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Ultra small case for HTPC and gaming use

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Ultra small case for HTPC and gaming use

Hello everyone,

I want to build a very small system, power efficient with no discrete GPU.
I dream of the ideal mini case for me basically what I want is all this features :

• A case that can fit in a backpack
• Weight under 2 kg (case only)
• Two slots for 2.5" HDD (located under motherboard preferably)
• Case height around 65 mm
• Allow good airflow to CPU
I found some cases on aliexpress that match some features I listed above but not all of them unfortunately.

• Rgeek : https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/32977795837.html
• MetalFish : https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/32891478308.html
These two cases are cool but the Rgeek one has the HDD bracket over the motherboard so it will block the airflow to cool the CPU correctly.
The MetalFish one has a better internal layout (dual 2.5" HDD slot under motherboard compartment) but doesn't allow for good airflow to properly cool the CPU because top cover isn't vented at all (what a shame).

I talked to the seller of these two cases on aliexpress to tell them that's it is stupid to build a case if you can't properly cool the CPU (no vented top on MetalFish one and HDD bracket blocking airflow on Rgeek alternative) but they don't even understand what I'm trying to tell (I guess they don't know anything about technical aspects of computers but still sometimes it really seemed like I was asking my grandma about these products, wowsers).

Today I have built a little system with E-I3S case from Realan but the layout isn't great (HDD bracket above motherboard and no vented for proper cooling).
Here is the link http://www.minicase.net/product_E-I3S.html
With no vented top it makes any top flow heat-sink solutions non viable because it will reduce greatly the efficiency of the heat-sink to cool anything.
It's also better from a noise perspective I don't know why makers of SFF case like the 3 linked above doesn't get that, you don't need to be a genius to understand that.

My mini ITX Gaming rig : https://pcpartpicker.com/list/bT4Y7h
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 01:12 PM
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Hi,

Are you planning on using the parts in your link, or are you building new?

If you are building new, the Asrock DeskMini series might work for you.

https://www.asrock.com/nettop/Intel/...x.asp#Overview

These include the case and semi-proprietary motherboard (BTX Form Factor) and external PSU.

There are several different models - you'll have to make sure to find one without discrete graphics, but it does have the dual 2.5 slots, under the motherboard, and has side ventilation.

It is a little taller than you asked for, but only by about 17mm (81.9mm height)

Here is a link to a Intel bare bones version. (France Newegg Link)

https://www.newegg.com/global/fr-en/...-062-_-Product

This one supports 8th & 9th Gen intel CPUs (Up to 65watt)

There is also an AMD version. (US Newegg Link - not available on France Newegg)

https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E1685615...-064-_-Product
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 02:50 AM - Thread Starter
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The deskmini B360 is a little bit too expensive for me. I know it includes motherboard and the case.

The ISK 110 from Antec looks great in terms of features (HDD bracket under motherboard and vented top panel).

It costs around 94€ and 100€. A little bit pricy but I guess I won't find case that small at 70 or 60€.

I think in the future I may change my motherboard and CPU for an AMD build.
For a GPU less build I think that AMD integrated graphics do a lot better than Intel ones.

Currently my system is :
4th gen i3 (i3-4500 or something like that)
8 Gb of DDR3 SO-DIMM
128 Gb mSATA SSD

My mini ITX Gaming rig : https://pcpartpicker.com/list/bT4Y7h
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 03:59 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Gamer388 View Post
The ISK 110 from Antec looks great in terms of features (HDD bracket under motherboard and vented top panel).

It costs around 94€ and 100€. A little bit pricy but I guess I won't find case that small at 70 or 60€.

I think in the future I may change my motherboard and CPU for an AMD build.
For a GPU less build I think that AMD integrated graphics do a lot better than Intel ones.

Currently my system is :
4th gen i3 (i3-4500 or something like that)
8 Gb of DDR3 SO-DIMM
128 Gb mSATA SSD
How serious are you about gaming on that system? Because that 4th gen i3 with basic intel "HD" graphics isn't going to net you many frames. "Intel HD graphics" was never really meant for gaming, its just for basic display output. The drivers are really glitchy for many games as well.

Its fine as a HTPC, but for gaming I'd recommend selling you current system and building a Ryzen 3400G based system.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 08:59 AM
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I just got done helping a friend with a deskmini a300w build, it turned out really nice for his purposes. That being said he is not much of a gamer, but it will do fine with some titles just fine.

This was a general purpose build, meant to serve general use while being very small and discrete behind his tv.

We used the Asrock deskmini a300w
ryzen 5 2400g processor
16 gb of 2400 speed ram
500gb nvme drive
noctua cooler
and finally, a nice logitech wireless keyboard with built in touchpad
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CPU
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Motherboard
Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro Wifi
GPU
Gigabyte GTX 1660 OC
RAM
G.Skill Trident Z RGB 3200 8GB x 2
Hard Drive
Intel P600 1TB Nvme
Power Supply
Corsair RM750i
Cooling
Phanteks PH-TC14PE_ 140mm UFB CPU Cooler
Case
Fractal Design Define R5
▲ hide details ▲
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Gilles3000 View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Gamer388 View Post
The ISK 110 from Antec looks great in terms of features (HDD bracket under motherboard and vented top panel).

It costs around 94€ and 100€. A little bit pricy but I guess I won't find case that small at 70 or 60€.

I think in the future I may change my motherboard and CPU for an AMD build.
For a GPU less build I think that AMD integrated graphics do a lot better than Intel ones.

Currently my system is :
4th gen i3 (i3-4500 or something like that)
8 Gb of DDR3 SO-DIMM
128 Gb mSATA SSD
How serious are you about gaming on that system? Because that 4th gen i3 with basic intel "HD" graphics isn't going to net you many frames. "Intel HD graphics" was never really meant for gaming, its just for basic display output. The drivers are really glitchy for many games as well.

Its fine as a HTPC, but for gaming I'd recommend selling you current system and building a Ryzen 3400G based system.
My current mini setup was not build with gaming in mind.
I just wanted a very small computer that can record live stream 24h/7. It was almost its only purpose, sometimes I used it to watch some YouTube vids that was it.

But as I said in my first post I would want to change the case because it's not practical and 4×40mm fan doesnt cut it. And side panel not vented means topflow cooler wont cool anything because no access to fresh air.

Thanks for your case suggestion but they are expensive. Maybe I'll consider them in a future project.
I guess my dream case doesn't exist.
It was cool to dream though ...

My mini ITX Gaming rig : https://pcpartpicker.com/list/bT4Y7h
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 11:28 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Gamer388 View Post
Thanks for your case suggestion but they are expensive. Maybe I'll consider them in a future project.
I guess my dream case doesn't exist.
It was cool to dream though ...
Sounds like they might, just not at your dream price point
Maybe consider a custom case. Get an old case and cut the motherboard tray out and then build a case around that.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 11:37 PM
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Have you considered an Intel NUC? While they can't take 2x2.5" drives, they can take an M.2 (largest 2280 form factor I can find currently is 2TB) and a 2.5" drive (which could be a 2TB HDD or even a 4TB SSD...)

It's Intel Integrated graphics, so hardly anything to write home about, but they are tiny.


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