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MITX Gaming Case

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a b 4 Gaming
June 6, 2012 3:02:14 PM

Edit: for the results of this build, follow the link: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/349685-31-mini-gaming...

Hey guys,

I'm building a budget gamer for my brother, and am looking at the ITX form factor since he's attending college, and will have to move it every so often.

I know there are several good brands for ITX cases, and was looking at Lian Li and Silverstone, but I'm open to input.

The real determining requirement is that I need the case to hold a 560Ti with a triple slot aftermarket cooler (had it watercooled but need to switch it to air for my bro) and be able to provide decent airflow. The rest of the specs are listed below for reference.

I would appreciate suggestions and recommendations from those who have mITX builds, and what they do/don't like about their cases. Thanks!

i3-2100
mITX H61/67 motherboard
4-8GB RAM
2.5" SSD
3.5" HDD
560Ti + triple slot cooling setup
5.25" disc drive
ATX (full size) PSU
(Maybe) Sound card (would like to have, but consider extra)

More about : mitx gaming case

a b ) Power supply
June 6, 2012 6:36:03 PM

Fractal Design Arc Mini, meets all your requirements. :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
June 6, 2012 6:48:48 PM

Quote:
Fractal Design Arc Mini, meets all your requirements. :) 


That's a mATX rather than a mITX case. I will consider them eventually if I must, but size is really a priority and I would like an ITX case if possible.
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Related resources
June 6, 2012 7:07:17 PM

Personally, I would go with the Bitfenix Prodigy. It's pretty well built, surprisingly cavernous, can definitely fit the 560ti, and it even has enough room for radiators if you want to keep the liquid cooling. It also has room for standard ATX power supplies. Plus, it looks really nice
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a c 129 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
June 6, 2012 7:10:09 PM

The Lian Li PC-Q08 is a great case, but it will only take a double-slot card. He will run out of SATA ports on most ITX mobos before he runs out of drive bays in that case. If you want to see a build in it, check out my "jtt283" Youtube channel; that's the only thing I've got there.
Quite frankly, I don't know of any mini-ITX case that has more than one double-slot space for cards. If you only need two slot on the backplate though, it might still fit, though it would be tight.
Keep in mind that CPU cooling is limited in a mini-ITX case. Faster fans can be installed, but you'll be limited to a very low profile cooler.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 6, 2012 7:22:18 PM

po1nted said:
Tom's article on mITX cases:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/lian-li-pc-q08-silv...


Read through that earlier today, and didn't find too much that was helpful other than more potential options.

Quote:
The Lian Li PC-Q08 is a great case, but it will only take a double-slot card. He will run out of SATA ports on most ITX mobos before he runs out of drive bays in that case. If you want to see a build in it, check out my "jtt283" Youtube channel; that's the only thing I've got there.
Quite frankly, I don't know of any mini-ITX case that has more than one double-slot space for cards. If you only need two slot on the backplate though, it might still fit, though it would be tight.
Keep in mind that CPU cooling is limited in a mini-ITX case. Faster fans can be installed, but you'll be limited to a very low profile cooler.


I don't know how much the GPU cooler will hang off, so I'm going to hold off on purchasing the case until I know how big it is. I like the overall build of the Lian Li lines. Not looking for extreme storage or cooling, so almost anything will do from those standpoints.


Quote:
Personally, I would go with the Bitfenix Prodigy. It's pretty well built, surprisingly cavernous, can definitely fit the 560ti, and it even has enough room for radiators if you want to keep the liquid cooling


Looks like a great case. I will have to look more into the clearance for the aftermarket cooler, but it looks like a good design, and those handles will be great for when my brother moves.

Not looking to keep the WC loop since my brother knows nothing about computers (has a Mac lolz).

Might actually use the Prodigy for a file server I've been looking to build.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 6, 2012 7:38:11 PM

Also just saw the FT03 Mini. Looking into that as well.
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a b ) Power supply
June 6, 2012 8:56:37 PM

boiler1990 said:
Quote:
Fractal Design Arc Mini, meets all your requirements. :) 


That's a mATX rather than a mITX case. I will consider them eventually if I must, but size is really a priority and I would like an ITX case if possible.



Technically it's both. I just mentioned it, because you want to air cool and most ITX cases are very HTPC like, not meant to fit gaming hardware (crap cooling). :) 

That being said, I second the "BitFenix Prodigy" suggestion.

How much do you intend to spent on the case?
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a b 4 Gaming
June 6, 2012 9:15:21 PM

I'm hoping to spend about $500 on the whole system but it's somewhat flexible (keep in mind HDDs are expensive, and I don't have to spend $200 on a GPU). I'm not adverse to spending $100 on a good case that meets all of my brother's needs.

I'll talk to him to see what sort of case he would prefer in terms of styling and the like. May have to ship it to him as well if he can't take it back on the train.
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a b ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
June 6, 2012 9:33:38 PM

Since he's a mac guy then that FT03-mini would make him happy.

Another possible case might be the Cubitek Mini-Ice. It's similar to the Bitfenix Prodigy, but without the handles and it's all aluminum.

http://www.cubitek.com/products/ice-series/mini-ice
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June 6, 2012 9:51:57 PM

I've got a lian li pc-q25 and it's got a gtx 550ti in with an aftermarket cooler. It's slightly bigger than the 2 expansion slots but there's plenty of room still underneath it.

