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It's 2015 - Why so few decent mATX cases?

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Hardware' started by the3coopers, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. one80

    one80 Member

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    You said you only needed to allow for:

    How does an mITX not have enough PCIe slots for that?:confused: But yes, you're probably not that much better off with any better looking or smarter designed cases there either - just a bit more space saving.

    What's the issue with an external card reader? I use a USB one for my CF cards pretty (and it's gets used regularly) - I've never got myself too worked up over it, and would prefer to keep the front of the case looking cleaner.

    I guess at point you've got to weighs things up - do you want a front that's littered with DVD slots, a multitude of card slots, mutiple USB's, big grille for your front/back air flow and accessible filters, or do you want it looking minimal like a Node or Phenom?

    I clean it and don't have any issue (and don't have any problem taking the front off either) - I slide the case forward and drop the filters out, clean them and slide them back in... Not once have I lost sleep over it :p
     
  2. shane41

    shane41 Member

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    dice que no sabe
  3. Andy3008

    Andy3008 Member

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    Solution...buy your 11 year old a laptop and use an external monitor.

    Card reader...check
    Optical drive...check
    TV Tuner....buy a usb one.
    Dust...can't avoid it
     
  4. OP
    OP
    the3coopers

    the3coopers Member

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    If you think about it, the answer is obvious - that wasn't my full component list. I have twin 24" 1920x1200 monitors connected and I didn't list those either, nor the keyboard or mouse.

    This is not a thread about my build or the components that I've got to go inside it. The major components were only mentioned to point out that the majority of us just have a single GPU, Air cooling and max of 2 drives inside our "family PC" computers.

    Good for you, Not sure why people are getting hung up on the card reader. It's not a major concern for me, but I am listing the things that would make a case "BETTER". Yeah, some people don't use DVD but some do... how come case designs only focus of 1/2 of us?

    Anyway the lack of any front bays means that we cannot add a fan controller, a hot swap bay, an expansion panel for eSATA or perhaps USB 4.0 or whatever. Surely you are not suggesting that zero expansion possibilities = good?

    The option to add a Slot load DVD, a small area for a card reader, one or 2 USB ports (for example, to plug in a game controller or USB drive from a friend) and a couple of Audio jacks to plug in a headset. Not too much, surely? Remember, it's a mATX case so it's not like there is any space limitation whatsoever.

    Like some others, you have TOTALLY missed the point of this thread. It is a not about what compromises we are prepared to put up with - those are First World Problems.

    This thread is ALL about commenting on poor engineering by case designers, and the things that they could to make better designs for us.

    For example, the Node 804 - brand new design, yet with a TINY bit more thought and effort the Fractal team could have made that front a LOT better. Yeah, it looks great on the outside but there are a large number of ways that they could have made it heaps better. For example, imagine if you could access those filters without having to slide the case forward.... if you had a choice of the identical cases with or without such a feature, which would you select?

    Silly comment that like some others here, misses the point completely. I am building a family PC for the tasks that cannot be performed on our laptops,and tablets - but nevertheless this thread is about mATX CASES, and the design flaws that the manufacturers leave in them.

    That's the whole point. With properly designed products dust ingress CAN be avoided.

    The fact that some people are prepared to accept that their fans and heatsinks and Radiators and GPU coolers get covered in crap is perfectly fine with me. But I prefer that this does not happens, and there is no reason why poor engineering needs to set the benchmark in case design.

    Given the choice of zero dust filtering, token gesture dust filtering, hard to access dust filtering, or easy to access dust filtering, which do you prefer?

    PLEASE GUYS...

    It's FAR easier to understand this thread if you focus on the topic, rather than picking my comments to bits line by line ;) Do you see a title that says "help me build my kid a computer"? ;)

    What your objective when you troll me about the components that I have already collected for my build, or the reason that I am building a PC, or what my family might use the machine for, or whether you think that a card reader or optical drive is important or not?
    - All those things are TOTALLY off topic.

    This is a rant thread about the various aspects of commercially available mATX cases that could be improved.

    If you consider that all mATX Cases are "perfect", then you've got nothing to contribute and there is no need to comment here.

    If you know of a case that pretty much covers all the previously mentioned issues (either by me or others), then let's hear about it. For example, the comment by Brocolli in post #6 about the Sugo... that was helpful.

    However if you feel that there is some particular design aspect that peeves you in an otherwise great product, or if there is some feature that would be great to add... then let's talk about it.

    For example, in my opinion the Prodigy is a great product, but the somewhat inflexible internal layout, poor I/O positioning and lack of any dust filters make it too much of a compromise to make up for it's excellent aesthetics. It's the "dumb blonde with big tits" kind of case, that looks good but doesn't really work properly and is a challenge to live with long term.

    So, the majority of the design failures are due to poor engineering of the front of the case. Yet BitFenix provides a easily changeable TOP panel for people who want to add a Radiator up there, which is a tiny percentage of users in such a product. However, if they changed the design of the front so that it could be swapped out like the top panel, then we could include filters and ports and drives and other things behind it.

