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HerrKaLeu

mATX case without wasted space for HDD/DVD or water-cooling

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I want to build a PC that only uses m.2 SSD. No need for HDD/DVD. Here is what should fit in:

  • Maximum board size would be mATX
  • ATX bottom-mounted and easy to maintain filter
  • one to two 2.5" SSD
  • iGPU or a smaller graphics card
  • ideally 2 front 140mm fans, alternatively 2 120mm fans. Easy to maintain filter. A bottom fan with easily maintainable filter also would be good.
  • air cooling only. I assume since the width is a minimum due to the ATX-PSU, it may fit a 120mm cooler. Alternatively 92mm cooler may be OK. Not looking at more much than 65W TDP CPU.
  • Easy to clean air filter for all intake fans inc. PSU. Something what Fractal Design does with the Define units would be great. 

All the cases still have the space in front for HDD/DVD and possible radiators. That adds about 10-12 cm to the depth of the case and is not used in my build. Many cases also have options for top radiator, which again wastes space for my case. Since the maximum is two 2.5" SSD, this also would cut down on cable management needs.

Something like a small FD Refine, but shorter and lower. Ideally price and quality are not worse than Fractal Design. I don't care for a window, but it wouldn't be a dealbreaker since my planned build would be very neat. Since this build doesn't really require much actual building, I also would look at a lower quality than FD if needed.

It seems most cases are still built for HDD. I realize people still buy them new, or have old ones. But I want to build a PC that has the absolute minimum only and has a case as small as possible. I don't want an ITX case, since I want to use the cheaper and more available mATX hardware. Without HDD space it should be possible to make an mATX case almost as small as an ITX case. I also recycle my main rig hardware (mATX) in this smaller build. I realize this case will be useless for someone who needs 3.5" drives.

 

the closest what I found is this Rosewill FBM-X2 for around $40 it holds 1 HDD, so they could still make it a bit shorter without that HDD space. I'm also not sure about the PSU dust filter. 

Please point me in the right direction. Thanks.

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Are you looking to hide your power cables, since this build is going to be neat?

I looked at the FBM-X2 that you listed, it does seem to fit what you are asking about, but your cables will be exposed.

Do you want built-in cable management?

Are you more worried about thermals or sound?

Also, how much is your upper limit on cost?

 

I myself am looking into a new case for my system, with a new back bone upgrade (8 years it is needed). I am trying to keep my cost to around $100 USD.

 

I see your reasoning for not going ITX. (some of the parts required are quite expensive.)

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I looked at every major manufacturer, inc. Silverstone. which model are you referring to?

 

the build will be neat by default since the SSd mainly will be m.2. that also makes it easy to work in. So i don't need elaborate cable management or hiding shrouds. 

 

Thermals and sound are important. but this will be a 65W CPU system with either an iGPU system , or a relatively weak GPU (I realize for an actually powerful gaming rig it needs a larger case). 2 120mm case fans should be able to cool it silently.A good dust filter system would be really good.

 

I sometimes cycle my hardware around, or sell a system to a relative and then give them the case and hardware that fits them best (usually my lowest level). So getting one that is ITX would really be impractical since all my hardware is mATX. 

 

Cost should be low like the Rosewill, but could be like a Fractal Design, if it is the same level of quality. 

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Silverstone PS15 fits an ATX PSU. They also have their GD and ML series of HTPC cases which might interest you if you're thinking about a low profile cooler too instead of a full tower. 

 

Here's a spreadsheet of cases sorted by size. Most are mITX but there's a few good mATX cases in here too.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dzRY3LLsXcDX5Qt5PvQOrAJhw0EK9Cy7UtQPdyRp6PY/edit#gid=0


"Put as much effort into your question as you'd expect someone to give in an answer"- @Princess Luna

Make sure to Quote posts or tag the person with @[username] so they know you responded to them!

