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BigRedOK

Mid Tower ATX vs Full Tower. Advantages/Disadvantages

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I was talking with a buddy at work and we have been having a big conversation about this over the past few days. 

 

What I want to know from you all is what are the advantages of going with a mid-tower case instead of a full tower?

Also what are the disadvantages?

What are the advantages of going with a full-tower case?

Disadvantages?

 

I'm also looking for a new case already. The one I have now works, (very well mind you) but after getting "hands on" with it and using it this little time, I hate it. not enough room in the back for cable management. It feels kind of cheap. The window has  a fan in it. It is a little too "much" as far as looks. I'd like something a little more sleek and simple. Not so much "out there" and "busy". Another reason is, I'd like to be able to get the computer onto a decent sized desk. i can fit it on mine now, but it feels too tall... It seems to big to be put on my desk.lol

 

I'll put a picture of my current setup (not 100% cable-managed yet) so you can get an idea of what I'm working with. 

 

post-36183-0-90971500-1376620325_thumb.j

 

 

This is my current setup.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1qIFC

 

I'm looking for something more simple-looking. My future upgrades will be another GTX770 (probably early 2014) and one of the corsair complete, enclosed water-cooling CPU setups. . Not sure which one yet. Keep that in mind when suggesting a case, if you could.  I have the one SSD now and one 1TB HDD and plan to add another SSD and another HDD eventually ( well into the 2014 year). Adding a bluray drive. Case suggestions must have room for two optical drives. Various LED mods also, but that isn't relevant here.

 

Just from browsing the forums here and especially the build logs and "show off your setup" threads, I've seen a lot of cases that interest me. Mainly the corsairs and NZXT cases. Budget/price is non-relevant. I have no cap. But please don't suggest a $300 case just because I said that. Let's keep things realistic please. 

 

I'll likely buy the case around September - November as I'll be getting into another apartment at that time so I'll be getting a new desk too probably. 

 

 

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If you have no intention of water cooling or storing more drives than what a mid tower case can handle then there is no real reason to go full tower.

 

Basically the whole point of bigger cases is more room for components :)

 

EDIT- Have a look at the Fractal cases, in my opinion it's a perfect example of what a mid tower case should be and will fit a 240mm rad such as a H100i in the top as well as 8 drives in total, Should suit your needs nicely :)


[Project] Direct Build log- http://linustechtips.com/main/topic/45117-project-direct/#entry592575


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Your setup is fine, I would save that money so you can go sli in the future. If your case was running too hot because everything is crammed in there, then you should got to a bigger case. Also I would remove the drive sleds that are not being used for better airflow.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

If you have no intention of water cooling or storing more drives than what a mid tower case can handle then there is no real reason to go full tower.

 

Basically the whole point of bigger cases is more room for components :)

 

EDIT- Have a look at the Fractal cases, in my opinion it's a perfect example of what a mid tower case should be and will fit a 240mm rad such as a H100i in the top as well as 8 drives in total, Should suit your needs nicely :)

 

I will look into them tomorrow after work. Thanks. I have noticed a few that have caught my eye. 

 

Your setup is fine, I would save that money so you can go sli in the future. If your case was running too hot because everything is crammed in there, then you should got to a bigger case. Also I would remove the drive sleds that are not being used for better airflow.

 

Yea, I know it is, but still, I'm not 100% happy with it. Everything is actually running ridiculously cool in this case. I have good airflow and a lot of positive case pressure. The temp inside the case is only 2-6 degrees above my room temp. It's ridiculous. :) I think I'll do that. Thanks for the tip. 

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This is what think:

 

I would prefer a smaller sized case

 

Pros:

You save space

You can have just as good of a build compared to a normal sized case

Airflow should be better (depending on the design) since the air does not have to travel too far

Looks good

 

Cons:
Limited expansion (multiple graphics cards, coolers etc)

Some designs also give bad cooling

Not as much front panel connectors but I don't find myself using them too often anyways

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Posted · Original PosterOP

This is what think:

 

I would prefer a smaller sized case

 

Pros:

You save space

You can have just as good of a build compared to a normal sized case

Airflow should be better (depending on the design) since the air does not have to travel too far

Looks good

 

Cons:

Limited expansion (multiple graphics cards, coolers etc)

Some designs also give bad cooling

Not as much front panel connectors but I don't find myself using them too often anyways

 

I hear what you're saying, and from what little i do know i agree with you there. I don't use mine either. Maybe for a thumb drive randomly.

 

Id say remove those hdd cages and stack fans 2 deep for better airflow.

 

I can pull the blue trays out but I still wouldn't have room for 2 deep fans. I've thought about this, but I've got two Corsair SP120s quiet edition in thefront and they do an amazing job pushing through the cages. 

