Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

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figment
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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:30 pm

bonestonne wrote:Explain to me how using negative air pressure is a detriment. Most builds that I do rely on it (and the ones that don't only have a CPU fan and PSU fan). I can assure you that no less dust enters a system using positive pressure. You can also use open cell foam in the front fan area to be a much more effective filter when compared to many of the standard dust filters that come on computers.
I only know from my experience. The PC-9F replaced a negative-flow design. Even with my attempts to block off extra intakes, dust found other ways in. The result required monthly maintenance to clear dust from various crevices that could not be sealed, including the CD-ROM door and backplanes of my sound and network cards. Though I can't be certain, I suspect that dust build up eventually killed the CD-ROM, as it died after just 2 years.

The mostly-neutral (P182) and more-positive (PC-9F) builds have fared much better. I still need to clear dust from the intakes on a weekly basis, but the dust collects at the intakes and virtually nowhere else. The inside of the cases is almost dust free, even after 3 years. There are too many variables to claim just one single cause, but the newer builds also have lower case temperatures.

Of course, mATX and mITX builds are different. The size mostly eliminates much of the positive or negative ideology. The volume is low enough that it doesn't matter as much. Still, experience suggests that I'll have an easier time maintaining the case if it follows stereotypical positive designs: comparatively strong intakes with filters on the exterior side.
bonestonne wrote:If you mod the computer yourself, they look as good as you're willing to make them look.
Agreed. However, I myself don't have the skill to professionally paint or powder coat a PC case, and it's not economically feasible to pay to have it done to solve minor issues. If the only solution to get a mATX/mITX case to fit my needs is paying someone to cut, sand and powder-coat case mods, then I'll just ditch everything and go back to ATX, where the solutions are simple. If the mods are simpler, then I'm willing to consider them.
bonestonne wrote:In all, you're looking for a case in the ballpark of no greater than 8.25 inches wide?
If only that were the case. 8.25" is a popular case width. That is the width of the PC-9F. It does not fit in the space used by the P182. I need something that is 205mm or smaller. A 210mm case won't fit unless I start getting very creative with my house (cutting away baseboard trim, replacing the banister on the stairs...). And yes, I know that's packing them really tight. It also means that side vents on the right side are useless in the P182 location, as they'll be blocked anyway.
bonestonne wrote:I think the TJ08 sounds like a clear winner for you
The TJ08 won't fit in the space left by the P182, and its too deep to fit between the desk legs. If I go with the TJ08, I have to find someplace else to put the case. Currently, there is no suitable place. I'd need to re-arrange some things in the dining room to run cords from there to the KVM in the living room.
bonestonne wrote:I liken this to my girlfriend's recent shopping adventure for a Tibetan Singing Bowl. ... Sometimes, it doesn't take very long to make a decision, there's no point in trying to talk yourself out of it once you've found what you like.
At the moment, the W1 with some mild modding is the easiest solution, though even that would be a tight fit. The 250D fits better, and is lower (which is good, since we're now talking about putting the case where i normally keep my feet).

quest_for_silence
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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:41 am

figment wrote:In SPCRs testing, using only the top or only the bottom fan --both blowing down-- did not significantly change the performance.

So, along with "quiet", much like "cool" and "attractive", even "significantly" is a subjective term...

figment
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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:21 am

quest_for_silence wrote:So, along with "quiet", much like "cool" and "attractive", even "significantly" is a subjective term...
Yup. For me, 3 degrees difference under full load isn't significant. My living room has a thermal variance of 2 degrees. At the temperatures we're dealing with, this 3 degree difference means a CPU temperature of 68 instead of 65 under full load. At idle, the cooling difference is going to be virtually nothing.

But, of course, you're free to have your own opinion. If you're trying to build a system to display statistically superior design, then 3C might be unacceptable.

I'm more practical than that. I'm aiming to keep the CPU under 70C and the GPU under 80C when both are loaded. I don't really care whether the CPU is 50C or 53C... or even 68C.

bonestonne
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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by bonestonne » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:40 am

So you're telling me that the full sized ATX case, that sits where it is now, cannot be replaced by a case that is the same physical width, while being physically shorter and not as long?

The width of the P182 is 210mm, the width of the TJ08 is 210mm. I fail to see the difference here. Do I have a different type of ruler than you?

