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What case to pick? Must fit 480 mm radiator or more + 6 HDDs or more

Kratos
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Hello guys

 

It's been a long time since I last posted, I'm looking for my netx build for work (freelance) and I've decided to set up on dual 480 mm rads (one for cpu and one for gpu).

I'm having trouble picking the case. I would like a case that can accomodate at least 2x 480 mm rads (top & front), has a ton of space for liquid cooling but also can hold up at least 6 drives or more since I also need a ton of storage.

My budget is around 300 $/€ for the case (I live in europe).

 

I've so far come up with the Fractal Design Define 7 XL but it's really hard to find I have one at 260€ on Amazon. The case is almost perfect but has 3 issues:

-Don't know if the PSU cover is riveted or if it can be removed

-Looks ugly on the front I wish you could completely remove the front door

-All hard drive cage expansions seem to be out of stock.

 

You guys know any more cases that can fit into that budget?

 

I've looked at the Phanteks Entho elite and the Phanteks 7912. The Entho elite seems way off budget and the 7912 can only fit 4 hdds (i'll have a look at the expansion slot availability) and can only fit a 360 mm radiator on top.

Corsair 1000D also fits everything...except the budget of course...

 

Any recommendations?

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What Gpu are you exactly using that requires 480 rads? even the 3090ti was fine with 280/360 and was well under thermal thresholds and noise levels. 

 

Its honestly gonna be hard to find a massive case that does the dual 480 support that isnt crazy expensive in the new cases, since that is pretty much for enthusiast grade hardware and they tend to charge way more as you know with that phanteks case. You could see if theres any decent used PC hardware stuff in your area, but i dont think youll have much luck with the giant cases needed.

 

Phanteks is usually my Go to for the large case needing a ton of hard drive bays, You could just do a 360 top 480 front their Phanteks Enthoo line i believe. 

 

What do you do that you need this much storage and such? Is it gonna be a server + workstation?  

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Dual 480 is indeed way overkill, thickness and other factors matter a big role in rads. I was cooling a hefty OC'ed 7900X perfectly with an XTC 280, come to think of it. Also, the more rads or area, the more restriction kinda. You'll need more water, more head pressure, all that. The lesser parts you can do with in a loop, the better regarding flow.

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Okay thank you both of you

 

I do videogame development & also a bit of vfx. Storage is for vfx/video/compositing. I know I don't need that much but it will also be my personal rig so I will also be playing games + doing some personal projects to practice (RTX Lighting for example).

I now have a 3080 but it's also with an i9-7900X. I will sell those as soon as I set for an upgrade, since cpu is starting to show it's age when rendering.

 

I wanted to get a 7950x or 13900K when they're out & also a 4080. I know the 12900K struggles with a 360 mm so that is why I planned a 480. We don't know how much power will these cpu & gpus draw, so, I wanted to futureproof the case just in case. For GPU then it should be good with a 360 right?

 

Sorry for my ignorance, I don't know that much about custom water cooling.

The bequiet seems interesting but at only 20€ less than the others while having less space I can't pick it. Thanks though, it seems a good case overall and more towards storage. I might consider it in the future if I set up a NAS.

I'll probably go with the Fractal or the Phanteks 7912 or some other Enthoo budget friendly

 

Thanks!

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Eh, I wouldn't say the 12900K struggles with a 360, it depends on various variables. If it's a good 360, an industrial echelon pump that shoots water in the blink of an eye... it will perfectly survive. Also, power limits and the amount of OC. The 12900K will vary A LOT in the power pulled according to those.

I wouldn't ditch the 3080 that fast, but the 7900X might go.

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Thanks for the info, it is very valuable!

 

I will send you a message when I create a post about the custom loop.

No idea about the pump but if it's going to be more expensive than a 480 mm rad then... (speaking from ignorance)

 

The 3080 is a fantastic card, but there are a lot of projects I had to decline (well paid) that where doing some real time RTX with Unreal Engine. My 3080 was getting about 20 fps.

Playing games is perfect, it's after all a beast card, but struggles on RTX (for development) that is why i'm hoping to get a 4080.

 

I'm settled down to the Fractal or Phanteks.

Both are under 260€. Which one of those would you guys go with?

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6 minutes ago, Motifator said:

Eh, I wouldn't say the 12900K struggles with a 360, it depends on various variables. If it's a good 360, an industrial echelon pump that shoots water in the blink of an eye... it will perfectly survive. Also, power limits and the amount of OC. The 12900K will vary A LOT in the power pulled according to those.

