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Need Help Side-grading to an SFF Build (Currently choosing a case)

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I've began to appreciate compact builds so much more over the last few months that I think it's time that I make the SFF transition myself.
My plans for a multi-gpu configuration are out the window and with my data spread out over multiple devices on my home network, massive internal storage isn't needed either. Now that I look at it, why do I have a full tower case?

My biggest problem right now is finding a quality mATX case. What I've noticed is that with SFF builds people tend to build AROUND the case so I think a quality case is important. While I don't want cheap, thin plastic and steel construction quality, I don't want to spend $100+ on a solidly built aluminum case either. It would be a plus if the case can fit a full-sized power supply so I won't have to resell my 850w however I have a feeling that that's not going to happen. I prefer keeping my HD 6970 however if the pros outweigh the cons than I'd consider getting something smaller.

I'll be keeping the following things from my current build:
i5 2500k (No plans to move away from 1155)
8GB 2x4GB Samsung 30nm RAM (Low profile, nothing better for SFF)
Samsung 1TB F3 (I don't think I'll have a problem with a 3.5" drive)
Silverstone Strider Gold 850w (PSU measures 7" in length, add another inch for the modular cables)
HD 6970 (Going to wait for the next line-up of cards if I can)
DVD Drive

I'll be selling the following:
NZXT Phantom (Obviously)
ASUS P8Z68-V Pro ATX motherboard (Has more features than I can use but this is a good opportunity to switch over to Z77)
Corsair H50 (Unless the case is perfect for this cooler, I'll be switching over to an air cooler)

I'll be buying the following:
mATX case
mATX motherbaord
CPU Cooler (Depending on case, my choice can change)
Fan controller (Focusing more on "Silent" in this build)

Right now the LIAN LI PC-A04B case seems like the perfect case if only it wasn't at the limit of my budget. It has everything that I'm looking for. Quality aluminum construction, great expandability, ability to fit my PSU and potentially larger PSUs


My next decision to make is motherboard.
I'm not as familiar with the price:quality ratio of mATX motherboards as much as I am with ATX so lets start at no more than $120. I'm someone that prefers quality over features.
The motherboard has to have:
1155, Z77 chipset
4 DDR3 slots
1x PCIe 3.0 (Will upgrade to Ivy), 1 PCI legacy slot (Sound card, etc.)
Good power delivery (Will OC)
Good looks

I'm sure I'll find a suitable motherboard with less help.


What will make my build unique? Nothing out of the ordinary, but I'm planning on making it:
-Ultra compact
-More powerful than meets the eye
-Dead silent when I need it to be
-Expandable

I'm going to be honest, although I've been planning this for quite some time now, I started this thread to see what I'm getting into (Money-wise). Going smaller doesn't mean going cheaper but if I'm right, pics should start appearing in a few weeks and I should have my first build log on Overclock.net (Never bothered making one for my original first rig built 1.5+ years ago).
post #2 of 2
SilverStone PS07 should be under $100. Even cheaper cases are the Antec One and the Fractal Design Core 1000.
Lian Li A04 is great but like most Lian Li cases, it has no cable management, which is bad for its price.
As for aluminium cases, the only maker I know is Lian Li and their cases are all over your budget. You have no choice but to use steel or just pick one of the Lian Li cases.

-Ultra compact
That would be going mini-ITX
-More powerful than meets the eye
The less empty space there is inside your case, the better the power/space.
-Dead silent when I need it to be
There are 5.25" bay fan controller like the Bitfenix Recon or NZXT Sentry 2. There are also fan controllers that goes on PCI-e brackets behind your case.
-Expandable
I don't know what you want to expand.
Edited by cowsgomoo - 11/13/12 at 3:51am
Air Travel SG06
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-3570K Asrock Z77E-ITX MSI GTX260 Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (8GBx2) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
2 x SSD 1 x 3.5" HDD 3 x 2.5" HDD SilverStone NT06-PRO 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit XuBuntu 12.10 AOC e2051f Genius compact keyboard 
CaseMouse
SilverStone SG06 Logitech G700 
  hide details  
Reply
Air Travel SG06
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-3570K Asrock Z77E-ITX MSI GTX260 Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (8GBx2) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
2 x SSD 1 x 3.5" HDD 3 x 2.5" HDD SilverStone NT06-PRO 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit XuBuntu 12.10 AOC e2051f Genius compact keyboard 
CaseMouse
SilverStone SG06 Logitech G700 
  hide details  
Reply
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