What size case do you prefer?

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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What size case do you prefer to house your silent rig?

Small (Micro ATX)
17
37%
Medium (Micro ATX)
14
30%
Large (ATX)
15
33%
 
Total votes: 46

Spotswood
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What size case do you prefer?

Post by Spotswood » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:13 pm

I've been thinking about designing a wooden case for this community and was wondering what size case do you prefer to house your silent rig?
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~El~Jefe~
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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:58 pm

I prefer large cases, but I have a micro atx case for myself.

hm. :oops:

tvih
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Post by tvih » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:22 am

I guess the small option is supposed to be mini-ITX?

Anyway, it's a tricky question for me. Technically the smaller the better, but yet said smaller does lose a feature or two usually. But... overall I guess I'd still say ITX :P Which is wonky, since previous case was ITX, while current case is mATX :wink:

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Post by Das_Saunamies » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:27 am

P180 Mini maximum, preferrably just 30 litres (TJ08 style). I have a P182, and even though it is a joy to work in, it is a chore to have and carry around. The distances inside also spell for long cable stretches. Seeing as how modern motherboards and video cards no longer call for this kind of behemoth, I am very much looking to downsize.

A smaller case would in all likelihood be better for circulation at lower RPM, and I might even be able to drop some fans. I don't know how to feel about wooden cases though, would probably end up too expensive.

I don't care for ITX as I would lose all the expansion slots.
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Modo
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Post by Modo » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:10 am

The Antec Fusion is just about right IMO (big case for an mATX board). It could use some room at the top for larger CPU and GPU heatsinks (many designs are not compatible by less than an inch), but I guess that's how they sell the Fusion Max...
Can you keep it down? I'm having trouble hearing the artillery.

Current rig
Old PC

Erelyes
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Post by Erelyes » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:45 am

If I had my way I'd have a wide, very shallow desktop ATX case. Tall enough to house top end graphics cards, and with the optical / HDDs mounted beside the mobo instead of in front.

speedkar9
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Post by speedkar9 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:45 am

I choose Medium ATX. i.e. a revised Solo, with a bottom mounted PSU, stronger front panel switches, all black, more hd bays, etc, etc, etc.
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=60019]Antec 302-S Project[/url]
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=516201#516201]Solo PC with flipped PSU & Mobo[/url]
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=59157]Basement PC flipped and converted[/url]

[img]http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/9425/img0230copy.jpg[/img]

tvih
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Post by tvih » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:07 am

I don't think it should be that hard to design a roughly 30-liter case with reasonable sound dampening yet also decent airflow. Kind of like a bit more rugged NSK3480/TJ08 with added inner bitumen coating or such. You'd think there'd be enough of a market for a case like that these days for someone to make one. But the only cases with extra dampening are ATX :( And even those don't do it fully - often it's just the damn side door with a bit of acoustic padding on it.

Spotswood
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Post by Spotswood » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:03 pm

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. What I came up with so far is a simple 31L SFF case that should be wicked quiet. Its features include:
  • 3/4-inch thick wood panels
  • .10-inch thick aluminum sheet
  • Dual 120mm front intake fans fed by a bottom air duct
  • Hard/SSD drives are mounted on the three interior aluminum walls
  • Lots of room for large CPU heatsinks or H50/H70 coolers
Image

Image

Image

Image
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Post by MikeC » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:44 pm

Spotswood --

It's great that you're paying attn to this forum, but the dimensions/size of that case strike me as impractical and ungainly. There's a good reason for the tall/narrow or low/wide shape of PC cases. It makes them easier to position and tuck than a boxy cube. Methinks the shape needs to be closer to convention -- there's nothing wrong w/ the 20(W) x 38(H) x 38(D)cm shape of a typical 28 liter mATX case -- and lots right.
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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:13 pm

I have to object to Dr. MikeyC!!

I normally do not.

The board being flat on the bottom is AWESOME for people like me who move their systems all the time. The PSU on the top needs to be high enough off to not hit a grand kama cross, I have one and it is very tall.

It makes it really hard to move around vertically mounted boards with the huge heatsink i have. I always thought boards should be mounted on the bottom anyways. I like the idea of two 120mm fans on the front blowing ing and 1 on the rear. That's nice. I wont make another case without 2 in 1 out at least.

You need some place for Fan Controllers. 5 1/4" bay that has SHORT depth to accomodate a fan controller. I couldnt buy a case without at least 4 fan control. 5 fan control even better, 6, is max one could use.

