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Looking for an understated mATX case with full-length GPU support

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Case 39U 6-rack server room with HEVC and 44KVA UPS
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Benchmark Scores I once clocked a Celeron-300A to 564MHz on an Abit BE6 and it scored over 9000.
Hey all,

It's that time of year when I have to replace another batch of around 100 office workstations and I'm really struggling to find anything small, black, unobtrusive, well-made, and most importantly: WITHOUT a window, tempered glass, RGBLED!

The builds are likely to be Ryzen 3900X/3950X with stock air coolers, No drives other than a small NVMe OS stick. GPU will be a blower-stlye (probably Quadro RTX 6000, possibly 2080Ti blower if VRAM testing works out well for those).

As you can probably tell from the spec, price isn't the primary concern - it's about unobtrusive, understated looks, decent build-quality and no silly gamerbling. Also, ideally, some solid durability. There's a whole bunch of flimsy, simple stuff on the market but it won't survive the hefty kick of a clumsy engineer!

Any suggestions? Market is EU if that helps, so no Rosewill or US-centric stuff please.
Thanks!
 
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Fourstaff

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Fractal Design Core series?
 
Joined
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Messages
335 (1.16/day)
System Name PowerEdge R730 DRS Cluster
Processor 4x Xeon E5-2698 v3
Cooling Many heckin screamy bois
Memory 480GB ECC DDR4-2133
Video Card(s) Matrox G200eR2
Storage SD Card. Yep, really no other local storage.
Display(s) It's probably a couple of boring Dell Ultrasharps and a sacrificial laptop.
Case 39U 6-rack server room with HEVC and 44KVA UPS
Mouse Maybe
Keyboard Yes!
Software ESXi 6.5 U3
Benchmark Scores I once clocked a Celeron-300A to 564MHz on an Abit BE6 and it scored over 9000.
Not bad. We have about 40 of those in a renderfarm with Threadrippers in them, but they're on the flimsy and cheap side for something that goes under a desk and gets kicked by engineers with big steel-toecap safety-boots ;)

Sorry, I'll probably keep shooting down some good suggestions because I didn't flesh out the requirements enough!
 
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Not bad. We have about 40 of those in a renderfarm with Threadrippers in them, but they're on the flimsy and cheap side for something that goes under a desk and gets kicked by engineers with big steel-toecap safety-boots ;)

Sorry, I'll probably keep shooting down some good suggestions because I didn't flesh out the requirements enough!
Maybe edit your original post before there are many more replies that won't meet your revised requirements ???

Given your needs, I would suggest you look at some of the smaller, cube-shaped Corsair or Thermaltake cases, as they have some heavier-duty and "industrial-looking" (ie no bling or window) case designs that are really well made and sturdy.
 
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Have a look at this database, I've only added micro ATX and 320 mm card length. Keep filtering size, brand etc, and you might be able to narrow it down.

I get that you want first hand recommendations, but the link will give you a chance to know what to look for.


Maybe this one? Definitely office style, dunno if it's a tad too big.


 
Joined
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Messages
335 (1.16/day)
System Name PowerEdge R730 DRS Cluster
Processor 4x Xeon E5-2698 v3
Cooling Many heckin screamy bois
Memory 480GB ECC DDR4-2133
Video Card(s) Matrox G200eR2
Storage SD Card. Yep, really no other local storage.
Display(s) It's probably a couple of boring Dell Ultrasharps and a sacrificial laptop.
Case 39U 6-rack server room with HEVC and 44KVA UPS
Mouse Maybe
Keyboard Yes!
Software ESXi 6.5 U3
Benchmark Scores I once clocked a Celeron-300A to 564MHz on an Abit BE6 and it scored over 9000.
That's a cracking site, and these might be worth a punt.


I've never heard of Inter-Tech but they look robust enough and unlike Antec/Fractal/Coolermaster, the feet won't fall off because they're huge and riveted into the chassis. I have a desk draw full of replacement feet for those three brands! :D
 
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127036


I have one of the above, and the bottom to top chimney effect inline with thermal dynamics/physics hot air rising means the cooling in this case is top notch.

P.S no rgb/windows or any other kind of gamer bling on this case just well built/aluminium/function over form pc case
 
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I've never heard of Inter-Tech but they look robust enough and unlike Antec/Fractal/Coolermaster, the feet won't fall off because they're huge and riveted into the chassis.
There's a link to a review as well. High temps, low airflow..
 
