1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Need small case for mATX i5 build

Discussion in 'Cases, Modding & Electronics' started by mudkip, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. mudkip

    mudkip

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,226 (0.63/day)
    Thanks Received:
    148
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Hey you,

    I sold my i7 rig 5 months ago because I really need a powerful computer again for video/photo editing. My plan now was to build a new computer with the following components:

    Intel i5 750
    4GB DDR3
    Nexus Value 430 PSU
    Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 (mATX ofcourse)

    But now I'm looking for a small case so I need your suggestions.
    Requirements :
    -must be a small case
    -minimalistic design
    -not over 40cm (15,75 inches) in height.
    -must have options to install case fans for good airflow
    -good quality , I don't like resonance
    -not over 100$

    Some cases I found:

    Gigabyte GZ-M1 Small , good quality I've read some reviews, cheap but it you can only install 2 90mm fans.
    HKC 4670D Pro's :Small case, cheap, nice design also has 120mm fan front and 2 80mm mounting holes rear . Cons : i don't know anything about the build quality of the case.
    Chieftec UNI BD-02B-B / Chieftec Smart SD-01B-BPro's : 3 x 90mm fan option. Cons: doesn't look so good, relatively expensive.
    Silverstone SST-SG02B SUGO Pro's : looks nice , 3 80mm fans. con's : maybe too small for a good cpu cooler to keep the i5 cool , expensive.
    Lian Li PC-A05N Pro's : Very neat looking, good build quality , 2 x 120mm fans and still relatively small. Cons: EXPENSIVE.
    Silverstone TJ08Pro's : 2 x 120mm fans, good build quality. Con's: expensive, old model (2006), relatively big.

    So these are the cases I've found so far and I don't know which to choose.
    Please let me know if you know another case I could buy and which one you think I should buy.
  2. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    7,407 (5.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,906
    DUDE go for the CHENBRO mini tower cases. these cases are awsome, and customisable by order to a large extent!!!

    www.chenbro.com
  3. mudkip

    mudkip

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,226 (0.63/day)
    Thanks Received:
    148
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    not widely available here in The Netherlands. sorry it's not an option :)
  4. 1nf3rn0x

    1nf3rn0x

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,997 (1.19/day)
    Thanks Received:
    359
    Antec 300 is a nice case, has PLENTY of fans (five to be exact) and it's a mid size tower case. It has a 14cm fan on top, one 120mm exhaust fan at the back, it has one 120mm intake/exhaust fan on the side of the case and two front 120mm intake fans. The psu is mounted at the bottom so it offers great airflow and it's only $50-70 depending on which country you live in! It's very spacious aswell and can fit large video cards!

    Dimensions:
    18" (H) x 18.3" (D) x 8.1" (W) (inches)
    45.8 (H) x 46.5 (D) x 20.5 cm (W) (cm)

    It's height, depth, width. It's a nice case and very pretty with l.e.d fans at the front. These ain't my pictures but just examples of how it looks.[[​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is an Antec 300 except painted black inside:
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  5. mudkip

    mudkip

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,226 (0.63/day)
    Thanks Received:
    148
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Please read the OP next time. Antec 300 is way too big for me.
  6. 1nf3rn0x

    1nf3rn0x

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,997 (1.19/day)
    Thanks Received:
    359
    It's 5cm taller..nothing much
  7. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    7,407 (5.28/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,906
    they have to be shipped of course. did u check the distributer list in The Netherlands?
  8. InnocentCriminal

    InnocentCriminal Resident Grammar Amender

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    6,476 (1.94/day)
    Thanks Received:
    846
    I suggest looking at NZXT's Rouge - right sexeh...

    [​IMG]

    ... in black.
  9. majestic12

    majestic12

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    551 (0.35/day)
    Thanks Received:
    151
    Location:
    boondocks, Michigan
    I'm using a Cooler Master Elite 341 for my uATX setup and it is a wonderful case, with exception to the lack of cable management options. It supports 4 120mm case fans as well and looks fairly plain. The build quality may be a little lower than some of the ones you listed, but it might be a good alternative if you can find it for cheap. If it was a bit smaller, my first choice for a uATX case would the Antec mini p180. Of the ones you listed, the Lian-Li is my first pick.

    Here's the Elite 341's page:

    http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=5426
  10. Soylent Joe

    Soylent Joe New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,408 (1.91/day)
    Thanks Received:
    680
    Location:
    Brunswick, GA
    I second the NZXT Rogue. It's a hell of a case but seems to be really hard to find these days.

    I'd also recommend checking this Lian Li cube out. It can fit up to a 5870 without removing a front fan, has 2 120mm fans for intake on the front, an 80mm at the back, and can fit most CPU coolers. But, it only fits 2 3.5" drives by default.
  11. [Ion]

    [Ion] WCG Team Assistant

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    11,786 (7.04/day)
    Thanks Received:
    10,889
    Location:
    North Carolina, United States
    The PC-A05 has pretty terrible airflow, with my rig at load the entire top and sides of the case are rather hot to the touch
    Crunching for Team TPU
  12. mudkip

    mudkip

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,226 (0.63/day)
    Thanks Received:
    148
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    not minimalistic enough for me :p

    Nice case! I'm not sure about the airflow though. only 1 x 80mm at the rear? I emailed lian li to ask them what's the maximum height for a CPU cooler to fit in the case.

    But what about your temps? The case is made out of aluminum so it conducts heat better than steel.
  13. [Ion]

    [Ion] WCG Team Assistant

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    11,786 (7.04/day)
    Thanks Received:
    10,889
    Location:
    North Carolina, United States
    Well, the CPU is cooled by a H50 that sucks air in from the back, so even at 3.8ghz it loads around 70c. The GPU loads between 75 and 80c at auto fan speed.