    So, back to the topic - what design aspects of mATX cases DO YOU think could be improved?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2015
  5. r3s

    r3s Member

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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  6. adamsleath

    adamsleath Member

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    I don't like cases at all
    Whenever I have a case I leave the side panel off for access and airflow

    All case is there for is to stop children zapping themselves on the circuit board
    Which I've never done....

    I suppose if you need portability case is useful
    Otherwise it sits in the corner where you put it

    Just sit the mobo on a mobo tray and put a cardboard box over it

    Lol
    Case as a furniture/ fashion accessory?

    I look at a monitor
    Not the case
     
  7. Sebstar

    Sebstar Member

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    The tj08e is an amazing case and I can only recommend it. Ticks literally every single box you bitched about.
    I've got the same machine you want to build except for the gfx and it's perfect.

    And how is it flimsy??? It's by far the best case I've ever used.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  8. OP
    OP
    the3coopers

    the3coopers Member

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    Yes, easily done and what I normally do for my own machnes. But after a year of the bits sitting there, my lack of time and work space means that for this simple build I looked to buying off the shelf.

    And I was stunned at just how poor the products were. Irrespective of price, I couldn't find ONE mATX case that ticked all the boxes.

    Yes, worth considering. Generally the form factor doesn't really work for me, as I usually mount the PCs up under the desk so they are out of the way.

    It's not actually about me finding a solution or my build. I will choose whatever case has the least compromises for my requirements. I really just wanted to discuss just how many poor and completely avoidable design failures there are in off-the-shelf case designs, especially mATX.

    There are also tons of fails in ATX as well - I know that I struggled when I was building my "personal rig" and ended up with a Nanoxia DS1 because it was the best of a bad bunch. I am now am in the process of modifying it to rectify things like the stupid pop-up I/O ports on the top, adding hot-swap connectors for the front fans, changing the bottom filter so it can be accessed from the front, adding hotswap front and inside for HDDs, sorting the cable management, etc.

    I am perfectly capable of doing all these mods, but the point is.... why should I have to? For example, why couldn't the engineers have better positioned the cable tie-down points?
     
  9. Euphoreia

    Euphoreia Member

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    I just bought a Thermaltake V21. It's brilliant. Why all this stress about air flow? Modern parts don't run hot enough to warrant that kind of worry.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  10. one80

    one80 Member

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    Agreed.

    I found it the easiest case to work with - had good airflow and cooling, cable management, accommodated ATX PSU (larger than they nominate also)/large CPU and GPU heatsink (or SLI)/3+ 3.5 HDDs and SSD/filter/Small footprint etc...

    Basically everything I needed it to. Aesthetically however I think it needs work and would prefer a clean simple front as I don't want/need a DVD or Card Reader etc.


    I think mATX cases (and cases in general) look rubbish and should consider how the space is used much more efficiently. For example in the cases I have used, I cannot understand why the smallest volume case can accommodate the most hardware, and in the most practical way:

    CL S5 0.056 m3
    Node804 0.041 m3
    TJ08e 0.030 m3
     
  11. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    I think the main issue is that everyone can have different needs and preferences. Personally, I wonder why anyone would want usb ports on the top facing up where the dust will drop into it, for others, they might find that convenient.

    I'm always changing cases, so I've had lots. The thing with matx vs atx is that some atx cases aren't that big, and some matx, mitx cases are quite big... That sugo is quite a big case. It's really the overall dimensions you need to look at as to its size, because sometimes they make it matx but put lots of drive bays in it.

    I'm going to make another suggestion - Antec Solo. You can put your card reader/dvd in it, it's a "normal" sized case without being huge, it's got a vent in the front sides that you can just run your finger up and remove lint and stuff, it's got filters, whatever cooling it's got does the job because my computer never shuts down and it's going all the time (and last night was a stinker and the little computer got its knickers in a twist about it). You can get the side off easily because the bolts are stuck into the side panel. (there are 2 types, Antec Solo and Antec Solo II, the older one has more 5.25 bays)
     
  12. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    Why don't they make cases how you want them to?

    Because Intel laid down the Thermally Advanced Chassis Specifications (which included the Chassis Air Guide), for use with their CPUs. Some delightful reading here: http://cache-www.intel.com/cd/00/00/38/71/387155_387155.pdf Now I realise that was in 2008, BUT most case manufacturers are now sticking to a similar airflow design for cases.

    USB Ports on top - because people might have the computer on ground under a desk.
    USB Ports on side - because their computer might be on a desk on left/right hand side.
    Front door on case - because it keeps the dust out.

    ...

    Also because your expectations are unrealistic and in many ways simply not practical.

    Best two options I can see:

    Corsair Obsidian 350D - sure it has "wahhh top mesh wahh", but the outward blowing top mounted fans, if the room is clean, you won't have problems with dust. If the rooms a pigsty then no case will remain free of dust.

    RESOLUTION: Don't put your case on the ground, keep it off the carpet and elevated. You'll cut back dust in the PC a massive amount.

    Front fan is filtered.

