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SFF Build for Uni, need advice! - Page 2

post #11 of 19
Hi. I had this exact problem going from HK to US for uni several years ago. Here are two cases my friends and I used:

My friends went for the Shuttle XPCs because they look freaking sleek. Not too many people build them in HK, so you may have to do special order when you go to SSP. The shuttle is awesome as it can fit in either carry-on or fit into your check-in without much hassle. You will be paying an arm and a leg for its sexy looks though, these things aren't cheap. The SFF barebone itself should run you around 3K HKD depending on the model you select. It doesn't look like their offerings have changed much since we got them in '04, they merely updated the chipsets included.

Notes:
  • Only supports single GPU, no add-in cards
  • The case comes with a mobo + PSU, so you do not get to choose and you most likely cannot OC.
  • They used to have one with a really cool reflective front face but phased it out =(
  • I would wager temps are slightly higher than the TT Lanbox below


I went with a Thermaltake Lanbox Lite when I did a rebuild in ~'07. It technically allows you to run SLI but the cards are right up against each other, I only ever ran a single 8800GT in it along with 3 HDD. The case itself will fit in exactly 1 carry on luggage suit case, you can shove some books or old clothes around the edges so it doesn't bounce around too much when you are out and about. Some things to note about the case:
  • It doesn't look half as good as the Shuttle, but you get a bit more practicality in exchange.
  • First example of practicality is the removable motherboard tray, makes mounting mobo and stuff much easier. The entire case is easily taken apart.
  • If you are only running 1 HDD, you can mount the HDD in the optical drive tray and remove the included HDD mount for better airflow directly onto your GPU//Mobo.
  • It can support a normal ATX sized PSU, but please please please consider getting modular for convenience sake.
  • The PSU is mounted on top but you should have no problems fitting in most low profile coolers. At the time I used a Zalman 8700 NT on my E6750, don't think it ever broke 60C when I was running one F@H client for each core. I never went higher than 3.4ghz though.
  • Replace the stock fans from TT. While they are very quiet, they don't move much air. The front is a 92MM and the rear has two 60MM with support for a third right above the PSU.
  • Get the all black one, the window one looks really tacky

I can probably dig up some pics of the builds if you want a reference point.

Third contestant is the Thermaltake Armor A30. It is ugly as sin but I think it offers a bit more cooling performance and practicality than the Lanbox.

Hope this helps!
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velathawen View Post

Hi. I had this exact problem going from HK to US for uni several years ago. Here are two cases my friends and I used:
My friends went for the Shuttle XPCs because they look freaking sleek. Not too many people build them in HK, so you may have to do special order when you go to SSP. The shuttle is awesome as it can fit in either carry-on or fit into your check-in without much hassle. You will be paying an arm and a leg for its sexy looks though, these things aren't cheap. The SFF barebone itself should run you around 3K HKD depending on the model you select. It doesn't look like their offerings have changed much since we got them in '04, they merely updated the chipsets included.
Notes:
  • Only supports single GPU, no add-in cards
  • The case comes with a mobo + PSU, so you do not get to choose and you most likely cannot OC.
  • They used to have one with a really cool reflective front face but phased it out =(
  • I would wager temps are slightly higher than the TT Lanbox below
I went with a Thermaltake Lanbox Lite when I did a rebuild in ~'07. It technically allows you to run SLI but the cards are right up against each other, I only ever ran a single 8800GT in it along with 3 HDD. The case itself will fit in exactly 1 carry on luggage suit case, you can shove some books or old clothes around the edges so it doesn't bounce around too much when you are out and about. Some things to note about the case:
  • It doesn't look half as good as the Shuttle, but you get a bit more practicality in exchange.
  • First example of practicality is the removable motherboard tray, makes mounting mobo and stuff much easier. The entire case is easily taken apart.
  • If you are only running 1 HDD, you can mount the HDD in the optical drive tray and remove the included HDD mount for better airflow directly onto your GPU//Mobo.
  • It can support a normal ATX sized PSU, but please please please consider getting modular for convenience sake.
  • The PSU is mounted on top but you should have no problems fitting in most low profile coolers. At the time I used a Zalman 8700 NT on my E6750, don't think it ever broke 60C when I was running one F@H client for each core. I never went higher than 3.4ghz though.
  • Replace the stock fans from TT. While they are very quiet, they don't move much air. The front is a 92MM and the rear has two 60MM with support for a third right above the PSU.
  • Get the all black one, the window one looks really tacky
I can probably dig up some pics of the builds if you want a reference point.
Third contestant is the Thermaltake Armor A30. It is ugly as sin but I think it offers a bit more cooling performance and practicality than the Lanbox.
Hope this helps!

