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Mini vs Mid-Tower

Last response: in Systems
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December 13, 2011 8:14:40 AM

I've been mulling over this build for a while now, mainly whether or not the pros of a microATX board/case outweigh the cons. The basic parts I'm already decided on:
CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K
RAM: G.skill Ripjaws 8GB
GPU: Sapphire FLEX 6850 1GB
PSU: Rosewill HIVE-550W

I figure that if I decide to go mATX, the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z will suit my needs just fine. If not, the Asus P8Z68-V seems like the de facto ATX equivalent. No problems there.

My real concern is the case for this build. I've moved around a lot in the past, and transporting Mid-towers has never been fun. It's at that point that I realize I've never used enough of the expansion slots or other drive bays to really justify the larger chasis. I've looked through countless similar threads, read all the reviews I can stand, and I'm still undecided if saving the empty weight/space is worth losing potential air flow and future options like SLI and/or OC (given the space limitations for new hardware).

In short, I'm looking for any comments or suggestions regarding Mini vs Mid Tower cases. If I'm only going to need a single optical drive and graphics card (for now), is it worth the extra size to make cooling & modifying a breeze?


A couple of the cases I've been eyeing (all with their own pros/cons, I know):
Carbide 500R (Mid-Tower)
Thermaltake Armor A30
Dragon Slayer
Silverstone TJ08

More about : mini mid tower

December 13, 2011 9:37:44 AM

The Asus Maximus Gene Z is a beautiful board if you are into heavy overclocking.
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December 13, 2011 9:59:48 AM

Myself I'm using a mATX system. I love it because of the case I have. It's still too heavy to carry around for myself though. Mini P180 is not mini in weight. If you go for mATX, choose a very light case!

if you're not moving around very much, or at all, go for ATX, as the extra expandability can always be useful. Not needed so much these days though with everything built into the mobo
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December 13, 2011 10:11:04 AM

If you've never used all the slots on an ATX motherboard in the past, then its unlikely that you'll use it in the future. Why not optimize for what you know you will use it for. Instead of SLI/Crossfire, just get a new card.

I built my computer about 2 years ago and went with a mid-tower "just in case." I've moved three times (I'm a student) and I've wished every single time that I had gone with a smaller case. I even wish I had gone with a smaller case every time I've dragged it out from under my desk to troubleshoot a hardware problem in the first couple of months of use (I had really bad RAM).
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December 13, 2011 6:19:04 PM

Thanks for the responses guys. Its probably true I'll never use those extra expansions, as much as I want to have them "just in case."

I'm probably going to stick with the Silverstone case, unless someone convinces me otherwise at the last minute. I did consider that Fractal Design for a while, but the weight and complaints about the rear fan made me choose the Silverstone instead.
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December 13, 2011 6:29:50 PM

Id have the TJ 08e as first choice . The fractal design arc mini is plastic and the cooling is not as good

If this is a gaming build your mix of processor and graphics is wrong . You could use a 2500k and a much more powerful graphics card at the same price and game far better
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December 13, 2011 6:34:48 PM

Go for a light case. As much as I love my case, it's waaaay too heavy. My machine weighs around 15-20kg now, which renders it useless for lanparties. Also the reason I kept the box of the case, and also half the reason why im contemplating getting a cheap old car so I can be slightly more mobile with it...
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December 13, 2011 7:26:07 PM

Thanks guys, I'm feelin good about my choices now. I know there are lighter cases out there but I don't plan on attending lan parties, so I won't be moving it around too often.

The reason I went with the i7 is that this is going to be my home workstation, which mainly involves a lot of high-res Photoshop work, which should take advantage of hyperthreading. Gaming isn't as important to me, though I did want a GPU that could at least put up with StarCraft and a couple other older games.
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