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:07 am

figment wrote:But, of course, you're free to have your own opinion.

I don't think it's a matter of different opinions, just about facts (not to mention your persistent sort of badass attitude): as long as you are not informed about actual PSUs efficiency, more probably that not you're not informed about the cooling prowess of different heatsinks, and about the expected performance differences among them.

As I already said some posts ago, in order to have enough cooling prowess with enough quietness at 2m, and a lot less hassle, you may use more modest coolers than a NH-C14 (whose performance, on the other hand, will be sufficient under any condition).

Well, have a nice time: my time to play is over.

figment
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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:57 am

bonestonne wrote:The width of the P182 is 210mm, the width of the TJ08 is 210mm. I fail to see the difference here. Do I have a different type of ruler than you?
I don't know. I measure the P182 as 205mm, maybe as low as 200mm in the middle where the leg presses against it. The PC-9F is about 210mm (slightly wider at the top than the bottom due to panel construction). The P182 fits, tightly. The PC-9F does not.

Yes, we're talking about 5mm here. Yes, it is that tight. No, I don't have any good ways of recovering even 5mm without bending the desk legs out of joint or doing some woodwork on the surrounding area. Yes, cracking off the shoe molding is a tempting idea, because I truly am that frustrated with how many good case options won't fit in the space. However, I'd rather not damage my house unless that is the only solution to the problem.

Perhaps 5mm is so small that rounding errors are amplifying the difference. Perhaps the TJ08 is rounding values too, and its actually small enough in the right places to fit. I don't know that I can explain it any more than that. The PC-9F reports the exact same width, but when I built it, it would not fit in the space. The desk legs were making unpleasant cracking noises from the strain of me trying to force it in.

So, yes, I see exactly what you are saying, and your frustration isn't close to reaching mine. The PC-9F was supposed to sit where the P182 is. I built it with that expectation. I saw the measurements on the web sites, and both said 210mm. They were supposed to be the exact same width, and interchangeable in the space. That is not the reality sitting in front of me. As a result, I'm going to be skeptical about fitting any 210mm case into that space.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by bonestonne » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:42 am

Considering the source of both of my measurements is SPCR reviews of both cases, I'm going to say it's plenty safe enough to say that they're the same width.

Regardless, I think it's a moot point. I think that it will fit, and I'm one to push limitations of what things are capable of. If the P182 fits, a mATX case will fit just fine. The P182 is a bit beefier than most other cases anyway.

It's not like you're itching for an NZXT Phantom here.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:06 am

quest_for_silence wrote:I don't think it's a matter of different opinions, just about facts (not to mention your persistent sort of badass attitude): as long as you are not informed about actual PSUs efficiency, more probably that not you're not informed about the cooling prowess of different heatsinks, and about the expected performance differences among them.
I'm not sure what you mean by "sort of badass attitude". I assure you, I do not pretend to be an authority on system building. I have experience, and I base opinions off of it. I recognize my fallibility and the limits of my research. I also respect your experience and your opinions. However, just because I'm asking questions and seeking advice doesn't mean that I will treat those who reply as superiors.
quest_for_silence wrote:As I already said some posts ago, in order to have enough cooling prowess with enough quietness at 2m, and a lot less hassle, you may use more modest coolers than a NH-C14
Understood. I've seen a couple of them. I'd appreciate recommendations. The C14 would be the most expensive cooler I've ever bought, and eventually I would search out cheaper alternatives. For the time being, it was a good example because it was popular and people were familiar with it. However, instead of talking about its noise-per-dollar or cooling-per-dollar, we ended up talking about how much "significant' means. Meh. Sidetracked discussions were expected.
quest_for_silence wrote:Well, have a nice time: my time to play is over.
Very well. Thank you for your time and advice.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:13 am

bonestonne wrote:Considering the source of both of my measurements is SPCR reviews of both cases, I'm going to say it's plenty safe enough to say that they're the same width.
I got measurements from SPCR and a couple other sources. All of them agreed that the PC-9F and P182 were the exact same width: 210mm.
bonestonne wrote:Regardless, I think it's a moot point. I think that it will fit, and I'm one to push limitations of what things are capable of. If the P182 fits, a mATX case will fit just fine.
I'd argue the other way: The only measurements that matter are the physical measurements sitting in front of me. Pretend that nothing is sitting in the space right now. The measured width of the available space is 205mm, strict max. If the TJ08 is 210mm, I have to plan for the strong possibility that it won't fit.
Last edited by figment on Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by bonestonne » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:37 am

If the P182 is measured at 210mm, and the P182 is there, your space is 210mm. Not 205mm.

