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Thread: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    Yes that's a nice miniITX NAS case

    While I like the overall look and layout of the 600T the price is way too steep for my pockets

    The other cases that have recently caught my eye are the Phantom and HAF 912
    The Phantom is a bit big for my tastes these days (maybe if I could afford watercooling) the HAF 912 I think would make a nice blank canvas for modding, however I'd want the cheaper basic HAF 912 not the HAF 912 Plus (I'd be repainting it anyway so why pay extra for something I'm going to redo)
    However in another of thoes bizar twists of incomprehensible decisions of case manufactures, the Plus version only seems to be available in the US and only the Plus version in the UK.

    I was going to sugest the lain-li PC-Q08 or PC-Q11 for the portable system if you go ITX

    Although I'm now a bit confused as to what you're looking at doing?
    I'm really not sure myself mate... im starting to warm to uATX i7 idea but i would like a smaller case for it if i did.

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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    I would wait for Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer TBH. These are both made on a 32NM process and hence should be more efficient. For an SFF build I would go with a CPU which has a TDP under 100W.

    For the NAS perhaps a 45W X2 245e or X3 415e is worth considering.


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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    over a dual core atom with a dedicated RAID 5 card would it really be necissary? It wont really be doing much other than SMB shares to be honest.

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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    I suppose the Atom may do the job.

    Regarding your media PC a Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 and a Core i3 530 around the same price as an Asus M4A88T-I and an Athlon II X3:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/225558...edium=products

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Intel...-733MHz-Retail

    It will be faster than the Athlon X3 and is also more energy efficient.

    However,as mentioned before by Pob255 CPU cooler choice is a bit limited.


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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    As i said i wont be overclocking or anything so the stock cooler will be adequate. Think i might just go in small with the media centre then go all out mini super computer with my main PC when/if sandy bridge/bulldozer prove themself to be worthwhile. il just have to get a decent cheap midtower to tide me over as my case is really nackered!
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Silve...SU-Best-Seller maybe?

    Not sure about a nice miniITX case for media centre use either. Am i pushing it with this http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Antec...-with-150W-PSU

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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    Sounds to me like what you really need is a NAS, a dedicated HTPC, and a more portable main PC that can be carted to LANs.

    If you're happy with the Atom board that sorts the NAS (you could even cannibalise the DDR2 from your HTPC ).

    Your IP35's a lovely board, but I guess not really Media Centre material. Personally I'd go for the ASUS AM3 / Athlon II 'e' combo, but CAT's suggestion of H55 mitx + Core i3 530 has plenty of merit too (you *don't* want the cheaper Pentium G6950 as it *doesn't* have PureVideo HD for decoding).

    The stock cooler with a 45W AMD is small, quiet and more than adequate for HTPC duties. For general HTPC duties you won't *need* anything beyond a Sempron, but for general system responsiveness I'd go for at least a dual core, and if you want to go for a three or four core build there's nothing to lose if you stick with the 'e' editions as they're all rated to 45W. Also don't forget that a lot of Athlon IIs will run stably when undervolted, which will trim that bit extra off the power draw (it is only a bit though).

    For you main rig, I'd really suggest hanging on until we know exactly what Bulldozer / Sandy Bridge are going to bring. The only thing I'd seriously think about is upgrading the GTX260 to a 1GB GTX460, and I'm not even convinced that that's a worthwhile upgrade, tbh.

    If you need a new case now, I'd keep the cost down as much as possible - particularly if you're thinking of going mATX for your next build, as you won't be able to cycle it through. So guess what, kids - I'm going to pimp the Casecoms again - ebuyer have stock of the 6788, 6988 and 9188, which AFAICT are all exactly the same case with different front bezels. They're very well built and specified for their price - having built into one I can highly recommend it. In fact, looking at the Silverstone you've linked to they look incredibly similar, but ~ £10 cheaper - the Silverstone does have a nicely understated from bezel though, which the Casecoms... well, don't The other obvious case suggestion is the Antec 300 - now, personally I'm a huge Antec fanboy, but I think even I'd go for one of the Casecoms first - however I don't think you'd regret the Silverstone or the Antec if you chose them instead