I wouldn't ditch the 3080 that fast, but the 7900X might go.

 

 

26 minutes ago, Kratos said:

Okay thank you both of you

 

I do videogame development & also a bit of vfx. Storage is for vfx/video/compositing. I know I don't need that much but it will also be my personal rig so I will also be playing games + doing some personal projects to practice (RTX Lighting for example).

I now have a 3080 but it's also with an i9-7900X. I will sell those as soon as I set for an upgrade, since cpu is starting to show it's age when rendering.

 

I wanted to get a 7950x or 13900K when they're out & also a 4080. I know the 12900K struggles with a 360 mm so that is why I planned a 480. We don't know how much power will these cpu & gpus draw, so, I wanted to futureproof the case just in case. For GPU then it should be good with a 360 right?

 

Sorry for my ignorance, I don't know that much about custom water cooling.

The bequiet seems interesting but at only 20€ less than the others while having less space I can't pick it. Thanks though, it seems a good case overall and more towards storage. I might consider it in the future if I set up a NAS.

I'll probably go with the Fractal or the Phanteks 7912 or some other Enthoo budget friendly

 

Thanks!

Agreed. A 360 AIO will be near it's limit, but a D5 with a good 360 and good static pressure fans: no sweat.

4090 estimates are down to about 350W which a good 360 or 420 (nice) can handle well. 

7900X/7950X estimates are also in the 250-350 range, depending on a number of factors, so same applies there. 

@Kratos, you do have backups right, or at minimum raid redundancy... Right?

 

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Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2

you can buy hdd cadys for it bit kinda expensive or 3d print if you can or diy with something like this

 

 

Edited by thrasher_565
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5 hours ago, BiotechBen said:

 

 

Agreed. A 360 AIO will be near it's limit, but a D5 with a good 360 and good static pressure fans: no sweat.

4090 estimates are down to about 350W which a good 360 or 420 (nice) can handle well. 

7900X/7950X estimates are also in the 250-350 range, depending on a number of factors, so same applies there. 

@Kratos, you do have backups right, or at minimum raid redundancy... Right?

 

What would be a good 360? I'm still going to do 480 on the cpu, I will see if it's cheaper since I have an amazon business account and if I buy 2 same items I get a discount. 360 sounds more than enough for the gpu? Also, I would like to re-use the custom loop for my next build (years from now I hope.

As for the 4090 I've heard it could be like 600w and 450w  for the 4080. I'm not going with 420 because of availability of 140 mm fans. For fans I was thinking of using Lian Li Uni Fan SF-120 Infinity. I know, overpriced, but Noctuas Industrial fans are even pricier. For me since most fans perform the same, I would rather buy ones that look good and are easy to work with (daisy chain and very few cables).

 

As for redundancy, I had A LOT of problems with Raid on the past so I got fed up and I just do 2 manual backups every single day (I know some of you would kill me for this).

 

 

3 hours ago, thrasher_565 said:

Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2

you can buy hdd cadys for it bit kinda expensive or 3d print if you can or diy with something like this

 

 

Looks a lot like the 7912 I might consider it

 

4 hours ago, wONKEyeYEs said:

Cooler Master HAF 700 BERSERKER

 

I did consider this one but only has 4 HDDs and haven't found any info about expansion hdd cages.

 

 

Thank you all once more.

I will keep deciding if Fractal, Phanteks 7912 or Enthoo Pro 2

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IMHO 12900K is way overkill for it's thermal performance, 12700k will be better unless you're planning to do OC

also you'll need win11 scheduler for 12 gen intel cpus, 1 of my colleague ran in issue with his e-cores on windows server 2019 dc

 

a single 480 or 420 with an additional 360/280 rads is sufficient for most single cpu + gpu setup

 

i would look at these cases ppl already suggested

  • phanteks enthoo pro2
  • phanteks 719
  • fractal meshify 2 xl
  • corsair 7000d (i'd stay away from this due rad thickness clearance issue)
  • thermaltake core p5 (it's an open case)

if yer custom looping, grab a ek tbe200 d5 or heatkiller d5 res pump combo unit (only grab dual d5 if you really want redundancy & also QDC it)

