU on the bottom, and support E-ATX boards, too? As of last week, only two ASUS TR boards were E-ATX (the rest were ATX), but I'm hoping to keep that thing nice and and cool, for longevity sake. Just from looking at the picture last night, I wasn't too enamored with the extra glass on the side of the HAF X case. at least the 932 just has that one rectangle that's high enough to let me see the status lights on the motherboard. I *really* hate the trend, where one entire side is glass. I could use that room for extra case fans (and a hub/splitter/whatever it's called)

Same with the Kaby Lake build. I'm hoping either the Fractal 804 or Carbide 240 will let me have enough room for the CPU and a 1080 to each have a CLC, as well as plenty of Noctua case fans for intakes and exhausts. One thing I particularly like about the Carbide, is that partition inside it, so the drives and cable routing (and maybe PSU?) stay on the non-motherboard side, and there's at least one fan on that side.

With the 932, I've got fans in front, top, rear, and that massive fan I replaced with several Noctua's. It keeps the Sandy Bridge and the 7950 reasonably cool, while almost maxing out the CPU and RAM, with a couple of hefty VMs in Workstation Pro.
 
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Re: Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:09 pm

I know nothing about 80mm Noctuas, didn't even know they made any. :) The 140mm Noctua fans I use in my HAF-X are actually on the loud side until I undervolt them, I wasn't conservative enough with the base RPM speeds when I got them, and they don't become background noise until around 850rpm.

The HAF-X does have the PSU on the bottom, it can be mounted either direction but I mounted mine with the fan down. My fear of it sucking in dust is less than my fear of dropping a screw into it or something with it running, I would rather just datavac the thing extra well. :lol: Yes it does support E-ATX. No, that is NOT a glass side panel, it is cheap plastic held in with cheap plastic rivets (same as the 932, but it isn't tinted).

The giant 200mm fans in mine have not worn out yet which surprised me given they're something around 7 years old now. However the 140mm sleeve fan on the back wore out after just a few years so I replaced that early on. Second thing I forgot to mention is the hole to access CPU mounting plates doesn't line up with most motherboards, so don't count on having access to the mounting bracket with the board mounted. If yer still interested in one, be aware it came in a model with a Red and another with Blue for the front fan glow. I do with I had the blue, but I'd bought mine before the blue model was even announced... :lol:
 
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Re: Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:06 pm

DPete27 wrote:
It's actually almost preferential to go with a 120mm CLC mounted on the rear exhaust fan mount to provide ample space inside the Temjin TJ08-E.
That's what I did with my TJ08-E. With patient tweaking using custom fan profiles for Asus' ThermalRadar 2 and my Radeon R9-290's power profile, I was able to have a system that was silent while browsing the web and acceptably quiet while gaming.
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Doctor Venture
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Re: Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:08 pm

Kougar wrote:
I know nothing about 80mm Noctuas, didn't even know they made any. :) The 140mm Noctua fans I use in my HAF-X are actually on the loud side until I undervolt them, I wasn't conservative enough with the base RPM speeds when I got them, and they don't become background noise until around 850rpm.
Huh. Were those the models with the vibration dampers on them? I've used those for a few builds for friends, and those things are nice and quiet.

Kougar wrote:
The HAF-X does have the PSU on the bottom, it can be mounted either direction but I mounted mine with the fan down. My fear of it sucking in dust is less than my fear of dropping a screw into it or something with it running, I would rather just datavac the thing extra well. :lol: Yes it does support E-ATX. No, that is NOT a glass side panel, it is cheap plastic held in with cheap plastic rivets (same as the 932, but it isn't tinted).
It's been 6 years since I put together the 932, but I think bottom mounting the PSU was the only option (I could be wrong). My motherboard is an old Asus ATX P8Z68-V Gen3, so it's not like it took up all the room at the top, or anything. I'm glad to hear that both the 932 and the HAF-X support E-ATX, since I'm leaning towards using one of those cases for the threadripper. I'll just need at least one fan hub/splitter, and one of the mobo's that has a fan input for a CLC.

So that was plastic on the side, huh?I guess it was just the shininess on the NewEgg Photo that threw me off.. Must've have been a kneejerk reaction, after all those cases with one side being tempered glass. Blech.

Kougar wrote:
The giant 200mm fans in mine have not worn out yet which surprised me given they're something around 7 years old now. However the 140mm sleeve fan on the back wore out after just a few years so I replaced that early on. Second thing I forgot to mention is the hole to access CPU mounting plates doesn't line up with most motherboards, so don't count on having access to the mounting bracket with the board mounted. If yer still interested in one, be aware it came in a model with a Red and another with Blue for the front fan glow. I do with I had the blue, but I'd bought mine before the blue model was even announced... :lol:
*Knock on wood*, but none of my fans have gone tits up yet (I bet I just jinxed myself). I'm hoping to get a memory and storage loaded out threadripper workstation, and a nice gaming rig pretty soon. That way, I can put this Win7 box off to the side, and just use it to play classic games, or emulators.
 
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Re: Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:22 am

Fractal Design, for two reasons:

1) They have an option at every motherboard style and include a lot of thoughtful options for cable routing, fan additions, filtering, and water cooling.
2) They have sponsored the TechReport in the past.

I'm using a Define Nano S for my recent HTPC rebuild (nano-ITX, photos on page 2) but they have mATX designs that offer similar goodness.
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Re: Question about possible microATX case with high airflow

Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:14 am

Doctor Venture wrote:
Corsair Carbide 240 High Air Flow

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139044

Rear 2x 80mm
Front 2x 120mm
Top 2x 120mm
Side 1x 120mm

I used this case for my dad's mATX build, and it's excellent. The 2-tier design means that your PSU, drives, and most all the wiring can go below, leaving the upper area almost completely wide-open (I run the case with the window on top).

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