Question Question about reducing computer case size

Jan 11, 2019
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When I built my desktop I just bought the cheapest option for the case that worked with my parts but I'm not a fan of how much space it is taking up and the general look of it.

I've been designing out my own case but I'm a bit concerned about the spacing of my components. My current case has a lot of unused real estate compared to my own design but I'm wondering if that is to help with thermals or component safety.

I work as an industrial designer for a CE company so I deal with thermal dispersal quite a bit but not at the scale of a full sized desktop. I'm just concerned that if I pack my SSD and my 1080 too close to my motherboard that it would generate too much heat and wouldn't disperse properly. My current design has my 360mm water cool pulling from the front with a back fan and another one at the top as well for pulling out any additional rising heat and with openings for the PSU to vent out properly.

Any suggestions on if I shouldn't be packing everything in too close to each other or if there is optimal spacing or placement? I do run some intensive programs so I just don't want to go through all this trouble just to create some logistics issues for myself.

Thanks for the help!
 

010010

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Jun 29, 2016
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I think it would depend how tight of a space you're working with. This seems like a good solution to your concerns as it compartmentalizes the components. Just make sure you've got some beefier fans and decent heat-sinks.
 
When I built my desktop I just bought the cheapest option for the case that worked with my parts but I'm not a fan of how much space it is taking up and the general look of it.

I've been designing out my own case but I'm a bit concerned about the spacing of my components. My current case has a lot of unused real estate compared to my own design but I'm wondering if that is to help with thermals or component safety.

I work as an industrial designer for a CE company so I deal with thermal dispersal quite a bit but not at the scale of a full sized desktop. I'm just concerned that if I pack my SSD and my 1080 too close to my motherboard that it would generate too much heat and wouldn't disperse properly. My current design has my 360mm water cool pulling from the front with a back fan and another one at the top as well for pulling out any additional rising heat and with openings for the PSU to vent out properly.

Any suggestions on if I shouldn't be packing everything in too close to each other or if there is optimal spacing or placement? I do run some intensive programs so I just don't want to go through all this trouble just to create some logistics issues for myself.

Thanks for the help!
You have 2 360mm AIO coolers? Will they need to fit in the new case?

Corsair sells some cube SFF cases that can give you some ideas for your own design.

There is minimal spacing between SLI'd GPUs and they still manage to cool themselves so the case can get pretty small.

Asus has their SFF that has a 1060 6GB inside and that is pretty tight as well.


As long as you have sufficient airflow the size of the case is only defined by the components inside, as long as they can take in and exhaust enough air.
 
Last edited:
Jan 11, 2019
11
0
10
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You have 2 360mm AIO coolers? Will they need to fit in the new case?

Corsair sells some cube SFF cases that can give you some ideas for your own design.

There is minimal spacing between SLI'd GPUs and they still manage to cool themselves so the case can get pretty small.

Asus has their SFF that has a 1060 6GB inside and that is pretty tight as well.


As long as you have sufficient airflow the size of the case is only defined by the components inside, as long as they can take in and exhaust enough air.
Sorry, I miswrote that. I have 1 360mm AIO Cooler and just your typical back fan. That is a good point. I've never ran SLI GPU but they seem to stack fairly close. This helps as a benchmark. Thank you
 
Jan 11, 2019
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I think it would depend how tight of a space you're working with. This seems like a good solution to your concerns as it compartmentalizes the components. Just make sure you've got some beefier fans and decent heat-sinks.
Thanks for the help. The more references I have help me shape this design. Appreciate it.
 
Sorry, I miswrote that. I have 1 360mm AIO Cooler and just your typical back fan. That is a good point. I've never ran SLI GPU but they seem to stack fairly close. This helps as a benchmark. Thank you
My ssd is flat up against the cable management panel and the motherboard is right behind that with the space of the risers separating the two. The motherboard definitely has a say in the matter. If it is a cheap budget model that lacks passive heatsinks it's obviously going to affect SSD placement. Got a good board? The SSD's can live between the C.M. and side panels.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
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My ssd sits in the factory slot directly attached to the back of the motherboard tray, 2 inches from the opening for cpu cooler base. That's pretty standard placement nowadays.

ATX cases are constantly updated in design, but for some ungodly reason, certain archaic thought processes are maintained. Big cases used to be filled at the front with hdd drive bays and optical slots. Most better cases have removable bays and now no optical, 3x fans taking their place up front. For 360/420mm aio rads. But. They still need to leave space for push/pull mountings with thick rads, so there's a ton of space left when ppl don't use that area. There's also space for those uber long older graphics cards like some of the 12" long R9 290x triple fan designs, so case designers make a one-size-fits-all model so as to not get locked out of sales.

End result is anyone with an 8" card and a couple of fans has almost enough room for 2x itx mobo's in a standard ATX mid-tower.
 
Jan 11, 2019
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I was also thinking to maybe try using m2 memory instead of a traditional ssd. I figure since its directly on the board it would save up more space or at least help with cable management.
 

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