Just learned that even smaller computers can have great cases, e.g. the InWin mini-ITX cases are well made, well designed and come with an excellent 150W power supply. In my recent Small Form Factor build I had started out, basically ‘In-the-Dark’ about what size wouldn’t be too small for me, and got very lucky with the “3.3 liters” size – w/o the stand and front panel it measures out @ 3” x 8.9” x 7.6” … with stand and panel @ 9.2” x 3.4” x 8.7” and that size handles all the Intel Box processors that come with the stock heat sink and fan. Well, as far as I know it does, those are the 65W ones. The even smaller Small Form Factors started to look more like a ‘Laptop’ build than a ‘Desktop’ build, IMHO. They seemed to be needing laptop memory and a laptop type of power supply, and possibly some needed the laptop 35W type of processors – tho at least one type advertised being able to use all Intel stock heat sink and fan processors. The InWin build is a powerful little desktop, and that case can be used again if I decide to update it in the future. My ‘Rose’ build earlier this year used a cheap $20 case, and that computer has already been demoted – with little to no prospects of ever getting updated. Was a great little Linux test machine to help me learn more about Linux, but it was cheap for a reason. Start with a great case, and get to use in newer builds or big upgrades!
That was a pic of my 2016 build using an Antec Sonata Proto case…here’s another ‘borrowed’ pic of the interior – lots of room that I don’t use anymore (tho I do bunk on that lower bunk), but who knows what happens in the future:
However, technology moves on, and that MoBo and processor are not what I want in that case now. I also had the case from my 2006 build, an Antec – New Solution NSK6580B mid-tower ATX, with an old ASUS 2006 M3N78-VM motherboard that was just too old. The case is still in great shape, tho the wiring for front panel lacks any 3.0 USB, and the power supply lacked the 8-pin or 4×4-pin CPU power connector I need to upgrade it with the motherboard, 32 GB memory and i5-6600K processor from the 2016 build. I decided to remove the old 2006 build’s power supply, replace it with the 2016 build’s power supply, and then move the entire motherboard intact from the 2016 build into the 2006 Antec case. The motherboard has 3.0 & 3.1 USB on the rear panel, so I just connected the old 2.0 USB front panel connection to the 2.0 connection on MB. The transferred power supply just hooked back up to the same MB, and fired back up using the same WIN10 OS – tho this old case with new upgrade will eventually become my main Linux testing machine, after I do a new build to the 2016 Antec case…BTW, I call these two computers – ‘Antec’ Sr. & ‘Antec’ Jr.
Here are some pics of ‘Antec’ Sr. with the upgrade to a Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3P motherboard, lots of new memory, and the Intel i5-6600K CPU:
Notice the size of that CPU cooler – had thought about doing this MoBo move to the ‘Rose’ computer, but I needed a case that was at least 8” wide for a case cover to close. Even searched for such cases before deciding to just use both Antec cases – big, sure, but some of these new Intel, and especially AMD processors use a lot of wattage – those 91W and over need special coolers. I saw some 250W CPU’s and have no clue how to cool something like that!? ‘Antec’ Sr. is now sitting in that same spot that the smaller ‘Rose’ computer held for almost 9 months, so these cases ain’t too big unless they’re sitting on top of the desk area, I guess.
I have moved to the 65W’ers that come with stock sink and fan – the mini-ITX MoBo in ‘InWin’ build is rated for an Intel i9-9900K (95W), but needs a special cooler. Won’t fit in the InWin case with cover on and the case would probably fall over if such a big cooler was added. This case won’t fall over:
Have ordered a new power supply for the 2016 case, and have a ATX MoBo, 32GB memory kit and the i9-9900 (65W) CPU on daily price check – am in no rush now, so will grab whichever drops in price first…would like to have it built by Christmas tho.
*UPDATE* – 9/24: Never use that card reader in ‘Sr’ (have a USB adapter that handles cards) so pulled it out…it was older than ‘Sr’ anyway. Decided to add some 3.0 USB’s in that open 5 1/4″ bay – went with just two USB’s since it was the cheapest w/o finding an adapter for the 3 1/2″ ones…$14 no tax and free shipping…