    For your media centre case, I'd seriously suggest browsing linitx's range - they often have interesting things in there that other shops might not. I can't lie - I'd personally love the combo of this case with this motherboard - not particularly practical or powerful, but *incredibly* cool

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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Sounds to me like what you really need is a NAS, a dedicated HTPC, and a more portable main PC that can be carted to LANs.
    I think thats on the mark... back to my original original plan before i got the cash

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    If you're happy with the Atom board that sorts the NAS (you could even cannibalise the DDR2 from your HTPC ).
    1GB should still be enough? ill probably just be running WHS/Xubuntu/FreeNAS. Unfortunately Mith had already sold that case so i will have to get it new for an extra £20

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Your IP35's a lovely board, but I guess not really Media Centre material. Personally I'd go for the ASUS AM3 / Athlon II 'e' combo, but CAT's suggestion of H55 mitx + Core i3 530 has plenty of merit too (you *don't* want the cheaper Pentium G6950 as it *doesn't* have PureVideo HD for decoding).

    The stock cooler with a 45W AMD is small, quiet and more than adequate for HTPC duties. For general HTPC duties you won't *need* anything beyond a Sempron, but for general system responsiveness I'd go for at least a dual core, and if you want to go for a three or four core build there's nothing to lose if you stick with the 'e' editions as they're all rated to 45W. Also don't forget that a lot of Athlon IIs will run stably when undervolted, which will trim that bit extra off the power draw (it is only a bit though).
    If its a dedicated HTPC then il go for the cheapest option thats still capable so i reckon dual core Athlon II on the AMD motherboard

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    For you main rig, I'd really suggest hanging on until we know exactly what Bulldozer / Sandy Bridge are going to bring. The only thing I'd seriously think about is upgrading the GTX260 to a 1GB GTX460, and I'm not even convinced that that's a worthwhile upgrade, tbh.
    I thought i had updated my rig thingy, i actually have a 5870... which is why finding a miniITX case is so damn difficult. Im curious how long i am going to have to wait for bulldozer, knowing AMD it could still be a while away. As for sandy bridge, isnt is supposed to start off as a lower end model and the 1366's are still going to be at the top of the spectrum for a year or so? Especially seeing as you cant really overclock that much with sandybridge from what i have read.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    If you need a new case now, I'd keep the cost down as much as possible - particularly if you're thinking of going mATX for your next build, as you won't be able to cycle it through. So guess what, kids - I'm going to pimp the Casecoms again - ebuyer have stock of the 6788, 6988 and 9188, which AFAICT are all exactly the same case with different front bezels. They're very well built and specified for their price - having built into one I can highly recommend it. In fact, looking at the Silverstone you've linked to they look incredibly similar, but ~ £10 cheaper - the Silverstone does have a nicely understated from bezel though, which the Casecoms... well, don't The other obvious case suggestion is the Antec 300 - now, personally I'm a huge Antec fanboy, but I think even I'd go for one of the Casecoms first - however I don't think you'd regret the Silverstone or the Antec if you chose them instead
    Cheers for those links, Assuming i dont make the i7 plunge and if they fit my HD5870 il probs just go for one of them


    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    For your media centre case, I'd seriously suggest browsing linitx's range - they often have interesting things in there that other shops might not. I can't lie - I'd personally love the combo of this case with this motherboard - not particularly practical or powerful, but *incredibly* cool
    Have to say im not overwhelmed by many of their cases, i do like the cube ones but reckon they might look a bit daft in my lounge. Would be nice to have an expansion slot available to me so i can still use my HD5450 for a bit of hybrid crossfiring i suppose, might give me enough of a of a boost to play some of the lower end games. Also gives me some space for future expansion.

    I quite like this one too
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Aplus...SU-Card-Reader

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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    Actually having a 6788 I'd say don't go for it unless as a fairly basic dedicated gaming system
    ie motherboard, cpu, one or two gpu's, single optical drive and no more than 1 hard drive or 1 HDD + 1 SSD
    And a modular psu and probably custom cable lengths are a must if you want to put more in there. (esp short sata cables)
    The case is just that little bit too narrow with 4 hard drives in it trying to get the right hand side panel one is a real knightmare, which requires laying the case on it's left side or two people to squish the cables flat enough to get the panel lined up and back on.

