MATX Case?

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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MATX Case?

Post by Kizz » Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:42 am

I'm looking to buy a micro-ATX case to house a bunch of parts I have, plus a new MATX mobo. It will run an 80GB Seagate Barracuda IV, at least 1 DVD drive, a 300W ATX PSU, Radeon 9600, 2ghz CPU and a Creative soundcard. However, I'm not really sure which case to invest in. I would like something that either accepts ATX PSUs or comes with a very quiet psu of its own. As prices go <£40 is about my budget, but for that I want something that isn't too large but will also accept my parts and give sufficient cooling (oh yes, and nothing with 50mm fans please, minimum of 80mm holes). One 5.25" bay, 2 if possible, and maybe a 3.5" too for a floppy drive/LCD, and enough space inside to suspend or foam-mount a HD. Also enough height to fit a 70-80mm high cpu heatsink. I think that's it...they system will be pretty low-powered, so will not need a super-case to cool it, but as long as a fan cam be fitted on the back and give a straight-though airflow with reasonable quiet that would suit my needs fine.

I'll shut up now


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Post by SomeGuy15 » Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:51 pm

If you want at least a 80mm fan, it sounds like you need a full-height case. IMHO, just get a small tower like the Antec SLK1650.

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Post by notareal » Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:14 am

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Post by stromgald » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:07 am

If you're thinking about the Aspire X-Qpack, you should seriously consider looking for the ChenMing MATX-118. Its the OEM version of the Aspire and has less bling (no windows, no shinny PSU, and no lighted 120mm fan), but it is cheaper and has a higher quality PSU and case fan.

The Matx-118 and X-Qpack doesn't accept full size PSUs very well. It is to get a full size PSU in there if the wires come out of the PSU in the correct way. If you have a rather short DVD drive (there are some shorter than the standard), it'll fit better. However, I wouldn't replace the PSU in my Chenming matx-118 right now. Its almost dead silent. Quieter than my Zalman 7000B-AlCu at ~1500 rpm. The included case fan is a medium speed yate loon or something like that. Its fairly quiet even at 12V. You can hear it at 1 m, but its very quiet and is pretty soft.

As for size, its bigger than I expected. Its about 3" wider than the largest Shuttle and a fraction of inch deeper and taller. This makes it kindof hard to carry under the arm, but maybe I'm just a small guy. The handle up front can hold it up, but I wouldn't go jumping around holding the handle, seems kinda flimsy to me. It can only take about 70mm for the CPU heatsink + fan. My Zalman 7000AlCu can fit with little clearance. Maybe 5-10mm clearance. It only has 1 120mm fan that provides enough cooling for my SFF system (check my signature).

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Post by stromgald » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:22 am

Oh, after looking at your post again, I should probably mention that it'll be very difficult to suspend a HDD in the Matx-118 or X-Qpack. Its probably very difficult in any small case. There's enough room to rest it on some damping material, but the HDD is oriented on its side in the case so you might have to get a little creative. I think if you soft mount a Barracuda IV with some rubber grommets it might be OK, or you can put it in an enclosure and stuff it in one of the two 5.25" slots.

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Post by please » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:52 am

I used one of these from ebayfor a micro-build and it was actually a decent case. It was very inexpensive. The PSU lasted 2 minutes before failing(1:30 longer than expected :lol: ) and was replaced with an Antec SmartPower2.0 350W. You might be able to get away with less(passive) with some creativity. The metal is fairly thick and the outside is finished with an subtley attractive matte-black crinkle finish(not smooth but textured). It has room for an 80mm fan in back(moddable for 92mm) and two 80mm fans in front,(moddable for one 92mm or 120mm) and the front plastic bezel/vent is very non-restrictive.

I used a P4P800-VM with a 2.4C P4 with a Zalman7000 HSF and it fit. I used an 80mm in back and none in front, due to the non-restrictive bezel/grill and I suspended a HDD in one of the 5.25 bays using stretch magic. I also had just one DVDRW drive. I can't remember, but I may have taped over some or all of the metal front grills to direct the airflow thru the plastic bezel vents up and over the HDD mounted in the 5.25 bay.

Here is the manufacturer product webpage...its a '4HL' from broadway...looks like the 4HL II seriesmay have a 120mm fan in back. It is hard to surf their site to see what the fronts look like as they make several bezels for one metal chassis. I'm in the USA but you may find it in the UK.

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Post by GHz » Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:00 am

Here's a decent cheap microATX case: ... 6811153028

The power supply is decent, but it's too noisy. I ended up modifying it with a fan swap + zener diode to make it quiet. It would probably be best just to swap it with a cheap Sparkle/Fortron (also at Newegg). The cooling is achieved with a 92mm fan in the back, and 120mm (or smaller) in front.

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Post by Kizz » Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:38 am

Some nice-looking cases here, but as I'm very bloody-minded as to what I want most of them have little things that niggle me, some with the mass of side vents (what is up with that on MATX cases?) and some just with the whole aesthetic principle. From looking around I think a Compucase Case would suit me quite well, but the exact case I was looking at does not seem to be available anywhere in the UK, so I may go for the ASUS TM-231 or Compucase 6K31, as the 6K29 I would like to get, which appears as the picture on the compucase site, does not appear to be available from anywhere in the UK, only the cream/silver and black/silver which both look pretty tacky.

I would go for a shuttle case, but most look to have verylarge dimensions, and a tower would be better suited to stick down between two pieces of furniture etc., although the Chenming does look very nice, and smaller than many of the cases I have seen, although it looks hard to soft-mount a HD within.

Any opinions?

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Post by Chang » Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:03 pm

I really like my X-QPack. I've suspended my harddrive in the top 5.25 bay. Another problem you may run into is your heatsink height requirement.

I'm also a fan of the Enermax Venus. I was using a Silverstone with the same dual 80mm layout and was happy with it. 120mms like the QPack are much nicer and quieter though.

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Post by Kizz » Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:39 pm

I've come across, the X Q-Pack, and I must say I do like the case, but the price is a bit offputting - £70 seems like a lot when I could get a serviceable case for £30, and I'm not a fan of the windows. The size is very appealing, as is the 120mm fan, but the cramped conditions would probably negate the extra airflow anyway. I think for my needs a tower case is the best suited, as I can upgrade, cram in all my bits and fit a fan controller etc for an extra £10, without all the costs.

EDIT After much research I have come to a choise between two cases - the Antec SLK1650B and SLK2650-BQE. Both are black, and have 120mm fans on back and 80mm on the front. The 1650 Has some kind of wierd vent/enclosure around the psu, which may be for airflow purposes, but doesn't appear particularly useful. The 2650 has a door, which appeals to me, but also costs £10 more, which I find hard to justify. I am debating whether the extra 5.25" bay is useful to me - I can fill 2 with my CD and DVD Drives straight off, and maybe get a fan controller, something like an Aerocool Gatewatch to fill the other two, or suspend my HD in one.

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Post by CoolGav » Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:51 am

I have a MATX case that is along the lines of what you're after. It's a Suntek TH-617.

I opened up the rear with a dremmel to take a 92mm fan (not an easy job!). The drive rack is not great, and I haven't suspended a drive in it, but it's possible, although it might need drilling out of some rivets. Since you probably wouldn't find one on the market, I wouldn't bother trying to get hold of one as it's a lot of work, and there's probably something better out there...

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