- Steel MicroATX Slim Case
- USB 3.0 x 1, USB 2.0 x 1, HD Audio+AC97 Front Ports
- 300W Power Supply
- 1 External 5.25" Drive Bays
- 1 Internal 3.5" Drive Bays
- $39.99 –
- $6.99 Shipping (restrictions apply)
Was actually a lot of fun to build 03/06/2013
-Very small dimensions (if it were less deep it would be a literal game console)
-Attractive as a HTPC case, especially with nice faceplate
-Comes with USB 3.0 support and card reader
-Power supply is relatively quiet, able to support a AMD triple-core processor and (low profile) HD 7750 easily
-Build quality is pretty poor
-Case can be flimsy, made of really thin gauge metal and therefore easy to bend particularly near the back PCI ports
-Extremely sharp corners in the case. Be very careful while building it, take your time, and use some tape or knock the edges down near the PCI screw-downs especially
-Cannot stand upright unless feet are used, due to power supply orientation facing downwards- must use 90 degree power cable
-include 80mm fan is molex only, you will need a separate fan controller or better yet, simply replace with better fan
-fan "cage" used to hold 80mm fan is very brittle, it actually cracked a bit during shipment
-PSU does not come with PCI-E connectors for graphics cards, be sure to use a low profile card that can draw power directly from the port, or plan to buy an adapter. PSU also only comes with 2 SATA and 2 Molex connectors, which may not matter because...
-There's only really room for one hard drive. If you don't use the optimal drive, you can mount an additional drive there. If you're using this as a networked HTPC, I'm sure it won't really matter but it's just something to be aware of
I had a lot of fun building with this case. The instructions it comes with are sparse, but essentially you take off the side panel (Ikea would be proud), take off the front panel, and then take out a "cage" that holds the card reader, front panel connectors, optical drive... then you are free to put in your hard drive and motherboard, etc.
There is really only provisions for one hard drive, and it's pretty ghetto because you screw it into the case chassis. On the other hand, there is plenty of room for a micro-ATX motherboard, and plugging connections in was not difficult. Obviously, there's no provisions for cable management in a case this small, but you can easily stuff the unused bits of cable next to the hard drive under the cage when you're done and put everything back together. Relatively clean looking.
A couple of bad things about the case: First, the power supply outlet faces the BOTTOM of the case if you're keeping it upright, so you need to use the included feet and 90 degree cable in order to have it in this orientation. The 80mm fan is molex only so you need a separate fan controller for it... I just swapped it out for a PWM fan I had (Btw, you can't really use other fan sizes because of the fact that it's held to the case grill using the fan "cage"). This is where I discovered that the fan "cage" that holds it against the top is also made of brittle plastic- be careful handling or you WILL crack it. The back panel wasn't very well manufactured either- the bends aren't completely perpendicular, bends easily, and punching out PCI-slots is hazardous without a pair of pliers. In general, when you're building the case I advise you take your time and plan things out, because if you hurry you can easily hurt yourself as the case is made of thin gauge metal with sharp edges, and again bends easily. It also kind of hurts my brain that the side panel doesn't sit flush against the top panel of the chassis because it wasn't manufactured very well! If the case weren't black this would be glaringly obvious.
Once you are done building it though, I think the case is extremely attractive and fits right at home as a HTPC computer or a portable LAN-party computer. The front face is very slick.
I think this case is really a "you get what you pay for" exercise. With the mail in rebate and free shipping, I feel it's worth the price; I would not buy it otherwise. I would not recommend this case to the first time computer builder either because of the extra work needed to plan the build and "compensate" for its flaws. But overall, I had a lot of fun putting it together and seeing it on my media case!
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