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Disadvantages of micro cases?

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April 26, 2011 7:48:28 PM

Hi all,

I built my first system for myself last summer and went with a pretty large case -- antec 1200 -- and am generally very happy with my build.

I'm now looking into building one for my gf, and as it turns out she has some very different priorities than I did when building my machine! In particular, she cares quite a bit about keeping the case small and, if possible, quiet. She wants to go no larger than her current desktop, which is a bit smaller than a mid-tower.

That leaves me with three options:

1. Lian-Li PC-A05NB's mini tower case -- it seems that there are very few cases available in this size now, and this is the most reasonable that I could find.

2. Convince her to go a tiny bit bigger for something like an Antec 300

3. Go really small with a micro case


Before I settle for option 1 or 2 I want to get a bit of a better understanding of what I'd be getting myself into with option 3.

Obviously micro cases require specific motherboards and will limit the size of the GPU. Other than that, is there any major drawback that I need to know about? I'm not planning on building a performance monstrosity -- she doesn't even want it overclocked. She's mainly going to use it for MMOs and PC RPGs (elder scrolls series and such), but she'd like it to last for a good four years if possible. I have a $600-1000 budget, give or take. Do you think that given these factors the micro option is something we should consider?
a b ) Power supply
April 26, 2011 8:00:02 PM

if small.... try and stick with a micro atx case. It has more room and will cool better. It also has an allowance for upgrading to a point. The mini itx boxes......... if she games a discreet graphics card is a must. look very carefully at the back of all those cases and choose one that has 2 expansion slots..... for dual slot video cards....... cooling some of these can be a chore.
April 26, 2011 8:12:03 PM

The biggest drawbacks of micro-ATX cases are more difficult cable management, lack of expansion slots, greater difficulty fitting a larger graphics card or heatsink and in general more difficulty in getting everything installed.

Since you don't plan on going crazy with graphics cards and monster heatsinks a micro-ATX case shouldn't be a problem, although you will have fewer motherboard choices. I would recommend taking a serious look at the Antec 300, though.
Related resources
a c 273 ) Power supply
April 26, 2011 8:12:56 PM

Here's some quality cases on the smaller size and some with built in quiet features.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...
The Antec P180 is the only real competive case for it's unique quiet features.
The only disadvantage is trying to recommend a case better then the Lian Li !
It's sweet!
April 26, 2011 8:31:33 PM

Thanks for the replies all.

I mainly got the idea to even consider a micro size case after reading the recent article on ITX double slot cases. I'd say the frontrunner would probably be the SilverStone SG07B-W.

Davcon -- I'll definitely take a look at those options as well. I take it the main reason to go with a case like the ones that you listed would be better cooling, easier cable management, and more expansion potential?
a b ) Power supply
April 26, 2011 8:49:26 PM

GF/MMO/HTPC

GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-USB3 AM3+ (Bulldozer ready)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
AMD Athlon II X3 450 + CORSAIR Builder Series CX600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS Black 24X DVD+R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HIS H577FK1GD Radeon HD 5770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / 0.8mm SECC Grandia Series GD05B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$599.92

LE That mobo is presented as ATX on the Gigabyte site as well but it's a mATX based on the dimensions and photo, also a Newegg buyer stated that's mATX.
a c 273 ) Power supply
April 27, 2011 3:43:17 AM

sikonawt said:
Thanks for the replies all.

I mainly got the idea to even consider a micro size case after reading the recent article on ITX double slot cases. I'd say the frontrunner would probably be the SilverStone SG07B-W.

Davcon -- I'll definitely take a look at those options as well. I take it the main reason to go with a case like the ones that you listed would be better cooling, easier cable management, and more expansion potential?

I have a buddy who built in one of these. Mini/mobo of course
http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_i...
a c 126 ) Power supply
April 27, 2011 4:26:54 AM

I am a big fan of small cases. I have built two, using lian li. A Q07, and a V351.
If you will be using a graphics card over $50, then the case needs to be a bit bigger than the Q07.

The V351(or V352) are cube cases, and can hold any but the largest graphics cards. I have a GTX580 in mine.
It is quiet, but runs a bit hot with a 2600K overclocked.
They take a Micro-ATX motherboard. You can even get a P67 from asus.
Check that these will fit in your space, the side opening dvd drawer may not be good for you.
And... get the red one. It is anodized aluminum, and the look is stunning.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If a cube case is not right, then look at the Q11. It comes in black, red, and silver
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The case takes a mini-ITX motherboard.
There are currently no P67 ITX motherboards, available, so overclocking (which you don't need) is out.
It will take a modest sized graphics card.

There are other options if the sandy bridge integrated graphics will be sufficient.
!