Looking for a new super small case

heymrdj

Diamond Member
May 28, 2007
3,998
63
91
Wife is giving me some black friday budget for replacing my old Antec 900 chassis with something much smaller. It sits beside my tv stand and provides Serviio for streaming in the house, and subsonic for music outside the house. Not to mention store everything and back it up to the cloud. It runs Windows Home Server 2011. It's currently an I3-3xxx system on a micro-ATX motherboard. I've had the chassis since 2008. Over like 7 moves it's lost parts, brackets, all but 2 of the fans have failed, and it's just gargantuan for what I need. It used to have 8 3.5" 500GB drives in it. Now it just has 2 4TB drives. So it's time to downsize.

Looking for a chassis that can:
Hold at least 2 but preferably 3 internal 3.5" drives
Would be nice if it also had a 2.5" internal drive slot
Micro-ATX sized mainboard with standard intel cooler
Would like to have 1 5 1/4" external bay to hold my blue ray burner.
USB 3.0 would be nice so I can use my flash drives and stuff more quickly on it.
Cubish profile preferred
ATX power supply (Corsair CX430M)

Basically looking for recommendations. I'm new to the cube cases world but I love their profile.

Thanks guys!
 
Feb 25, 2011
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Fractal Design Node 804. Optical bay is slimline, so you may need a new Blu-Ray burner.

It comes without a PSU but supports ATX units. Holds 8 internal 3.5" drives on one side, and two 2.5" drives in the bay where the motherboard lives.
 

heymrdj

Diamond Member
May 28, 2007
3,998
63
91
Fractal Design Node 804. Optical bay is slimline, so you may need a new Blu-Ray burner.

It comes without a PSU but supports ATX units. Holds 8 internal 3.5" drives on one side, and two 2.5" drives in the bay where the motherboard lives.

This looks good. Definitely don't need the PSU as I have one already. Only downfall is the external bay.

Any thoughts on the Thermaltake V21?
 
Feb 25, 2011
16,788
1,468
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This looks good. Definitely don't need the PSU as I have one already. Only downfall is the external bay.

Any thoughts on the Thermaltake V21?
Interesting, hadn't seen that one before.

I like the design overall, although I'm not a fan of the mesh front (aesthetically) and it doesn't have enough HD bays for me. The front ports are on the lower left, vs. being on the lower right for the Node 804 - that may matter depending on how you have your rig set up physically.

It doesn't look like it has an optical drive bay at all though. (?)
 

heymrdj

Diamond Member
May 28, 2007
3,998
63
91
Interesting, hadn't seen that one before.

I like the design overall, although I'm not a fan of the mesh front (aesthetically) and it doesn't have enough HD bays for me. The front ports are on the lower left, vs. being on the lower right for the Node 804 - that may matter depending on how you have your rig set up physically.

It doesn't look like it has an optical drive bay at all though. (?)

You're right it doesn't have an optical drive. It's something my wife picked out because she thought it was cute :). We're still looking through some different cases.
 

ClockHound

Golden Member
Nov 27, 2007
1,108
214
106
Interesting, hadn't seen that one before.

I like the design overall, although I'm not a fan of the mesh front (aesthetically) and it doesn't have enough HD bays for me. The front ports are on the lower left, vs. being on the lower right for the Node 804 - that may matter depending on how you have your rig set up physically.

It doesn't look like it has an optical drive bay at all though. (?)

Ironically enough, behind the grille are cutouts for a normal optical drive. Some sort of marketing/engineering disconnect.

It actually has the option to position the front ports on top or either side. MB can be mounted either in the proper horizontal plane or the legacy ATX style vertical mounting.

IMG_3560-1-500x409.jpg


All the panels can be swapped around. Finally can build the inverted system of your dreams, uh, nightmares. ;-)

pic4.jpg
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
56,320
10,033
126
I just got a few mini-ITX cases myself. They wouldn't really work for the OP, as they only have one 3.5" bay, but they also do have a full-sized 5.25" bay. Let me see if I can find a link for you to look at.

Edit: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...cm_re=APEVIA_X-FIT-200-_-11-144-255-_-Product
11-144-255-TS


Edit: Addendum:
For anyone that chooses to use this case to build with, be aware that the case is NOT tall enough to accomodate a stock Intel HSF assembly, AND use a DVD drive. For whatever stupid reason, the mounting for the DVD, if you slide it back far enough to mount the front panel, it hits the CPU HSF. I had to loosen the two side screws on the DVD mount, slide the DVD drive back, mount it, and I was going to leave it, but then the DVD drive is loose on one side, so when you eject it, it binds up with the front bezel / flip-down door for the DVD drive. So I had to push it down and mount one of the screws on the "outrigger" side. So, now there's pressure on the CPU HSF, so if it gets bumped, it will probably crack one of the plastic supports and possibly crush.

Sigh. Otherwise, pretty decent case, but no case cooling fan either. CPU gets to 40C at idle, kind of warm for a G1820.
 
Last edited:

Blain

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
23,643
3
81
Looking for a chassis that can:
Hold at least 2 but preferably 3 internal 3.5" drives
Would be nice if it also had a 2.5" internal drive slot
Micro-ATX sized mainboard with standard intel cooler
Would like to have 1 5 1/4" external bay to hold my blue ray burner.
USB 3.0 would be nice so I can use my flash drives and stuff more quickly on it.
Cubish profile preferred
ATX power supply (Corsair CX430M)
Those specs certainly narrow down your options. HERE's your case
 

heymrdj

Diamond Member
May 28, 2007
3,998
63
91
Well I ended up ordering the Thermaltake V21. Had the best price to wish list ratio. Wife correctly pointed out that I haven't used the DVD burner in the system in about 3 years, so was there a need to build around it :p. This chassis will suit the price well for now. Just didn't see a need to spend 100$ plus on a case that will sit there for another 7 years with no mods. I'll be rebuilding my desktop hopefully early next year (currently a AMD system from 2007), so I'm hoping to build a mini-ITX or micro-ATX gaming desktop. There will be a thread coming on that.

Thanks for the help and suggestions guys!
 

PointBreak

Member
Sep 6, 2015
31
0
36
I just got a few mini-ITX cases myself. They wouldn't really work for the OP, as they only have one 3.5" bay, but they also do have a full-sized 5.25" bay. Let me see if I can find a link for you to look at.

Edit: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...cm_re=APEVIA_X-FIT-200-_-11-144-255-_-Product
11-144-255-TS


Edit: Addendum:
For anyone that chooses to use this case to build with, be aware that the case is NOT tall enough to accomodate a stock Intel HSF assembly, AND use a DVD drive. For whatever stupid reason, the mounting for the DVD, if you slide it back far enough to mount the front panel, it hits the CPU HSF. I had to loosen the two side screws on the DVD mount, slide the DVD drive back, mount it, and I was going to leave it, but then the DVD drive is loose on one side, so when you eject it, it binds up with the front bezel / flip-down door for the DVD drive. So I had to push it down and mount one of the screws on the "outrigger" side. So, now there's pressure on the CPU HSF, so if it gets bumped, it will probably crack one of the plastic supports and possibly crush.

Sigh. Otherwise, pretty decent case, but no case cooling fan either. CPU gets to 40C at idle, kind of warm for a G1820.


That one looks like a VHS machine.