I suppose this is as good a place as any.
I'm currently considering what to upgrade in my rig. Right now I have a HAF 912 case, with a 750K CPU, and a 7850 2gb GPU, I mostly play dota and WoW atm so I don't believe I'll be doing a hardware upgrade for some time, although that super tiny ITX rig is at the back of my mind.
Anyways what I'm mostly looking for is utility and a bit quieter rig that I can easily ramp up during the summer when it gets fairly hot here.
So I was thinking about going with a HAF XB evo case, the hot swap bays and form factor are pretty attractive, it'll slip right under my desk.
And then I was going to get an NZXT SEN-MIX2 Sentry Mix 2 Fan Controller
which supports up to 6 fans with 30W channels, currently I have 3 main fans, 2 of which are these:
Which move a lot of air but are naturally loud, so with the fan controller I can turn them down until I need them.
Basically does anyone have suggestions for achieving my goal of some added utility in my case, and a quieter PC? I suppose I could also just get like a 240 radiator. instead of the case, though I really like the form factor of the HAF XB.
Of course I also might just wait and see how the carrizo laptops perform, too much is going on the tech world right now.
Forget the fan controller. Just replace all your fans with Noctua ones on low noise adapters and get a Noctua tower cooler for your CPU.
As for utility I'm not sure. Your case you have isn't that bad right now. Hot swap would be nice but IMO not really life or death.
I'd like more clarification of what you mean by "utility." Other than the hot swap bays the XB Evo doesn't offer you much more. It is pretty large too just an interesting form factor.
I considered replacing my fans, but it seriously gets hot here in the summer which is why I have the high cfm fans, so if I get a controller, when it cools down a bit during the night I can just spin them down a bit.
As for the utility, the handles on the case are rather nice, as is how it's laid out.
Going by the logic of cars -- "stripes make it go faster" yes?
So take your current case and paint ice cubes on the intake side and flames on the output side? This would work, I'm sure of it!
In all seriousness, if all you play is DotA and WoW, go for the ITX.
I'm considering it a fair amount or the laptop route, the thread is here:
Mainly I haven't really found a perhaps more reputable manufacture for the flexATX case. It'd be running an APU at 65W, but I still don't want my rig to fry.
If it's not 80 Plus, run. Screaming. Across state lines if at all possible.
It's probably not, but like all of their ITX cases that come with power supplies have pretty good reviews.
Is that really enough to base your rig on, though?
Probably not, but I can't seem to find any flexATX cases
Well, then why not simply take something else? There are plenty of excellent SFF chassis' on the market.
Like I said in that thread, if Ima go ITX, I may as well go all the way. It's too bad decent all in one portables are highly expensive.
Have you taken a real look at the Bitfenix Prodigy, Corsair Graphite, Lian-Li PC-TU200B, RaidMax Troy ITX-121B, or Rosewill Neutron?
Sure, they're not NUC sized, but you could get away from the APU, maybe play some Half Life once in a while, or Civ IV? Also many of them have dedicated handles, and are roughly luggage sized, thus solving your portability desires.
I have looked at those options, but I'm set on either a NUC sized PC, or the mid sized PC(or a laptop if they turn out any good at a decent price point)
And the newer APUs can game pretty well, especially under 1080p, my main monitor being 1600x1200.
Basically to sum up my current thoughts.
I either want to go for the size/portability of the NUC sized PC, or the options of an ATX PC, I'd rather not settle for anything in between, one extreme or the other for me.
Yeah, you and I come at this from entirely different angles. I want cost-effective rig running lots of monitors while being cool and don't care about the size. :P
Frankly, honestly, just get one of those POS-Register/NUC boxes that are designed explicitly to mount behind and on the monitor, I think.
A few of them have some rather decent specs comparable to what I could build, but then I might as well build it myself and be able to easily replace parts if need be.
Most of the ones I've looked at compare more to laptop hardware in terms of performance though.
But are somewhat cheaper, yes, no battery or screen?
That's the weird thing, they cost just about as much as the same laptops, probably just have more IO.
Very odd, that. Markup perhaps? I can't imagine I/O being a major cost factor in NUC size PCs.
If silence is a concern that big mesh vent on the front of the cooler master case isn't going to work. I'd suggest getting the Node 605 and ideally Noctua fans (enough to run all at low RPM's) but if that doesn't fit your budget I recommend these - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002QVLBM2 they're nearly as quiet as my Noctua fans and cost a fraction of the price (and they match the fractal design aesthetic, pretty much). Also make sure you have enough 4 pin hookups on your motherboard or else pick up a couple of splitters.
Not silence exactly just quieter, currently it's like a wind turbine, though that's not needed when it's cooler such as at night, hence the fan controller, and the more direct airflow of the XB would let me run them a little lower as well no?
Otherwise that case is a bit pricey though I'm sure it's nice.