You could use a Y fan splitter on the front 2 120mm's so then you need:

1 doing 2 on a Y
1 on rear
1 on Video card
1 on CPU

I'm assuming it would be easy to put case windows on it right? Maybe some thick like half inch plexiglass? I like it better than lexan, much clearer and polishes to near glass-like appearance. It would be pimp if you had a window on either side :) That would be hot.

I am noticing an issue with the front air duct. It is very small. The total space of the air duct opening should be slightly more square area than the two 120mm fan's have for their opening square areas.

I am also wondering about something odd to add to it. There's this website called soundproofing.org. They have sheets of mass loaded vinyl + open cell foam. 3/8" total it comes out to. I would think you could put this on walls of the unit if they didnt have acryllic windows. Would knock out hd noise. The foam/mlv/aluminum wall/wood would absorb it all 100% dead. Could put 15,000 rpm cheetah's in there :D
Last edited by ~El~Jefe~ on Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

faugusztin
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Post by faugusztin » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:48 pm

@Spotswood: You come up with... Lian Li PC-V352 mixed with Lan Gear Da Box 100 :).

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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:56 pm

lol yes he did.

it is like Da box except for it doesnt have strange fan sizes. 120's are the only thing you want to design with. Everything else is kinda annoying to deal with . Lots of small cases have a 92mm somewhere, just annoying and detracts heavily.

speedkar9
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Post by speedkar9 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:49 pm

MikeC wrote:There's a good reason for the tall/narrow or low/wide shape of PC cases.
I agree. I'd like to see a TJ08/ NSK3480 tower style case with bottom mounted PSU :).
Nice design though, where are the hard drive(s) suspended?
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=60019]Antec 302-S Project[/url]
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=516201#516201]Solo PC with flipped PSU & Mobo[/url]
[url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=59157]Basement PC flipped and converted[/url]

[img]http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/9425/img0230copy.jpg[/img]

Spotswood
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Post by Spotswood » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:54 pm

@ MikeC - I'm learning that it is very difficult for me to design a true SFF case because I can't not incorporate extra space around the PSU and behind the mother board tray for wire management, etc., but here's a traditionally shaped mini-tower case:

Image

Image


@ ~El~Jefe~ - There's 165mm between the MB tray and the bottom edge of the PSU, which is plenty enough room for your Kama Cross heat sink.

Window(s) would reduce the area for mounting HDs, but is definitely doable.

I will run some tests to determine the proper size for the intake duct.

Between the .10-inch thick aluminum and the 3/4-inch thick wood walls no mass-loading would be required with this case.

@ faugusztin - :D

@ speedkar9 - The HDs can go pretty much anywhere you want them. :D Because this case is so solid and heavy, I though it would be okay (in this case :lol: ) to bolt the HDs directly to the aluminum inner wall. (Yes, I recognize that idea might be a bit controversial on this forum :roll: ).

Image
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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:14 pm

What about a fan controller area? I wonder if you can work that in somehow eh? 4 fans rheobus.

Spotswood
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Post by Spotswood » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:56 pm

~El~Jefe~ wrote:What about a fan controller area? I wonder if you can work that in somehow eh? 4 fans rheobus.
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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:20 am

you just owned that case.

pwnd

that's perfect. I guess it doesnt really matter as you make each one individually right? the metal part I think is rough to cut and work for modifications, or maybe kinda the same?

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Post by MikeC » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:31 am

The HDs can go pretty much anywhere you want them. Because this case is so solid and heavy, I though it would be okay (in this case) to bolt the HDs directly to the aluminum inner wall. (Yes, I recognize that idea might be a bit controversial on this forum).
You'd be surprised how much vibration can affect even pretty heavy panels. Just try it, especially with a 3-4 platter 3.5" drive. The larger number of platters means higher moving mass -- and greater amplitude in the vibration. (I once built a 100lb medite board + steel tubing frame PC case and found the single HDD's vibrations to be annoying until it was elastically suspended.)

Personally, I cannot see a big cube-like box anywhere in my home or office, but that could just be a personal thing. Not sure what your plans are for this design, but if you are planning to market/sell more than a handful, I suggest you take a poll on the wife acceptance factor. (My honey would erect a force field to keep that big cube out of the house... esp after that 100lb box experience. :lol: )
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Post by atmartens » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:01 am

Yes, the wife (Wife-Interpreted Feeling Element) is important.

