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Looking for an elegant, small case.

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May 27, 2010 12:41:29 AM

I'm building a computer for college and would like to make a small desktop for my dorm. I do plan to play -some- games, so a standard mid-size video card would probably be in the case.

What I'm looking for is something preferably aluminum, silent, and small such as a microATX mid-tower or such.

Any help could be appreciated, only the small factor is important, price is no biggie and the others are just preference not necessities.

More about : elegant small case

May 27, 2010 1:08:35 AM

Go to newegg or ebay, and search it.. there are many microATX/miniATX cases.
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May 27, 2010 1:10:31 AM

You could probably get a overpriced mac if price isn't the issue since theres no case and its just the monitor.
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May 27, 2010 1:46:44 AM

The best microATX I've found is still Silverstone TJ08.

I've got one, though proper cooling and space was more important to me than noise. It has 2 included 120 mm fans and good airflow. My graphics card fan is louder than both the case fans.

There is more than average space for graphics cards in it, so you can fit some pretty long ones up to 11-11.5 inches long. There's also space for real CPU coolers, so you can put a silent one on.

Two things to consider though. First, your DVD drive shouldn't be a long one, because it may push back close to the PSU. Second, there's 2 hard drive spaces on top of each other, and swapping a hard drive out of the top position may require pulling out the mobo tray or removing the CPU cooler to pull it out.
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a c 131 ) Power supply
May 27, 2010 2:25:50 AM

Long post coming. I hope it is of some interest, and I do NOT want this to sound like a hijack; I will seek opinions on my project in my own thread(s).

I am about to embark on a similar project, but there are some key differences. So far, I've narrowed my case choices down to two. The first is the Sugo SG05, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which includes a 300W 80+ certified PSU. This is a nice small case, and will fit my parts (SSD + "green" or 2.5" magnetic drive), but using it must be predicated on the viability of low-wattage parts. I've used PSU calculators and determined that I could comfortably power a HD5750 with the included PSU, IF I use one of the new AMD 45W CPUs, probably the 415e or 610e. Otherwise, I could go for a 73W Clarkdale, or even a 95W CPU, but would have to limit the GPU to a HD5670.
Although it is pricey, I've just about decided I'd better go for the Lian Li PC-Q08A instead, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... because it eliminates the 300W ceiling by accepting a standard PSU. It also offers much better cooling than the PC-Q7, which lacks fans. My goal is for this to become my primary system, and between thermal problems and power limitations, other cases I've considered probably wouldn't work out. If I use that case, the PSU will most likely be a 380W 80+ bronze Antec Earthwatts.
This will be "Green Gamer II," and minimizing power use consistent with acceptable performance, along with smallest practical size, are the two main goals I have for it.
I play mostly older games, and the newer ones I play (or plan to, when they are released) are not extremely demanding; I could possibly "suffer" with as little as a HD4670, but having gone to 1920x1080 recently, I don't think that's realistic.
I am waiting for those 45W CPUs to become available; I will install one in the original Green Gamer and test it with video cards including the HD4670, HD4850, and HD5770. That will allow me to finalize my choices. Then I've got to wait for the AMD mini-ITX boards that Sapphire and Gigabyte are supposedly about to release, that have a PCI Express slot on them, then I'll be ready to build.
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June 1, 2010 7:52:11 PM

update on case; looking for one that is preferably small (but w/e i saw the dorm room and a full size can fit under the desk) but more importantly!.... silent! I need a quiet pc so I don't disturb the roomy.
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a c 131 ) Power supply
June 1, 2010 9:14:52 PM

The Antec Sonata [Elite] is a heavy, very quiet case. With the fans on low, it would be essentially inaudible, but during gaming the video card would likely ramp up and you might hear its fan. Check out the HIS models with the IceQ coolers on them; they exhaust their heat out of the case, and I've found them to be remarkably quiet, even during games.
For utter silence during 2D stuff like web surfing and writing papers, check out the Seasonic X-650 PSU. Although likely more powerful than you'll need, it is an 80+ gold certified PSU that does not even need to turn its fan on when running at 25% load.
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June 1, 2010 9:28:06 PM

Only two fans, would the components run hot? I forgot to mention that bottom mounted psu's are a plus
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a c 131 ) Power supply
June 1, 2010 10:16:50 PM

Well, it isn't a great overclocking case, but if this is for college, you're probably more interested in stability and long-term reliability than getting a max OC out of it. Even with only the stock rear fan in it, my wife's PC doesn't have any thermal problems, and it has a 95W CPU in it.
If you want a bottom-mounted PSU, another very quiet case is the Antec P182 (or whatever the number is up to now). I believe the predecessor to that one (the P180) was a pick at SPCR.
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