Joined
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Messages
335 (1.16/day)
System Name PowerEdge R730 DRS Cluster
Processor 4x Xeon E5-2698 v3
Cooling Many heckin screamy bois
Memory 480GB ECC DDR4-2133
Video Card(s) Matrox G200eR2
Storage SD Card. Yep, really no other local storage.
Display(s) It's probably a couple of boring Dell Ultrasharps and a sacrificial laptop.
Case 39U 6-rack server room with HEVC and 44KVA UPS
Mouse Maybe
Keyboard Yes!
Software ESXi 6.5 U3
Benchmark Scores I once clocked a Celeron-300A to 564MHz on an Abit BE6 and it scored over 9000.
There's a link to a review as well. High temps, low airflow..
Yep. 105W CPU and the blower cooler on the GPU mitigates the need for high airflow.

We have 180W Threadrippers doing 24/7 raytracing queues in tiny Fractal Core 1100 cases with 'low airflow'; No throttling, no issues, fans not even at full.

It's amazing how bad open GPU coolers are for case temperatures. Everyone seems to think that blowers coolers are the devil's work, but all open coolers do is shift the heat issue onto all the other components, which mandates high-airflow cases with lots of fans. I have a near-silent SFF HTPC at home with a GTX980 reference blower that is inaudible over the humming of my fridge at the other end of the apartment.
 
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It's amazing how bad open GPU coolers are for case temperatures.
I hear ya. I find it amusing that so many people doesn't understand that you have to go DIY from time to time.

Like Linus here (7:35). You need to add some kind of ducts between the case vent and the GPU fans in order to keep feeding it with nothing but air from the outside.

But no, Corsair doesn't sell ducts and funnels in every possible size and shape, so you HAVE to go WC. /s

If you don't have traditionally placed case fans you should set up the cooling the way a laptop is built, i.e EVERY GPU/CPU fan is an intake fan (100 % air from the outside).
As soon as you realize that, case volume becomes less important.
 

bug

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It's amazing how bad open GPU coolers are for case temperatures. Everyone seems to think that blowers coolers are the devil's work, but all open coolers do is shift the heat issue onto all the other components, which mandates high-airflow cases with lots of fans. I have a near-silent SFF HTPC at home with a GTX980 reference blower that is inaudible over the humming of my fridge at the other end of the apartment.
You'd think 200W+ (GPU) vs 100W or less (CPU) would ring a bell.
But the thing is blowers are noisier so trading off higher case temps (can be mitigated by improved air flow) in exchange for quietness (could be mitigated by insulated cases) is often the path of least resistance.
Though now that I think about it, it shouldn't be that hard to obstruct the flow of air towards the inside of the case on a non-blower video card, turning it into a somewhat blower configuration.

Also, is there a blower style 2080Ti? Nividia doesn't use blowers on Turing designs.
 
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System Name PowerEdge R730 DRS Cluster
Processor 4x Xeon E5-2698 v3
Cooling Many heckin screamy bois
Memory 480GB ECC DDR4-2133
Video Card(s) Matrox G200eR2
Storage SD Card. Yep, really no other local storage.
Display(s) It's probably a couple of boring Dell Ultrasharps and a sacrificial laptop.
Case 39U 6-rack server room with HEVC and 44KVA UPS
Mouse Maybe
Keyboard Yes!
Software ESXi 6.5 U3
Benchmark Scores I once clocked a Celeron-300A to 564MHz on an Abit BE6 and it scored over 9000.
Also, is there a blower style 2080Ti? Nividia doesn't use blowers on Turing designs.
Not direct from Nvidia as a Founders Edition, but 3rd party to the rescue as always....
Asus, Gigabyte, and Zotac all do a blower model, as do Galax, Colorful, and Manli but I can only buy the first three easily in the EU.

Blowers are noisier than lots of large case fans spinning more slowly, but then you have to have a large case and good airflow. I have an open cooler in my home workstation (2060FE normally, though I have a Titan RTX in there for compute testing at the moment) and it's near-silent in my old H440 case but it would most certainly howl away if I put it in my HTPC.

Choice is a great thing, it keeps the DIY PC industry interesting :)
 
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100 Office Workstations w/ Ryzen 3900X/3950X Quadro RTX 6000, / 2080Ti blowers.

Gotta ask. What are you running on 100 workstations that needs that kind of juice ? I've been involved in Architectural and Engineering builds where might use 1 rendering box for every 10-20 AutoCAD boxes, but only the rendering box. And for a rollout of 100 boxes, I would recommend avoiding 1st stepping hardare and early BIOSs ... mid October would be a good time if ya want to reduce headaches.
 
