So I'm building a mini-itx general-purpose PC right now, and I'm trying to decide between Lian Li's PC-Q08 and PC-Q11 cases.
I'm not willing to consider mini-itx cases that require slim DVD writers, such as a lot of silverstone cases, because, well, slim DVD writers cost about 3 times as much.
I'm using an intel i5-760 quad core with a EVGA GTX-460 and a modular PSU.
The PC-Q11 is smaller by nearly 4500 cubic cm (about 3 Kleenex boxes in size). However, it's smaller size entails sup-par cooling.
So my question is this:
If I do not intend to overclock at all, how big an issue do you suppose cooling will be with the Q11?
I'm willing to spend $50 or less on third-party cooling solutions if needed.
I did find a cooling performance test here, but I wasn't sure what to conclude from it.
The performance test initially stated that
The Q11 cannot take a quad core CPU though. Even at stock speed and voltage, we found our i5-750 was hitting its thermal limit and throttling with Prime95.
but then they go on to say
On a positive note, throughout the 3D test, the system remained completely stable and usable with either a Core i5-750 or i5-661 installed, meaning the case can still make a very small and portable gaming system.
Which seems to imply that it won't be too bad provided I find a better cooling solution.
1) The cubage of the case does not matter, in fact, a smaller case has a better cooling potential. The 140mm intake fan has almost the cooling surface of two 120mm fans. It can provide sufficient intake airflow. It is always possible to replace the fan with a higher cfm unit, at the expense of more noise.
2) The biggest need for cooling will come from the graphics card. The EVGA units are good, in that they exhaust the vga heat directly out the back of the case. Evga sells a $10 high flow bracket for GTX580, and I think it also may fit a GTX460. Check that out under accessories on their web site.
3) Do not count on the psu to help . It's job is to protect itself.
4) If you do not overclock, I think the stock cooler will do the job. Under load, it will ramp up and become noisier. If you replace it with an oem cooler that has a larger fan, the ramp up will be quieter. If you do overclock, I think you will still be OK. Considering how easy it is to do with the 750, I would try a modest OC.