If I park my car in a spot, and then I remove my car from the spot, I can take a car equally as wide, and fit it in the spot, no?

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:22 am

bonestonne wrote:If the P182 is measured at 210mm, and the P182 is there, your space is 210mm. Not 205mm.

If I park my car in a spot, and then I remove my car from the spot, I can take a car equally as wide, and fit it in the spot, no?
No.

I physically measured the P182 at 205mm. I took a tape measure, laid it across the P182 sitting beside my desk and measured its width as 205mm. I removed the P182, and measured the space from leg to cabinet at the floor, and at a height of 500mm. At the floor it was 206. At 500mm, it was 204mm. I physically measured the PC-9F at 210mm.

If I remove the P182, the space is still 205mm. If I try to put the PC-9F in the space, it does not fit. I have to at least accept, as a base assumption, that another case that reports to be 210mm wide won't fit in the 205mm space. I can hope that the TJ08 is similarly over-reported like my P182, but that's an awful lot to gamble on.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by bonestonne » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:44 am

I guess I have a hard time believing that of all of the reviews and measurements say 210mm, and you have a 5mm discrepancy.

Care to actually post any real pictures about this? I also don't see why the cabinet under the printer can't be fudged off to the side a little bit, considering your previous diagram shows a little space there.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:21 pm

bonestonne wrote:I guess I have a hard time believing that of all of the reviews and measurements say 210mm, and you have a 5mm discrepancy.
I completely agree. I thought the exact same thing. I found it just as difficult to believe.

Again: I bought the PC-9F, also repeatedly mentioned to be 210mm, with the intention of putting it exactly where the P182 is right now. It is not where the P182 is because it does not fit. It's not my imagination. I'm not fabricating it. I have no reason to. Frankly, the fact that I couldn't put it there was rather annoying to me at the time and I very nearly returned the case. I looked at all the measurements then. I had trouble believing it then. If I knew then how annoying it would be over the next four years, I certainly would have returned it.

At some point, physical reality has to take precedence over a website. Perhaps if I measured the maximum width of the front face of the P182, it would be nearly 210mm. However, at the point where it sits between the leg and the cabinet it is 205mm. I know the web sites say 210mm. I looked at the same sites. However, no matter how many sites I look at, the PC-9F still doesn't fit, and the measurement is still the same.
bonestonne wrote:Care to actually post any real pictures about this?
You want a photo of me measuring a case? Should I also take photos of me trying to wedge the PC-9F into place and the gouges it left in the desk?
bonestonne wrote:I also don't see why the cabinet under the printer can't be fudged off to the side a little bit, considering your previous diagram shows a little space there.
You noticed that, huh? I'm glad it was worth adding that extra detail. The only point to that was to show that the printer actually overhangs the cabinet. The printer is placed up against the wall. The cabinet is 0.3" from the wall... the width of our shoe molding. The shoe molding prevents the cabinet from sitting flush with the wall. It's as close as I can get it without stripping the molding off the wall. And yes, the thought has occurred to me. No, it would not make me happy, because I'd have to strip the shoe for the length of the cabinet, plus the length of a fully extended drawer.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by bonestonne » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:31 pm

How far out does the moulding stick? 1/2" or so? You can get a piece of 1/2" wood to stick under the cabinet so it can be raised over the moulding, increasing your .3" to allow a slightly wider case to fit and not damaging your moulding at all. Simple fix, relatively invisible to most who look over, yet a very simple and cost effective solution to your 5mm problem.

Remember that riddle about the truck stuck in the tunnel, and all the engineers standing around couldn't figure out? Someone suggested letting air out of the tires to lower the truck. Not all that different here.

figment
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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:43 pm

See the photos below of me measuring the width of the cases. SPCR will only let me attach three in this post, so for now, you'll just have to take my word that I wasn't totally tricking you by measuring more than the width of the PC-9F.

