I want to put my PC inside a desk I just purchased, but my current case (CM Stacker 830) is too big. I know that is not the best decsion for performance, but the noises the computer makes tend to hurt my ears and I don't really overclock anyway.
The hight of the space in the desk is 20 inches. I believe that will be the main limited dimension. The depth is 25. I didn't measure the width, but there was plenty of room for my stacker in that direction. It is about 10 inches wide.
The current components that may matter in terms of what will fit are:
CM 850 Real Power Pro
1 EVGA 8800 GTX
2 150GB Raptors
Stock air for a E6600
EVGA 680 motherboard
From what I have read, I think the 8800 is the right size and will fit 8800 GTX, but I am not sure about the powersupply.
I am flexible on price, although I would prefer a case that is less than $150. If possible, an all or mostly aluminum case would be great, but is not a must.
If possible, an all or mostly aluminum case would be great, but is not a must.
If the noise 'hurts your ears' stay away from an aluminum case. Steel cases tend to dampen the noise much better. Your 680i MB is a full size ATX MB so finding anything really small like a micro case is out of the question. An ATX desktop or mid tower case would be your only choice to move to a smaller case. ATX mid tower at Newegg.
Thanks for the suggestion on steel cases. I wasn't aware of that. I was definitely think a mid tower, I am just not sure which one. I am particulary concerned about the 8800 GTX and the power supply fitting. These are some that fit the dimensions I need:
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC
LIAN LI PC-61 USB
Antec Sonata III 500 Black
COOLER MASTER Mystique RC
But I can't readily tell which will fit the power supply and video card
If you want a quiet PC, the Antec Solo http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or the Antec Sonata Plus 550 (550W PSU included) are much quieter cases than the Antec Sonata III. While very nice, I doubt the Antec Three Hundred is a quiet case. I switched from an Antec Sonata III to an Antec Sonata Plus 550 for the same reason (my PC is on my desk at an arm's length). I like the Antec Sonata III as long as it's far enough from me.
The power supply isn't an issue as the one from Antec also is 6" long and there's 6" of empty space between the PSU and the DVD drive in mine. The PSU should be installed before the motherboard.
If the video card is 11" long, then it won't fit in an Antec Solo (maximum PCB length can be 10 1/4"). The maximum PCB length that you can fit in an Antec Sonata III is 11". It will be tight, but it should fit.
Fitting both hard disks in the Antec Solo isn't an issue, but modifying the case to make that huge 11" video card fit requires cutting a notch in the hard disk mounting cage. If you're handy, it can certainly be done, but I probably wouldn't bother. Since you'll put the PC in your desk, noise won't be as much of an issue as it would if it was sitting on your desk.
The Antec Sonata III can't be modified, but as I mentioned before, the video card should fit as long as you don't install an internal fan to cool the hard disks (it mounts between the hard disks cage and the motherboard). But even an Antec Sonata III is a tight fit. Bear in mind that you're using one of the largest video cards that was ever made.
I now regret getting such a long video card. I am sure eventually I will be able to get a cheap replacement card that is as fast or faster than the 8800 GTX, that is shorter, but for now I will just have to make do.