    I can get idle temps later if you want :)
    mudkip says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  14. ebolamonkey3

    ebolamonkey3 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Messages:
    773 (0.53/day)
    Thanks Received:
    102
    Location:
    Atlanta/Marietta, GA
    Get the A05N, it's under your $100 limit and can fit ATX size motherboards as well, so some more flexibility there. Footprint is also very small since it's very short and think, and build quality is great. I just ordered one from Newegg (free shipping right now) after reading through that monster 200+ page thread about this case on [H], and I think the fact that people are still talking about this case so long after release is a statement in itself.

    Btw, the A05N fits all the requirements you listed, and I think it's got the best airflow out of all the mini cases that you listed, especially if you get a cut-out top for it that fits a 140mm fan.

    Also have the v351 from Lian Li, it's a nice little cube, but temps are high since it's much more cramped in there than the A05N and the Noctua U9B is just a bit too high to fit. Had to learn that the hard way :banghead:

    *Edit:
    Actually about to put in almost the same hardware as you, i5 750, 4gb DDR3, and Gigabyte P55-UD3R and a 700w psu. Gonna chill out on the video card and go with a HIS 5670 though, which runs cool and quiet in almost any case, including the v351.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
    mudkip says thanks.
  15. CJCerny

    CJCerny

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    807 (0.41/day)
    Thanks Received:
    225
    Location:
    Akron, OH
    I also have this case. Typically only costs about $35 in the U.S. Cheap, basic, well laid out, lots of places for fans.
  16. mlee49

    mlee49

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    8,462 (3.68/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,096
    The Sugo is a really nice case and more HTPC heatsinks have been released that should fit and cool quite well.

    Have you looked into the P180? Best mATX case ever, but may not meet all your requirements.
  17. mudkip

    mudkip

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,226 (0.63/day)
    Thanks Received:
    148
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    I had the P182 , it''s big brother, before but I don't like it. Also it's too big imo.
  18. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    18,243 (10.84/day)
    Thanks Received:
    5,880
    Location:
    Chatsworth, GA
  19. mudkip

    mudkip

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,226 (0.63/day)
    Thanks Received:
    148
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    The GT240 consumes less power. and 700watt psu is overkill which means that your psu's efficiency is going to be low.
  20. Soylent Joe

    Soylent Joe New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,408 (1.91/day)
    Thanks Received:
    680
    Location:
    Brunswick, GA
    Yeah but I'd say 2x 120mm fans blowing into a case that small is going to give you a good amount of airflow Also, it has a removable motherboard tray which is an excellent feature for a case of its size.

    I was looking up reviews for it and found a massive thread on [H] with tons of pictues of people's builds with them.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see there's not a ton of room for coolers. I did see some pictures of people using 92mm towers though.
    [Ion] says thanks.
  21. ebolamonkey3

    ebolamonkey3 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Messages:
    773 (0.53/day)
    Thanks Received:
    102
    Location:
    Atlanta/Marietta, GA
    Well, didn't know you had a GT240, that card should run plenty cool in the A05N. The 700w I just have lying around, so I didn't want to buy a new PSU. Plus, eventually I'll probably get a GTX 460 to put into this case, so it's all good.

    My A05NB just came in today, and I gotta say, it's a sweet little case. Quality is great and the thing just looks sooo... slick. Plus, shipping weight was like 8lbs, for a case that can fit a full ATX mobo!:eek: One thing though, if you are going to put this on a desk, I would pick up some rubber feet as the stock ones are hard plastic, which might cause vibrational noise on hard surfaces.

    Joe, that thread on [H] is actually what prompted me to buy one in the first place.... as is the case with the A05N. Maybe I gotta stop visiting that forum haha :laugh:

    So the thing with the v351 is, it's a pain to work in. Unless you really want a SFF build, I'd recommend something with a little more space to work with. I can't even imagine the builds people do in cases that are even smaller like that NZXT Rougue or one of the Sugo cases. Also, if you don't have a modular PSU, it is *highly recommended* that you use one for a build in this case. As not only are the cables a pain to manage and hide, if you have a bunch of cables hanging around, they impede the airflow a lot.

    And if possible, I would use either a H50 or some sort of tower CPU cooler to get a front to back wind tunnel effect going. I used a Scythe Shuriken CPU cooler and even on 100% fan speed, I could feel the heat coming out of the slot (don't know how to say it, the left side panel has some honeycomb? holes near the CPU) on the left panel. I did have a X6 1055T though, which uses more power than the i5 750, but it was running completely stock with cool & quiet enabled and even then the idle temp was in the mid 50s :eek:

    Plus, having the v351 and the A05N side by side, the A05N doesn't seem that bigger, even though it can house a full ATX mobo, because the cube is wider and not that much shorter, I think. That was another downside to the v351 as well, in my books at least, less flexibility in terms of hardware compatibility.

    Oh and Joe, I have seen people use 90mm tower heat sinks in the v351 as well, but I know for the Noctua U9B (one of the best cooler for this case) the back of the case right above the mobo tray had to be cut a little, since it's just a little too tall to fit. You can try to install after you slide the mobo tray in, but that's such a PITA and taking it out will be very difficult as well. So in the end, the best CPU cooler for this is the Scythe Mini Ninja.

    Either way though, I think the OP will be pleased, as both are great cases. Though personally I'd go with the A05N for the ATX format support and better airflow as well as more room to work with.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
    Soylent Joe and mudkip say thanks.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page