    What I'm getting confused about atm is how many pc's you're after and what roles they need to fore fill.

    Your current p35+e1200 would make a fine nas box, yes it's not small but a nas box can be stuck out of the way some place out of sight and a case like this http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Silve...m-Fans-w-o-PSU
    which uses 9x 5.25" bays and hard drive cages means you can pack in a heck of a lot of hard disks.

    if you want to do a small form factor gaming/lan pc, then that DFI motherboard I linked to is still currently the single best you can get in terms of cpu + gpu potential
    Pair that up with a silverstone SG07 http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Silve...e-2-Full-Slots a 5970 or gtx480 and a i5 760 and you will have the best small form factor gaming pc possible at this time.

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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    1GB should still be enough? ill probably just be running WHS/Xubuntu/FreeNAS. Unfortunately Mith had already sold that case so i will have to get it new for an extra £20
    I would probably go with 2GB if you're considering WHS - mine is currently using 1GB of RAM, with 1GB spare, and nothing particularly dramatic going on.

    If its a dedicated HTPC then il go for the cheapest option thats still capable so i reckon dual core Athlon II on the AMD motherboard
    Dedicated HTPC - for 1080p content, I would advise at least 2.8GHz dual core, based on my testing. GPU acceleration can be a bit hit and miss, so I wouldn't rely on it, but if you want to you can get away with slower. As you can see, I went for a triple to make sure I was covered, but it isn't particularly necessary.

    As for cases, I really like my HTPC case. It's not too expensive, fairly understated, and looks okay next to a television. The only thing I would say is that it is very small - a bit of a pain to work with, but not too difficult. The big problem is cooling it. I really need to take it to bits and rethink the cooling but I just don't have the time at the moment. It can only fit one fan, and it's 60mm, so it's pretty hard to pump the hot air out of the case. I'm not saying don't bother - it ticks a lot of boxes as an HTPC case - but bear in mind that the smaller you go, the harder it is to cool, so it will probably take more effort/money to make it suitable for your usage.

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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    What I'm getting confused about atm is how many pc's you're after and what roles they need to fore fill.

    Your current p35+e1200 would make a fine nas box, yes it's not small but a nas box can be stuck out of the way some place out of sight and a case like this http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Silve...m-Fans-w-o-PSU
    which uses 9x 5.25" bays and hard drive cages means you can pack in a heck of a lot of hard disks.

    if you want to do a small form factor gaming/lan pc, then that DFI motherboard I linked to is still currently the single best you can get in terms of cpu + gpu potential
    Pair that up with a silverstone SG07 http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Silve...e-2-Full-Slots a 5970 or gtx480 and a i5 760 and you will have the best small form factor gaming pc possible at this time.
    no USB3 though... kind of a necissity for a SFF PC IMO as there wont be any room for an additional card.

    Unfortunately i dont actually have unused storage anywhere in my flat to hide the NAS so it needs to sit in my entertainment unit. I could keep it in the current silverstone GD01 case but I cant use the IP-35-E as the only PCI-E x4 slot is the x16 one used for the GPU and i need one for my RAID card

    The thoughts at the moment are:

    Main PC: Either give this a full i7 uATX workover (uATX over ITX form factor is to keep some upgradability but in a still in a more portable package) or wait out for Bulldozer/Sandybridge and just get a new cheap case to keep me going for the moment. Also thinking of putting an SSD in there is i can get a decent recomendation for one sized 80-128GB. if the full upgrade route is taken, USB3 is a necessity for both the case and the mobo.

    NAS: low power mobo/cpu with a PCI-E x4 expansion for my RAID5 card. May use a NAS case from LinITX or may keep in existing GD01. Eventually will have 4 x 2TB drives (F3 atm). No real necessity for USB3 but it would be nice if possible.

    HTPC:
    Mini ITX system with reasonable grunt for some lower end gaming, single opical drive for Blu-Ray drive and space for a low end GPU upgrade. No real necessity for USB3 in the case as it should be pretty small with fairly good access to the rear but i woult like it in the motherboard as there will be no upgrade room.

