Originally Posted by CorsairGeorge
See, the thing is, mATX is only about 2" shorter than ATX. That means you get rid of one optical drive. So the case dimensions are basically the same, but it's like 17" high instead of 19" high. You can get rid of some of the other stuff and shrink the case, but then the question is how much performance are you really willing to sacrifice for size? Would you give up the ability to hold long video cards? Full size ATX PSUs? What about the mATX Rampage Gene board with its SLI capability? Lots of guys interested in potentially running SLI on a mATX platform - so now you have to have sufficient cooling expansion for that - so it's more than just one 120mm fan - it's a couple of intakes, which takes up more room. By the time you're done, you basically have the 300R that's only 2" shorter and costs about the same. And what's the purpose of that?
Micro ATX boards are getting faster - and better. But most people aren't putting them into Micro ATX cases because they want the expansion possibilities a standard ATX case offers. There's a few enthusiasts (on forums like this one for example) who care very deeply about the dimensions, but most people like the ease of build and flexibility of standard ATX.
Now Mini ITX is a bit more interesting and a different tale for a different time. I'm still keeping my eye on that one. And I've got my head on Micro ATX, but I don't like limiting my options - and by doing a 4 or 5 slot case, you're basically limiting the potential use of the case to a tiny small segment of the market.
Fractal is selling the Arc and Define Minis like hotcakes...and retailers keep running out of stock. When I contacted their reps about availability, they stated that they completely underestimated demand for the form factor.
There are quite a few of us that find this size difference significant:
...and given that most people just drop a single GPU and one or two hard drives into their builds, a full ATX build is overkill for many folks. Overkill and big. Personally, I find the size of full ATX cases to be out of hand with respect to commercial system offerings. mATX cases allow me to build without resulting in a case that screams, "look at me!"
I want a mini beast that disappears in my office...not doubles as an end table...or file cabinet.
As you have said yourself in other posts, when people rebuild, they usually buy a new case...so the need to accommodate a full ATX board later on seems like an unlikely benefit for most folks who buy an mATX MB.
I would have held out a couple of more months for a new Corsair mATX case, but when I saw what was offered at CES this year, I pulled the trigger on a Fractal. I would have waited very patiently for a mini 550D. That looks like a very nice case, but it's too large for me...and I imagine many others. Frankly, I like Corsair, but I feel ignored by them...as I am sure many in this 300+ page thread feel as well:
And how could I end without dropping in a pic of my mini:Edited by Scuba Steve in VA - 2/25/12 at 7:13pm