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 Post subject: Define R4 vs Obsidian 550D vs ???
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:12 pm
Posts: 18
Location: UK
Hi,

I know this topic has come up plenty before but I'd love to hear some more opinions before I make my mind up.

I'm planning on transplanting this system into a new case:

Core i5-2500K
CM Hyper 212+
1 x 2.5" SSD
3 x 3.5" HDDs
1 x 5.25" ODD
SeaSonic SS-660XP2

I need a new motherboard but I've decided to stay with ATX board rather than downsize, given the following rough requirements:

  • Space for at least 3 x 2.5" and 3 x 3.5" drives
  • 1+ 5.25" bay
  • Space for a fairly tall tower CPU cooler
  • Space for a large graphics card
  • Good acoustic performance
  • Cooling performance that isn't absolutely awful (not a priority)

I don't plan on overclocking the CPU (not worth the effort - no real-world impact for what I do) but I will probably add in a dedicated graphics card at some point (maybe a GTX 970).

After doing a fair amount of research, the Fractal Design Define R4 and Corsair Obsidian 550D both look pretty suitable, though the 550D is more expensive (here in the UK, it's about £100 vs the R4's £70).

I like the exterior design of both cases but the 550D seems like it may be better built (aluminium front panel, push-release side panels, and Corsair are well known for making cases that are easy to build in). At the same time, I've read reports that it's not actually well built (such as the AnandTech review). I also saw that the R4's drive cage works well for suspending drives using elastic cord, which I would definitely try if I found the drives to be loud when mounted normally. Can this be done in the 550D?

Not too bothered about the included fans - I'm happy to build the system and see how they sound, and then decide if I want to replace them.

I'd also love to hear of any other case suggestions that people have.

Apologies for the long post, but I want to avoid the hassle of buying a case that I turn out not to like :oops:

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Define R4 vs Obsidian 550D vs ???
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:21 pm
Posts: 11
The Hyper212+ seems like an odd choice. Maybe it will be drowned out in the R4, or maybe not. I'd get something a little more sure to be inaudible and/or pleasing. I personally have found no fan from Cooler Master to be satisfactory, to date.

I would avoid LiteOn for the ODD, as you never know if you'll get one that will rattle the case, or just squeak.

With the R4, you can completely remove the center drive cage, for better air flow, and still fit everything, so long as you tuck away the SSDs a bit (for which it has mounts for at least 2, IIRC).

With the video card under load, you'll likely want to replace the case fans. But, that's easy enough to do, so deciding later is not a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Define R4 vs Obsidian 550D vs ???
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:12 pm
Posts: 18
Location: UK
cerbie wrote:
The Hyper212+ seems like an odd choice. Maybe it will be drowned out in the R4, or maybe not. I'd get something a little more sure to be inaudible and/or pleasing. I personally have found no fan from Cooler Master to be satisfactory, to date.

I would avoid LiteOn for the ODD, as you never know if you'll get one that will rattle the case, or just squeak.

With the R4, you can completely remove the center drive cage, for better air flow, and still fit everything, so long as you tuck away the SSDs a bit (for which it has mounts for at least 2, IIRC).

With the video card under load, you'll likely want to replace the case fans. But, that's easy enough to do, so deciding later is not a problem.

I forgot to mention that I'm not using the stock fan on the Hyper 212+. I'm currently using a Gentle Typhoon AP-13 which works pretty well, so I plan on keeping that in the new case. I have a couple as case fans currently too, but they don't seem to work brilliantly noise-wise. Anyway, I can see what the stock fans are like on whatever case I buy and then always have the option of using the AP-13s or buying some totally new fans.

The drive is a Samsung which I'm happy to keep. I only use it to rip CDs, which I don't often do, and I imagine that will be noisy with any drive unless you want to wait 4 hours per disc. Having said that, I don't want to have an external drive, hence making the 5.25" bay a requirement.

Is it the R4 where the SSD mounts require the removal of the motherboard to gain access? I've been reading up about a few cases so might be getting muddled up there.


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 Post subject: Re: Define R4 vs Obsidian 550D vs ???
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:41 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:21 pm
Posts: 11
Yes, it has those back mounts. But, also, with the moving parts involved, you could use tape or velcro, and put SSDs anywhere, too.

With a different CPU fan already, the Hyper212+ should be perfectly fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Define R4 vs Obsidian 550D vs ???
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:12 pm
Posts: 18
Location: UK
cerbie wrote:
Yes, it has those back mounts. But, also, with the moving parts involved, you could use tape or velcro, and put SSDs anywhere, too.

With a different CPU fan already, the Hyper212+ should be perfectly fine.

Hm, sounds like a bit of a pain. I guess if I go for the R4 I can decide once I get it whether to use those mounts or not. If I consider them extras, I can't really the fact that they're hard to access against it.


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 Post subject: Re: Define R4 vs Obsidian 550D vs ???
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 681
Location: Germany
Ellis wrote:
Is it the R4 where the SSD mounts require the removal of the motherboard to gain access? I've been reading up about a few cases so might be getting muddled up there.


I assembled a system in the R4 some weeks ago and mounted them without removing the mainboard.


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 Post subject: Re: Define R4 vs Obsidian 550D vs ???
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:12 pm
Posts: 18
Location: UK
Pappnaas wrote:
Ellis wrote:
Is it the R4 where the SSD mounts require the removal of the motherboard to gain access? I've been reading up about a few cases so might be getting muddled up there.


I assembled a system in the R4 some weeks ago and mounted them without removing the mainboard.

How do you attach them, then? It looks as though they would need to be screwed in from the front, meaning the motherboard would block access to the screws once installed.


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 Post subject: Re: Define R4 vs Obsidian 550D vs ???
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:05 pm 
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Posts: 4691
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
For the backside of the motherboard tray: I'd use a double sided thermal tape. No airflow back there and I'd like the SSD(s) to have a way to dissipate heat to the tray.

I've been very happy with the R4.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Define R4 vs Obsidian 550D vs ???
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:12 pm
Posts: 18
Location: UK
CA_Steve wrote:
For the backside of the motherboard tray: I'd use a double sided thermal tape. No airflow back there and I'd like the SSD(s) to have a way to dissipate heat to the tray.

I've been very happy with the R4.

I think this is something that I'll have to look at once I get the case. I can see myself not bothering to faff around with mounting the SSDs on the rear of the motherboard tray and instead just putting them with the rest of the drives in the main cage.

I like the fact that you can do this with the R4. The 550D looks nice - I like the front panel and the fact that you can open it either way, but I don't think it offers enough to be worth it over the R4, so I'll probably go for that. Just need to wait until pay day when I can order it along with the other bits I need!

Thanks everyone for your help.


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