    My current bits are

    Main rig: Check my system drop down

    NAS/Media Centre: GD01, IP-35E, E1200, 1GB 667 RAM, HD5450, Couple of hard drives.

    Other bits: PERC RAID card

    Sorry this is all a bit ambigious and ideas been thrown around... its a bit muddled up in my head too.

    Budget is around £1k and i would like to keep under it but can slide if necissary
    Last edited by Biscuit; 21-09-2010 at 02:56 PM.

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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    Biscuit,

    Have you considered the NZXT Vulcan @ £55 delivered. It makes a fantastic gaming LAN case, with a carry handle. 120mm intake, 2x120mm top and 92mm rear fans.

    It can fit 2x 5970's to your 5870 won't pose a problem.

    I built a Q6600 / 4Gb RAM / HD 4870 512Mb as my second rig in it and it silent at idle fitted with a AC Freezer 7 Pro rev2, the two supplied stock fans fitted to the top and 2 Xilence Red Wing (92mm + 120mm) fitted to the front and rear exhausts - which I can highly recommend.

    It also has an on/off button for the supplied LED fans (subtle orange glow) and built in fan controllers to cover all 4 fan positions, you can also add a 200mm fan to the side panel if you so desire - available at coolermaster parts website for about £13 delivered if memory serves me right.
    Last edited by cptwhite_uk; 21-09-2010 at 02:29 PM.

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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    Thanks Cpt.White but im not too keen on the styling of NZXT cases, im more of a minimalist brushed aluminum type of guy!

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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    Completely agree, but it's tucked away in my living room and the all black front means it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb

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      • 1x 8GB DDR4 2400
      • Storage:
      • 128GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Radeon R5 230
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      • Battery/Dell brick
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      • Dell Inspiron 5570
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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    ... Have to say im not overwhelmed by many of their cases ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    ... im more of a minimalist brushed aluminum type of guy!
    Amazed you didn't fancy the Noah in Silver then It'd also give ypou the chance to fit a (single slot) discrete GPU, too, with an appropriate riser. Oh, and you might need to think about a Pico-PSU or more powerful DC-DC board too, of course...

  18. #31
    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    • Biscuit's system
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      • Seasonic Focus Gold 750W
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    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Amazed you didn't fancy the Noah in Silver then It'd also give ypou the chance to fit a (single slot) discrete GPU, too, with an appropriate riser. Oh, and you might need to think about a Pico-PSU or more powerful DC-DC board too, of course...
    oooh i missed that one but i do like it

    So if i got that case then

    http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=10916

    and would i also need a new transformer adapter?

  19. #32
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    • scaryjim's system
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      • Memory:
      • 1x 8GB DDR4 2400
      • Storage:
      • 128GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Radeon R5 230
      • PSU:
      • Battery/Dell brick
      • Case:
      • Dell Inspiron 5570
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • 15" 1080p laptop panel

    Re: New case for my Main PC and Mini-ITX HTPC/LAN Rig

    hmmmm.

    I was about to say probably. And if you added a discrete GPU I'd say definitely: you'll need more than the 80W available. But with just a 45W Athlon II and an 880G motherboard, I'm not sure you would need more than 80W. I ran some power draw tests on my HTPC when I picked it up this time last year: in single and dual core modes (gotta love unlockable Sempron 140s!) and at stock volts *and* heavily undervolted. The Sempron is a 45W CPU, I'm pretty sure that unlocking it turned into near enough a 65W dual core. Here's the results.

    Just to add a few provisos: I was using an ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO, which appears to be one of the power-hungriest 785G mobos available (it has a few extra chips, sideport memory etc: all pulls extra power). The PSU was a 5 year old, 300W model, running at very low load (=< 33%), and therefore *very* low efficiency. Even given that, at stock volts the 45W Sempron only pulled 86W from the wall at full load. Later on in that thread I did some rough calculations that suggested that my PSU was about 50 - 60% efficient. So I'm inclined to suggest that without a discrete graphics card you might actually get away with the 80W PSU after all.

    Of course, if you added a discrete card, I'd strongly recommend the pico-psu *and* a new power brick, just to be sure.
    Last edited by scaryjim; 21-09-2010 at 04:12 PM.

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