• Now's your chance win big! Join our community and get entered to win a RTX 2060 GPU, plus more! Join here.

    Pi Cast Episode 3 streams live on Tuesday, August 4th at 2:30 pm ET (7:30 PM BST). Watch live right here!

    Catch Scharon on the Tom's Hardware Show live on Thursday, August 6th at 2:00 pm ET (7:00 PM BST). Click here!

Question mATX case without wasted space for HDD/DVD or water-cooling

Jul 12, 2020
34
4
35
0
I want to build a PC that only uses m.2 SSD. No need for HDD/DVD. Here is what should fit in:
  • Maximum board size would be mATX
  • ATX bottom-mounted and easy to maintain filter
  • one to two 2.5" SSD
  • iGPU or a smaller graphics card
  • ideally 2 front 140mm fans, alternatively 2 120mm fans. Easy to maintain filter. A bottom fan with easily maintainable filter also would be good.
  • air cooling only. I assume since the width is a minimum due to the ATX-PSU, it may fit a 120mm cooler. Alternatively 92mm cooler may be OK. Not looking at more much than 65W TDP CPU.
All the cases still have the space in front for HDD/DVD and possible radiators. That adds about 10-12 cm to the depth of the case and is not used in my build. Many cases also have options for top radiator, which again wastes space for my case. Since the maximum is two 2.5" SSD, this also would cut down on cable management needs.

Something like a small FD Refine, but shorter and lower. Ideally price and quality are not worse than Fractal Design. I don't care for a window, but it wouldn't be a dealbreaker since my planned build would be very neat. Since this build doesn't really require much actual building, I also would look at a lower quality than FD if needed.

It seems most cases are still built for HDD. I realize people still buy them new, or have old ones. But I want to build a PC that has the absolute minimum only and has a case as small as possible. I don't want an ITX case, since I want to use the cheaper and more available mATX hardware. Without HDD space it should be possible to make an mATX case almost as small as an ITX case. I also recycle my main rig hardware (mATX) in this smaller build. I realize this case will be useless for someone who needs 3.5" drives.

Please point me in the right direction. Thanks.
 
Jul 12, 2020
34
4
35
0
The smallest mATX case I found is the Rosewill FBM-X2 Micro ATX Tower. It has a single 3.5" bay, which wastes some space in the front. but this is the shortest case i could find for mATX. it is a $30-$40 case.

Reviews aren't too bad, taking into account the price. sure, it isn't build like my FD R5, but the planned system for this isn't something that one needs to open the case daily.

I do have two FD Core 1100, which are thinner, but they are higher, deeper and have top-mounted PSU.

I forgot to mention, it should look more conservative than flashy.
 
Jul 12, 2020
34
4
35
0
I haven't found the perfect case yet, but have 3 contenders:
Rosewill FBM-X2 they cost around $30-$40, but are currently not well available.
Jonsbo U3 Cost around $70, but isn't really available these days. My nitpick is they should put the PSU at the bottom and draw air for it from below.
Silverstone PS 15 Is around $70, and has a glass panel. I'd prefer the solid panel. sn' look bad, but

For comparison, I already own a Fractal Design core 1100, but think it is 2 large due to DVD option (and has room for improvement for my case). I actually own 2 of them. The above are a bit wider, which works for for larger coolers.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

Latest posts