PDA

View Full Version : Mini-ITX Mobos and cases



coldvvvave
27-04-2013, 02:08 PM
So I have some money to spare and I do want to upgrade a bit since my MoBo is either dying after two years of use or maybe I'm just doing something wrong( also I want SATA-6Gb/s my old one lacks). I've been thinking about minimizing my PC too and thus I decided to buy a mini-ITX mobo and a relatively small HTPC-style case. Now I do understand cooling, wiring and fitting it all in a small case may turn out to be a nightmare, but there are specialized cases available. Like THIS (http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&prod=94) or THIS (http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?product_id=3102). And I've heard contemporary mini-ITX mobos aren't bad even for a gaming PC( not cheap though) like THIS ONE (http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P8Z77I_DELUXE/), or THIS ONE (http://www.gigabyte.ru/products/page/mb/ga-h77n-wifirev_10), or THIS ONE (http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P8H77I/).

I'm really worried about cooling, buuut I ordered Node 304 already anyway it just looks so great. It recieved glowing reviews and people buy them like hot cakes. If everything else fails I'll just shove some of my old hardware into it and make it a poor mans NAS or something.

So, thoughts? Anyone had experience with Mini-ITX cases or mobos like this? Should I consider water cooling?

Thanks.

Vicious
27-04-2013, 07:38 PM
Have you actually gotten out a measuring tape and measured out those cases? Neither are HTPC sized, and neither is significantly smaller than an ATX case.

I have a Bitfenix Prodigy with an asrock z77e-itx, i5 3550, HD 7870, SSD, 2xHDD and DVD-RW.

At the end of it all, I wish I had just gotten a high quality ATX case and saved myself the extra time, effort and bother considering the relatively small difference in size.

Vicious
27-04-2013, 07:45 PM
This should stop you buying the CM: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6110/cooler-master-elite-120-advanced-case-review-little-in-almost-every-way/6

http://photos5.pix.ie/F2/72/F2724C1B8A6340548BBCD89936C6A7CC-0000353442-0003230458-01200L-77B59D0A9E424A6FACA27F2E14B43299.jpg (http://pix.ie/khamilto/3230458)
http://photos5.pix.ie/02/47/0247DBD1B8AB49A08977ADC3545ECD4F-0000353442-0003230457-00800L-125C59B8E35E4A1AA308DFE844F49C27.jpg (http://pix.ie/khamilto/3230457)

trjp
27-04-2013, 09:57 PM
Those Bitfenix cases are so popular and yet I don't see the advantage unless you're moving it around a lot!?!?

As for water-cooling, if you're going to overclock CPU and GPU to any degree, I'd say yes.

If you're only going for a safe/quiet overclock or running stock - don't bother.

I'd hoped that water cooling would add more 'quiet' but in reality, a well designed/airy case makes less noise from it's fans than water-cooling does from it's rad/pump.

Vicious
27-04-2013, 10:05 PM
They're not particularly light, so aren't particularly portable.

slick_101
28-04-2013, 11:33 AM
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-579-LL Who doesn't like trains?

coldvvvave
03-05-2013, 09:37 AM
At the end of it all, I wish I had just gotten a high quality ATX case and saved myself the extra time, effort and bother considering the relatively small difference in size.
Thanks, that really made me stop and think. I still bought FD Node 304 but kept my main system in the CM 690 II Advanced case and went for a small upgrade( new mobo, cooler, memory and fans) and cleaning the case from tons of dust that gathered there. Thanks again, I was about to do something unwise.

coldvvvave
06-09-2013, 03:17 PM
Thanks again, I was about to do something unwise.
And so I did! Yay!

ASUS Maximus VI Impact
i7 4770k
Corsair H80i water cooling
Corsair 650W modular PSU
2x4gb low profile memory - cannibalized from old PC( I'll switch to 2x8gb later when I'm unbroke)
Gigabyte HD6970 - cannibalized from old PC, had much trouble fitting
SSD OCZ Agility 4 - cannibalized from old PC
Assembled in a Fractal Design Node 304 mini-ITX case

I feel stupid and broke and happy.