The measurement is in inches, but I'll convert. The lighting isn't great, so I taped a gift card to the side to provide a better guide for measurement. Also, the resolution isn't great (256k limit and I'm already a little annoyed that I'm doing this, so I'm not keen on tracking down a free image host at 11pm), but I'll read the lines for everyone.
IMAG0391.jpg
IMAG0392.jpg
P182: Width is measured as just shy of 8 1/16". Google says that is about 204.5mm.
IMAG0397.jpg
PC-9F: Width is measured as 8 1/4". Google says that is 209.5mm.

I'm not sure just what to say at this point. I'm trying to remain positive, but I just posted photos of a me measuring a physical object because a number on a website was apparently more convincing.
bonestonne wrote:How far out does the moulding stick? 1/2" or so? You can get a piece of 1/2" wood to stick under the cabinet so it can be raised over the moulding, increasing your .3" to allow a slightly wider case to fit and not damaging your moulding at all.
I'd have to cover the wood in felt to protect the floors, and I wouldn't be able to attach it without deconstructing the cabinet, but yeah, that would work. It would look better if I put it on 0.75" blocks, but that would also require a bottom-plank and a disassembly of the the cabinet. Of course, if I do that, then why would I favor the TJ08 over a nicer-looking ATX cases? The TJ08 takes up the same floorspace as an ATX, and is only a few inches shorter.

Or I could search for a case that fit in the space that I've got.

This was sort of the plan all along: I'm looking for my best options for the space I've got now. I'll find those, and then weigh the pros and cons against the effort it would take to expand the area with woodworking.
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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by bonestonne » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:53 pm

I think a metric ruler is in order. Using SAE and converting it happens to be about as effective as using a Print ruler.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:14 pm

bonestonne wrote:I think a metric ruler is in order. Using SAE and converting it happens to be about as effective as using a Print ruler.
Seriously? We can't even trust a tape measure? Are you suggesting that... the markings between 8 1/16 and 8 1/4 represent... no distance at all? Are you unsure if the conversion rate for inches and millimeters is a uniform rate?

Can you at least concede that the two cases are not the same width? Can we make the logical jump to say that the PC-9F is wider than the P182? Is it at least clear that 8.0625 is less than 8.25?

Are you still under the impression that both of these cases are 210mm wide? You insisted that the P182 was 210mm. I said it was 205mm. You demanded proof. I supplied proof. I'm not wasting any more time on the topic. The available width is 205mm. I'll deal with the possibility of expanding that. At 210mm, I'd have many more options that the TJ08. I'm more interested in finding out what my options are if I don't want to take apart my cabinet.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by bonestonne » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:28 pm

So now you're understanding the frustration when we give you suggestions. Funny how that works.

I've exhausted every possible avenue for giving you suggestions for what you can do. I trust the reviews I've read to say how wide the P182 is on multiple sites, so unless I had one myself (and I did really want one, just never had the budget for it), I can't say I'm going to trust the SAE to metric conversion to be as accurate as a metric ruler. I never insisted the case was 210mm wide, every review that includes measurements states the case is 210mm wide.

You've got option upon option, so mull over them, and the decision is yours. You asked for help, you got plenty of help. Nothing left to say really.

When I planned by dual Xeon build, it was sorted out to the T. When the boxes started arriving, my boss even tried to bet against me that it wouldn't fit together. For his sake, I chose not to, because everything just slid right together perfectly. If it doesn't fit, I find a way to make it fit. Why be so worried about 210mm, when it's possible to move the cabinet? Effort?

