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Input on a case mod for SFF ATX

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December 28, 2008 10:43:53 AM

Hi guys, I hope your Christmases went well!

So I have been in the process of putting together a hopefully SFF build for taking to LAN parties since my gaming rig I'll soon be leaving at home weighs a ton! I'll be getting a quad core for the desktop so I'll be using the old processor gaming out and I also received a 4830 card for Christmas. So this is what its boiled down to:

E2180 CPU
DP45SG Intel Extreme Motherboard
4GB DDR3 RAM(waiting for a sale on it, haven't chose specific kit)
4830 GPU (x2 for CF)

As you can see there are two problems with this considering the SFF idea....the crossfire card configuration and the motherboard is ATX. The reasons being:

A) The motherboard is coming "free" with the quad core I am getting
B) My monitor is 24" and I don't feel like shelling out 300-400 for a graphics card when 2 4830's give better than GTX 280 performance.


So after some digging I found this little baby:



I am absolutely in love with the case. The limitations are there though, that riser bracket isn't going to hold two cards and the power supply isn't designed for multi-GPU solutions. So I started thinking that in the PCI card bracket they give you, you could pull out the PCI riser card on the other side, replacing it with a second PCIe riser card and widening the bracket with some long screws to make room for the two cards. The PSU I am still brainstorming.

Does this sound doable? Or am I better off searching for another case, maybe say a HTPC case?

More about : input case mod sff atx

December 28, 2008 1:05:26 PM

IF you want Crossfire in mATX - These are your BEST options today:
Both AMD and Intel flavors.
http://www.tweaktown.com/news/9902/dfi_lanparty_jr_p45_...

Also slimline cases, like the one you show, is excellent for HTPC and light gaming, single gpu setups. You are also limited to low profile CPU cooler, which are not the greatest at overclocking.

I personally like the Apevia X-Qpack, sure its a mid grade case manufacturer, but their design allows a tower style CPU cooler. Even some hi end cases like Lian Li, and Silverstone cannot support tower style cooler.
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December 28, 2008 2:19:32 PM

cmmcnamara said:
Hi guys, I hope your Christmases went well!

So I have been in the process of putting together a hopefully SFF build for taking to LAN parties since my gaming rig I'll soon be leaving at home weighs a ton! I'll be getting a quad core for the desktop so I'll be using the old processor gaming out and I also received a 4830 card for Christmas. So this is what its boiled down to:

E2180 CPU
DP45SG Intel Extreme Motherboard
4GB DDR3 RAM(waiting for a sale on it, haven't chose specific kit)
4830 GPU (x2 for CF)

As you can see there are two problems with this considering the SFF idea....the crossfire card configuration and the motherboard is ATX. The reasons being:

A) The motherboard is coming "free" with the quad core I am getting
B) My monitor is 24" and I don't feel like shelling out 300-400 for a graphics card when 2 4830's give better than GTX 280 performance.


So after some digging I found this little baby:



I am absolutely in love with the case. The limitations are there though, that riser bracket isn't going to hold two cards and the power supply isn't designed for multi-GPU solutions. So I started thinking that in the PCI card bracket they give you, you could pull out the PCI riser card on the other side, replacing it with a second PCIe riser card and widening the bracket with some long screws to make room for the two cards. The PSU I am still brainstorming.

Does this sound doable? Or am I better off searching for another case, maybe say a HTPC case?


Where to begin: The guy who wrote that case review is an idiot, SFF originally meant Shuttle Form Factor and implies a 2-slot board (shorter than even Micro ATX). That particular case holds up to full-ATX motherboards.

If you really like that case, you should contact the manufacturer and ask about your options for a second PCIe x16 riser. Also, you can probably use a 4-pin hard drive to 6-pin PCI-Express power adapter for a second HD 4830 graphics card.


a b ) Power supply
December 28, 2008 2:22:17 PM

edit: ^ Yeah, looks like it supports full ATX.

