Which Is The Best Case For An XL-ATX Motherboard?
When it comes to systems with four dual-slot graphics cards, XL-ATX and ATX motherboards typically wind up with the same issue: due to the thickness of graphics coolers, they both require one more slot at the bottom. Further complicating matters is the fact that XL-ATX isn’t actually a standard form factor.
A motherboard form factor is a fixed set of dimensional values that define its size and standoff locations. No single manufacturer has yet been able to do that with XL-ATX. The problem is that competing vendors specify their own versions of XL-ATX at eight or nine slot spaces in length, various widths, and differing amounts of overhang past the standoffs. With no official template from which to operate, we’re fortunate to find that Evga, Gigabyte, and MSI at least use the same mounting points for the added (fourth) row of standoffs near the bottom edge of these oversized motherboards.
Ultra ATX, on the other hand, is a standard. It was defined by one company on a single product that never actually went into production. Companies began making cases for this motherboard before discovering that it wouldn’t be produced, and those cases are either still being offered today or were replaced by similar models built to support the same standard. The great feature of Ultra ATX is that it supports a double-slot graphics cards mounted in an XL-ATX motherboard’s bottom slot.
This means that, regardless of which XL-ATX motherboard you buy, an Ultra ATX-based case is almost certainly the ideal chassis in which to put it. Even extra-long HPTX cases are designed with the extra slot specified by Ultra ATX.
|Ten-Slot Case Features|
|Azza Fusion 4000||Enermax Fulmo GT||Rosewill Thor V2 White||Thermaltake VH6000BWS|
|Space Above Motherboard||2.0"||3.0"||0.7"||0.5"|
|Weight||42.3 pounds||23.4 pounds||30.9 pounds||36.9 pounds|
|Front Fans (alternatives)||2 x 120 mm (None)||1 x 180 mm (2 x 140/120 mm)||1 x 230 mm (1 x 140/120 mm)||1 x 140 mm (1 x 120 mm)|
|Rear Fans (alternatives)||1 x 140 mm (None)||1 x 140 mm (1 x 120 mm)||1 x 140 mm (1 x 120 mm)||1 x 120 mm (None)|
|Top Fans (alternatives)||None (4 x 120 mm)||1 x 230 mm (2 x 230 mm, 3 x 140/120 mm)||1 x 230 mm (2 x 140/120 mm)||None (1 x 140/120 mm)|
|Side Fans (alternatives)||None (1 x 180 mm, 2 x 140/120 mm)||2 x 180 mm (4 x 180 mm)||1 x 230 mm (4 x 120 mm)||1 x 230 mm (None)|
|3.5" External||None||None||1 x Adapter||1 x Adapter|
|3.5" Internal||8 x Backplane 2 x Cage||Ten||Six||Five +Two**|
|2.5" Internal||4 x Backplane 8 x Shared*||Ten||Six*||None|
|*shared on 3.5" tray, **XL-ATX motherboard requires removal of two 3.5" drive cages|
We’ve already gone into quite a bit of depth on the added features, so today we finally get to see how well each case fits and functions with our quad-card SLI configuration on an XL-ATX-based board.