PC Build - case size question
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I'm considering a PC build for sim racing. 

I use macs for work and other stuff so don't own a pc and have never really needed to keep up with current developments.

Having done a bit of looking around it seems there are a number of case sizes available for builds.

Ideally I'd like to use the smallest I can get away with - something like a Thermaltake Mini Core V1 with a Risen 7 chip on a GIGABYTE GA-AB350N-Gaming Mini ITX board and probably a 1080ti graphics card.

Initially I'll be using with a single monitor, but plan to upgrade to a 3 monitor set-up later on - without needing to rebuild the pc.

My question is whether using a small case hamstrings performance in any way?

 

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On 13/06/2018 at 3:23 PM, plingboot said:

My question is whether using a small case hamstrings performance in any way?

Small cases are attractive because they're easy to hide away or fit on a desk with limited space. However, there are drawbacks. They're generally not easy to work in because of the restricted space (particularly if it's your first build). Airflow is usually not as good as in a large case and good cooling options are often limited because of the case size. In the example in your link, you can only fit a single 120mm or 140mm radiator which would not be the best for a fast CPU and would certainly limit overclocking. Similarly, most of the best air coolers (like those made by Noctua) wouldn't fit because of the restricted space above the motherboard. You'd also have to be careful which graphics card you used as quite a few may be too long. Most mini ITX motherboards only have one PCIe slot as opposed to the 3 (sometimes 4) in the average full-sized board - not a problem if all you want to install is a single graphics card and no other peripherals.

That said, it's certainly possible to build a good gaming PC in a small case but it's not easy and takes a lot of planning (and cursing). If you're just looking at a small case for cosmetic reasons, I would always advise going for a mid or full tower system if you have the space - they're easier to work in, easier to troubleshoot, better cooling options and more upgrade options.

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