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:28 pm

bonestonne wrote:So now you're understanding the frustration when we give you suggestions. Funny how that works.
The suggestions I've taken issue with are suggestions that are made in good faith, but range from highly inconvenient to impossible. I said I was looking for a case that didn't use the top as a primary intake or exhaust. I described why it was problematic. The solutions were "Build a shelf" or "block the top vent". When I said that the shelf was impractical or impossible, I was told that I just wasn't thinking about it enough, even though I was the only one who knew what the area layout was. When I gave measurements for the layout, I was promptly told that I was wrong. Then I was told that Imperial units made rulers inaccurate.
bonestonne wrote:I've exhausted every possible avenue for giving you suggestions for what you can do.
You have no obligation to find a solution for me. I was looking for ideas. Instead... people get upset with me because I don't passively accept their suggestions, even when they don't fit my needs. The situation I'm facing for the build isn't easy. If it was, I wouldn't be actively seeking advice like this. I know its not easy to give ideas or advice to someone who already has their own ideas. I've tried to be as accepting as I can be. People are upset that I point out the parts of their suggestions that don't work for me, or when I've found information that disagrees with them. I can understand that. Should I just pretend that I don't know anything else? Should I lie and say that they're the perfect solutions?
bonestonne wrote:I trust the reviews I've read to say how wide the P182 is on multiple sites, so unless I had one myself (and I did really want one, just never had the budget for it), I can't say I'm going to trust the SAE to metric conversion to be as accurate as a metric ruler. I never insisted the case was 210mm wide, every review that includes measurements states the case is 210mm wide.
So, me with a P182 sitting right in front of me telling you what the measurements are, and a photo of the measurements being taken, and then another set of photos with the exact same ruler showing larger measurements.... and you're still going to say: "Well they might be the same because the scale is in Imperial and I can't be certain if 8 1/4 in is actually the same as 8 1/16 in." That basically means that I can't really trust anything you say. You're either blatantly unhelpful or you're unwilling to believe that any of the requirements I state are true. In either case, your advice is without the required scope to make it useful.
bonestonne wrote:You've got option upon option, so mull over them, and the decision is yours. You asked for help, you got plenty of help. Nothing left to say really.
I got some help, yes. Luca corrected a misconception I had about the W1. I was warned about m.2 overheating. There was a decent amount of opinion, and I expect and even welcome that.

However, the bulk of the discussion was clearly not aimed at the information I was interested in. I don't know why the P182 was even being discussed. I don't know why so much effort was spent talking about cat shelves. I don't know why you would claim that someone who is taking photos of themselves measuring a case right in front of them is lying to you just because some website reports a difference of 5mm. None of these things are helpful, and I tried to steer discussion back to the original discussion: Finding a good quality mITX case and a PSU/CPU cooler combo that would work in it.
bonestonne wrote:Why be so worried about 210mm, when it's possible to move the cabinet? Effort?
Because moving the cabinet requires that I disassemble the cabinet, bolt on a new cabinet floor, then countersink and screw in four new legs, sand, stain and finish it. If I was in the mood for woodworking it would be fine. But its hardly the sort of task that you casually suggest as a solution. If I'm going to go through all that trouble, then it better be for a really appealing reason. A case that is 4" shorter than an ATX case doesn't seem compelling to me.

Perhaps I'm wrong about SPCR. I really loved coming here for previous builds. The people here were mature, pretty knowledgeable, and were willing to work with people who had various different priorities. This time, I'm being told that I should reconstruct furniture so that I can use one particular case that I didn't express any strong desire for. Despite the fact that loads of people are building gaming mITX cube boxes, I'm told that I should not do that and build a mATX tower instead. It's a valid opinion, of course, but the response is not really what I'd call "helpful".

Imagine going to a car dealer and saying that you're interested in seeing what they have for four-door hybrids, and having a one dealer tell you that you should be buying a full-electric, and the other say that you should tear down the shelves in your garage so you can fit an SUV in there.

I've had a lot of good experiences with SPCR. But the signal to noise ratio isn't high enough for me any more. I'll restrict any future questions to extremely limited topics with strictly specified requirements.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by Pappnaas » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:43 pm

figment wrote:I've had a lot of good experiences with SPCR. But the signal to noise ratio isn't high enough for me any more. I'll restrict any future questions to extremely limited topics with strictly specified requirements.
Please don't generalize to much, some of the content in here could have been exchanged via PM and should have been, imvho.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by quest_for_silence » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:53 am

Pappnaas wrote:Please don't generalize to much

I would not take it so seriously. Misunderstandings between people of different mindsets must be taken into account and can not be easily solved: stringent definitions can help, as well being aware that, in order to be understood, you do need to help other people to understand yourself (and do not just assume that they are wrong).

Mainly due to my limited knowledge of English, I was forced to give it up, so I can understand how figment's frustration lead him to those statements: but as for me, I guess time will help him to get rid of that frustration.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by CA_Steve » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:45 am

I didn't read this thread for a day and it looks like it devolved into something less than an SPCR level of conduct. I'm not going to point fingers. The conversation could have been handled better by all.

