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This review is from: IN WIN 901 Aluminum / Tempered Glass Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case
Pros: This is a review of the Inwin 901! :)
- Tempered Glass Side Panels (tinted)
- Unibody Aluminum Chassis (except for the back side)
- Well thought-out design
- Plenty of room to do cable management, but you can't really hide cables since it's see-through on both sides hah.
- Plenty of room for all of your components
Cons: - Only supports two case fans: a 120mm intake fan in the bottom front area, where the space is located, and a 92mm fan mount for the radiator area next to the motherboard. Wish they were both 120mm.
Other Thoughts: In case you were wondering, this case is indeed tempered glass, which is stronger than regular glass and has a thick, purplish black tinting to it. This tinting invites users to use LED lights inside their case to show off their components.
The front air intake fan is a 120mm fan, not a 92mm like I originally thought. The 92mm fan is for the mount located above and to the left of the motherboard (if facing the case from the side that views the front of the motherboard).
It is important to buy the fans you want with the color scheme you want, as well as any sleeving or specific wiring because BOTH sides are tempered glass and so nothing will be truly hidden, unless you don't light up the case!
There is room behind the 92mm mount to place an intake 92mm fan and mount a radiator on the backside. Perhaps even room to mount a second 92mm fan, although it might have to be a slim one if you want it to fit behind the back piece of aluminum. Otherwise, just find a way to mount it to the aluminum backing.
The 120mm fan is mounted in a TRAY, which is located directly above the little pocket of air in the only part of the case that's not covered by tempered glass. You just undo a thumbscrew, slide the tray out and mount the fan.
There is a piece of aluminum that covers the door to the slim optical drive bay. I already tested one inside the case, and there are no problems with it sticking out or not sitting flush, so don't worry about that if you are thinking about it.
The hard drives already come with sata power cables and connectors, so all you need are the hard drives themselves. They are sleeved back and are covered enough to not see the inside wiring. Inwin got it right to sleeve all their pre-installed cables with nice, thick black sleeving.
Think carefully about the path of airflow in the case. If using a long graphics card, I can imagine that most of the airflow will either be sucked into the graphics card or blown upwards through the hard drive mountings. I'm not really sure yet on how the PSU or anything is going to get anything but lukewarm or warm air. The CPU will have a fan on a heatsink or a fan on a radiator, sure, but the air it will be exhausting will be warm air floating up from the back of a graphics card or the airflow from the hard drive cages that pushes over towards the motherboard. I think everything will stay within reasonable range, but don't expect ice cold temperatures in a case not really meant for performance cooling, but aethestics.
Overall, exciting and unique case, I am looking forward to making my build in it! :)
Pros: If you are searching for a tiny, mini-itx / small form factor case that provide support for all of your home theatre needs as well as provide a low-profile expansion slot for your tv-tuner or video card, then this is the case to buy.
For me, I have always wanted a mini-itx case that allowed a single-slot, low-profile video card so that I can having a gaming htpc case for my bedroom. However, I had already purchased a silverstone ft03-mini and went ahead and got a full size card.
Therefore, I purchased this case more on an impulse buy and I was not disappointed. I decided to use it for a build for my brother for multi-media use for his chess class. I needed to have a semi-powerful CPU for the chess software but also needed to keep the energy and noise level down.
I chose these components:
Gigabyte h77-itx wifi mini-itx motherboard
Intel core-i5 3350p
G-skill Ares 2x4gb 1600mhz ddr3
Sapphire low-profile 7750
Silverstone 450w 80+ bronze sfx power supply
750gb 2.5" Western Digital Black 7200rpm hdd
Silverstone Air Penetrator 120mm fan
2x 80mm Arctic fans
SIlverstone 80mm and 120mm fan filters
*No optical drive*
Unfortunately, the NT06-E was too high, even with the air penetrator mounted on the bottom of the heatsink, so I had to use the stock cooler for now. In the future, I might try the cooler master geminii m4, but for now the stock is fine.
All the components fit like a glove. One positive about such a small case is that every component is so packed in that it looks like it is a perfect fit and that everything is where it needs to be.
All in all though, everything fit and is functioning properly. For the most part, the case is quiet. Not whisper quiet, but enough (see cons). My fingerprints did not leave too many smudges, and it comes with included feet so prevent scratches on surfaces or itself.
But I digress. The pros:
- Tiny! (7 liters, a few inches less than the depth of a pillow).
- Black matte finish, except for the glossy plastic front. Still looks good, gives off a mirror sheen.
- Cheap! $45 for a case like this? Really impressive.
- Thermals. Plenty of airflow for the major components.
