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Cooler Master Elite 120 Mini-ITX Case - Page 3

post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by armourcore9brker View Post

Wow thanks! It's nice to know that this way of thinking is used in large companies too. biggrin.gif
There are worse for cooling. It isn't better or worse than a SG07/08. It is for a different market. I run 2x2.5" and 2x3.5" drives so this would be much better suited for my gaming rig than the SG07/08. There's only so many ways to have an interior layout. Could it be better? Yes. Does that make it s**t? Not at all.
Just because it doesn't match your exact needs doesn't make it a rip off or make it suck.

I apologize to all members, particularly our resident CM rep, for my crassness in my previous post. I did not mean to say it sucked at all, just that it seems geared toward a different market. As for the cooling - one of the major reasons I converted to SFF was cooling vs noise level. One of my former builds utilized a CM Stacker 690 (Click HERE and HERE for pics). It ran cool, but noisy even with minimal fans considering the lack of hardware inside. I am now more in the mindset of efficiency and minimalism, and I like that I no longer hear my computer even with it sitting on the desk two feet in front of me (and that's without any speakers to play music/games). It seems to me that one large fan taking the place of three smaller ones greatly contributes to a quieter computer; therefore I favor the SG07/08. Additionally, with 3.5" hard drive capacities easily reaching 2TB+, I would wager a guess that 90% of the gamers out there can fit their entire game library onto a single 3.5" drive with room to spare. The only reason I can see to purchase that many hard drives is media storage, in which case, as I stated in cruder terms previously, the case is well suited. I DO like that full tower CPU coolers can fit. I DO like that it accommodates long GPUs. I DO appreciate the room for future expansion. I think the aesthetics could do with some minor improvements but for the cost and flexibility it IS a great case. I'm well aware it's 1/4 the cost of an SG08, or 1/2 the cost if you don't include the 600w power supply in your comparison. My point for my comment earlier wasn't that it would necessarily run hotter, just that it required 3 smaller fans to do the same job Silverstone does with 1. Smaller fans spinning at higher RPM = more noise for the same airflow, therefore worse cooling in that regard. I am by no means an expert, nor do I possess a decibel monitor or anything else. I am simply someone who likes quiet, cool, and efficient.

I think CoolerMaster makes some great products, and I really like the fact that with more and more manufacturers coming out with SFF cases the market and options grow. So once again, I apologize for my lack of manners in my previous post, and I hope I clarified my stance on this case. Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by hagardproductions View Post

Got my build finished last night! Only problem I ran into was the GeminII M4 cooler does not fit my motherboard when using a sperate GPU. Might be able to do some modding to make it fit.
Part List:
MB: ASRock Z77E
CPU: i5-3750k
GPU: EVGA GTX670 FTW
RAM: G.Skill Ares 16 GB (2x8GB)
P/S: SeaSonic X650
SSD 1: 120GB Force GT
HDD 1: 1TB WD Black
Looks great! Feels solid too.
Elite.jpg

Tasty
GPU.jpg

Great build, I have the same Mobo/CPU/GPU combination.
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petehmb View Post

I apologize to all members, particularly our resident CM rep, for my crassness in my previous post. I did not mean to say it sucked at all, just that it seems geared toward a different market.

No offense taken. Let me know if you have any ideas since CM is pretty straightforward when it comes to new designs. The issue with MITX chassis is you can't have everything in one chassis, if you did you would have an MITX chassis the size of a MATX chassis or ATX chassis.

We just have to weigh the pros and cons of every decision we make for the global market as well as USA needs.
    
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post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by CM MR HAF View Post

No offense taken. Let me know if you have any ideas since CM is pretty straightforward when it comes to new designs. The issue with MITX chassis is you can't have everything in one chassis, if you did you would have an MITX chassis the size of a MATX chassis or ATX chassis.
We just have to weigh the pros and cons of every decision we make for the global market as well as USA needs.

This is my primary reason for disliking the Bitfenix Prodigy as an M-ITX case. I think it would be a fantastic micro-ATX case, but to me it's just too big for Mini-ITX. Even the SG08 has some room for improvement in my opinion, and I've made a couple suggestions to Silverstone. Time will tell if anything comes of my ideas, but they're relatively minor.

I completely understand having to weigh needs of global vs US market, manufacturing costs, R&D, etc. That being said, I DO have an idea for a new design but I'm not sure how difficult or feasible it would be. Currently, GPUs are mounted perpendicular to the motherboard. And yet, it seems to me there's plenty of free space on some boards where you would have to do a bit of rearranging but could basically lay the video card flat and greatly reduce the height of a build. The two tallest parts that stick out from a motherboard are the CPU cooler and video card. Some sort of 90-degree mount could make for a flatter, smaller case, and depending on the video card could be a viable option I think. I have no idea if anyone's tried it or what other issues besides cooling would crop up, but I'm thinking along the lines of taking the 24-pin plugs and relocating them to also have 90 degree inputs. Put the memory slots on the opposite side so as not to be impeded by the video card. Basically "fold" the board in itself more.

