Battle of the Boutiques Part 1: A4-SFX | S1 | SM550 | SM560

3lfk1ng

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Editorial Staff
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Jun 3, 2016
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Huge thanks go to Sliger and SFFLab for providing the SM550, SM560, and A4-SFX used in this case battle.

While some were quick to call cases with a similar layout "A4 clones"(don't. even.), we were quick to recognize that all cars have 4 wheels, a motor, a steering wheel, and a place to sit—so we humbly welcome any and all competition in this space. Just like cars, each chassis may serve its purpose better than the other, depending on your exact needs.

This is where Part I of our, "Battle of the Boutiques" starts.
You can check out the article here.

If you have any questions or things that you would like to see included in Part II, please let us know below!
 

MrFizzyBubbs

Efficiency Noob
May 30, 2019
5
3
The article is very informative, thanks for sharing. My only critique is that I would've liked to see the NCASE M1 included in the line-up. I am looking forward to a comparison of the thermals in Part II.
 
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SFF EOL

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Dec 9, 2018
109
28
Nice article, and free! And I appreciate the link to another 40 articles! I didn’t know they were there. Except when I go to page two I get the common 'oops! We ran into some problems' 404? error.
 

SFF EOL

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Dec 9, 2018
109
28
I'm not complaining, just thought I'd mention it. Usually I just go back the next day and it is fixed. It's a useful free resource so I don't expect perfection.
 

tinyitx

King of Cable Management
Jan 25, 2018
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741
Correct me if I am wrong. I think these cases come with a riser cable, which is a very important part of a 'sandwich' layout. So, maybe adding a section to do a little comparison of the bundled riser cable is helpful?
 

alski

Case Bender
Feb 18, 2018
2
2
Really nice article!
I like that you are looking at some of the aspects that we couldn't consider when clicking buy without actually being able to get our hands on (like the quality of external finish).

Are you planning on providing thermals from more than one hardware build in the relevant cases?
Usually everyone always tries to stuff the most powerful hardware into the smallest space, but a case that might not do well on that test might actually outperform the others with a more reasonable build. I'm not sure if you have the resources but it could be very interesting if you do. e.g. if you a i9-9900K you are going to need to watercool for it to work in case X, but if you only want an i5-9600 then it's near silent on air, etc.
 
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tuanster1119

Chassis Packer
Mar 14, 2019
16
13
Hmmm the 140mm fans in the bottom of the SM560 has me wondering if you could somehow attach them with zip ties in the 120mm mount points. Looks like I've got a little project for this evening!
 

3lfk1ng

King of Cable Management
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Jun 3, 2016
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Correct me if I am wrong. I think these cases come with a riser cable
Yes, that is mentioned in the section on how that layout functions.
However, as far as performance goes, these cables all perform just as good as the PCIe slot itself.
The early issues experienced with PCIe riser cables have long been solved.

At the end of the day, they perform the same loop and plug into the motherboard the same way. Is there anything in particular that you would like to see?

Are you planning on providing thermals from more than one hardware build in the relevant cases?
yes, and in multiple configurations, coolers, fans, fan directions, feet height, etc.

I want this to be the definitive guide.
 

tinyitx

King of Cable Management
Jan 25, 2018
816
741
At the end of the day, they perform the same loop and plug into the motherboard the same way. Is there anything in particular that you would like to see?
I did not mean using and not using a riser cable in the general sense.
I meant, are these cables supplied with each of these cases exactly the same? Are they the same brand? Same model number? Same length? Same shielding? Separated lanes?...etc
If details like exterior finishes and case feet are included in the comparison, I just think a crucial part like the riser cable should be compared.
 
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rfarmer

SFF Guru
Silver Supporter
Jul 7, 2017
1,106
1,031
Yeah great write up, have to agree with everything you said about the Ghost S1. GPU mounting is weird and the power switch is crap. I ordered a set of custom cables from @pslate and I should have gotten a new power switch at the same time, I plan on grabbing one when he opens orders again.
 

Soul_Est

SFF Guru
Silver Supporter
Feb 12, 2016
1,347
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This was a wonderful read @3lfk1ng . It is a wonderful resource for those who might be on the fence about this. Definitely helped me decide on what I would get when I can afford to in the future.