Take a deep breath. Let it out. Chant some Oms. Do some Yoga. Whatever.
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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:57 am

quest_for_silence wrote:I would not take it so seriously. Misunderstandings between people of different mindsets must be taken into account and can not be easily solved: stringent definitions can help, as well being aware that, in order to be understood, you do need to help other people to understand yourself (and do not just assume that they are wrong).
I agree, and I'm trying to keep an open mind and remain positive. At this point, I don't think there is any value to this thread. We are no longer talking about different options for ITX gaming cases. We're discussing whether Imperial rulers are capable of measuring distance, and I'm not willing to travel down that path any further.
quest_for_silence wrote:Mainly due to my limited knowledge of English, I was forced to give it up, so I can understand how figment's frustration lead him to those statements
While it is off topic, and I'm sure its been said multiple times before: I have been repeatedly impressed with the quality of your English. I wish I could speak other languages with the skill you show here. I recognize that any communications problems between us are likely caused by me using English in ways that aren't very friendly to non-native speakers. Either way: I do thank you for your input. I have read a large number of your posts, and I know that your idea of "quiet" is much quieter than mine. That's why I tried to give some specific numbers to describe what I meant. I had no intention of ever implying that my definition was better than yours or that yours had less value. They are merely different opinions. People like you helped me fix some serious noise problems with a build a long time ago, and I have not forgotten that.

Thank you, Luca, for your time and input. The W1 is now one of my favored choices, as it seems better than the Prodigy in every way that matters to me. Thank you for helping me find that case.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by CA_Steve » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:02 am

Getting back to the case... maybe the area isn't square, maybe the manufacturing tolerances are wide enough so one 210mm case can fit and another won't. <shrugs>. Assume you need 205mm max width and move on. Not many cases in this category with 120mm fans as it leads to little room for cable mgmt on the back of the mobo.

How about the Antec Solo II? It's not the best gaming case, as it runs warmer than it's wider peers, but it may be the best for your situation. It's ATX, which gives you more flexibility for motherboards. It's a bit smaller than the P182. It's not mITX, but if it fits and provides all of the other things you want (std PSU, cat friendly, positive pressure, gaming, can handle a decently sized cpu cooler, quiet). If I think of any </= 205mm wide smaller cases that fit the requirements, I'll add to the post.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by xan_user » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:08 am

I stopped reading this thread due to the tone it took.
but i will say,
Iv'ed worked on plenty of homes that dont have truly straight walls and seen many desks/cabinets that were not square.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:18 am

CA_Steve wrote:Getting back to the case... maybe the area isn't square, maybe the manufacturing tolerances are wide enough so one 210mm case can fit and another won't. <shrugs>.
Yup. Shrugging is the suggested response here. All I know is the measurements of the cases in front of me.
CA_Steve wrote:Assume you need 205mm max width and move on.
Precisely. I've been aiming for a 200mm max width (it would be nice to have a little play in the space), but 205mm is actual strict max as measured at the front and back of the space.
CA_Steve wrote:Not many cases in this category with 120mm fans as it leads to little room for cable mgmt on the back of the mobo.
Yes, this is one of the things that drove me to consider ITX/mATX builds. Most nice ATX cases are built to a 210mm width, and that's actually a great width: It supports nice 140mm fans, tower CPU coolers and aftermarket GPU coolers, without having too much extra space. It seems to be the defacto standard width now. And its just a little too wide.
CA_Steve wrote:How about the Antec Solo II? ... If I think of any </= 205mm wide smaller cases that fit the requirements, I'll add to the post.
For the option of simply filling the 205mm space, there are some other cases. The Lian Li PC-A06 looks appealing, too... but its designed for reversed airflow which isn't as ideal for a confined space with a non-reversed airflow system right next to it. I also don't know where to find it. The NZXT Source 210 would fit, though I'm unsure of build quality. It does really cut down the options, though, and the Solo II is probably the best build quality.

It really is an annoying restriction. If the case is less than 14.5" (365mm) deep, then it can be as wide as 11" (280mm). Unfortunately that is still rather restrictive, as it means the W1 and a bunch of ITX cases just barely fit. And even then, they'd be sitting directly behind a desk leg... which may be annoying or problematic in itself.