I heard a story about Steve Jobs being approached by an engineer with a new iPod design, showing how compact they'd gotten it. Steve took it over to a fishtank and dropped it in, saying something along the lines of "See those bubbles? That's wasted space. You can make it smaller." Obviously heat and air flow play an issue here, but I don't think parts are in danger of melting if this is done right. At the very least it's an avenue to explore. Think of being able to cram a GTX670 into an Alienware X51 size case and you'll have an idea of where I'm going with this.

In regards to your CM Elite 120 M-ITX case though, I'll be happy to give you the same suggestion I made to Silverstone. Get rid of the optical drive tray, or at least have an option to in lieu of additional storage or something. Here's my line of thinking on optical drives for an HTPC with as much storage capability as your ITX case:

1. One of the primary reasons for that much storage is high definition movies, be it for editing or viewing. I somehow doubt there a huge market in video editing or animation or rendering for Mini-ITX, so for now I'm going to focus on movies and media. If you have enough HD 1080p movies that you need terabytes and terabytes of storage....you're probably not going to be burning blu-ray discs to put into a different player whenever you want to watch something. I'd say it's a pretty good bet your mini-ITX with 10TB of 1080p movies is already hooked up to your TV or whatever you watch movies on.

2. Other than watching movies, what are optical drives really still used for that can't be done through a USB device, be it a thumb drive or external hard drive? Or even a USB optical drive? I see the optical drive bay as simply taking up space that could be better utilized for a full size CPU cooler or something. In the case of the SG07/08, I made the suggestion they create an "option" tray that has tabs to mount two 2.5" form factor hard drives instead of an optical drive. There's conversions out there for mounting a 2.5" drive in a 3.5" bay, or a 2.5" drive in an optical bay, but no replacement tray that I'm aware of. A simply solution that damn near doubles the storage capacity of the SG07/08.

3. As for a taller CPU cooler - what if you rearranged things a bit? I think if you did as catcherintherye said and moved the PSU from the rear to the front of the case, you could mount a full size tower cooler on the CPU. Put the PSU where the hard drives currently are, move the hard drives above it to where the optical drive currently is. Should still have enough room to mount at least 3 above the PSU given that your case is taller than the SG08, so without the optical drive in the way the 3.5" drives should be fine. An option could be something along the lines of 3x 3.5" drives, 0 optical drive, or 2x 3.5" drives, 1 optical drive. It may turn out to be 4x 3.5" + 0 and 3x 3.5" +1, I don't know. Just throwing ideas out there at the moment that I think would work. I wish I still worked in my metal shop, I'd slap together a build myself. It'd be ugly as sin but get the visualization across much better.

Bottom line, you wouldn't lose any capacity for mounting hard drives (might even gain some space), would gain space for a full size CPU cooler, and would maintain the full size GPU card. Is it a radical redesign from the current build? Sure. But hey, you asked if I had any ideas....tongue.gif
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petehmb View Post

3. As for a taller CPU cooler - what if you rearranged things a bit? I think if you did as catcherintherye said and moved the PSU from the rear to the front of the case, you could mount a full size tower cooler on the CPU. Put the PSU where the hard drives currently are, move the hard drives above it to where the optical drive currently is.
This actually sounds like Fractal Design's Node 304 smile.gif.
Anyway, I agree with a lot of Petehmb's points. In case you haven't seen it, Falcon Northwest implemented the 90-degree mount in their Tiki line.

*** Cases' size comparison ***
I do like the size of Elite 120 Advanced. However, I personally find it too limiting (regardless of the SFF limitations defense). Still much prefer Node 304.

Here's my take on it:
  • The only advantages I can see from this case (compared to Node 304) are the really good price, slot for 5.25" optical drive, and the ability to use up all the HDD bays with long graphic card mounted.
  • If I want to put an aftermarket cooler, I'm stuck with very limited selection due to the 65mm maximum height. They're not cheap at all (at least not where I live), which sort of defeats the purpose of having a cheap build. Liquid cooling (not cheap either) can probably be fitted, but would require the drive cage to be removed (and CM doesn't give this option. We have to drill it out). This mod may also negate the 5 HDD bay advantage.
  • I completely agree with Petehmb's reasoning on 5.25" bay and suggestion on making some sort of adapter for it to accommodate 3.5" or 2.5" drive.
  • I don't really game. The ability to use up all the HD bays with long graphic card mounted is nice, but it's not necessary for my needs. However, I can see that MANY people would appreciate this feature, so this one is a win over Node 304 (by one extra HDD/SDD to be exact, so it's not really a huge win).
  • I like SFF PCs as my living space is rather small and have to utilize as much vertical space as possible. I like cases with no vent on top as I can put my things there (e.g. paper tray, digital clock, etc). This case has perforation on top. Node 304 doesn't.
  • No dust filters. They need to be modded in as well (IMHO this can be made cheaply, so it's not THAT big of a deal).