Spotswood
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Post by Spotswood » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:36 pm

atmartens wrote:Yes, the wife (Wife-Interpreted Feeling Element) is important.
Understood, but usually the color, texture and finish of a wooden case bowls 'em over. hehe



Image



Image
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Spotswood
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Post by Spotswood » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:58 pm

Erelyes wrote:If I had my way I'd have a wide, very shallow desktop ATX case. Tall enough to house top end graphics cards, and with the optical / HDDs mounted beside the mobo instead of in front.

Image


Image
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~El~Jefe~
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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:26 pm

lol the long box is freaky but cool.

I like the square box. Da Box 100 is consistently sold out every time I ask for it, so theres a large demand for boxes.

This would be less compact than Da Box 100. Dabox uses strange size fans and angles to compress a system to a very efficient use of space and still be able to hold the largest cpu heatsinks. However, it is odd and not exactly geared for silence as well as it is anodized aluminum for a completely different look.

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Post by shleepy » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:43 pm

I thought I'd chime in, as an actual customer of Spotswood. :) He built a custom HTPC case for me, and I'll get around to posting it in the Gallery section once I'm done building it. First of all, he's a great guy, and it was a pleasure to design the case. And the final product was very high quality.

As far as a "case for this community" goes, that might be a pretty challenging task. I'd say that the most commonly asked-for and recommended type of case would be something like the Antec Solo. But the Solo's biggest strength is its "potential noise reduction : cost" ratio. And while, at ~$100, it's not anywhere close to the cheapest standard mid-tower ATX case, it would be impossible to match the Solo's price point - or come anywhere remotely close to it - with a custom wooden case. That said, maybe it would be possible to design a very simplistic, utilitarian wooden case and cut down on additional costs.

The other popularly-recommended case is Antec P18x (currently 183) - a full-size ATX case that's built for silence. It would be tough to compete with it at its price point + feature set, but you might be able to cram in some additional features, and also win in the style category. Anyone spending money on a wooden case presumably wants something that looks good / matches their tastes, anyway. As for what features to add, I'd run another poll or start another thread. Some things off the top of my head (which may or may not be popular with other people) would be a couple 2.5" slots for SSD's (not necessarily in any acoustically-ideal position) and maybe 4+ places for suspending 3.5" HDD's. I would also get rid of the top fan. While providing good cooling, it has a couple disadvantages for maintaining a quiet and dust-free system. For something unique, how about an upside-down ATX layout (like the eATX case I'm having Spotswood design for me now)?

I don't know how many people here are thinking of making mini-ITX systems, but there are only a few good options available in that size, depending on whether it's meant to be as small as possible, as an HTPC, or used with a big video card. The way to go here, in my opinion, is to take a couple hypothetical popularly-recommended setups (e.g., mini-ITX motherboard + a particular HSF + a particular video or tuner card, etc.) and making sure that it would fit comfortably and would have a good path for airflow. Don't know if there's much demand for those sizes on SPCR, though.

mATX is a good size, but it might be especially prone to the price issue. Competition is vast and varied. Honestly, I agree with Mike C that most people wouldn't want a cube-shaped case, for practical reasons. Maybe an HTPC, in a relatively short desktop layout, would be the way to go?

That's all from me. Sorry if the post was rambling, rather than constructive. :P I didn't really have a good conclusion, just some additional talking points.

Erelyes
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Post by Erelyes » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:48 pm

Spotswood wrote:
Erelyes wrote:If I had my way I'd have a wide, very shallow desktop ATX case. Tall enough to house top end graphics cards, and with the optical / HDDs mounted beside the mobo instead of in front.
(long box)
I like it. The short path from the front fans to the rear would give great airflow to the graphics cards, which would help those running SLI but still wanting to achieve lower noise (something I note many have issues with). I guess the only issue would be where the hot exhaust would go.

I have a (somewhat) radical idea: assuming a PSU with intake fan on the bottom, mount the PSU in the front (i.e. under the optical drive), with the exhaust grille pointing backwards (into the case). Remove the leftmost intake fan, and add a duct in the base of the case. Then, have a 120/140mm fan mount directly next to the PCI slots. I realise this limits the case to 4 expansion slots only, but anyone running more than 4 slots won't have this thing under their TV anyway...

I would have to say that you'd probably want to take one of two angles: a layout quite off-the-wall and not really seen before (but effective), or simply a refined ATX tower, using the charm of the wood as appeal.

I guess you could do both :lol:

Gee, now I wanna shoot down to the hardware store and grab some MDF to jury-rig up a long box to see if it's acoustically and thermally viable!

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