    Add in the Fan Filter Kit:
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=25019

    Looks decent!!
    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/i...D_Magnetic_Dust_Fan_Filter_Set_-_6_Piece.html

    Add in IcyBox 5.25" Card Reader:
    http://www.mwave.com.au/product/icy...-esata-mic-earphone-ports-card-reader-aa63230

    OR

    Black Plastic Frame:
    http://www.mwave.com.au/product/bla...ves-or-accessories-in-a-525-drive-bay-aa13451

    That solves your card reader issue.

    Or look at the Antec P100 with the above.

    350D is dead simple to work with too.
     
  13. VirtualNinja

    VirtualNinja Member

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    Epic rant Coops :thumbup:

    I can't see how the Silverstone TJ-08e doesn't fit the bill, it might not be 100% perfect but it is damn close. If it is structural a bit soft when building it, don't lean on it then :p

    Decent air flow - Check
    Easy to clean filters - Check
    Compact - Check
    Sensible layout - Check
    Front mount USB, audio and switches - Check
    3.5 inch external drive bay - Check
    DVD bays - Check
    Easy opening - Check
    Attractive - Check

    I can't see the problem.

    For the PSU top filter why not invert the PSU and cover the top vent with something simple like black contact film.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  14. Sebstar

    Sebstar Member

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    It's even got a removable motherboard tray! As I said, it's by far the best case I've ever used and it's about as non-descript as you can get while still maintaining all those requirements!
     
  15. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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  16. OP
    OP
    the3coopers

    the3coopers Member

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    The thread is NOT about finding a solution to all the points I mentioned. That is just a list of things that might be annoying to some people.

    The TJ08e is almost perfect for MY needs, however I didn't mention it because the PS07 is the m ore modern "reskinned version" which has exactly the same chassis but new front (2x120mm vs 1x180mm) and a door and different front filters. But mainly it's $30 cheaper.

    What is crazy is that the TJ08 was designed back in 2006 and updated to TJ08e in 2011 - it looks pretty damn old fashioned due to that heritage. Over the next 4 years we basically haven't had any case that beats it as a general purpose all rounder.

    The PS07 updates the appearance, and in white it looks quite sharp. But it's nowhere near as attractive as many other compact cases.

    ANYWAY, this thread is NOT about finding me a case.

    GUYS - THIS IS NOT A "HELP ME FIND A CASE" THREAD

    Don't you read the thread title and the OP and the previous comments before you post? I don't know how many times I have to say it. In post #25 on page 2 I thought I made it clear enough (well, I thought the OP made it clear enough actually).

    I don't need help or suggestions, and I am not interested in debating what I need or want or should buy. I don't want you to concern yourselves about what me or my family needs in a PC, how we use it, the components inside it, the amount of dust, whether we want a card reader or a DVD or not. I don't need advice is how to position cases to stop dust getting inside them.
    - FFS, guys... The thread is not about me.

    Furthermore, I see no reason that I should be flamed, attacked or trolled simply because I make comment about things that could be improved in modern computer cases. The cases aren't perfect, so why can't we discuss that?

    The thread is about us discussing the various engineering and design failures in compact PC cases.

    These smaller cases must have compromises, because that's the reality of the situation. But some things are just shit engineering. I will give you an example, so you can (hopefully) grasp what I am talking about.

    I bought a Lian Li PC-V354 which is a beautiful little mATX cube. What isn't so great is the 8 x M3 screws required to open each side the fucking thing. They use thumbscrews and sliding latches on the ATX and Towers (including the cheap Lancool range), but most Lian Li Cubes have all the sides bolted on.

    In a cube case you have to remove both sides to get access - so that is 16 x 3mm screws (about 4mm long), and you must do that to access the front fans and fan filters. You cannot slide the filter out either, it's a prick of a job to get them out. That's totally crap, especially for a case that sells for between $200 and $250 :thumbdn:
    - So, could Lian Li have done it better? YES, of course they could.... they didn't even try to make it practical.

    SO...

    If you think all cases are perfect, then you don't need to comment. It's not a case appreciation thread, ya know :lol:

    If you think a particular case is perfect, then you don't need to comment about that either. It's not a case appreciation thread, ya know :lol:

    If you don't own or know anything about mATX cases, then there is not much you can tell us.

    If you want to suggest a case to me, do it via PM (it's not the topic of this thread) but be aware that I have researched pretty much all of them already.

    If you have a mATX case that could be improved with some small design change, then that's what we're talking about here.

    If you have a "wish list" of things that case engineers continually fuck up. that would be great to hear about.

    Surely it's not hard to keep on topic? :p

    PLEASE - stop posting suggestions on a case for me! :upset:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2015
  17. Smokin Whale

    Smokin Whale Member

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    Silverstone cases are for chumps. SHAW FTW :thumbup:

    /troll
     
  18. TaroT

    TaroT Member

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  19. Smokin Whale

    Smokin Whale Member

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  20. OP
    OP
    the3coopers

    the3coopers Member

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    Now that is the spirit of what we need to know. :thumbup: :lol:
     

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