Ryzen 5700x + EK Supremacy D-RGB | 2x8 GB DDR4 Klevv 3200 MT/s | MSI B550M Mortar | Palit 3070 GamingPro LHR + Bykski N-PT3070PRO-X | Corsair RM750 | Alphacool EPDM + QDC | Aquacomputer Quadro + HighFlow2 | EK D5 XTOP | Freezemod 360 30mm rad + Barrow Dabel-20b 360 20mm | Barrow & Freezemod fittings | Corsair 5000D Airflow | AudioTechnica AD700 + iFi Zen Air DAC + Razer Seiren Mini
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39 minutes ago, fonzz1e said:

IMHO 12900K is way overkill for it's thermal performance, 12700k will be better unless you're planning to do OC

also you'll need win11 scheduler for 12 gen intel cpus, 1 of my colleague ran in issue with his e-cores on windows server 2019 dc

 

a single 480 or 420 with an additional 360/280 rads is sufficient for most single cpu + gpu setup

 

i would look at these cases ppl already suggested

  • phanteks enthoo pro2
  • phanteks 719
  • fractal meshify 2 xl
  • corsair 7000d (i'd stay away from this due rad thickness clearance issue)
  • thermaltake core p5 (it's an open case)

if yer custom looping, grab a ek tbe200 d5 or heatkiller d5 res pump combo unit (only grab dual d5 if you really want redundancy & also QDC it)

I'm not going to get the 12900K, probably the 7950X or 13900K, whatever offers more price/performance/thermals. I need the extra cores for rendering. It really saves a lot of time.

Yes I will be using W11.

So I will probably go with 480 cpu and 360 gpu. Also, would a 480 mm be enough for a 7950x/13900K & 4080/4090 combo? We will have to see...if I can get away with one of them I can spend the extra budget on more fans. I just want to have flexibility for 2x 480 even if I don't go for 2, I always like to have the extra space for airflow, hard drives, more fans.

 

The Meshify 2 XL looks ugly on the front, I don't like mesh cases, triggers my 3D modeling haha. Also, what difference is there with the Define 7 XL? Both have a ton of hdds capabilities, both have 2x 480 mm and they use the same expansion drive cages. Also same price. I might consider it if I can't get the Define 7 XL.

 

Thanks!

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7 hours ago, Kratos said:

I know the 12900K struggles with a 360 mm so that is why I planned a 480

This isnt the case. What the issue is is mounting pressure , socket flex and the coldplate not being ablr to transfer enough heat not really cooler manufacturers fault but intels for making a crazy cpu on a socket that mounts badly.

 

Anyway. A define r7 is probably the best bet HOWEVER. BIG BIG BIG ISSUE. That case is silencr focused and has flat out poor airflow. You can load it up with however many rads you want its going to run very very hot and have a horrible time getting rid of all that heat.

 

So I'd do the smarter thing and just split the system. A simple cheap diy nas + a good desktop that uses a more common case.

 

12 minutes ago, Kratos said:

The Meshify 2 XL looks ugly on the front, I don't like mesh cases, triggers my 3D modeling haha.

Then you wont ve able to cool your hardware. Watercooling isnt magic it needs air to cool and if you dont give it that it wont work. People have come before you and tried high ebd hardware in a define r7 xl and it just ran really really hot/thermal throttled.

 

What you can donis get an external radiator/radiator tower and solve it that way if a mesh case is that big of a nono.

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depending on what app yer using, you might wanna check if they'll run on e-cores (intel 13 gen has a lot more e-cores)

i would wait for now & get better fans (noctua nf-a12x25, silent wings 4 HS, phanteks t30)

 

oh... you can always remove the front door of the define7xl, looking ugly or not it'll depend on u

Define_7_TGL_Black_Vented_Top_XL_Floatin

Ryzen 5700x + EK Supremacy D-RGB | 2x8 GB DDR4 Klevv 3200 MT/s | MSI B550M Mortar | Palit 3070 GamingPro LHR + Bykski N-PT3070PRO-X | Corsair RM750 | Alphacool EPDM + QDC | Aquacomputer Quadro + HighFlow2 | EK D5 XTOP | Freezemod 360 30mm rad + Barrow Dabel-20b 360 20mm | Barrow & Freezemod fittings | Corsair 5000D Airflow | AudioTechnica AD700 + iFi Zen Air DAC + Razer Seiren Mini
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3 minutes ago, jaslion said:

This isnt the case. What the issue is is mounting pressure , socket flex and the coldplate not being ablr to transfer enough heat not really cooler manufacturers fault but intels for making a crazy cpu on a socket that mounts badly.

