Enclosure Dan A4-SFX or Sliger SM550 for my Build?

collegebum89

Chassis Packer
Original poster
May 5, 2020
16
1
New build has the following:
- 3800x CPU
- EVGA 2080 Super GPU
- 16GB G.Skill RGB 3200MHZ RAM
- 2 M.2 SSDs

Looking to water cool the 3800x (using the Asetek 645LT 92mm AIO) in the smallest form factor possible, and that seems to leave me with two options - Dan A4-SFX case or the Sliger SM550. I know that the Loque Ghost S1 also allows water cooling with some modifications to base model or through use of a top hat, but it's impossible to find anywhere for a reasonable price.

I can get the Dan A4-SFX v3 case for around $260 from a friend, and have already ordered the Sliger SM550 (which should be shipping today or tomorrow). Having some doubts about the SM550 and thought I'd ask which would be the better option given my use case, as noted below:

  • I don't plan on overclocking either CPU or GPU just yet, would like the option to do so. I also plan to undervolt the 3800X to 4.0ghz at 1.1V. From what I've read online, the Dan A4 case and the Sliger SM550 case seem to have similar thermal performance with the 645LT, though the SM550 could provide some improvement with vented side panels and larger 120MM case fan. Would this difference be meaningfully different for gaming?
  • Aesthetically, I prefer the Dan case, but I don't hate the Sliger design either. I prefer the smallest option available to permit travel with the PC, but feel like the difference between 7.2L and 9.7L maybe might be somewhat negligible when inserting into large backpack?
  • I will use the machine mostly for gaming and some minor video editing. Would air cooling the 3800x with two 120mm fans on the bottom be sufficient cooling in either case?
  • Am I correct that the Dan A4 case cannot fit a 120mm fan on the bottom but the Sliger SM550 can due to larger width?
  • Any other thoughts, maybe in favor of the SM550 over the Dan A4? I'm aware that using the 645LT is a tight squeeze in the Dan A4 and the side panels may pop out, but I've ordered custom PSU cables and have low-profile RAM to help with fitting.

Thanks!
 

beastmonkey

Chassis Packer
Jan 23, 2020
19
6
I can answer some of your questions. I too went back and forth between a dan and the sm550. I ended up going with the dan a4 which i have and am awaiting on parts to build it. I think both are amazing cases and have their strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately I went with the dan because i wanted the challenge of a smaller build and tended to lean towards the exterior look (totally a personal preference).

The dan can absolutely not fit a 120mm fan on the radiator or below the motherboard. I am not sure about the sm550 on the motherboard, but i know for a fact you can get a 120mm fan below the motherboard with the sm550.

One thing to think about is clearance for the gpu, the evga should fit as long as its not a ftw or ultra variant just as a heads up for the dan a4. if you plan to undervolt i think either case should give you similar thermals. noise probably would be comparable too.

I think the dan a4 shines with custom cables, where the sm550 isnt as necessary to use custom cables. both cases work with stock cables, you just have to get creative (seems like you already ordered custom cables so you are set either way).

Good luck with the build
 

collegebum89

Chassis Packer
Original poster
May 5, 2020
16
1
I can answer some of your questions. I too went back and forth between a dan and the sm550. I ended up going with the dan a4 which i have and am awaiting on parts to build it. I think both are amazing cases and have their strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately I went with the dan because i wanted the challenge of a smaller build and tended to lean towards the exterior look (totally a personal preference).

The dan can absolutely not fit a 120mm fan on the radiator or below the motherboard. I am not sure about the sm550 on the motherboard, but i know for a fact you can get a 120mm fan below the motherboard with the sm550.

One thing to think about is clearance for the gpu, the evga should fit as long as its not a ftw or ultra variant just as a heads up for the dan a4. if you plan to undervolt i think either case should give you similar thermals. noise probably would be comparable too.

I think the dan a4 shines with custom cables, where the sm550 isnt as necessary to use custom cables. both cases work with stock cables, you just have to get creative (seems like you already ordered custom cables so you are set either way).

Good luck with the build

Thanks! Also ended up going for the Dan Case (V3 version). Have read both are equally difficult to build in, and offer similar thermal performance. To me, it didn't make much sense to go with the larger option if there's no improvement in performance to justify it.

