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Pros: This case is, for the money, unbeatable in the mini ITX space. Sure you can get more features and thicker steel/aluminum with more money, but for under $40? It's the leading model.
I bought this case before the mesh front and water cooler supported variant came out, but I heavily modified this version to fit a whole bunch of goodies inside, including 2x LCS systems. More below.
Basically, I have a regular high-end gaming PC fit into a case the size of a shoe-box. What's not to love?
Case is great for modding.
Cons: These aren't really cons. Consider them comments/feedback.
- The build quality is good, but nothing spectacular.
- The included fans are extremely weak, you'll want to upgrade if you are going to be putting any decent components in.
- The PSU extension bracket should be something that can detach and reattach without screws so that it's easier to install/upgrade/access the PSU.
- The hard drive cage should be removable (big con for my build).
- As this is a mini ITX case and space is at a premium, a bottom door panel to access the back of the motherboard would be helpful. As it is, you'll have to take apart your whole build to get to the CPU bracket, even for something as mundane as tightening the cooler nuts.
Other Thoughts: I cut out the HDD cage and installed 2x Zalman LQ-320 LCS systems (120x120x52mm radiators) below the 5.25" bay overhang (rads mounted by drilling through the bay). That's double-width rads for those keeping score at home.
There are 3 PWM 120mm fans in a stacked radiator config (F>R>F>R>F). I JUST had space. The last fan shroud actually sort of touches the mobo, but nothing interferes with the fins or rotation. I have one LCS hooked up to a 3570K and the other is hooked up to a GTX 770 4GB with a Dwoods GTX water cooling bracket. The hose angle for the GTX barely made it and there was some trial-and-error before success; but in the end, it all worked out and fits in the space between the card and the case side just fine.
I also have a 120mm fan on the 80mm fan side between the case siding and the stacked rads. So that's 4x 120mm fans just in the drive bay area alone with the rads. Nice!
I used a Silverstone bay converter in the 5.25" to store my drives and still have a slot-load optical drive.
Here's what I was able to cram in this sucker:
- 7 fans: 4x 120mm PWM, 80mm (case provided), 92mm Antec Spot Cool blowing on back of the GTX, 92mm Zalman PWM over GTX VRMs.
- 2x Zalman LQ-320 water cooling systems with 120x120x52mm radiators.
- CPU: i5 3750K
- RAM: 16GB 1866 MHz
- MOBO: ASUS PZ77-I Deluxe mITX
- VGA: GTX 770 4GB (modded)
- PSU: 650w (non-modular; I'm using each cord)
- 5.25" Bay: Silverstone SST-FP58B bay converter
- OS Drive: 64GB SSD
- Storage: 3x 1TB 2.5" 7200 rpm HDD in RAID 0
- ODD: Slot-load Blu-ray RW
The 3570K is overclocked to 4.5GHz and idles at 26C. Running small FFTs in Prime95, I hit 50C.
The GTX 770 4GB is overclocked to 1300 MHz base, RAM at 8,000 MHz (effective) and idles at an incredible 23C and only hits 48C in FurMark (it's the rad closest to the front intake).
My HDDs hover around 27C in RAID 0 and I'm getting 320+ MB/s read.
This much performance in a case this size is unbelievable. I installed a latch on the bottom connected to the side for safety purposes and a handle on top, and I can now cart this thing around like a console to friends' houses.
Seriously, buy this case.
Pros: Thus far, running great with no errors or bad sectors. No arm clicking or platter whirring noises.
I run three of these in RAID 0 in a 5.25" bay converter with an SSD too, and the temp of my highest drive is 28C. Most of the time they are 26-27C, so the thermals not only check out, but seem to be stellar considering this is a 1TB 7200 RPM drive.
Comes with a 3 year warranty, which gives me much more peace of mind than those 1 and 2 year warranty drives that practically scream "FAILURE" on the product sheet.
Other Thoughts: Came with free coupons for ~3GB with Hitachi's Touro (or something) cloud storage service. I haven't used it, but just as an FYI.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: What more is there to say? You can fit 4x 2.5" drives into a 5.25" bay... AND still have room for a slim slot-load optical drive. Awesome and extremely useful for any mini ITX build that has a 5.25".
Thermals: I have all 4 drive slots occupied with a 64GB SSD and 3x 1TB Hitachi 7200 RPM drives in RAID 0. The highest temp on any of the drives is 28C, so cramming that many drives next to one another doesn't seem to be an issue.
Build quality is very good. No flimsy metal here.
Other Thoughts: A little pricey for what it is (considering you can buy entire computer cases almost for the same cost), but it's simply an awesome product and the build quality is well worth it.READ FULL REVIEW
Display Name: David M.
Date Joined: 04/16/08
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