 

Anyway. A define r7 is probably the best bet HOWEVER. BIG BIG BIG ISSUE. That case is silencr focused and has flat out poor airflow. You can load it up with however many rads you want its going to run very very hot and have a horrible time getting rid of all that heat.

 

So I'd do the smarter thing and just split the system. A simple cheap diy nas + a good desktop that uses a more common case.

 

Then you wont ve able to cool your hardware. Watercooling isnt magic it needs air to cool and if you dont give it that it wont work. People have come before you and tried high ebd hardware in a define r7 xl and it just ran really really hot/thermal throttled.

 

What you can donis get an external radiator/radiator tower and solve it that way if a mesh case is that big of a nono.

I don't have the budget for a DIY NAS now, I prefer to spend it on hardware for performance. Also, I only have 1 Gbps network so it could be limiting and changing all the wiring to 10 Gbps is expensive & time consuming.

 

I was afraid of the 7 XL with no airflow on the front... that is why I asked if someone knew if you can remove the front door. I know you can open it but can you remove it?

Phanteks 7912 has the same issue.

Looks like the Meshify 2 XL might actually be the best option

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3 minutes ago, fonzz1e said:

depending on what app yer using, you might wanna check if they'll run on e-cores (intel 13 gen has a lot more e-cores)

i would wait for now & get better fans (noctua nf-a12x25, silent wings 4 HS, phanteks t30)

 

oh... you can always remove the front door of the define7xl, looking ugly or not it'll depend on u

Define_7_TGL_Black_Vented_Top_XL_Floatin

Can you entirely remove it?

 

For the fans, I don't want a lot of cable mess that is why I wanted to go with the unifans.

 

Thank you

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40 minutes ago, Kratos said:

Also, I only have 1 Gbps network so it could be limiting

Thats beyond the speed of a typical hdd and raid5,6 and zfs array of 6 drives.

 

I've made plenty of nas systems for about 300$ in total hardware cost (minus drives) by smart shopping for older enterprise stuff. So for future reference its totally possible on a small budget.

 

42 minutes ago, Kratos said:

I know you can open it but can you remove it?

You can rip off the front panel thats the easy way. Otherwise be carefully with disasembly and do this: https://cktechcheck.com/fractal-design-define-7-review-part-2/

 

Keep in mind there is further restriction because of agressive fan filter and stuff. But that can also be removed.

 

The meshify will still flat out be better tho.

 

41 minutes ago, Kratos said:

For the fans, I don't want a lot of cable mess that is why I wanted to go with the unifans.

Wont that severly cut into the budget? Unifans are extremely expensive and not even that good. That and you wont see the rgb.

 

That and you have a massive case 8 fan cables really inst a big deal. Just get a big fan hub and route everything to it. Keep in mind the case is made with all this in mind. Its made for a ton of cables because it can house a massive amount of drives.

 

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15 minutes ago, jaslion said:

Thats beyond the speed of a typical hdd and raid5,6 and zfs array of 6 drives.

 

I've made plenty of nas systems for about 300$ in total hardware cost (minus drives) by smart shopping for older enterprise stuff. So for future reference its totally possible on a small budget.

 

You can rip off the front panel thats the easy way. Otherwise be carefully with disasembly and do this: https://cktechcheck.com/fractal-design-define-7-review-part-2/

 

Keep in mind there is further restriction because of agressive fan filter and stuff. But that can also be removed.

 

The meshify will still flat out be better tho.

 

Wont that severly cut into the budget? Unifans are extremely expensive and not even that good. That and you wont see the rgb.

 

That and you have a massive case 8 fan cables really inst a big deal. Just get a big fan hub and route everything to it. Keep in mind the case is made with all this in mind. Its made for a ton of cables because it can house a massive amount of drives.

 

I usually edit/comp & render in a 2TB SSD (might actually sell it and get a 2TB NVME for doing the work there) so drive speed is important. Whenever I finish a project I then copy everything on HDDs and archive the project there just in case & delete it from the 2TB one. They transfer at 260 MB/s or so since they max out the HDDs write speed copying from a SATA SSD. With 1 Gbps I will be limited to less than half of that.

I might consider a NAS DIY on the future. I've already looked for drives & build. Antec P101 case for example. Cheap, 3x 120mm front out the box and 8 HDD drives. Probably as you said $/€ 300 without drives.

