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Please help me choose case

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  • Please help me choose case

    Please don't jump on me for not searching. I have done a tremendous amount of searching on this forum and the web since I started. I think I know which way I want to go, but I would really like some opinions before I make my purchase.

    My trunk is already full with a rather large speaker box, so there is no room to mount the PC back there. Therefore, the PC needs to take up as minimal amount of space as possible. DivX playback is important as well as some 3D acceleration. I'm not planning on playing UT2003 or anything (although it would be nice if I could when parked), but I am planning on making a 3D menu-driven system. This menu system will use DX9 and be similar (but more advanced) then the Microsoft XBOX Dashboard.

    I do want to use a 3.5" hard disk because I have a HUGE music / video collection and an external hard disk would just take more space. However, I want to use a slim DVD/CD-RW combo drive to help reduce the overall size of the case. An actual AGP port would be great, but I don't think I'll manage to swing it in the smaller sized case I want. I would rather NOT go with a cube like the Shuttle.

    DC-DC inverter is absolutely preferred. I don't have the space to mount a larger DC-AC inverter as well as the required AC-DC converter to make the thing run. SFX power would be great so that I could use the opus inverter, but manufacture integrated DC-DC power is fine too.

    The closest thing I've found to what I want so far is the SUMICOM S600. It can handle any Pentium 4 or celeron, holds a 3.5" HDD and slim CD and supports up to 2GB of DDR 333 RAM. It's a mere 6" wide and 3" tall (10" deep) and the company does sell an internal 12V DC inverter. Unfortunately to get that 12V option I have to order from them directly rather then using one of their distributors.

    The embedded video is only AGP 2.0 using the SIS 651 chipset. It claims to have 256-bit 3D hardware, but other then that I don't know much about it. Can someone please tell me if I would get better performance going with a really good ITX board? I've heard about some ITX boards running AGP 4.0. Keep in mind I need some hardware 3D, but it doesn't have to be world-class.

    Can anyone offer any alternatives? I'm very open to options and I really value the opinions of the members of this board. Thanks in advance to any of you who take your time to reply.


  • #2
    custom made case - use fiberglass or acrylic.
    If at first you don't succeed, so much for skydiving!


    • #3
      I lack the time for that. (And I lack the skill for that even more )

      At this moment, the Casetronic C128 has caught my eye. It's not as deep as the S600 (8" vs 10") but it's wider (8" vs 6") and taller (4" vs 3"). The neat thing is that it supports two PCI cards if a 2.5" drive is used and it supports 1 PCI card if a 3.5" drive is used. Pretty cool.

      What I don't know is if it would support an Epia MII, which is the board I am now considering...

      Still looking for suggestions and still doing more research.

      Thanks all.


      • #4
        Hmm. Well in the mini-itx form... you can get a P4 mobo from You can then use any mini-itx case with it. If you want 2 pc cards... maybe this case...


        • #5
          Thanks for the reply JM. Actually, I think I have finally decided on my case. I haven't yet decided if I'm going to go mini-ITX or full P4. The difference in the size of the case is that the P4 is only 4" deeper. Otherwise they are the same dimensions.

          This case is truely impressive.

          I REALLY like the P4 option, and it does allow for both AGP and PCI expansion (mini-ITX allows for 1 PCI expansion). But I don't know if I can make it work with the extra 4" depth and I don't know about heat dissipation in my car. Any thoughts on this are welcome.



          • #6
            Actually depending on your space... if you drop in a double riser card, you can put in 2 pci in mini-ITX.

            I dunno about heat dissapation in your car either. However... an idea I've had it possibly mounting the the cpu in the stock Nav dvd drive location. this case should fit in that space... I just worry about heat... in which case a VIA C3 chip is better than a P4.