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So many cases... only two eyeballs and one fried brain

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August 15, 2010 7:27:05 AM

I've started a thread on my original build here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/292171-31-htpc-slight...

Now, I think the only issue I'm haveing is finding the right case/PSU setup.
I think I've come to a dead end. I've searched Apex, In-Win, Apevia, Compucase, Enermax, Pixxa, and probably a few others. What I'm mainly looking for is a somewhat small footprint (approx 14"H * ≤6"W * ??"D). I somewhat prefer black, gloss finish, and a covered or discrete looking drive bay(s). The gloss is a bonus, but, mainly want it to look classy/sleek (non-computer). I've determined I don't want the traditional HTPC/Stereo Receiver look. Cube??? eeeeh, possibly. Most cubes are very bulky though.

My current case:
http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Here are a few that I've looked at:
http://www.in-win.us/products_pccase_series.php?cat_id=... (I like this one! Can't seem to find a retailer that sells it WITH the gloss)
http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... (a bit big/bulky. plus no PSU)
http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/searchtools/ite... (somewhat bad reviews and looks a bit cheesy)
http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... (another nice looking case, but, another Bulkster McBulky and look at the reviews)

Essh there are a few others that I seemed to have accidentally closed the tabs to. If there is anyone that can help with some great ideas (without a TON of American Dollars) I would be grateful.

I like the case I have a lot. However, unless a 300w upgrade will be enough for an eventual crossfire setup, then I need a new case for a better PSU.

Oh, and if you don't want to sort through the other thread, here is what I'm putting in it:
CPU- http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Mobo- http://www.circuitcity.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
4 Gigs of memory, 500gb HDD and a DVDRW

I adjusted the mobo for crossfire upgrades to come later. Thus the need for more power... ERRRRRR POWER! lol

The folks on my other thread are super helpful. Everyone here has been (with exception to me having to make a new login every two days... no confirmation emails) very helpful. Thank you all for the help! I shall keep browsing the forums for suggestions from others' builds.
-James
August 15, 2010 5:07:56 PM

Step 1: Chose all of the other components you want, especially the video card(s). It looks like you have already chosen an mATX motherboard.

This will determine the size and cooling requirements for the case.
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August 15, 2010 5:28:51 PM

When I upgrade GPU I plan on going with (most likely) HD5750. At some point I want to set it up with a friend so they can play together (Crossfire). I went to http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine and put in max system setup (that I would go with) and the PSU recommended is just above 400w.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
August 15, 2010 11:38:29 PM

How about the lian li V351?

It has superb cooling and can fit almost any size graphics card. It uses a standard ATX psu.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Warning! Do not buy a no name psu from fry's or anywhere else.
450w may not be enough for a graphics card stronger than the 5850 or for a second one in crossfire.
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August 16, 2010 12:27:23 AM

V
geofelt said:
How about the lian li V351?

It has superb cooling and can fit almost any size graphics card. It uses a standard ATX psu.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Warning! Do not buy a no name psu from fry's or anywhere else.
450w may not be enough for a graphics card stronger than the 5850 or for a second one in crossfire.

That's actually a really nice lookin case. I like how it has a kind of galvanized finish. However, it looks like there's little airflow. The drive bays seem cramped also.
Yeah I'm not super sure about PSU brands. Any suggestions with some economy in mind?
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
August 16, 2010 12:58:34 AM

jaydoubledub said:
V
That's actually a really nice lookin case. I like how it has a kind of galvanized finish. However, it looks like there's little airflow. The drive bays seem cramped also.
Yeah I'm not super sure about PSU brands. Any suggestions with some economy in mind?


The finish is actually a very nice brushed aluminum. I have the mini-itx case the PC-Q07 which has a similar finish.
I spent some time researching micro-atx cases with a similar build in mind. The V351 has two 120mm intake fans in front which should provide plenty of airflow. I think the fans are three speed.
If you want more airflow, you are looking at a much bigger case with three front intake fans.
You will be limited on the height of the cpu cooler, but the noctua u9h will apparently fit.

My short list of quality psu brands would include XFX, Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, and PC P&C. For a small form factor case, I suggest the XFX which is modular.
Which one you get will be determined by your ultimate graphics configuration. The 650w unit will handle any single graphics card out there. For dual strong cards, the 750w unit will be better. It is also silver efficient certified.

Silverstone also makes some nice small cases, but they are pricey,

For a cheap case with good cooling, it is hard to beat the Antec 200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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