I give up. I'll just not replace any of my computers until I buy a new house. What would be the best 140mm fan for me to buy in 15 years?
Last edited by figment on Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:23 am

xan_user wrote:I've worked on plenty of homes that dont have truly straight walls and seen many desks/cabinets that were not square.
And my home is no different, to be sure. This particular corner is probably one of the most square in the house, though: Its a poured concrete corner (floor and one wall is concrete, the other wall is drywall-over-concrete-block). I have no doubt that the wall-cabinet-desk combo is not completely square. But I did measure it (no, I won't provide photos) and the difference between the front, back, top and bottom was not significant. A few millimeters at most.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by quest_for_silence » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:30 am

CA_Steve wrote:Getting back to the case

Steve, please, whether you really want to help him, start with the right foot: a tower doesn't look perfectly suited to satisfy the OP! :twisted: :P

Set aside any furniture, he desires a new enclosure, he likes the Obsidian 250D style (and I like it too), and anyway he would want to hold on the smaller volumes, that's about all I understood for sure (or so I guess :wink: ).

He also would rather the enclosure internals remain clean for as long as possible (he also adores his cats), and "probably" a "low" (not still well defined) overall sound pressure level at about 2mt at idle/low loads (so, if I'm not wrong, apparently nothing unreasonable/unfeasible).
The main concern is probably the current video card, long, hot (up to 190W DC while gaming) and (per SPCR standards) relatively noisy (surely more than 20-22dB at idle).
Second hot spot is an overclocked Devils Canyon, but he's willing to accept CPU load temps up to about 70°C with not whisper quiet SPL: therefore, among compatible heatsinks, probably a job for either a Noctua L12 or an U9, while, on the cheap side, either the Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B, fitted with a regular fan, or the Cooler Master 101/TX3 (and derivatives, like the eVGA mITX), but fitted with a pair of good fans, would look like up to the task.

Have a nice time to you too! :wink:

figment wrote:I have been repeatedly impressed with the quality of your English.

My written english is far more advanced than my reading comprehension (not to mention that other people, like JonnyGuru, said it's about on par with Google's automatic translation: but maybe he was teasing): just as an example, some days ago I spent about half an hour to correctly figure out what the expression "What out there" mean...

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by figment » Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:35 am

quest_for_silence wrote:Set aside any furniture, he desires a new enclosure, he likes the Obsidian 250D style (and I like it too), and anyway he would want to hold on the smaller volumes, that's about all I understood for sure (or so I guess :wink: ).

He also would rather the enclosure internals remain clean for as long as possible (he also adores his cats), and "probably" a "low" (not still well defined) overall sound pressure level at about 2mt at idle/low loads (so, if I'm not wrong, apparently nothing unreasonable/unfeasible).
The main concern is probably the current video card, long, hot (up to 190W DC while gaming) and (per SPCR standards) relatively noisy (surely more than 20-22dB at idle).
Second hot spot is an overclocked Devils Canyon, but he's willing to accept CPU load temps up to about 70°C with not whisper quiet SPL: therefore, among compatible heatsinks, probably a job for either a Noctua L12 or an U9, while, on the cheap side, either the Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B, fitted with a regular fan, or the Cooler Master 101/TX3 (and derivatives, like the eVGA mITX), but fitted with a pair of good fans, would look like up to the task.
That is an excellent summary. Thank you.

I recognize that the video card (770 Lightning) is not a quiet card by Luca's standards... or by SPCR's standards... or even by mine. Its quiet enough at idle, and that's all I ask of it. To make a bit of a joke: I know I can't get to "SPCR" quiet, but I want to be quieter than "Tom's Hardware" quiet. I think I'd be satisfied with "Anandtech" quiet.

At this point, I'm willing to consider almost any CPU cooler that fits. I have no issues at all experimenting with fans to find something that works, even after the build is up and running.

The main things I'm trying to work out are a case, a CPU cooler and a power supply. The rest of the details are easy.

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Re: Planning a MiniITX Gaming Build

Post by MikeC » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:06 pm

A late comment: Hadn't seen the Rosewill W1 before; stylistically, it borrows lots from the ncase m1. Bill from mnpctech.com did a pretty good video review -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKwSEXVJlw0 About the only serious question I have is whether the front intake fan slot at the bottom of the front bezel is big/open enough to provide good enough airflow for the OP's components. It's not a show-stopper, though because if really necessary you could just pop the front panel right off altogether when you're gaming. Or mod it with a stylish vent. (Personally I'd take this over the fat Corsair 250D, which is way too big for a mitx case. What's the point of mitx if the case is this big? Might as well go matx.)

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