Case recommendations mATX build

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May 1, 2017
GA-Z270MX Gaming 5
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
I'm looking to build my first ever Hackintosh now that my 2010 iMac is getting a little warm when under load in the summer and has already had one GPU replacement (likely mixture of quality and heat issues). As the machine will be in the lounge room noise is a factor. As I live in Brisbane, Australia cooling is also a factor.
The following is my parts list to take into account for the case:
  • i7 CPU
  • Prefer air cooler - potentially Noctua NH-D15 to AIO water.
  • GTX 950 GPU (already purchased prior to 10?0 being compatible), upgrade to 10?0 later if required (may affect GPU card length if 1070 or above) as the Fractal Design Mini only has 260mm with drive bays in.
  • Gigabyte Z270MX Gaming 5 motherboard
  • 2 x HDD as I have data on a local ZFS RAID 1 currently in an external enclosure (FW800/USB 3.0).
  • SSD - initially one moving to 2 in RAID 1.
  • OS will either initially or eventually move to M2 NVMe
  • Potentially a fan controller in the 5.25" bay to help control fan speed for temp/noise.
Although I believe I can leave the HDDs in the enclosure due to system having high speed connections over the old iMac - it's a pain in the arse to mount/unmount, and takes up room - I am loathe to go with an enclosure that cannot take at least 2 HDD + 2 SSD as non-HDD is adding a whole lot of cost.

One case I have come across is the Fractal Design Define Mini C which may fit the bill. There are other nice compact cases like Lian Li ones (PC-M25) but I'm not sure how well they go on noise or cooling (poor power supply placement). The main Fractal Design case, the Define Mini, seems the goto but the lack of GPU space without removing drive bays won't work for me.

I'd be interested in any recommendations or highlighting of issues with the Define Mini C or other components.


May 29, 2013
Asus Z370-G Gaming (Wi-Fi AC)
i9-9900K OC'd @ 5.0GHz
RX 6600 XT
  1. MacBook
  2. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. iBook
  2. Power Mac
  3. PowerBook
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
I went with a SilverStone KL06.

Reasons why I chose it:
  • Unobstructed, straight air intake by two fans in the front.
  • Large enough to accommodate large video cards.
  • Large enough to accommodate huge CPU heatsinks.
  • Large enough to accommodate a good number of hard drives. (I have 3 x 3.5" and 3 x 2.5" in mine)
  • Easily accessible removable air filters so that I can clean them without hassle.
  • Layout that's very reminiscent of the old MacPro 1,1-5,1s.

I avoided cases like the Fractal Design Definie Mini C because I was afraid that having the air intake go through the little slits on the sides of the front would cause unnecessary noise.
I didn't like cases that had power supply fan filters accessed from the rear, on the bottom. Having hard to access filters would just mean that I would probably end up neglecting them.

For cooling, I went with a Noctua NH-D15S CPU heatsink and used Noctua fans all around. They've proven to be extremely effective at keeping everything cool and staying very quiet. The only time I hear anything is under full load where I hear the movement of air, not the fans themselves. Even with my i7-6700K overclocked to 4.8GHz, temps only reach about 69-70C under full load when using Handbrake. (Note: I did delid my CPU and used Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra thermal compound to help with the cooling. This stuff is amazing!)

You can see pictures and more details about my build by clicking the link in my signature.
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