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Suggestions on a reasonable Micro-ATX case for a new build

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a c 126 ) Power supply
June 7, 2007 1:02:37 PM

I am thinking of building a SFF PC later this summer (after the July CPU price drops :twisted: ). I looked at every one of the SFF cases on Newegg, and I think I have a preference, but I wanted some other opinions, particularly on models from other reasonable sources.

My first choice so far is this one:
APEVIA X-QPACK2-NW-BK/500 Black Aluminum Body/ Front Mask MicroATX Desktop Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For my moderate needs, even its lowly Aspire PSU may be enough to reliably handle the load, although I might move my modular Mushkin to it anyway. This box also has a 120mm rear fan. The PSU leads are sleeved.

Another one I'm considering is this one:

Thermaltake LANBOX Lite VF6000BNS Black SECC Gaming Cube Computer Case - Retail $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The one I choose doesn't need to have windows or lots of bling, although I do want basic features like a reset button and mounting space for two hard drives.

Thanks for your opinions.
June 7, 2007 1:31:21 PM

I just bought the Thermaltake Lanbox (non-lite) version and I enjoy it immensely. Had I noticed the Lite version, I probably would have gotten that.

The design of the case is very good and components are very easy to place. Cooling is also very good as well. I imagine the same can be said about the Lanbox lite.

The QPack2 really doesn't bring anything new to the table. It reminds me A LOT of the Ultra Microfly case, except it has an updated handle and more vents. That's one of the reasons why I didn't buy that case.

You would also do well to purchase a separate power supply. My experience, as well as other experiences that I've read about, basically say that PSUs that come with cases aren't very reliable. If you get something like an Enermax or Thermaltake PSU, it'll last you for quite a while.
a c 126 ) Power supply
June 7, 2007 1:41:31 PM

I generally agree about case power supplies, but the specs on the Aspire look like one I was using until recently, and it worked quite well for my moderate needs. Regardless, I may use my modular Mushkin in the new case; which brings up another strong preference: the case must fit a standard ATX PSU.
I remember that the original QPACK was definitely lacking, but the QPACK2 seemed notably better.

How's the fan noise on the Thermaltake? Did you have to slow them down?

Sources of heat in my new build will be a dual core CPU, a pair of SATA/300 hard drives, and an 8800GTS/320 (or similar) GPU.
Related resources
June 7, 2007 5:17:02 PM

Here is a Micro ATX case that I use, its a standard chassis that is more utility that bling. It has 3 - 5.25 exposed bays, 2 - 3.5 exposed bays, and also 4- internal 3.5 inch bays. It also has the ability to use 80, 90 or 120mm fans front and rear. I have 2 - 120mm fans in mine with 5 hard drives (one in a 5.25 bay to boot from), 2 optical drives, a floppy and a media card reader.

http://www.nspiregear.com/M120.asp

There are also links to pictures there.

You may or may not want to use the power supply it comes with. I changed mine.
a c 126 ) Power supply
June 7, 2007 10:48:06 PM

That's a nice looking case, but I want the SFF form factor for this one. I'll only change that if I absolutely can't find a decent Micro-ATX mobo. Thanks though.
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