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The quest for the perfect mATX case - I'm picky!

Discussion in 'Cases, Modding & Electronics' started by Thrackan, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    So, a few months into owning an NZXT Rogue, I've noticed it's clearly not the right case. There hasn't been any case before that I didn't open up to work in, which I love to do.
    But the Rogue is frickin' inaccessible:shadedshu

    So, despite it's nice aesthetics, I'm continuing my search for the perfect mATX case.

    The case I'm looking for must have:
    Functional
    • Reversed mATX layout (mobo on left hand side)
    • Space for 2 HDD's, 1 external 3.5" and 1 external 5.25"
    • Room to fit a decent sized CPU cooler (so no PSU mount above the CPU like a SUGO SG04)
    • Cable management possibilities

    Aesthetical
    • Neutral (black preferred) looks
    • Painted insides are a big plus
    • Plain looks
    • Did I say plain looks?
    • Small and mATX capable of course.

    As you can see, I'm not a fan of cases with a lot of "showoff" elements, distortions, distractions and so on. I'd have bought a mini p180 if it wasn't that damn big:shadedshu

    The current closest to ideal is the Lian-Li PC-A03, on which the turnoff is basically the ugly fanhole on the front panel. It's small, plain-looking (except for the fanhole) and fits everything I wanna throw at it.

    Second problem with the PC-A03 is I can't seem to find any place that sells it :D

    Either way, if anyone can throw some more suggestions, I can renew my search efforts.
  2. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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  3. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    That will be just a little bit less cramped to work with, and still hanging the PSU over the proc.
    I'd rather find a perfect mini-midi tower model :)
  4. jimmyz New Member

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  5. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    I'd like to stay away from Desktop models, simply because I'll have to put my monitor on top of it, which once again hinders me from opening the case frequently :)

    Not a bad case though, I'd like less mesh.
  6. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    Currently trying to get my hands on a PC-A05N Black. I'll either find me a great second hand deal or wait 3 weeks to a month for a backorder...
  7. Polarman

    Polarman New Member

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  8. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    Thermaltake VF6000

    Decently small, completely plain look (just make sure you get the piano black one without windows), uATX ready and can take up some pretty powerful hardware. Also nicely vented and can be turned into a damn silent monster.

    Only downsides that i managed to notice with this case are:
    - pretty heavy, but using aluminum here would be almost impossible imo
    - can be problematic with very long GFX cards (i could fit in Sapphire HD4870 512MB, but it was tight and i had to slightly bent floppy bay)

    Other than this there are just few practical things that probably apply to any uATX case.
    You need modular PSU, because every unnecessary cable is, well unnecessary.
    There are also some limits on the CPU cooler because the PSU is right above it. Good thing is that heat is vented out with extra help of PSU fan, but this also means you cannot use some bad ass tower cooler. I've opted for Thermalright AXP-140 which is widely available and high performance cooler. There is enough room for 120mm or 140mm fan.

    Although the one from Lian Li posted above looks decent too. But in general i couldn't find any other uATX case that is vented as good as Thermaltake VF6000. I guess these small cases were never meant for high end hardware like Core i7 processors and high end graphic cards and are more HTPC oriented. But hey, mine and many other small cases prove that this isn't true.
  9. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    Polarman: way too big

    RejZoR: I already have a box case, I want a normal tower again :)
  10. SystemViper

    SystemViper

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    So the P180 mini was to big, it's such a sweet case,
    it has great airflow and all black with a great brushed finish..
    I have done 2 builds with it so far and love it....

    [​IMG]


    Going even bigger, i currently love the COOLER MASTER Storm Scout
    but it's a mid tower and not lefty either, but i love the out facing hard drive bays,
    all black interior, nice window and the top carry rails... It's my current build box...

    HERE

    Images Here


    can't wait to see what you decide on.... best of luck~

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