1. #1

    Looking for the smallest, slimmest case possible for an ATX motherboard

    I have an msi 970a g46 motherboard. It's a full sized ATX mobo. I also have an msi 7870ghz edition GPU. I'm looking for the smallest possible case. I want it to be a slim tower. Something that's about the size of a PS3 or Xbox or Alienware X51. I'm using 1 SSD, 1 HDD, and a wireless pci e card. I have a DVD drive but it's not necessary.

  2. #2
    How about the EVGA's Hadron Air? It focuses on the small form factor while not having to make any compromises hardwarewise. Supports full-sized graphics cards too.
    http://www.evga.com/Products/Product...110-MA-1001-K1

    And a review:
    http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/chassi...ga-hadron-air/

    The only downside (imo) is that it's a bit pricey.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Shuji V2 View Post
    How about the EVGA's Hadron Air? It focuses on the small form factor while not having to make any compromises hardwarewise. Supports full-sized graphics cards too.
    http://www.evga.com/Products/Product...110-MA-1001-K1

    And a review:
    http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/chassi...ga-hadron-air/

    The only downside (imo) is that it's a bit pricey.
    Maybe I'm blind or stupid but that says it's a mini ITX case which wouldn't fit a full ATX mobo right?

  4. #4
    Such things do not exist. Plus your video card would not fit into a slim tower case.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Fascinate View Post
    Such things do not exist. Plus your video card would not fit into a slim tower case.
    My video card isn't big at all. I don't see why it wouldn't. Even on my mid tower, there's almost half of the width still available

  6. #6
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    The Hadron is a Mini ITX, which doesn't help you.

    You'll be hard pressed to find a mid-tower, Full ATX that is those sizes. an ATX power supply alone is larger than the sizes you're looking for.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by IzoGray View Post
    My video card isn't big at all. I don't see why it wouldn't. Even on my mid tower, there's almost half of the width still available
    I think you might not know what slim tower entails, these are slim towers:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...%20Slim%20Case

    You need low profile video cards in the majority of these cases, or a PCI-E adapter to run standard sized video cards horizontal to the motherboard.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Fascinate View Post
    I think you might not know what slim tower entails, these are slim towers:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...%20Slim%20Case

    You need low profile video cards in the majority of these cases, or a PCI-E adapter to run standard sized video cards horizontal to the motherboard.
    Yes I want one like that that is barely bigger than my video card. I don't want all the extra bulk at the front of the PC for an optical drive. My optical drive is horizontal which is pretty much the width of my tower. If it could be vertical and if the back could remove some of the extra width, it would be better.

  9. #9
    Yes I want one like that that is barely bigger than my video card
    What part of
    Such things do not exist
    didn't sink in for you? : )

    If you want a smaller case you need a new mobo, simple as that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    This is the closest thing you are going to get for a slim tower gaming case, but you will need a new mobo:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbhPMe7T27Y

    Its not even released yet but lots of people are excited for it apparently.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Fascinate View Post
    What part of didn't sink in for you? : )

    If you want a smaller case you need a new mobo, simple as that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    This is the closest thing you are going to get for a slim tower gaming case, but you will need a new mobo:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbhPMe7T27Y

    Its not even released yet but lots of people are excited for it apparently.
    That's a great case. I'd rather not replace the motherboard though. I like how they were able to change the direction of the gpu with the adapter.

  11. #11
    Brewmaster Biernot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IzoGray View Post
    That's a great case. I'd rather not replace the motherboard though. I like how they were able to change the direction of the gpu with the adapter.
    Then you are out of luck. Your motherboard alone would fill up that case nearly completely. And that is without taking into account: graphics card, hard drives, optical drives and power supply...

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by IzoGray View Post
    Maybe I'm blind or stupid but that says it's a mini ITX case which wouldn't fit a full ATX mobo right?
    Sorry about that I think I totally missed the "ATX" part.

