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Micro-ATX vs ATX Build . . . Please Help . . .

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  • Motherboards
  • Build
  • ATX
Last response: in Motherboards
April 7, 2014 9:55:32 PM

Hey all, I was wondering what you think might be a better option for a long-term, "future friendly" build:

A) To build a Micro ATX system with a Maximus VI Gene and 4770K in a Corsair Obsidian 350D with 2 GTX 780s GPUs in SLI; or

B) To build an ATX system with a Maximus VI Extreme and 4770K with 2 GTX 780s in an Obsidian 450D.

This build will be a 2-3 monitor HD video editing and flight simulator machine, and a crucial research work station running 17-20 hours/day and often days on end with a very large number of analysis programs and windows open (web browsers, Word, Adobe Acrobat/PDF, Powerpoint, etc.)--all simultaneously.

The ATX/450D case is about 2" taller and 2" deeper than the Micro-ATX/350D case--(either way the case will sit on my desk). I am concerned about heat factor running 2 GPUs in SLI with a Micro-ATX/350D case due to closeness of the two GPU cards (valid concern?).

Lastly, I also would appreciate your thoughts on whether you even think 2 GTX 780s are a good idea/recommended--is this overkill? (If wisdom would suggest 2 GPUs not necessary--still which mothorboard/case?).

I keep going back and forth and would most appreciate some more experienced insights/wisdom on this--thank you very much!

More about : micro atx atx build

a c 450 V Motherboard
April 8, 2014 6:43:53 AM

firstly, Option B all the way, ATX is firstly a better size then micro ATX for SLI and with option B you have a better alternative for card placement.

Put GPU 1 in slot 1 and GPU 2 in slot 3, handy that as you have more space between cards and you can run them in X8/X8, best you can get for SLI.

With heat, the 450D has great cooling options if you are willing to buy some more fans. So if you want extreme ventilation and cool GTX 780's do this;

Front and rear fans are already included so that's good, But top and bottom aren't and that's what will get some serious airflow into your case. As you may know hot air rises so having a bottom fan/s as intakes and top exhaust fans as outtakes, this really increases airflow, having side fans disrupts airflow, but your case has no side fan options which is good.

So get just 1 fan for the bottom which is not under the HDD bay but will push cool air straight onto your bottom of GPU 2 in slot 3. If you want more cencerntrated airflow you could get a 120mm fan duct and attach it to the fan for directed air straight onto your GPU's. Having this bottom fan, it will help both cards and not just the one.

With the top, you have a big choice here, I would get 2/3 120mm fans or 2 140mm fans just for extreme outtake of hot air, as it will get hot. I would honestly go 3 120mm fans for the top as fans are cheap and make a huge difference.

Hope this helps you!
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April 8, 2014 8:58:45 PM

Hey unknownofprob,

Thanks very much for your help!

I appreciate your enthusiasm for the ATX board and 450D case and your advice on how best to set them up for maximum cooling. As you discussed, I too worry about heat issues and will be using a 120mm CPU radiator in top of case to help with some heat dispersion. Your fan placement ideas are very helpful.

Curious about thoughts on 1 or 2 GPUs for needs outlined above (Flight Simulator, HD video editing, very heavy duty workstation, etc. . . . . using 3 monitors). The new ***6GB*** GTX 780 is due out any time I was told . . . with this in mind, if used this card, would it still be recommended to use 2 GPUs in SLI?

. . . And if 2 GPUs are not needed, and if 1 GPU is considered more than sufficient, would this change your thoughts on whether or not an ATX motherboard/Mid-Tower 450D case is still preferred over the Micro-ATX/350D case? I must admit from the reviews and *many* videos and images I have seen, I like the quality and build of the 350D case a bit better (not to mention the slightly larger window in the 350D)--but ultimately both case are nice and I am more concerned about performance, long-term health of components (heat issues) and "future-friendliness"/upgradeability.

Thank you!



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a c 450 V Motherboard
April 9, 2014 2:10:46 AM

Questtt3 said:
Hey unknownofprob,

Thanks very much for your help!

I appreciate your enthusiasm for the ATX board and 450D case and your advice on how best to set them up for maximum cooling. As you discussed, I too worry about heat issues and will be using a 120mm CPU radiator in top of case to help with some heat dispersion. Your fan placement ideas are very helpful.

Curious about thoughts on 1 or 2 GPUs for needs outlined above (Flight Simulator, HD video editing, very heavy duty workstation, etc. . . . . using 3 monitors). The new ***6GB*** GTX 780 is due out any time I was told . . . with this in mind, if used this card, would it still be recommended to use 2 GPUs in SLI?

. . . And if 2 GPUs are not needed, and if 1 GPU is considered more than sufficient, would this change your thoughts on whether or not an ATX motherboard/Mid-Tower 450D case is still preferred over the Micro-ATX/350D case? I must admit from the reviews and *many* videos and images I have seen, I like the quality and build of the 350D case a bit better (not to mention the slightly larger window in the 350D)--but ultimately both case are nice and I am more concerned about performance, long-term health of components (heat issues) and "future-friendliness"/upgradeability.

Thank you!





You can still SLI a 6GB GTX 780 without any issues, but for triple screens with demanding work, I would opt getting two still and not just a single GTX 780 3/6GB. If you ever only decide to get one, then I would still go for the ATX motherboard with 450D as upgrading in the future is always prominent. Having better airflow will keep parts cooler and ultimately give it a longer lifetime with added performance benefits (OC potential). I would still not change my opinion and go for option B.
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April 24, 2014 7:37:54 PM

Thanks unknownofprob!
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