Their new I.C.E. cooler thing is supposed to be awesome. It sure looks unique and the numbers I've seen so far seem to support it working well. OC will be extremely limited in a ITX/MATX setup anyway. Their bios's aren't really conducive to that as they were mainly created for workstations and htpcs
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post #13 of 19
hmmm well if your looking for small/unique you could go with a ft03 (do like this case) or a lanbox like case, depending on what your looking for tongue.gif

Theres also the Inwin Allure biggrin.gif GF has one for her rig and its quite small to wink.gif
450
...butt watch out for its horrible air flow >_>
Edited by DNytAftr - 4/11/12 at 11:31am
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post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies! To clarify, I have one 2TB WD Black Drive and am gonna be adding a SSD. The shuttle is actually my plan B as it is a quick go-to backbones which is easy to build and put together in a hurry. For now, I'm torn between the FT03 mATX vs. SG08 mini-ITX. I have a question regarding the SG08, if I were to go the mini-ITX route with the Ivy Bridge i5 3570k and the Asus P8H67-I Deluxe board, how far could I overclock the system? And what would temps look like? I want to reach 4.5ghz at least. I've looked up some watercooling options for the SG08 and have found this:

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=59_457_912&products_id=32306&zenid=c4dea518de4fa5e8caaaab3a23b01b4c

A 180mm slim radiator. The thing is, I'm not very familiar with water cooling, and would prefer a closed-looped water cooling system. How would I go about hooking the radiator up to a closed loop solution? Is that even possible? Or if I were to take the plunge (pun intended aha) and go for a full fledge water cooling system, can the SG08 even house a reservoir? How viable is using t-lines instead of a reservoir? I only intend to watercool the cpu, the gpu can take care of itself, GTX680 reference should exhaust out all the hot air through the back right?

Thanks for all the help!
post #15 of 19
We cannot know the temps or the limit of the Asus board since there are no reviews out yet. From what is known, it seems safe to assume the Asus board will overclock just as well as any ATX sized board.

That 180mm rad will not fit inside the SG08.

Something like an H60 will be perfectly fine for this build.

To directly answer your questions:

Yes it is possible to hook up a rad to a closed loop system but it is usually not worth the hassle since there is no direct way to fill it without a T-line.

SG08 does not have that much room to house a res inside of it unless you use something like a 3.5" bay res but that'd remove the 2TB Black drive.

T-lines work fine as a replacement for a res but there are a couple downsides.
-Harder to bleed the system of air bubbles.
-Takes longer to fill/drain the system.

It does however take up less space than a res.

The reference GTX 680 does exhaust out the rear and the SG08 is good at keeping the GPU airflow separate from the CPU airflow area.
     
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post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
I saw the video of fitting a H80 into the SG08 and was wondering what the fan set-up was. Is it an push pull intake or outtake? Also, how would I go about fitting 120mm fans into a 180mm slot. Does the case come with a bracket or something?
post #17 of 19
The case comes with 120mm fan mounts and you can just swap out the AP181 for any normal fan if you wish.

You should run it intake since that way all the air hits your mobo components and exits through the mesh. I think the filter still works without the AP181 so you'd have that air filtered as well.
     
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post #18 of 19
I can attest to the beauty of a case and motherboard! Love my FT03
    
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post #19 of 19
Gratz on UofT cheers.gif

Since you're looking at a SFF case, i wouldn't go the FT03 route since that thing is as tall as most full towers. the SG08 looks pretty good and as far as I can tell should be able to hold a fair amount of hardware inside.

offtopic.gif Since you're in Hong Kong, how are the prices for 580s and 680s there? My mom is going there for vacation again this summer and I might pick one up if the prices are good.
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