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Nice mATX case thats compact and doesn't have terrible thermal performance.

Discussion in 'Case Central' started by SonicSW20, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. SonicSW20

    Hitman

    Joined: Apr 1, 2019

    Posts: 825

    Hi all,

    Planning out an upgrade at some point in the next 6 months. Currently have a Fractal Define R4 which is a nice enough case, but I think I'd like something smaller so I'm looking at mATX cases. Some of the ITX cases are very nice but its too much of a compromise for me.

    Case needs to be good enough to keep a Sapphire Vega 56 Pulse happy, have enough room for my Fractal Kelvin S24 AIO, and enough room for a full size ATX power supply as I have an HX850i which I don't really want to replace.

    I like the look of the Fractal Meshify C Mini, and I think as a size that's about as large as I'd like to go.

    Any suggestions on other cases to look at? Under £100 ideally, but I'd stretch if it was worth it.
     
  2. Grimley

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 18, 2007

    Posts: 6,785

    Location: Deepest Darkest Essex!!

    CORSAIR Crystal Series 280X? Can be had for your budget.
     
  3. SonicSW20

    Hitman

    Joined: Apr 1, 2019

    Posts: 825

    Too big, I saw a couple at some booths at EGX last weekend.

    While its thermally decent its about 15cm wider than the aforementioned Fractal case.
     
  4. Grandmaster Fap!

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jan 10, 2004

    Posts: 9,424

    Location: España

    To be honest i think the Meshify Mini is right up your street, great cooling and compact, cant think of anything else that would cool as well at that size....maybe Coolermaster Masterbox Q300?
     
  5. RedMogg

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 1, 2011

    Posts: 1,770

    Location: Portsmouth

    Currently building my son his first gaming rig and considered iTX to keep the overall size down. SFF PSU, motherboards and smaller versions of decent GPUs carry a hefty premium - so we went in between and chose the ASRock B450M Steel Legend.

    Case wise, I really like my Jonsbo/Cooltek W2 (fits Full-size ATX motherboards, GPU and a 280mm AIO cooler) so we looked for something similar in mATX format.

    We found the W2's newer, smaller brother; the C3 Plus.
    Fits an M-ATX motherboard, but room for reasonably sized GPU, PSU and a decent cooler or even a 240mm radiator.
    Has a PSU shroud, tempered glass side panel and plenty of room to hide cables.

    The best part - it was £60 delivered (for Black version the silver is a couple of quid more) .

    (I've yet to install everything in The Boy's rig, but first impressions are that it's just a smaller, slimmer version of the W2 (albeit without the separate PSU/HDD zone).

    Have a look here:
    http://www.jonsbo.eu/en/micro-atx/c3/139/c3-plus-silver

    And a video review here:
    https://youtu.be/68e9MyizrEM
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  6. an0nym0us

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 15, 2019

    Posts: 1,140

    Not sure if there's room for your AIO and GPU at the same time, so you'd need to check the dimensions, but here's another micro-ATX case for your consideration:
    Silverstone SST-PS15B-RGB Micro ATX
    [​IMG]
     
  7. McPhee

    Soldato

    Joined: Apr 17, 2009

    Posts: 5,334

    Inwin 301c.

    Yes. I know the case's reputation. But that's largely come from reviewers being silly. Bit-Tech, for example, insists on testing cases in stock configuration. For the 301, that meant no fans. And Hardware Canucks didn't read the manual; Dmitri used the front fan mounts as intakes when they're meant to be exhausts. The bottom fan mounts (which he didn't populate) are the case's main intake.

    Here's my experience. My system is a work in progress; it's currently a bit of a bodge job using cheap and often suboptimal parts. I've got a Ryzen 5 2600 in there, under an NH-U12S which only has a slim 92mm fan mounted (due to RAM clearance issues). The GPU is a reference design 5700XT. The case fans aren't anything special; a set of UpHere ARGB fans that cost ~£40 for 6 (inc a controller).

    My idle temps are 35°C for both CPU and GPU. I've just run the system through the FH4 benchmark three times (3440x1440 Ultra). CPU temps peaked at 52°C, while GPU temps hit 70°C with a nice core clock boost to 2020MHz.

    30 minutes on The Outer Worlds hit the GPU harder. CPU temps stayed pretty much the same, but GPU temps rose to 79°C peak, with a 2000MHz core clock (so still a decent boost).

    Sure, these temperatures aren't anything special. But neither is the cooling hardware that's installed in this case. I've got a CPU tower cooler that doesn't fit properly, the crappy 5700XT reference cooler, and case fans that really aren't up to much compared to the best fans from Noctua or Be Quiet!

    Personally, I think it's a decent case. It's a good bit smaller than the likes of the Meshify, looks nice, and offers reasonable cooling performance. It's a shame it gets overlooked because professional reviewers failed to test it properly.
     
  8. Grandmaster Fap!

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jan 10, 2004

    Posts: 9,424

    Location: España

    Very valid, i have an InWin 101c and the cooling is ridiculously good, the fans on the bottom feed the Gfx card and the side fans do the rest for the CPU. Its layout is very much like the Lian Li 011 Dynamic. Ive just upgraded to a P600S but not because of failings of the InWin :)
     
  9. McPhee

    Soldato

    Joined: Apr 17, 2009

    Posts: 5,334

    Yeah, this is quite an advantage. Not really getting the benefit of it with a blower design. But before I changed GPU, my RX570 Pulse sat passive most of the time; the case fans provided enough air to cool it.
     
  10. SonicSW20

    Hitman

    Joined: Apr 1, 2019

    Posts: 825

    Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'd never considered Inwin, I don't know too much about them. I'll find some videos on the 301C, I'm not too keen on the bright coloured branding on the front but perhaps in a more "real" situation its not so in your face. Spec-wise it does look pretty good!

    With the testing, its tricky for reviewers I think. with the 301 example lets say they put fans in for the review, and put in some real nice Noctua fans. Is that fair to the other cases that have basic included fans? Should the testers put those nice Noctua's in every case, replacing what it came with? Stock out of the box configuration is the "fairest" in most ways, even if it penalises some cases.
     
  11. McPhee

    Soldato

    Joined: Apr 17, 2009

    Posts: 5,334

    The branding is backlit. On the 301C you can pick any colour you want (or, I believe, turn it off). Aside from that, and a USB-C on the front, it's the same case as the older 301 (which is the case I've got).

    Personally, I'd prefer to see cases reviewed in their optimal set-up. That's how pretty much every other component is tested; with a big cooling solutions, a high-end motherboard, and an open test bench. It's odd that cases are an exception.
     
  12. Dave Burton

    Gangster

    Joined: May 8, 2018

    Posts: 406

    I have the Fractal Mini C and absolutely love it! Just enough room for 280mm Rad up front, 240mm thin rad/fans up top and a 120mm exhaust. It also features some of the best cable and drive management of any case I've worked on. I'd highly recommend.