 

Yeah about the meshify I changed my mind and it looks like it will do better with airflow.

 

Not really, here in my country they're offering good deals for freelancers with those fans. I've seen a single one for 20€ and the 3 bundle + controller (controller up to 16 fans) for about 80€. So it would be like 180€ for all fans & controller with only 2 cables or so.

Noctua decent fan (120 mm) is like 16€ so not really a dealbreaker of a difference in price.

I would be able to look at the rgb since is tempered glass.

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49 minutes ago, Kratos said:

I usually edit/comp & render in a 2TB SSD (might actually sell it and get a 2TB NVME for doing the work there) so drive speed is important. Whenever I finish a project I then copy everything on HDDs and archive the project there just in case & delete it from the 2TB one. They transfer at 260 MB/s or so since they max out the HDDs write speed copying from a SATA SSD. With 1 Gbps I will be limited to less than half of that.

I might consider a NAS DIY on the future. I've already looked for drives & build. Antec P101 case for example. Cheap, 3x 120mm front out the box and 8 HDD drives. Probably as you said $/€ 300 without drives.

 

Yeah about the meshify I changed my mind and it looks like it will do better with airflow.

 

Not really, here in my country they're offering good deals for freelancers with those fans. I've seen a single one for 20€ and the 3 bundle + controller (controller up to 16 fans) for about 80€. So it would be like 180€ for all fans & controller with only 2 cables or so.

Noctua decent fan (120 mm) is like 16€ so not really a dealbreaker of a difference in price.

I would be able to look at the rgb since is tempered glass.

Oh I forgot to add the comparable fan my bad. The unifans are a bit worse than the arctic p12/p14's a 5 pack is usually the price of one unifan 😛

 

Either way the plan you have now is good and id keep it at just a single 480 rad as thats currently plenty for a 3090ti + 12900k (with thr socket bracket fix + good block) If you want more go for it. Just make sure to put all rads as intake and then just leave the rest of the case free from fans. All that intake is beyond more than plenty to create a very strong airflow

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57 minutes ago, jaslion said:

Oh I forgot to add the comparable fan my bad. The unifans are a bit worse than the arctic p12/p14's a 5 pack is usually the price of one unifan 😛

 

Either way the plan you have now is good and id keep it at just a single 480 rad as thats currently plenty for a 3090ti + 12900k (with thr socket bracket fix + good block) If you want more go for it. Just make sure to put all rads as intake and then just leave the rest of the case free from fans. All that intake is beyond more than plenty to create a very strong airflow

I will do a budget and see how much I can spend on fans. I would like at least the ones in the 480 mm to be unifans and not have to worry about those cables.

Also, I have a few spare fans that are in my current rig. I've got 2x 120 mm Noctua Redux (cooling the PSU & hard drives) and also 2x 92 mm Noctua Redux, zip tied to the top radiator blowing air to the VRMs & RAM (sound junky but hell does it decrease those temps).

As for additional fans i'll have to see what I come up with. I don't mind spending more on fans & fill the case with fans if I can get away with only a single 480 mm. If I decide later on to add a 360mm or another 480 mm radiator for the gpu then I can always do that.

 

I've looked at the Phanteks Enthoo 719 more deeply and it looks like it might actually be a good fit too since you can remove the front door and the fan filter is really decent. Can fit up to 15x 120 mm fans so gives plenty of option.

Might go with that or Meshify 2 XL

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Just found a local shop with the Meshify 2 XL for 190€, it's a hell of a deal, I might go for it and explore the case since I have 30 days to return it in case I don't like it.

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2 minutes ago, Kratos said:

Just found a local shop with the Meshify 2 XL for 190€, it's a hell of a deal, I might go for it and explore the case since I have 30 days to return it in case I don't like it.

190 doesn't it go for like a 100, in what country do you live in

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3 minutes ago, Kratos said:

VRMs & RAM (sound junky but hell does it decrease those temps).

Psssst do this again its like a really really really good idea.

 

The enthoo is good but very very big male sure your cables can actually reach that is no joke an issue in that case :p.

 

As for fans basically just have 1 good airstream. Too many fans is worse usually.

 

In both cases you can just chuck fans at the front and top as intake and leave the rest empty. Air will eject rapidly out the back and some out the bottom. Basically perfect airflow for a loop

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