Purple Build Post ---  Blue Build Post --- Blue Build Post 2018

RGB Build Post 2019 --- Rainbow 🦆 2020 --- Project ITNOS --- P600S VS Define R6/S2

CPU i7-4790k    Motherboard Gigabyte Z97N-WIFI    RAM G.Skill Sniper DDR3 1866mhz    GPU EVGA GTX1080Ti FTW3    Case Corsair 380T   

Storage 1x Samsung EVO 250GB, WD Black 3TB, WD Black 5TB    PSU Corsair CX550M    Cooling Cryorig H7 with NF-A12x25

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Posted · Original PosterOP
12 hours ago, TVwazhere said:

Silverstone PS15 fits an ATX PSU. They also have their GD and ML series of HTPC cases which might interest you if you're thinking about a low profile cooler too instead of a full tower. 

 

Here's a spreadsheet of cases sorted by size. Most are mITX but there's a few good mATX cases in here too.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dzRY3LLsXcDX5Qt5PvQOrAJhw0EK9Cy7UtQPdyRp6PY/edit#gid=0

thanks for the info. the PS 15 doesn't look bad. the ML seem to be ITX. the GD seem to be tailored to look like a stereo (meaning they will be like laying on the side). 

I'll digest the spreadsheet. thanks for setting this up. Has some interesting options. 

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9 hours ago, HerrKaLeu said:

thanks for the info. the PS 15 doesn't look bad. the ML seem to be ITX. the GD seem to be tailored to look like a stereo (meaning they will be like laying on the side). 

I'll digest the spreadsheet. thanks for setting this up. Has some interesting options. 

Most of the ML's are mITX, but the ML03 and ML04 are mATX with standard ATX PSU support, but still very short (requiring stock or low profile coolers)


"Put as much effort into your question as you'd expect someone to give in an answer"- @Princess Luna

Make sure to Quote posts or tag the person with @[username] so they know you responded to them!

Purple Build Post ---  Blue Build Post --- Blue Build Post 2018

RGB Build Post 2019 --- Rainbow 🦆 2020 --- Project ITNOS --- P600S VS Define R6/S2

CPU i7-4790k    Motherboard Gigabyte Z97N-WIFI    RAM G.Skill Sniper DDR3 1866mhz    GPU EVGA GTX1080Ti FTW3    Case Corsair 380T   

Storage 1x Samsung EVO 250GB, WD Black 3TB, WD Black 5TB    PSU Corsair CX550M    Cooling Cryorig H7 with NF-A12x25

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I haven't found the perfect case yet, but have 3 contenders:

Rosewill FBM-X2  they cost around $30-$40, but are currently not well available. 

Jonsbo U3  Cost around $70, but isn't really available these days. My nitpick is they should put the PSU at the bottom and draw air for it from below.

Silverstone PS 15  Is around $70, and has a glass panel. I'd prefer the solid panel. sn' look bad, but 

 

For comparison, I already own a Fractal Design core 1100, but think it is 2 large due to DVD option (and has room for improvement for my case). I actually own 2 of them. The above are a bit wider, which works for for larger coolers. 

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1 hour ago, HerrKaLeu said:

Silverstone PS 15  Is around $70, and has a glass panel. I'd prefer the solid panel. sn' look bad, but 

Also forgot to mention:

Coolermaster Q300L, panel is acrylic. 

Fractal Design Define Mini C. Not super small like the PS15 bu has high build quality and a solid side panel.


"Put as much effort into your question as you'd expect someone to give in an answer"- @Princess Luna

Make sure to Quote posts or tag the person with @[username] so they know you responded to them!

Purple Build Post ---  Blue Build Post --- Blue Build Post 2018

RGB Build Post 2019 --- Rainbow 🦆 2020 --- Project ITNOS --- P600S VS Define R6/S2

CPU i7-4790k    Motherboard Gigabyte Z97N-WIFI    RAM G.Skill Sniper DDR3 1866mhz    GPU EVGA GTX1080Ti FTW3    Case Corsair 380T   

Storage 1x Samsung EVO 250GB, WD Black 3TB, WD Black 5TB    PSU Corsair CX550M    Cooling Cryorig H7 with NF-A12x25

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