Only awkward thing is that I already ordered the Sliger case before ordering the Dan case. Guess I'll try to sell the Sliger case and see if I get any bites!
 

collegebum89

Chassis Packer
Original poster
May 5, 2020
16
1
Finished an initial version of the build!

Just waiting for custom cables and 645LT to be delivered, but figured I'd share my current build for now:


Last time I built a PC was in 2017 with a Silverstone Raven RVZ02. Compared to that SFFPC build, the Dan case was so much easier build in and overall more enjoyable. Truly amazed at how well-engineered this case is!
 
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collegebum89

Chassis Packer
Original poster
May 5, 2020
16
1
Replaced the L9A with the 645LT today! Strangely enough, my CPU temps went up so I must have done something wrong. I connected the pump to the AIO PUMP header on my MoBo (Asus x750i) and the radiator fan to CHA Fan. Is this configuration incorrect?
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,300
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If your board has a seperate AIO_PUMP and CPU_FAN header, I'd use the CPU_FAN header for the radiator fan. In theory the CHA_FAN can be used for the radiator, but check to see it's in PWM mode, (not DC mode) and that it looks at the CPU temp. Also check the CPU block mount is good if problems still exist, try removing it straight off the CPU so you can see if it made bad contact (uneven dispersion of thermal paste).
 

collegebum89

Chassis Packer
Original poster
May 5, 2020
16
1
what kinda temps you getting? you get the radiator to work?

Partially fixed it. The initial problem was that the radiator fan wasn't working because the PSU was pushing too hard on the top of the fan. I readjusted the wiring and removed a fan grill (which seemed like it too was pushing on the fan) and now the radiator fan seems to be working.

However, still think I'm getting sub-optimal temps. Idle CPU temps are between 45-55 (as expected), and 55-65 when doing basic multitasking (web browsing, productivity, etc.). Tried gaming today, the temps initially hovered in the mid-60s but then slowly climbed to mid-70s.

The gradual temperature increase while gaming makes me think that the AIO pump and radiator fan are working, but because there's no air movement inside the motherboard side of the case, hot air is accumulating near the motherboard.

I tried to install a 92mm fan underneath the motherboard, and while it fan fits underneath the motherboard, the fan blades can't spin since the motherboard is too close to the top of the fan. Considering whether I should get two 40mm fans and position then on the bottom GPU side (but I can't see this improving things on the CPU side). I've got a V3 case mounting a 92mm fan underneath the motherboard is tougher.


Sort of discouraged by the AIO performance unfortunately. With the L9A, I was seeing around 55-66C idle temps and 75C gaming temps. The AIO seems like a much bigger hassle to keep in the case, removes air flow in the case, and provides a marginal improvement in cooling given case limitations.

Am I missing something?
 

barraqda

Case Bender
New User
Aug 11, 2020
2
0
Partially fixed it. The initial problem was that the radiator fan wasn't working because the PSU was pushing too hard on the top of the fan. I readjusted the wiring and removed a fan grill (which seemed like it too was pushing on the fan) and now the radiator fan seems to be working.

However, still think I'm getting sub-optimal temps. Idle CPU temps are between 45-55 (as expected), and 55-65 when doing basic multitasking (web browsing, productivity, etc.). Tried gaming today, the temps initially hovered in the mid-60s but then slowly climbed to mid-70s.

The gradual temperature increase while gaming makes me think that the AIO pump and radiator fan are working, but because there's no air movement inside the motherboard side of the case, hot air is accumulating near the motherboard.

I tried to install a 92mm fan underneath the motherboard, and while it fan fits underneath the motherboard, the fan blades can't spin since the motherboard is too close to the top of the fan. Considering whether I should get two 40mm fans and position then on the bottom GPU side (but I can't see this improving things on the CPU side). I've got a V3 case mounting a 92mm fan underneath the motherboard is tougher.


Sort of discouraged by the AIO performance unfortunately. With the L9A, I was seeing around 55-66C idle temps and 75C gaming temps. The AIO seems like a much bigger hassle to keep in the case, removes air flow in the case, and provides a marginal improvement in cooling given case limitations.

Am I missing something?
Did you manage to fix the issue