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Can't decide on an mATX case!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

I recently bagged a 3570K for a great price and am going to pair it up with a Maximus V GENE board. However I keep flip-flopping between cases. I think I have it narrowed down to the Define Mini, FT03, and TJ08-E.

Define Mini plus points are very low noise and the lowest cost, but it's the largest of the three and it can't take a CPU cooler bigger than 160mm tall, which rules out the NH-U14S I'd considered using, as well as a lot of larger dual-fan coolers like the Silver Arrow SB-E and Phanteks.

The FT03 has the smallest footprint which is pretty useful for my situation (PC resides in the living room hooked up to my plasma). AFAIK it can take pretty much anything in the way of coolers, but it's £30 more than the Define Mini.

The TJ08-E is smaller than the Define Mini but doesn't have the same clearance issues with coolers. I gather though it can be a bit tricky to build in. It's about £10 more than the Define Mini and £20 less than the FT03.

Desperately looking for some comments that might definitively swing me to a decision! Kinda leaning towards the FT03 today, but unsure it's really worth £30 more than the Define Mini.

Aaargh! biggrin.gif
post #2 of 4
The FT03 requires a slot loading drive, so you'd want to add that to your pricing list. I would go for the TJ08-E, and put in a AIO water cooler with the money saved over the FT03 (Corsair H50's are dirt cheap now).
The Laptop
(6 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel i7 2860QM AMD Radeon HD 6770M Corsair Vengence 1600MHz Samsung 840 Pro 256GB 
OSMonitor
Mac OS X 10.8 1680 x 1050 anti-glare high resolution  
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The Laptop
(6 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel i7 2860QM AMD Radeon HD 6770M Corsair Vengence 1600MHz Samsung 840 Pro 256GB 
OSMonitor
Mac OS X 10.8 1680 x 1050 anti-glare high resolution  
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'm not personally a fan of the closed-loop coolers really, as aside from space benefits I'm not convinced by the merit over a good air cooler.

The big tower coolers will block the first PCI-e slot on the board by the looks of it, which is why I was looking at the NH-U14S (or NH-U12S in a Define Mini, I guess).

What makes you go for the TJ08 over the Define Mini, out of interest?
post #4 of 4
I like the looks of the TJ08 and cooling capacity, also not a fan of having a door covering my optical drive, gets really annoying after the first couple of times using it.

Closed loop coolers can have more cooling capacity in a tighter space, but of course the NH-U14S is a great cooler as well and would offer ease of use benefits.

Really any of the choices will be great (though if I were going for it, the Corsair 350D would be my ultimate choice), I don't think you'll be disappointed with any of them.
The Laptop
(6 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel i7 2860QM AMD Radeon HD 6770M Corsair Vengence 1600MHz Samsung 840 Pro 256GB 
OSMonitor
Mac OS X 10.8 1680 x 1050 anti-glare high resolution  
  hide details  
Reply
The Laptop
(6 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel i7 2860QM AMD Radeon HD 6770M Corsair Vengence 1600MHz Samsung 840 Pro 256GB 
OSMonitor
Mac OS X 10.8 1680 x 1050 anti-glare high resolution  
  hide details  
Reply
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