Question Fat GPUs in microATX cases

Sep 16, 2020
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I have a microATX motherboard with a fat GPU (2.7 slots), everything put in an ATX mid tower case (7 slots) but I'm planning to change this case to a microATX one.
Question is, Will GPU heat up more because smaller clearance? (note that GPU will be put on second slot because motherboard)

I saw many microATX cases with 4 slots, I could look for a 5 slot case if GPU clearance is an issue
also I saw cases with a power supply plate, I don't know if this another issue for the GPU
how much clearance GPU needs to breathe without problem?
 
Sep 16, 2020
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Heat should not be an issue.
But, putting a gpu in other than the first and fastest pcie X16 slot might be.

What motherboard and case are you looking at?
I have the Asus TUF B550M PLUS (WIFI), this particular motherboard have its PCIe x16 slot in the second spot, in the first spot (top) it has a PCIe x1

I'm still not choosing a case but to give an idea I saw these cases I liked most
Fractal Design Define Mini C
Fractal Design Meshify C Mini
Cooler Master MasterBox NR400
Cooler Master MasterBox MB400L
Cooler Master Silencio S400
Corsair 88R
 
Aug 29, 2020
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I just posted it elsewhere but you might try to darkFlask DLM21 Mesh. Terrific airflow, 4 PCI slots so a 2.7 slot card will fit with clearance underneath. The glass panel is also hinged, so if you are concerned about your airflow you can swing the "door" open a bit when gaming...
 

Trustdesa

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Nov 2, 2013
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I use a H400 and it is really really relly good :) currently with i8 8700k @ GHZ no problem, looking to move to AMD but MB are totally low quality compared with Intel (mATX), I am too looking at the Asus as the MSI has ton of issues with WiFi and Bluetooth.

Most cards are 2.5 slots so even on that card you still have plenty of cooling, even more so if with a radiator, some PC Gamers should stop pretending to be aeronautical engineers... there are people with 2080ti on a H200 without any issue and that is half of mine...

I have to say ASUS didn't really have a good idea pushing that slot down, it is odd, I like the fact that there is no cooler for PCI4 as you want a proper cooler not the usual piece of aluminium 2mm thin they put on cards nowadays.

Shame there is no strix (or similar) MATX on AMD as there are on Intel, I am personally also considering a z570i MiniITX as that card is a monster with great integrated audio too!

In your case the Cooler Master MasterBox NR400 kind of similar to mine and I have zero cooling issues, the system is virually silent at 5ghz with 1080ti overclocked, you'd definitely be fine with anything similar.

I am still reluctant to move to AMD base on rubbish motherboards alone but hey if price go to RSP then it is the best price for performance for 3D, Gaming and Video.
 
Sep 16, 2020
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To give an idea check the clearance between GPU and lower plate:


In my case GPU would be on the second PCIe slot (first slot in my mobo is PCIe x1), but it's fatter than the GPU on the picture, it almost takes the 3 case slots.
Basically it'll have less than an inch of clearance with a case like the one on the picture (Thermaltake Versa H18).

So as long as I put 2 or 3 fans in front panel to maximize air intake, that little breathing space for the GPU won't be a big deal?
 
What is your objective in changing to a M-ATX case?

I might imagine that you are looking for a case with better cooling capability than the one you now have.

Or, you might be looking for something smaller.

Of all the cases you listed, only the corsair 88r has a 5.25" bay to hold your dvd drive.
I would not buy that one since a solid front panel does not provide a lot of cooling air for your components. You will find that most modern cases do not provide for front 5.25" devices.

It is not sexy, but the Silverstone TJ-08e does have a front 5.25" bay.
The front 180mm fan provides all the cooling air you might need.
Your hyper 212 will fit. I use a noctua NH-D15s which also fits.

The case has an inverted motherboard so your graphics card will be located on top.
No problem with cooling.
The case also has supports for graphics cards and coolers to prevent possible sagging.
 
Aug 29, 2020
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You could go for an In Win 301. It has the PSU above the mobo, and the bottom of the case is vented for airflow to the GPU.

I just bought a Gamdias Talos E1. PSU is on the bottom but no shroud, so there should be more clearance between the bottom of the GPU and the top of the PSU, and plenty of clearance beyond the length of the PSU (an HDD cage is there but that should be shorter than the PSU shroud). Similar story for the Silverstone PS15. These are the three smallest mATX cases out there with a traditional tower layout, so double check clearance for any other parts you may want to add.

Last you could look at the Raijintek Styx, which is not a traditional mATX layout. It inverts the mobo, has a 5-PCIe slot design to the case with a 240mm vent directly above the GPU. Airflow in general can be a bit of a concern with this case, but I think a positive pressure setup (2x120 intake on top, 1x120 intake on the bottom, rear 120 exhaust fed by CPU air cooler) would work well. You just have to check your GPU length against the size of your PSU or there could be clearance issues.
 

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