Downside to the case...no optical drive...not really an issue if you download your games though...which I do.

My specs

Mobo - zotac 9300d-e
CPU - core2 quad q6600 over clocked to 2.8ghz
Ram - 4gb ddr2 @ 800mhz
Gpu - zotac gf 550ti amp edition
Psu silverstone 500w modular
CPU cooler - scythe shrunken
Hdd -1tb



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Best solution

a c 148 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
June 6, 2012 10:57:36 PM

I think the lian li Q08 would serve you well and meet your requirements.
I have one which is holding my backup pc at the moment, but I am considering changing it to my main gaming pd.

1) It will hold ANY length graphics card.
2) It has two rear slots so a double slot exhaust will work. In addition, there is perhaps another slot's worth of space where some triple slot sized cards can overhang. I don't think there are any triple slot cards that actually need more than the two slots, just perhaps some extra space.
3) It uses a full ATX psu. I suggest a modular unit since space is at a premium for storing unused psu leads.

4) The front 140mm fan provides all the airflow you need. In a dorm room, the fan is lighted, and could be annoying, but when you put it to sleep, the fan turns off.

5) There is limited height available for a cpu cooler. You are mostly going to have to use a downdraft type cooler.
From research, the best one that fits is the tr axp140. I think the noctua NH-L12 will fit also from the specs.
Any would be fine for a i3-2120 which does not really get hot anyway.

6) there is room for a dvd, a couple of hard drives, and a ssd.

7) It is all aluminum which makes it lighter.

8) Because there is only one expansion slot on an itx motherboard, a dedicated sound card is not feasible.
To my tin ear, onboard HD sound seems fine anyway.

All in all, a very nice small case.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 7, 2012 12:41:54 AM

Good suggestions all around, thanks. I have some reading up to do tonight and tomorrow at work :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
June 7, 2012 12:26:46 PM

There are some interesting things about each case that I like. From some of the reviews and builds I've seen with the Cubitek Mini Ice, it appears that there may be clearance for the triple slot cooler. The only downside is that I have a Blu-ray drive that I was going to throw in, but that may not happen. I'm sure my brother can live without it since this will probably be a gaming-only PC.

The FT03 looks a bit expensive (I own a Silverstone case, so I know how pricey they get), and it may not fit the GPU as well as the Mini Ice. Compared to some of the others, it may not be worth it for the constraints I have. It is definitely a well thought out case though, for anyone considering it.

As for a PSU, I've decided on the PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk III 500W modular unit. It's not 100% modular, but enough to remove the cables I'm not going to use, and it's also white ;) . Also going with an ASRock B75M-ITX board. Trying to coordinate colors here :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
June 7, 2012 2:15:06 PM

Anyone know where you buy Cubitek cases (specifically the Mini Ice)? I was looking up prices and can't find Cubiteks sold anywhere...
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a b ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
June 7, 2012 3:33:14 PM

The Cubitek Mini-ICE was just introduced in May so it will take a while to reach retail channels. Right now, the only place I can find it is here for pre-order at a UK site. Their other ITX case (mini-Tank) is available, but it's fugly.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 7, 2012 4:15:03 PM

I see. I found out it also sells for $170 on one review, but I believe that was after conversion to USD. Prices on hardware generally match in number (i.e. $100 = 100 GBP) so I would imagine the case would be around $100-120. I just hope it releases soon - my brother's birthday is in 2 weeks and would love to finish the build before then.

I sorta like the Mini Tank design, but it's quite large for only holding an ITX board...
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a b 4 Gaming
June 9, 2012 4:09:34 PM

I ended up going with the Lian Li PC-Q08R (the red version), primarily for the color. My brother seemed to want something other than black or metal, so that kind of fit the bill. I will report back with the results of the build once everything starts arriving next week.

Also, I will keep the Cubitek Mini ICE in mind for my file server. I love the looks of that case, and all I need it to hold are a few drives and the essentials. No GPU or DVD drive (which seem to be the only flaw in that case).

I also saw the Bitfenix Prodigy on Newegg. The first bitfenix cases I've seen there.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 9, 2012 4:43:45 PM

Best answer selected by boiler1990.
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a c 148 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
June 9, 2012 4:50:10 PM

For what it is worth, my PC-Q08 is red too. The color is stunning.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 9, 2012 5:22:12 PM

I was looking into black with another color, but it just wasn't going to work out. What sort of finish is it? It looks anodized, which would be ideal since it doesn't come off as easily as paint.
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a c 148 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
June 9, 2012 6:29:10 PM

boiler1990 said:
I was looking into black with another color, but it just wasn't going to work out. What sort of finish is it? It looks anodized, which would be ideal since it doesn't come off as easily as paint.


Yes, it is an anodized finish. Slightly metallic. The red is more towards a blue or purple shade.
It does not come off, but it will scratch easily.
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a c 129 ) Power supply
a b 4 Gaming
June 9, 2012 7:47:57 PM

Thank you. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 14, 2012 12:19:31 PM

For anyone who was curious, the Accelero Twin Turbo II doesn't fit in the PC-Q08 by about half a slot, so I'm selling it and I'm gonna wait for the GTX 660 to come out (hopefully this month) and install that instead. Other than that, the build is look clean and is basically ready to go.

I saw a thread online with a PC-Q11 and it looks like that could easily fit a triple slot cooler (has more space in the picture than my Q08), so that could have been an option. It's a much pricier case IIRC though.
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