Now I'll sell everything whats left of my old PC... at least for 200-300$ if I'm lucky. And buy a new GPU.

coldvvvave
09-09-2013, 10:07 AM
So, uh, this is the end result.

http://i.imgur.com/LBQnrvL.jpg (http://imgur.com/LBQnrvL)

What bothers me is cooling, obviously. CPU is fine with water cooling and all, but due to small size of the the case the general environment is hotter then I'd like. The Corsair H80i radiator fans are intake. The front coolers( Titan TFD-9225H12ZP/KURB) are exghaust. The airflow in the case is not obstructed by anything( maybe a bit by the HDD rack). So, how do I improve the general tempeature? Some people suggested switching stock Corsair fans for Gentle Typhoone 120mm fans but those are way too noisy( I heard some where I work, nearby thuder strike is probably less loud than two GTs on startup). Some say my current GPU Gigabyte hd 6970 is hoter than most so changing GPU is somrthing I consider.

Any other options? I do realize it's mini-itx and cooling is a problem no matter what. Still, maybe some ideas?

Boris
09-09-2013, 10:23 AM
Swap the direction of airflow, I guess.

You're blowing hot air from the radiator into the case, heating up everything else. You're also reheating the CPU block by blowing hot air on it, which will be transported away to the radiator. Which will blow the hot air on the CPU block.

Sakkura
09-09-2013, 10:29 AM
This is also a situation where a stock cooler on the graphics card might have been useful. They make more noise and don't cool quite as well, but they dump all the heated air out the back of the case. Axial fans dump much of the heated air inside the case.

coldvvvave
09-09-2013, 10:39 AM
Swap the direction of airflow, I guess.

You're blowing hot air from the radiator into the case, heating up everything else. You're also reheating the CPU block by blowing hot air on it, which will be transported away to the radiator. Which will blow the hot air on the CPU block.
Yeah, I thought about that but Corsair h80i manual states it rather ultimatively that radiator have to be an intake. It's my first water cooler so I did everything by the book.


This is also a situation where a stock cooler on the graphics card might have been useful. They make more noise and don't cool quite as well, but they dump all the heated air out the back of the case. Axial fans dump much of the heated air inside the case.
By "stock cooler" you mean something like this (http://content.hwigroup.net/images/products/xl/187876/evga_geforce_gtx_770_superclocked_2gb.jpg)?

Boris
09-09-2013, 04:34 PM
Usually. Stock, in this case, means whatever cooler the chip designer put on the reference design. nVidia and AMD both use leafblower style coolers for the high end cards.

Having the radiator be an intake is really weird though. I get that it'll put the coolest air across it, but the heated air will make everything else hotter unless you can get rid of it again (like they do with top radiators and rear exhaust fans in large tower cases).

Turning it around will maybe give you higher CPU temps (the air cooling the radiator is hotter, but on the other hand hot air isn't blowing on your CPU), but it will lower the temps in the rest of the case.

Sakkura
09-09-2013, 04:50 PM
By "stock cooler" you mean something like this (http://content.hwigroup.net/images/products/xl/187876/evga_geforce_gtx_770_superclocked_2gb.jpg)?
Exactly.

Anyway, reversing the airflow seems at least worth a try.

coldvvvave
13-09-2013, 12:38 PM
Usually. Stock, in this case, means whatever cooler the chip designer put on the reference design. nVidia and AMD both use leafblower style coolers for the high end cards.
I know very little of reference design GPUs. Usually those are considered obsolete when new factory overclocked cards from major brands roll out, right? The thing is, I'm literally drooling over MSI N780 TF 3GD5/OC (http://www.msi.com/product/vga/N780-TF-3GD5-OC.html#overview) and for once I can afford something like that.


Anyway, reversing the airflow seems at least worth a try.
Yeah, I'll do that.

Also, I borrowed two 5400rpm Scythe GT fans. Its like they are asking me to install them.

Sakkura
13-09-2013, 12:53 PM
Well, AMDs next generation of GPUs is supposedly only a few weeks away, that might make a GTX 780 look like a really poor investment.

coldvvvave
13-09-2013, 03:00 PM
Well, AMDs next generation of GPUs is supposedly only a few weeks away, that might make a GTX 780 look like a really poor investment.
I had an AMD gpu( and two of them with Crossfire) for two years and while I don't have many reasons to complain, I really want Physx. Maybe GTX780 is not a smart move at the moment. But wat about 770s? Cheaper and not much slower afaik.

Sakkura
13-09-2013, 03:42 PM
You get more for your money with a 770.