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Affordable case for multi-GPU watercooled folding rig?

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RZA

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Location
San Francisco, CA
I am building a multi-GPU folding rig, and would appreciate recommendations regarding the case. The rig will ultimately run a 4x295GTX setup, with everything watercooled. Radiators will stay outside, don't need space for them.

Requirements are as follows:

1) Able to hold SSI-CEB motherboard (ASUS P6T7 WS);
2) Able to hold 4 dual-PCI graphics cards (that is - have 8 PCI slot holes);
3) Have enough space in front for a couple water pumps;
4) Have space for 4 HDD's (I believe any case has that);
5) (Ideally) Have a slot for 2nd PSU;
6) (Ideally) have some sort of holes in the back for tubing;
7) Given all of the above - as small as possible (it is clear that it is a full tower, but I don't want those huge monster cubic cases - just don't have space for that);
8) Given all of the above - reasonably cheap.

A note regarding this last bullet: as everything will be watercooled, the case's airflow characteristics don't mean much for me. So I figured, why not get something not ridiculously expensive. I still want a decent case, just don't want to spend the money I could rather invest in GPUs or whatever :)

So the questions are basically

- Do you have a decent case in mind that fits this description?
- What else should I take into account? Maybe I'm missing some major factor?

Thanks a lot!
 
OP
RZA

RZA

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Location
San Francisco, CA
P.S. Case's looks don't mean much for me (as long as it is not totally ugly), but I'd rather stick to minimalistic designs. Thermaltake's gaming cases are killing me with all the fluff they carry.
 

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
My suggestion would be to get Navig to build you a custom benching station. He has a thread in the Classifieds where you place your order. Price is reasonable, and he does good work.
 
OP
RZA

RZA

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Location
San Francisco, CA
How would a custom case be better than what I can get off the shelf (in my particular situation)? I'm not trying to downplay Navig's work by any means, I'm just trying to understand. My feeling was that there are 3 main dimensions for cases:

1) Airflow (slots for fans, layout, etc etc) - nor relevant for me;
2) Space;
3) Build quality (metal etc).

I thought that quality issue is only relevant for complete el cheapos, which I'm not looking at. As ti the space/layout, there is a dungload of options of the market, so I assume there should be something good enough for me. So what would justify going for a custom case?

P.S. Currently looking at SilverStone Raven RV02 (review) ($175), seems to fit the bill more or less. Still exploring though.
 

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
How would a custom case be better than what I can get off the shelf (in my particular situation)? I'm not trying to downplay Navig's work by any means, I'm just trying to understand. My feeling was that there are 3 main dimensions for cases:

I thought so due to the requirements listed:

1) Able to hold SSI-CEB motherboard (ASUS P6T7 WS);

Realtively easy to do, as the station can be built around the size of the motherboard

2) Able to hold 4 dual-PCI graphics cards (that is - have 8 PCI slot holes);

This is hard to get from a normal case, but again, easy to do for a benching station.

3) Have enough space in front for a couple water pumps;

A 3rd layer can be built for the water pumps if needs be, but it can probably fit on the normal two layers.

5) (Ideally) Have a slot for 2nd PSU;

I believe I've seen this done before. On the one I built myself, I used a 5 1/2 bay PSU, so it wasn't getting the 2nd PSU in.

6) (Ideally) have some sort of holes in the back for tubing;

As it is an open case design, not a problem.

7) Given all of the above - as small as possible (it is clear that it is a full tower, but I don't want those huge monster cubic cases - just don't have space for that);

This might be a bit of an issue, given the amound of stuff you want in it, but I've also seen Navig set it up so the station can be mouned on its side, reducing its footprint

8) Given all of the above - reasonably cheap.

I believe his prices are around $150.



1) Airflow (slots for fans, layout, etc etc) - nor relevant for me;
2) Space;
3) Build quality (metal etc).

I thought that quality issue is only relevant for complete el cheapos, which I'm not looking at. As ti the space/layout, there is a dungload of options of the market, so I assume there should be something good enough for me. So what would justify going for a custom case?

P.S. Currently looking at SilverStone Raven RV02 (review) ($175), seems to fit the bill more or less. Still exploring though.

I realize you are going to be watercooling, but I've run into quite a few heat related problems in normal cases trying to run 3 dual GPU cards, so the more open the case, the better I feel about it. Plus with the problems of getting an 8 slot case, and dual PSUs, it seemed a good choice.
 
OP
RZA

RZA

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Location
San Francisco, CA
Hmmm. I would rather not go for an open case - want to have everything neat once the job is done; however, I don't expect this to be a problem for Navig. I will definitely explore this option, thanks.