Need helping deciding on case - (newbie here)

Kenji

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Jul 9, 2016
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Hello awesome guys! :)

I would love to hear your opinion and make use of your expertise to help me decide on what case to use.
I, myself am a student in Germany, and up until now I have always used Laptops, but since my current Laptop is slowly going downhill again, I decided it would be time to build a PC - because i am sick of replacing my Laptop every 1-2 years by a new one for a high amount of money, for which I could get a way better PC.

Why always Laptop and why a mini ITX now?
Well since I am studying in a different city than my parents and most of my friends live, I mostly drive down to them by train over the weekends, also I do enjoy the occasional Lan Party at a friends home. So I think having a Monitor in my University's city and at my parents place and then just transporting the PC and peripherals in a backpack would be my best bet.

What do I use/would I use my Laptop/PC for?
Well occasional programming and general multimedia usage, but obviously mostly for gaming :p I do not play the newest games on ultra-high settings, but I would enjoy at least being able to play the newest games in medium quality settings.

So my first question would be: Would you think my idea would work/makes sense, or do you think I should stick with "gaming"-Laptops?

If you think Mini-ITX is the way to go, what case would you suggest?
From what I have seen my best bet would either a Fractal Node 202, Silverstone RVZ02 or an Logic Supply MC600.

Obviously there are multiple more cases, that would suit my needs, but all of those are either not available anymore, or not available yet. (More specifically: The S4-Mini, the Dan A4-SFX, the Sentry and the Cryorig Ola ><). But since I see the downfall of my laptop slowly coming, I will need a solution more sooner than later and probably can not wait until the Sentry or the Ola are out :(

So back to the original three cases I mentioned, do you guys have experience with them?
I am worried about heat development for long, extensive gaming session, and also about the cases/hardware suffering under the transportations. You guys think it would be okay, or could it be problematic?

Also I got one last question obviously the advantage of the MC600 towards the other two cases, is its size and therefore its mobility, while the disadvantage is: No support of full-sized GPUs. Which for now should not be a big deal, since I am planning to go with a GTX 970 which is available in mini-format as well, but for future references would it be better to have the space for a full-sized GPUs or do you think current/future high-end GPUs will have versions for Mini-ITX sized PCs?

Also is there anything else I might have missed in my thought process?

I am looking forward to your responses, and thanks already for your time! :)

Greetings Ken
 

Phuncz

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From those three cases (Fractal Node 202, Silverstone RVZ02, Logic Supply MC600), all three are solid choices if they need to be bought soon. Maybe @Josh | NFC can hook you up with an S4-Mini quickly if need be, I have no clue about the Dan A4-SFX or Sentry's time-frames though.

I'm partial to the Fractal one because of it's looks and small profile and it's probably the cheaper option. But be sure to research the GPU cooling in that case, sometimes it's better to nix the fans on the GPU and use two 120mm casefans instead, potentially as exhaust.
 

Kenji

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Jul 9, 2016
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Thanks for your input guys! :)

I suppose he can't since his website says it is sold out D: Though it would be really amazing I guess :D For obvious reasons :p

I also tend to the Fractal since it is the smallest of the three. Would you think a blower-style GPU and only one 120mm casefan would suffice? Since if I use two I can not make use of the GPU support-holder. And I think when carrying it in a backpack a wobbling GPU and no extra support might be counterproductive? :s


Case-wise I think the Ncase M1 is a solid option as well, since I am so many people using it - but its cubical form seem to not fit backpacks well >< Or do you guys have other experience with it?
 
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Phuncz

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You are correct, the Ncase's shape doesn't work well with most backpacks, but you can put it in a protective case (I believe a Pelican case is mentioned in the [H] thread). The Kimera Cerberus is designed with a handle as an option, so it has the structural rigidity to support it. What @Aibohphobia has told me, he carries the prototype around very often and it has been a champ. But it's also meant to be carried by hand.

The S4-Mini is currently sold out but Josh is expecting another delivery: https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/nfc-systems-s4-mini.96/page-25#post-14711

The Fractal would lend itself well for a backpackable build if you want to go that route. I personally prefer blower-cooling because of it's heat-exhaust which doesn't spread the heat inside the case, but it can't be as quiet as non-blower cooled cards are. Mind you that the GTX 1060 is around the corner (19th of July), offering the GTX 980's performance at the power consumption of the GTX 960.
 

Kenji

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Jul 9, 2016
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Thank you, you are very helpful! :)

I honestly prefer a backpack, so I will mail Josh for availability or will chose the node 202.
If given the choice between those two, which one would you suggest? :)


I did not think about the hardware I want to put in yet too much >< I thought I will make that thought process after deciding on the case (since it would limit my GPU choice as well) - but thanks for the heads up! :D
 

Phuncz

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In the end the Node can house a more powerful SFX PSU, but the S4 Mini can power a GTX 1060 without issue, so that property might be irrelevant for your build. The S4 Mini is much more compact, much better built and much more unique. If all being equal, I'd prefer the S4 Mini because of those properties.
 

Kenji

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Jul 9, 2016
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Yeah that is my though process too, the only worry with the S4 Mini is, if I want to upgrade the GPU in the future, I am worried there won't either be new small, better GPUs or they need to much power than it can be supplied with in that case :s
 

Phuncz

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The newer generation GPUs use less power "across the board" (for the released GPUs) than the previous ones, so even if you aren't satisfied with a GTX 1060 or RX 480 (both around GTX 980 performance), you're still able to upgrade to the next tier most likely, meaning top-end performance in the previous generation. You can also opt for a more power-efficient CPU like a T-series Intel CPU to have even more power headroom.
 

Kenji

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Jul 9, 2016
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I suppose you are right :D Thanks, gonna wait for an email response of josh and then see if I get the node or if I can get the S4 Mini