- Portability. Will be able to take this anywhere you want to go.
Cons: If you are looking to purchase a mini-itx or small-form-factor case (sfx), then you already know that it will aleady come with some issues, such as cable management, airflow, and finding correctly-sized components. So I can't dock anything for that.
These are a list of minor issues, but they are not anything worth subtracting an egg for. Just comes with buying a sub-$50 case.
- The decision to use a slim, slot-loading optical drive is the current trend for Silverstone's sfx cases. Silverstone themselves sell both a slot-load DVD and a slot-load Blu-Ray drive, so they are probably doing it for marketing reasons. Unfortunately, it's hard to find these drives for any reasonable price:
Silverstone's slim, slot-load dvd drive: $70
Silverstone's slim, slot-load Blu-ray drive: $170
- Top panel requires a lot of force to remove it, almost to the point of being afraid if I will bend or warp it. Don't be scared - just pull it off!
- A little more difficult to install motherboard I/O shield; little metal clips were in the way and had to snap it on with more force and a little maneuvering, but it worked out alright.
- A lot of venting can be too much venting. The case's noise was my main concern when buying. I have set the fans on low and have filters, and with the two 80mm fans and the 120mm fan installed, the sound would be imperceptible from just a few feet away if it wasn't for the sfx power supply. Silverstone knows that their line of SFX power supplies are almost exclusively the only ones that are of quality and match the case. Unfortunately, their models include an 80mm fan that doesn't have any thermal sensor to throttle it when it's not needed. Therefore, the 80mm fan is on a high setting all the time, which produces unnecessary noise. Otherwise, it is actually pretty good (I set all the fans with filters and on intake to get positive pressure).
- Video card airflow? (see other thoughts).
Other Thoughts: I have been searching for a tiny, gaming htpc case like this for literally years. You can search through mini-itx cases over and over but you won't find anything similar.
You can find the Inwin BP-series, which offer extremely compact dimensions but are extremely limited on power supplies and airflow, especially for the graphics card. (Pixxo's mini-itx cases are very similar but do provide the venting on the side for the video card, in case anyone is interested. Buy that one rather than the Inwin).
You can search for mini-itx cases that provide single-slot graphics solutions, but they are either full-height (Lian Li) or have no venting on the side to provide enough air flow to prevent overheating. The only exception is the Antec ISK 300 series, but the power supply is so shabby that you have to mod it to get it to be enough.
You can search for mini-itx cases that accomodate TFX or larger power supplies, but they generally come with full height graphics solutions and are much too large (Cube or square shaped, targeted towards having high-end components rather than low power, quiet parts. Can you say Lian Li, Silverstone Sugo, Thermaltake SD101, etc?)
I believe that this case fufills the gaming htpc niche for cases that are horizontal and give the standard theatre look. I would highly recommend this case - fantastic features, great price, and looks nice!
Pros: - Very well made case, especially the aluminum side panels.
- Small footprint for a tower based computer.
- Can fit a radiator on the bottom of the case (see cons).
- Can potentially fit the "smaller" full-size ATX Psus.
- Well thought-out interior design that allows maximum airflow.
Cons: I have two complaints:
1) The aluminum side panels are very sturdy and heavy. The problem is with the little push-pins that hold them on the side of the chassis. The pins are only plastic, and if they break, you won't be able to keep your side paneling on. Not worth docking an egg, but just be aware and careful if you are transporting this case around.
2) The case can fit a radiator! Wait, why is this a con? Well, the only way to cool any of your computer parts is through the pre-installed 140mm Air Penetrator fan that sucks air from the area by the case feet and pushes it up through your components and out the vents at the top. This wouldn't be a big deal except that if you mount your power supply with the fan facing inwards towards the motherboard (like the case is designed for it to be), you now have your power supply's fan and your CPU heatsink's fan competing for cool air, as they are pretty much directly on top of each other.
This means you are almost forced to use a CPU cooler (in my case I used the Corsair h55 low profile with a 120mm radiator) and installed it right in front of the AP fan. The fan is definitely powerful enough to cool both the rad and the rest of your components, but I do not believe you will be able to get decent cooling for your CPU if you only use a regular fan and heatsink. I could be wrong, but I'll let you cram this SFF case full of parts and then tell me your thoughts :) (Not docking an egg since its an opinion).
Other Thoughts: I bought this case from another online store because I was able to get free 2 day shipping, but it is the same case nonetheless and I prefer to shop Newegg for most of my computer needs so I think it will be of more avail for users here than on other websites.
Great case, great layout, small footprint, VERY clean look! I love Silverstone build quality.