Also take a look here: http://www.ably.com.tw/news/news.asp
for the riser cards
Quote:

E2180 CPU
DP45SG Intel Extreme Motherboard
4GB DDR3 RAM(waiting for a sale on it, haven't chose specific kit)
4830 GPU (x2 for CF)

Seriously, you don't need DDR3. Try and get the DFI board linked to above.

You can spend the money saved on the RAM to get 2*30GB SSDs in RAID.

Also what about heat & PSU? You need a pretty strong PSU to power that (ie Corsair 650TX or PP&C 610)
December 28, 2008 8:10:29 PM

Thanks for the suggestions guys!

Quote:
IF you want Crossfire in mATX - These are your BEST options today:
Both AMD and Intel flavors.
http://www.tweaktown.com/news/9902 [...] index.html

Also slimline cases, like the one you show, is excellent for HTPC and light gaming, single gpu setups. You are also limited to low profile CPU cooler, which are not the greatest at overclocking.

I personally like the Apevia X-Qpack, sure its a mid grade case manufacturer, but their design allows a tower style CPU cooler. Even some hi end cases like Lian Li, and Silverstone cannot support tower style cooler.


Unfortunately the board I am getting is a full ATX board. I would have liked mATX but this board is free with my CPU and I don't really have the extra cash for another motheboard, despite mATX's low prices. I'd rather spend the extra cash on my other GPU and the case. As for Q-Pack, I know those can easily be modded to accept full ATX boards but I have an Apevia X-Navigator, which I am not too impressed with. Yes it looks cool as does the Q-Pack but the quality of materials and quality of the inspections have put me off to them now. The only case from Apevia I think is worth the buy at this point it the X-Cruiser which also has its own flaws.


Quote:
Where to begin: The guy who wrote that case review is an idiot, SFF originally meant Shuttle Form Factor and implies a 2-slot board (shorter than even Micro ATX). That particular case holds up to full-ATX motherboards.

If you really like that case, you should contact the manufacturer and ask about your options for a second PCIe x16 riser. Also, you can probably use a 4-pin hard drive to 6-pin PCI-Express power adapter for a second HD 4830 graphics card.


That manufacturer has specifically stated its for single card configurations as indicated by the supplied power supply. I have plenty of molex to PCIe 6 pins, but do you think that 350W PSU is up to the task? As for the riser that's something I'm going to have to do manually. The VGA mounting cage in the case allows 2 cards, originally intended to be a graphics card and some sort of PCI card. I was thinking of expanding the cage and removing the PCI flexi-riser and replacing it with a second PCIe flexi-riser.


Quote:
Also take a look here: http://www.ably.com.tw/news/news.asp
for the riser cards
Quote :


E2180 CPU
DP45SG Intel Extreme Motherboard
4GB DDR3 RAM(waiting for a sale on it, haven't chose specific kit)
4830 GPU (x2 for CF)


Seriously, you don't need DDR3. Try and get the DFI board linked to above.


You can spend the money saved on the RAM to get 2*30GB SSDs in RAID.


Also what about heat & PSU? You need a pretty strong PSU to power that (ie Corsair 650TX or PP&C 610)


Agreed on the part of DDR3 but I have no choice with my motherboard as I said early in this post. I'd love the LanParty JR board but I'd like to take advantage of having a free unused motherboard. I don't have faith in the performance of RAID. And yea the PSU is the biggest issue right now. Is the PSU size that goes in that case a custom one? Or is it some sort of mATX standard?


Thanks alot for your input guys but I still need to know about the PSU and whether you think the modification I've suggested is a viable one.
a b ) Power supply
December 28, 2008 8:33:30 PM

^ That boards free??? Lucky you.
January 1, 2009 1:11:09 AM

No more opinions?
January 1, 2009 1:40:10 AM

cmmcnamara said:
No more opinions?


GREAT board for the money!
!