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Pros: Mini-ITX case, USB 3.0 & audio front ports, 220W PWR Supp,
5.25" & 3.5" drive bays, a unique HDD side mount, and supports a full size video card (must be single-wide though), good design with nice paint job.
Cons: Tight work area makes it a challenge to do a good job placing components and routing cables, heavy duty USB 3 cable is not very flexible, power supply doesn't leave much room above CPU fan, make sure video card doesn't have mounting nuts a top (like VGA port) or it will be hard to install (HDMI or display port at top is better.
Other Thoughts: After populating a MB, it usually takes me about 20 mins to assemble a system. This took a couple hours. Partly because I had to undo things and start over. I had to remove the memory to slip the board in. Fortunately, the CPU and fan could stay on the board. Note, don't purchase "high standing" RAM. You may be better off without heat spreaders. Note, read up on the hard drive placement before you start too.
I went with an AMD system and there wasn't much room between the CPU fan and power supply. A thinner and maybe longer power supply would be nice or, place it under the drive bays.
Thermaltake needs to ease up and the thick/heavy cables. Not only were they hard to flex they were a bit long too. They should provide a couple SATA cables with straight plugs since, the motherboards typically come with right-angle ones now. And from my experience, right-angles don't work well in this case (pun.)
Lastly, I stuck the included rubber feet on the bottom of the case, not on its edge. As it turns out, they designed the packing foam assuming you would put the rubber feet on the case's edge. So if you want to pack the case back in its box and you put the rubber feet on the case's bottom, you're going to have to get out a knife and cut a slot in the foam to allow for the rubber feet.
A better selection of components would make this case easier to work with. For instance, going with the ASRock B85M-ITX LGA 1150 would have been a better design to suit this case. Also, I think the stock fans from Intel sit lower too so, this CPU would have been better too, Intel Core i3-4330 Haswell 3.5GHz LGA 1150 54W.
I still like this case, partly because it was a challenge and, because is has potential for interesting combinations of parts. Outfitting this with a blu-ray, SSD and data drive is definitely doable.
- AMD A6-6420K Richland 4.0GHz Socket FM2
- MSI FM2-A75IA-E53 FM2 AMD A75
- Kingston HyperX 8GB DDR3 1600
- Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM
- Thermaltake Element Qi w 200W PSU Mini-ITX
Pros: FM2, HDMI support, USB 3, 6Gb/s SATA, WiFi, Gigabit LAN, eSATA port, GUI based BIOS is easy to work with, 32 GB Max, DDR3 1866 natively, etc.
Other Thoughts: This is my second build using this MB and just like the first it ran right from the get go. Don't' know if I'm experiencing some type of "other OS" memory block but, Windows 8 installs with this board flawlessly (boot from USB DVD.)READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: low watts, standard fast clock rate, GPU included
Other Thoughts: Windows 8.1 Pro would not run a rating on the system, because of GPU?READ FULL REVIEW