I personally would only use this case if I want to make an extremely cheap, non-OC, all-rounder build for people who live in small spaces, maybe students (which perhaps is CM's target market, so there's nothing wrong with that).
Edited by NothingToClick - 7/12/12 at 3:20am
post #25 of 41
yeah box rig is very nice! g.gif
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by NothingToClick View Post

This actually sounds like Fractal Design's Node 304 smile.gif.
Anyway, I agree with a lot of Petehmb's points. In case you haven't seen it, Falcon Northwest implemented the 90-degree mount in their Tiki line.
*** Cases' size comparison ***
I do like the size of Elite 120 Advanced. However, I personally find it too limiting (regardless of the SFF limitations defense). Still much prefer Node 304.
Here's my take on it:
  • The only advantages I can see from this case (compared to Node 304) are the really good price, slot for 5.25" optical drive, and the ability to use up all the HDD bays with long graphic card mounted.
  • If I want to put an aftermarket cooler, I'm stuck with very limited selection due to the 65mm maximum height. They're not cheap at all (at least not where I live), which sort of defeats the purpose of having a cheap build. Liquid cooling (not cheap either) can probably be fitted, but would require the drive cage to be removed (and CM doesn't give this option. We have to drill it out). This mod may also negate the 5 HDD bay advantage.
  • I completely agree with Petehmb's reasoning on 5.25" bay and suggestion on making some sort of adapter for it to accommodate 3.5" or 2.5" drive.
  • I don't really game. The ability to use up all the HD bays with long graphic card mounted is nice, but it's not necessary for my needs. However, I can see that MANY people would appreciate this feature, so this one is a win over Node 304 (by one extra HDD/SDD to be exact, so it's not really a huge win).
  • I like SFF PCs as my living space is rather small and have to utilize as much vertical space as possible. I like cases with no vent on top as I can put my things there (e.g. paper tray, digital clock, etc). This case has perforation on top. Node 304 doesn't.
  • No dust filters. They need to be modded in as well (IMHO this can be made cheaply, so it's not THAT big of a deal).
I personally would only use this case if I want to make an extremely cheap, non-OC, all-rounder build for people who live in small spaces, maybe students (which perhaps is CM's target market, so there's nothing wrong with that).

edited case comparison for the SG08 instead of SG09:
http://www.sizeasy.com/page/size_comparison/35021-Node-304-vs-Elite-120-Advanced-vs-SG08

They're very close in size. Given that fact though, I see no reason not to go bigger and quieter on the fans. Another thought I had was given the architecture of the SG07/08 and how Silverstone runs an extension cable to the PSU - is there any reason you couldn't mount the PSU on its side and eek out even more lateral space on the inside? Seems to me you could play around with things even more by doing that....
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by NothingToClick View Post

This actually sounds like Fractal Design's Node 304 smile.gif.
Anyway, I agree with a lot of Petehmb's points. In case you haven't seen it, Falcon Northwest implemented the 90-degree mount in their Tiki line.
*** Cases' size comparison ***
I do like the size of Elite 120 Advanced. However, I personally find it too limiting (regardless of the SFF limitations defense). Still much prefer Node 304.
Here's my take on it:

Originally RC-120A-KKN1 had no top intake. It also had no easy way to install the PSU, and you could only attach in one direction. When we added the rear installation bracket from the Cosmos 2, we decided that since it was easier to install the PSU, why not support opposite power supply installation. This is why there is a filter on the top, for those few people who will install the PSU with the intake on the top. Maybe we could do something different in the future as you suggest.

Check out the early photos of the mockup in January 2012 and you will see what I am talking about.
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post #28 of 41
So what kind of coolers is this case compatible with? Will the regular intel cooler fit?
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post #29 of 41
Yes the regular cooler fits fine. I originally installed the CM GeminII M4, it would fit in the case, but it does not work with my motherboard since I'm using a graphics card. If the socket isn't close to the pci-e slot then it would work.
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hagardproductions View Post

Yes the regular cooler fits fine. I originally installed the CM GeminII M4, it would fit in the case, but it does not work with my motherboard since I'm using a graphics card. If the socket isn't close to the pci-e slot then it would work.

Sweet, thanks! This will be my HTPC case. I just wish it was available somewhere! Its sold out at Newegg and I'm hoping that it gets sold at Amazon (Free 2 day shipping with Prime).
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