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I hear what you're saying, and from what little i do know i agree with you there. I don't use mine either. Maybe for a thumb drive randomly.

 

 

I can pull the blue trays out but I still wouldn't have room for 2 deep fans. I've thought about this, but I've got two Corsair SP120s quiet edition in thefront and they do an amazing job pushing through the cages. 

Is that lower fan intaking or exhausting ?And i have a trick to get rid of the colored ends of the cables...black fingernail polish works perfect instead of single sleeving.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Is that lower fan intaking or exhausting ?And i have a trick to get rid of the colored ends of the cables...black fingernail polish works perfect instead of single sleeving.

 

 

It's intake. I forgot I moved  fans.. The front fan is a 200mm. Does a good job too. The bottom is a SP120 and there's another sp120 in the top doing intake. Then a 200mm in the door (intake) and an AF140 as exhaust on the rear. Then a random 140mm on the top above the cpu as exhaust and it's scaled with the CPU fan. Most the time it's barely spinning. 

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It's intake. I forgot I moved  fans.. The front fan is a 200mm. Does a good job too. The bottom is a SP120 and there's another sp120 in the top doing intake. Then a 200mm in the door (intake) and an AF140 as exhaust on the rear. Then a random 140mm on the top above the cpu as exhaust and it's scaled with the CPU fan. Most the time it's barely spinning. 

As long as theres a static vacuum meaning more intaking than exhausting and no large gaps then ur good to go.

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As long as theres a static vacuum meaning more intaking than exhausting and no large gaps then ur good to go.

I have a corsair 350d and have 10 fans in it and when i pull the side off, it feels like the case wants to suck in the side lol.

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I have a corsair 350d and have 10 fans in it and when i pull the side off, it feels like the case wants to suck in the side lol.

That probably means that you have crazy negative air pressure which is theoretically bad for dust build up inside your case. If you have 10 fans for pushing air then I would make 6 of them intake and 4 of them exhaust.


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This is really dependent on the specific case.  A good mid tower should be sufficient for almost anything.  A full tower should offer better airflow, motherboard support, expansion slots, HDD slots, cable management but more size, but a well designed mid tower could offer just as much of these things compared to a poor full tower.  The cosmos 2 is a good example.  Linus always talks about how massive it is but you're really not able to get all that much into it.


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That probably means that you have crazy negative air pressure which is theoretically bad for dust build up inside your case. If you have 10 fans for pushing air then I would make 6 of them intake and 4 of them exhaust.

Actually u are correct.Thhe top fans are double stacked making 4 to exhaust and no i really dont have a dust issue.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

This is really dependent on the specific case.  A good mid tower should be sufficient for almost anything.  A full tower should offer better airflow, motherboard support, expansion slots, HDD slots, cable management but more size, but a well designed mid tower could offer just as much of these things compared to a poor full tower.  The cosmos 2 is a good example.  Linus always talks about how massive it is but you're really not able to get all that much into it.

 

 

I see. I have seen some full towers that seemed to be pretty much worthless. LOL I know what you're talking about. 

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I think the main disadvantage of a full tower is that it looks like a giant beast.  right now im using an antec 1200 v3.  its very nice but I can hear this thing from the other end of the house when the fans are cranked up..it still works well with the fans turned to low but im sorta tired of the whole full tower thing..

 

 nowadays it seems trendier to have a smaller computer system.  On the other hand, if you planning to sli or crossfire with even just two gpus, you can space the cards out and make it look a bit nicer and or use the best 16x slots or whatever plus have extra room for other stuff in a full tower.  But, it seems that some mid-towers can cool really well because they may use a lot of fans and act more like a wind tunnel when compared to their full tower counterparts.   

 

You can still do a dual gpu in a lot of midtower cases but in most cases.. hehe cases, your gonna have your cards right next to each other without any room for any other kind of pci cards..

 

lately, I prefer the look of mid-tower cases.  The computer system look less like an air conditioner in those.. But, the full tower has its advantages as well.  I think for you setup, if your planning to make a single gpu system, a mid- tower would be the best solution.

 

edit.. oh I think it turns out you can fit a dual gpu in many midtower cases and still use the best slots.. it depends on your setup.. 

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lately, I prefer the look of mid-tower cases. The computer system look less like an air conditioner in those.. But, the full tower has its advantages as well. I think for you setup, if your planning to make a single gpu system, a mid- tower would be the best solution.

I think the last part sums it up pretty good. If you're using a single GPU and not watercooling there isn't really a good reason to use a full tower. The only time it would really be necessary would be if you wanted 20 HDDs in a system or something crazy like that.


i7 4770k, 16GB Corsair Vengeance

Gigabyte z87, Phanteks Enthoo Primo

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