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AZZA CSAZ-103 Black SECC Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggs Great Case With One Major Flaw 04/21/2016

This review is from: AZZA CSAZ-103 Black SECC Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

Pros: - Small
- Great style for a HTPC or a Steam Machine (my chosen use)
- Can fit a standard sized PSU (not the extended size PSUs like 750w or more, as the cables coming out will be butted right up against the Motherboard/RAM
- Well ventilated if not using liquid cooling

Cons: - Azza really missed the mark on the water cooling support, which is truly a shame considering that was one of the primary reasons I purchased this case over any other one, and was the one thing that caused me to give it 4 eggs instead of 5. While it does allow for the installation of a 120mm reservoir and a 240mm reservoir, at the very least there is no air flow for the 240mm radiator as there is almost no room for the fans! First off I had to buy two slim 15mm fans for them to even fit in the case (normal sized fans jutted out and wouldn't allow the side of the case to be installed).

After much trial and error, I came to the conclusion that they have to be mounted on the outside of the radiator (between the rad and the side of the case), otherwise one fan would hit the bracket for the watercooler on my GPU since they are sandwiched right next to each other (R to L: Kraken bracket, videocard, rad, fans, side of case) with literally no space between them (well maybe 1-2mm). Only using one fan (the one that wasn't obstructed) didn't make much of difference like below, temps still reached 160F.

Putting the fans on the outside of the rad and forcing air across the rad worked initially but after about 10 minutes a hot pocket of air would form between the back of the videocard and the rad since there was no place for the air to go, temperatures would reach 160F after a few minutes, which means its no more efficient than air cooling, just quieter. Having the fans exhaust the heat (trying to pull it out of the rad) didn't work well either since the fans aren't strong enough to pull a lot of CFMs, even at high speed.

Removing the radiator from the case (swinging it out at about a 60 degree angle from the case) allowed the temperatures to plummet from 160F+ at full load to a max of 127F (currently furmarking it at 1080P with 8x AA as I write this, it's been running for a good 10-15 minutes). Just that simple maneuver proves that if they would have made this case about 2-3 inches deeper it would be the ultimate SFF water cooled gaming PC case! So if I want mine to be effective I'm going to have to leave the side of the case off and use some stand-offs to allow me to screw in the rad, but leave a few inches between it and the videocard.

The 120mm area doesn't look like there is much clearance for a rad and fan also, I haven't tested it yet since I don't have one.

- The front LED is just decorative and needs a 4 pin molex plug, would have been better if they would have converted it into a HDD activity light, which I may do myself.

- No reset switch, just power.

- Front panel cables are insanely long (12-18 inches) for such a small case

- Literally no space for cable management, or for the cables in general since everything is so cramped in there, you can tuck some under the HDD cage but that's about it, once again a deeper case would have remedied this slightly.

Other Thoughts: The PCI-E bridge that comes with the case works perfectly with PCI-E 3 cards, don't listen to the guy that says it doesn't. I bought another one just in case and found out I didn't need it and could have saved 30 bucks.

OEM Production 2550L2D-MxPC Intel NM10 2 x 204Pin SO-DIMM Intel GMA 3650 Black Mini / Booksize Barebone System
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Cheap, good for a pfSense box once you get it working

Cons: - CPU Fan is loud and no room to put another larger and quiter one since the heatsink is an odd shape.

- The SATA cable was bad and kept leading to errors when pfSense was installing and running (would cause the OS to crash every few days), I had to swap out the cable and use the other SATA port.

- Intel GMA GPU doesn't work well in Linux since it's closed source and the max resolution is 1024x768

Other Thoughts: - One of the hardware components requires a license to be agreed to in FreeBSD which scrolls by so quickly it took a while to figure out what the issue is, I was only able to figure this out by looking through the boot log since it shows a few line error

SilverStone DS380B Black Aluminum front door, SECC body NAS chassis Premium 8-bay Small Form Factor NAS Chassis SFX PSU (sold separately) Power Supply
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: more than 1 year

Pros: You can cram 12 drive in it (8 hot swappable 3.5" drives, 4 2.5" drives) so it makes for a great NAS in small space, if you really wanted to you could put around 35 TB in it.

Cons: - Extremely cramped, which leads to next to no space for cable management so you just have to cram the cables in there out of the way of the fans.

- There is a gap between the side intake fans and the drive cage so it's ineffective at cooling the drives since it takes the path of least resistance and blows out through the gap, instead of across the HDDs, you need to place something in the gap to force the air across the cage, but there it has no place to go since there are no vents on the side of the case.

- After a year of 24/7 usage, one of the intake fans started grinding, then a few days later the backplane died while I was swapping out the fans, which meant I couldn't use the SFX PSU anymore since it didn't have enough SATA Power cables on it.

- If you want to do ANY work on ANYTHING you have to remove the drive cage, which means removing all HDDs, disconnecting the power cables for the backplane, disconnecting all the SATA/SAS cables from the backplane, removing the SATA cables from the 2.5" cage, then unscrewing 4 screws to finally be able to remove the cage.

Other Thoughts: The AsRock C2750-D4I is apparently the "perfect" motherboard for this case, the problem is that it has an integrated CPU and doesn't have a fan for the heatsink, so it leaves little room to attach one bigger than 80mm. I also put an Intel HBA card in the PCI slot and had to slice out some of the plastic on the removeable plastic piece in one of the drive bays to make the card fit, but also allow me to still use the drive bay. Also there's only one PCI-E slot so you have to choose from either an HBA or a video card, and the integrated video leaves something to be desired.

All in all it's a great little case if you just assemble everything and don't plan on changing anything, it's an exercise in frustration if you plan of changing stuff occasionally though. If Silverstone made specific short sata and power cables (the short cable set on their site isn't short enough) for this case it would be great, but otherwise it's a mess of cables with nowhere to put them. The SFF-8087 breakout cable I have in there is huge (19 inches?) and there are two of them, so I have to coil them up.


Brandon G.'s Profile

Display Name: Brandon G.

Date Joined: 05/17/05

  • Reviews: 26
  • Helpfulness: 8
  • First Review: 12/10/08
  • Last Review: 04/21/16
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