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Switching to a SFF case

2631 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Wrench97
So what I want to do is move my current PC parts from the full size case I currently use to a SFF case - really just as small as a case can be while being able to fit what I need. I don't need any actual upgrades aside from the case switch. It's not used for intense gaming or any CPU/GPU heavy tasks. I want the new case to be as silent as possible while on a tight budget.

The current PC:
Processor: Pentium4 550 HT 3.4 GHz, 800 MHz Front side bus, Socket 775
Motherboard: Asus PTGD-LA
Memory: 2x 1GB PC4200 240 pin DDR2 SDRAM
Harddrive: 1x 250GB SATA
5,25" units: 1x DVD-RW, 1x HDD SATA dock
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 6800GT 256MB

What I think, and hope, is possible to bring to the new case is the CPU, RAM, HDD, DVD-RW, HDD SATA Hot-Swap dock. Essentially I want the switch to be as cheap as possible.

I've found the graphics card to be obnoxiously loud, so I would rather get rid of that. Something of equal performance or slightly above is desired; would still like to be able to play HL2 and Portal.

The problems I can imagine with this switch would be maybe not finding a case where one can fit two 5,25" units. I don't keep an eye at the news in the PC market so I'm not really sure what to get or more importantly what parts are compatible. I'd rather buy used parts, where possible, because of the cheaper cost.

Any recommendations for cases, compability and other things I should think about? Am I perhaps going in an entirely wrong direction - is there a simpler solution?
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I would not use anything smaller than a Mid-Tower. Heat can be an issue when using small cases.
Do you have a price in mind?
The Video card will not fit in a SFF case, true SFF cases are used for integrated graphics.
Also Standard ATX power supplies will not fit SFF cases.
Apparently I cannot have the best of both worlds; small, somewhat powerful, quiet and low cost...

I found a case Ace Microtower Ecco 220. It's gotten great reviews for being easy to handle and some smart solutions. It meets my requirements for two 5.25" slots and a 3.5" slot on the front. The only thing that makes me unsure about it is whether it can be quiet - there's no sound proofing although I guess you could add it. It's about 55 USD. No PSU but includes a quiet fan, according to reviews.

On my current computer, when fans go 100%, sound levels are about 75 dB. Normally, when they are at 40%, it's around 60 dB. Noisy to say the least. The only fan I can't control is the GPU fan, and that one generates a bit noise.

Is there maybe something I can do with my current setup to reduce noise? Is the case a big deal, or can I significantly reduce noise by getting a new (quieter) GPU, fans and some case modding?
That appears to be a small Mid-Tower. It will hole a full size PSU so it should be OK.
It uses 120MM fans and that will help to reduce noise also.
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