Joined
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Messages
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System Name PowerEdge R730 DRS Cluster
Processor 4x Xeon E5-2698 v3
Cooling Many heckin screamy bois
Memory 480GB ECC DDR4-2133
Video Card(s) Matrox G200eR2
Storage SD Card. Yep, really no other local storage.
Display(s) It's probably a couple of boring Dell Ultrasharps and a sacrificial laptop.
Case 39U 6-rack server room with HEVC and 44KVA UPS
Mouse Maybe
Keyboard Yes!
Software ESXi 6.5 U3
Benchmark Scores I once clocked a Celeron-300A to 564MHz on an Abit BE6 and it scored over 9000.
About 50% of the workforce are running V-Ray RT or other embedded raytracing in realtime. Those that aren't will likely be having their machine's GPU used by others because we have two major distributed rendering packages (Deadline is awesome if you aren't already using it!)

I find that every time we compare the cost/effectiveness of server-based compute vs client-based distributed compute, the resulting performance/cost/convenience/ease vastly outweighs what AMD and Nvidia want us to do by slamming it all in one server and having everyone share it. Yes, you get 40GB/s access to iSCSI SAN storage for every user then, but it's really really expensive to put 500 GPUs in a server rack. Like, ASTRONOMICALLY expensive.

Realistically, half the engineers and architects use the GPU and most of the CPU resources, the other half don't even touch it. Add in support staff and management, and probably closer to 70% of the hardware isn't directly used by the person who's sitting at it. Nonetheless, we deal with large-scale projects (masterplans, airports, stadiums, transport hubs, and skycrapers) so there's an enormous amount of simulation going on for wind, solar, traffic etc - that actually takes real CPU compute.

Anyway, I'm undecided on RTX at the moment, Nvidia came to see me on Monday and passed over a couple of Quadro RTX 6000 cards which I've been testing, previously I was comparing 2080Ti to Titan RTX. The machines that are getting retired/replaced will be fairly simple Sandy/Ivy i7 builds with 32GB and GPUs ranging from HD 7950s to R9 290X cards, and we only have eight RTX nodes in total at the moment. The one thing I haven't done is picked up some 5700XT cards to test. Honestly, I think the VRAM limitations may make them uncompetitive for our similations, but AMD has traditionally been very strong for OpenCL compute and that's still handy, even today as more things are adding meaningful support for CUDA and RTX/Tensor cores. As for Quadro/Geforce or RadeonPro/Consumer Radeons, most of our software doesn't care or make the distinction, we don't need the support that such pro-level cards get, and ISV-certification is snake oil for PHBs (IMO)...

We're not a vast company - merely specialised at what we do, and I've been lucky enough to be in charge of hardware and IT research for the last 15 years. I hope you'll forgive me for a modicum of anonymity because OH GOD THE COLD-CALL SALESMEN ARE THE WORST, but if you read between the lines you can possibly take an educated guess at who we are and from there work out who I am. If you do, please keep it to yourself - for the sanity of my receptionist!
 
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bug

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Not direct from Nvidia as a Founders Edition, but 3rd party to the rescue as always....
Asus, Gigabyte, and Zotac all do a blower model, as do Galax, Colorful, and Manli but I can only buy the first three easily in the EU.

Blowers are noisier than lots of large case fans spinning more slowly, but then you have to have a large case and good airflow. I have an open cooler in my home workstation (2060FE normally, though I have a Titan RTX in there for compute testing at the moment) and it's near-silent in my old H440 case but it would most certainly howl away if I put it in my HTPC.

Choice is a great thing, it keeps the DIY PC industry interesting :)
Yup, building my own PCs for like 20 years now :toast:
 
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We're not a vast company - merely specialised at what we do, and I've been lucky enough to be in charge of hardware and IT research for the last 15 years. I hope you'll forgive me for a modicum of anonymity because OH GOD THE COLD-CALL SALESMEN ARE THE WORST, but if you read between the lines you can possibly take an educated guess at who we are and from there work out who I am. If you do, please keep it to yourself - for the sanity of my receptionist!
I couldn't venture to guess and I was the president of the NY State Society of Professional Engineers which had me networking at one time or another with most firms and later with the NE region (maine to Maryland) when I served as national VP. I don't venture into that world. I don't have to make our plans int 3D walk the models. Most of the folks I have helped out were small to mid size firms and hardest part I had to deal with was the desire to put a $2k GFX workstation card and 16 core CPU in a AutoCAD box which is almost exclusively single threaded. Still having been "geeked out" and building PCs since early 90s walking thu your office and playing with those boxes, I'd have to classify the exprience as "nerd porn".

BTW, related to your question, I use the Phanteks Evolv X for mATX builds... built like a rock, tremendous cooling, fits anything . I actually love the tempered glass . I don't do RGB, it's there as an option but understated if turned on. Prolly a bit more than ya wanan spend at $129
 
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