    Regarding ATX, it does give you little space to work with if you value the small form factor. Though the Silverstone Raven looks really awesome. I'd keep my eyes out for that. Thanks for sharing that btw, I wasn't aware of such an awesome case. ^^

  13. #13
    Elemental Lord Masark's Avatar
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    Look at full ATX HTPC cases, like this one. This is about a thin as a case can get (it's 6.75" thick, as opposed to the 8.1" of a regular tower) without having to get low-profile cards or do the mount-the-cards-sideways business, which is something I wouldn't want to do be doing with a double-width card.
    Warning : Above post may contain snark and/or sarcasm. Try reparsing with the /s argument before replying.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Masark View Post
    Look at full ATX HTPC cases, like this one. This is about a thin as a case can get (it's 6.75" thick, as opposed to the 8.1" of a regular tower) without having to get low-profile cards or do the mount-the-cards-sideways business, which is something I wouldn't want to do be doing with a double-width card.
    so what kind of motherboard should I get? Do I have to replace anything else to get a smaller case? If I were to replace anything I'd rather it be the motherboard.

    I have an fx 8320 cpu
    radeon hd 7870 ghz edition gpu
    8gb ram, 2 4gb sticks
    1 ssd, 1 hdd
    optical drive isn't necessary
    i also have a 650w evga bronze psu

  15. #15
    Elemental Lord Masark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IzoGray View Post
    so what kind of motherboard should I get? Do I have to replace anything else to get a smaller case? If I were to replace anything I'd rather it be the motherboard.

    I have an fx 8320 cpu
    radeon hd 7870 ghz edition gpu
    8gb ram, 2 4gb sticks
    1 ssd, 1 hdd
    optical drive isn't necessary
    i also have a 650w evga bronze psu
    Looking at the more detailed specs from the case manufacturer, your existing hardware will fit fine (with an inch to spare for the videocard's height), though the length of your videocard will prevent you from using an optical drive, which you say isn't important anyway.

    Silverstone also offers several other similar cases that you might also look at. They're all about the same dimensions, though with somewhat differing styling and some feature differences.

    http://www.silverstonetek.com/produc...id=331&area=en
    http://www.silverstonetek.com/produc...id=330&area=en
    http://www.silverstonetek.com/produc...id=232&area=en
    http://www.silverstonetek.com/produc...pid=85&area=en
    http://www.silverstonetek.com/produc...pid=82&area=en
    http://www.silverstonetek.com/produc...id=199&area=en
    Warning : Above post may contain snark and/or sarcasm. Try reparsing with the /s argument before replying.
    With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not necessarily a good idea.
    Random fact of the day : Every sitting member of Congress receives an issue of Hustler every month.

  16. #16
    Brewmaster Biernot's Avatar
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    There are a few different problems with your goal:

    - The FX-8320 limits you to µATX as the smallest available size (no Mini iTX boards with AM3+). But be aware, that those boards all have inferior chipsets compared to your current one. No SATA-3, often no USB 3.0, often only 2 ram slots, etc... You can basically forget about overclocking, because either those boards don't even support it or their power phases for the cpu are only the bare minimum.

    - Getting a small case most of the time means also drawbacks in cooling. And your cpu is not really known for it's low power consumption and thus heat output.

    - The Silverstone case linked by Masark is most likely the smallest you can get for your current motherboard. And even if you switch to a µATX board, the cases are not really that much smaller. Also your graphics card sets requirements to the size of the case.

    In my eyes, there are basically only 2 viable options:
    - Accept the fact that your case can't be too small and stay with a normal tower case.
    - Switch to an intel µATX/ITX build. (Kinda expensive option...)

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Biernot View Post
    There are a few different problems with your goal:

    - The FX-8320 limits you to µATX as the smallest available size (no Mini iTX boards with AM3+). But be aware, that those boards all have inferior chipsets compared to your current one. No SATA-3, often no USB 3.0, often only 2 ram slots, etc... You can basically forget about overclocking, because either those boards don't even support it or their power phases for the cpu are only the bare minimum.

    - Getting a small case most of the time means also drawbacks in cooling. And your cpu is not really known for it's low power consumption and thus heat output.

