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Should I switch to Micro ATX

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August 5, 2010 6:20:52 PM

Hi all,

I am thinking of switching my full tower to a mini atx case. I would need a new motherboard and psu, but my gtx 460s (sli) and i7 920 should be fine for a mini atx pc.

Should I make the switch? I like to play games at max settings at 1080p res, but I am going back to college at the end of the month and would love to bring my pc without having to haul my megaton case around. I go back and forth pretty often between home and school so I figured it might not be a bad investment.

Should I stick with big cases or make the switch? I know micro atx has made a lot of strides recently.

More about : switch micro atx

August 5, 2010 6:30:04 PM

Small cases are good, but make sure that there is enough cooling for your system. That's probably the only catch you may have, as long as you can find a case that fits what you need. Make sure the graphics cards can fit, they may be too long to fit in many small cases. Also since you will be moving the PC around a bit, make sure you have all the right bracing for the hardware, you don't want one of your video cards popping out and frying the system.
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August 5, 2010 7:57:25 PM

^+1

Some mATX cases have enough space for an ATX board (like mine). Before you buy a new board get the case and see if it will fit with all the proper cooling.

The cases are a lot more cramped, so I hope you're good with cable management!
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 5, 2010 9:10:39 PM
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August 5, 2010 9:57:14 PM

Thanks for the replies guys.
@eloric Those are the exact items I am looking at. I'm am close to pulling the trigger.
Should I get a modular PSU as well? My OCZ 750w is pretty huge and takes up a lot of space in my full tower. It would probably be the Thermaltake Toughpower XT 850W, outlined in this article.
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/building_a_core_i7_...

That is unless you all have a better suggestion?
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 6, 2010 12:00:40 AM

I have an ocz 750W, and mine is a regular size, but the cables sure will be a mess to deal with. You need all the help you can get, and a modular power supply will be a very good start. Also, read the reviews on New Egg for tips on getting your dual cards in there, especially placement of your HDD. I'm sure you are up for the challenge. Good luck.
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August 6, 2010 12:03:02 AM

Do you think the 850w is overkill for SLI? I don't know why that particular power supply is ~250$ when most are around 100-150. Whats the premium for and is it worth it?
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August 6, 2010 12:38:33 AM

Also, do you recommend getting a low profile cooler for my i7? I don't really plan to overclock, but I want to keep the temps low. Maybe the stock intel heatsink will do.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
August 6, 2010 12:57:41 AM

A while ago, I considered such a move and did some research. The case I liked best was the lian li V351.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It comes in several colors. It takes your standard ATX psu. There is sufficient room for graphics cards as large as a 5870, and even a 5890 by relocating a fan. Your GTX460's are no problem. Cooling looks good with two 120mm intake fans. It is aluminum which makes it lighter. There is a similar V352 version that is newer and much more expensive.

CPU cooler height is about 100mm max. The best cooler that fit was the noctua NH-U9B:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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August 6, 2010 9:40:16 PM

Any other recommendations on cases? The Lanbox Lite is nice but it looks pretty large and unwieldly for carrying around and up and down stairs. I know silverstone makes some nice cases and I definitely prefer the cube look but its not a must. Its about portability. It also must be able to fit my 2 8" GTX 460s.
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August 11, 2010 11:43:31 PM

Best answer selected by avalanche0316.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 14, 2010 7:43:16 AM

Thank you very much
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