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Barebones - Mini PC Cases - Questions!

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September 5, 2006 1:33:27 PM

Heyas,

I've recently begun to take a look at a few barebone mini pc cases. This is really the first time I've noticed them and with my new rig soon to be in the works, they have become very appealing. I'm really just looking for some feedback from any one who has some experience with these types of cases. What are their limitations? I know a few are designed to house a Crossfire/SLI configuration, but I will be using a single GPU...do you think some of the newer or next gen crads fit comfortably? I was looking at the new Shuttle Mini-PC mentioned here on Tom's website. It looks darn sexy and the last Shuttle seemed to get a good review.

Shuttle Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1685...

Any feedback would be appreciated. I'm very familiar with Full and Mid towers, but would love something compact, affordable and has decent cooling ability.

Thanks!
September 5, 2006 4:57:10 PM

anyone? ;) 
September 5, 2006 7:43:56 PM

I've put both an nvidia 7800xtk and a radeon x1900xtx in a Shuttle SD61P. (not at the same time of course) I had to trim the air cooling shroud to get these cards in. They are a tight fit (especially the two-slot x1900xtx) but they fit.
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September 5, 2006 9:08:23 PM

Great thanks for the replies! I was thinking along the lines of a x1900xtx, but possibly not using the stock heatsink/fan. I've never used more than 1 HDD and I'm fine with 1 optical. I really impressed with the small form factor of these cases. I'm assuming cooling is ok at best? I'm not looking to OC or anything.
September 5, 2006 11:00:06 PM

The Nvidia works better in this particular application. Its narrower and easier to fit in the case, although you will still have top trim the air duct. If you use the Radeon it jams up tight against the drive cage - anything wider than the stock cooler won't fit. Furthermore, the Radeon needs more power and the Cube only has, like 350watts.

They will both work, but I was happier with the Nvidia. I ended up putting the Radeon in a full-sized case.

Oh - and about the cooling - the stock cooling is excellent. Actually, I don't think you'd be able to fit any cooler but the Shuttle "Icecap" in there anyway. But, its an excellent cooler.
September 6, 2006 1:34:53 AM

Shuttle does an excellent job of designing the MB, PS, case, and cooling to work together. You won't go wrong with a Shuttle SFF.
September 6, 2006 3:23:23 PM

Thanks again for the replies. Got another question. Anyone ever use this case? (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...)

I like the Shuttle, but the power supply and the lack of just a single x16 PCI-E slot concerns me. Do you think Shuttle will eventually make one? Silverstone looks like it may grant a bit more flexability, especially since you can use an ATX power supply. Any good supper silent 500-600w power supplys that can fit in this case? Can anyone reccomend a good micro ATX mobos? I'm just so unfamiliar with these smaller form factors.

Just an example, but could a Shuttle 400w PSU handle 2x Raptors, Core 2 Duo Extreme (most likely a e6600, but here's to dreaming lol), DVD Drive and next gen DX10 card? I've done some price comparisons and it seems a bit cheaper to go with building a micro ATX as opposed to purchasing a barebones.
September 8, 2006 5:39:34 AM

Good point -- I'm not sure if the Shuttle will handle a max setup. However, I have been burned in the past going with non-Shuttle setups to save a few bucks (poor case quality, malfunctioning MBs). Hopefully the current stuff has improved.
September 8, 2006 11:15:23 AM

Quote:
Just an example, but could a Shuttle 400w PSU handle 2x Raptors, Core 2 Duo Extreme (most likely a e6600, but here's to dreaming lol), DVD Drive and next gen DX10 card? I've done some price comparisons and it seems a bit cheaper to go with building a micro ATX as opposed to purchasing a barebones.


Mine handles three 160GB WD Drives (I have a hard drive in the floppy bay), a R/W DVD drive; an nvidia 9800 and an Intel 830D
September 8, 2006 1:32:54 PM

sruane,

You mentioned before putting a x1900xt and a 780GTX in a Shuttle at one point. Was the power supply able to handle this? I'm just really concerned about 400w...thats why I'm thinking of going with the larger Silverstone SG01 so I can place an ATX 500 or 600 watt psu in it.
September 8, 2006 1:39:50 PM

Quote:
sruane,

You mentioned before putting a x1900xt and a 780GTX in a Shuttle at one point. Was the power supply able to handle this? I'm just really concerned about 400w...thats why I'm thinking of going with the larger Silverstone SG01 so I can place an ATX 500 or 600 watt psu in it.


I ran both cards (not at the same time, of course) and I didn't have any power-related issues. The 7800gtx was a better fit, though. The x1900 made me nervous because nvidia recommends more power. Regardless - it worked OK.
September 8, 2006 2:28:54 PM

Sorry, tyring not to beat a dead horse here, but just curious about one more thing. Did the x1900 you installed have the stock heatsink/fan that takes up a 2nd PCI slot? If I end up going this route I'm going to replace the heatsink/fan with a lower profile one.

I really do like the shuttle. The size is amazing! I was measuring it out on my desk compared to the SIlverstone and a few inches really does make a difference.

Thanks!
September 8, 2006 2:46:07 PM

Quote:
Sorry, tyring not to beat a dead horse here, but just curious about one more thing. Did the x1900 you installed have the stock heatsink/fan that takes up a 2nd PCI slot? If I end up going this route I'm going to replace the heatsink/fan with a lower profile one.

I really do like the shuttle. The size is amazing! I was measuring it out on my desk compared to the SIlverstone and a few inches really does make a difference.

Thanks!


Yes, it was the two-slot card. Bear in mind that the heatsink/fan presses up hard against the drive cage and several power cables. Be sure you don't foul the fan on these cables if you use an aftermarket cooler. Seriously, the nvidia 7800 is a better fit in this case.
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