    - The Silverstone case linked by Masark is most likely the smallest you can get for your current motherboard. And even if you switch to a µATX board, the cases are not really that much smaller. Also your graphics card sets requirements to the size of the case.

    In my eyes, there are basically only 2 viable options:
    - Accept the fact that your case can't be too small and stay with a normal tower case.
    - Switch to an intel µATX/ITX build. (Kinda expensive option...)
    I wanted something that could match the new Steam boxes or Alienware X51 in style. Is my computer too powerful for something like that?

  18. #18
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IzoGray View Post
    I wanted something that could match the new Steam boxes or Alienware X51 in style. Is my computer too powerful for something like that?
    Not 'too powerful' but just the incorrect format.

    Keep in mind... The Alienware X51 is small largely because of 1) Proprietary setup and 2) It has an external power supply, reducing it's interior size a great deal

    Keep in mind... "Steam Box" means nothing, since everyone is making them. If you've seen tiny ones, it's probably the little ones based off something like an ARM CPU, or some kind of embedded setup. The actual 'uses off the shelf hardware' are not any smaller than a normal compact system, or use proprietary setups.

    If you want to take stuff you have or change it around, you're largely SOL.
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    Not 'too powerful' but just the incorrect format.

    Keep in mind... The Alienware X51 is small largely because of 1) Proprietary setup and 2) It has an external power supply, reducing it's interior size a great deal

    Keep in mind... "Steam Box" means nothing, since everyone is making them. If you've seen tiny ones, it's probably the little ones based off something like an ARM CPU, or some kind of embedded setup. The actual 'uses off the shelf hardware' are not any smaller than a normal compact system, or use proprietary setups.

    If you want to take stuff you have or change it around, you're largely SOL.
    So would I basically have to get new parts to get something smaller? I was hoping the motherboard would be the only thing holding me back. How viable are external power supplies?

    Also, I was just talking about the iBuyPower Steam Box prototypes that have been shown off. They look like the Silverstone cases a little bit.

    What would I have to do to get something small that's on par with my computer build?

  20. #20
    Brewmaster Biernot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IzoGray View Post
    So would I basically have to get new parts to get something smaller? I was hoping the motherboard would be the only thing holding me back. How viable are external power supplies?

    Also, I was just talking about the iBuyPower Steam Box prototypes that have been shown off. They look like the Silverstone cases a little bit.

    What would I have to do to get something small that's on par with my computer build?
    You mainly would have to get:
    - 1150 Mini-ITX motherboard
    - Intel i3 or i5 Haswell cpu (depending on budget)
    - Case
    (- PSU, depending on the case)

    Everything else should be reusable.

    Now, first you have to decide what case you want to get. You have a few different options:

    Slim, with graphics card sideways
    This is probably the one you want, e.g. the one the official Steam Machine uses. Only problem here is, that those are either not (yet) available to the public or are very expensive. Examples:
    Silverstone Raven RVZ01 - not yet available.
    Asrock M8 Barebone - $600 price tag. It comes already with a matching motherboard and power supply, but the price is still very high.

    "Shoebox"
    Here the graphics card is upright and the power supply and hard drives usually behind the front of the case. Examples:
    Fractal Design Node 304
    Cooler Master Elite 130
    Silverstone SG05-450 - 450W SFX PSU included

    Mini Tower
    Similar to the Shoebox design, but the motherboard is turned 90°, so that the graphics card is usually on the bottom. Examples:
    Lian-Li PC-TU200
    Silverstone SG09 - This one is actually a µATX case, but still very compact.


    As for the rest of the parts:


    If you want maximum gaming performance, you should get an unlocked i5 with a Z87 mb:

    PCPartPicker part list

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($233.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: MSI Z87I Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
    Total: $378.97

    The cpu cooler is low profile to fit into cases with little space. Still powerful enough for a little over clock.

    If you don't plan to overclock, you can go with a little bit cheaper solution:

    PCPartPicker part list

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($194.99 @ NCIX US)
    CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock B85M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($81.97 @ Newegg)
    Total: $301.95

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