@CorsairGeorge: nobody is talking about that die-hard segment. For reference, a Mac mini has a volume of less than 1.5L, and there aren't any decent DC psu options out there, so of course we are talking about the same (if you plan to add a decent gpu, that is, as it's kinda impossible to find any DC option that goes higher than 200W). At the end of the day, the motherboard by itself will require no less than 4L by itself, and a big VGA card at least 1L. Of course a 10L could be made... but it would have far too many compromises. I know, and I'm sure others do, that Corsair won't even touch the sub-15L segment... but even at 20L the job needs to get done to release a product that is efficient in all regards.
The point remains, though. And you need to keep in mind that vertical solutions create a huge cluster of cables all around, and aren't that good of a solution. As a former owner of the FT03 I can make such statement (and I think that Silverstone has such patent, too). Yes, you could make the IO face the rear side of the case (and not the top, then), but you would require to have a riser of some sort in order not to make the case very tall... as tall things will fall easily.
At the end of the day, though, everything requires space, and cables will clutter everything if a good solution is not found. Also, making a very small clase very flexible will make it bigger... and you will end up in mATX territory, just any minute.
To me, a case is where I'll start my build. If I see a case I like, I'll build a computer around... and the problem with the mITX industry, as of today, is that you have to make far too many compromises to get any decent solution. Prodigy? Too big. The Lian-Li ones? Too many flaws in usability, etc. I have faith in Corsair, though, since they have achieved a great success in every thing they have placed their interest. They started with psu's (and my HX520 and HX620 are still kicking after many years of service), cases and desktop peripherals, and they brought innovation in every single step.
@Avonosac: If you have a Titan, efficiency shouldn't bother you that much. Also, the Silverstone psu is a Gold one, and a very good one at that. I've checking some power consumption graphics of the Titan and it seems to go around 420W... measured at the wall for a full LGA2011 system, which seems like a 450W would do very good with it.
@Mopar63: you are right about smaller cases requiring less cooling... to an extent. If you have ever worked with a small case you will know that cables will create a huge clutter... and, thus, restriction is a lot higher on a mITX case, simply because there isn't any empty space air can move easily around. That's why the builds need to be planned so carefully, and is the problem we have today, because cables tend to take all the little room there is in such small cases.
Regarding the ODD.. I'm on the "no-ODD" camp (or a slim one, at that), but I understand why a major vendor such as Corsair would go the ODD route. It's a compromise, a choise in design you make, that will have its pro's and con's, and there is no winning in such argument. Which why I barely addresed it.
About the HDD's... there I don't agree. I think 99% of the computer users will use a 3.5" HDD in one way or another. I can live with one, but I can't without, or else I'd have to go external (me and most others) which would break the point of having a small case when you need basic staff to be on the outside of the case. 1 x 2.5" and 1 x 3.5"? I could do, but I'd rather have 3 options, as the 2.5" don't require much space to be set up, and since they don't make any heat (mostly), they can be placed wherever you want and not care. On the other hand, the mech HDD's will require some cooling... which is something that needs to be factored to avoid the Ft03 fiasco (yes, my HDD's got toasty in the case, which is the reason I had to go another route and sell the case).
Edited by prava - 4/4/13 at 10:54am