European vision of mini-ITX casing. It is good enough at all.

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Category: PC Hardware
Author´s opinion:
Date: 2014-04-11

One time I had an urge to gather a mini-ITX computer; it is a very compact size, about two times smaller and neater that ATX. The selection of mini-ITX casings of good quality isn’t as wide as one of ATX, but it is possible to find something. Specifically this casing is Swedish. They tried to think over everything, but there are still some disadvantages.

The casing is not very heavy; I can say it is even light. Its first problem is connected with its weight – the casing is quite noisy, the walls are too thin, so it can’t insulate noise perfectly. At least I’ve solved the problem with standard chip coolers by replacing them with very quiet ones. It has become quite good, if we mean noise. Well, this computer works in my flat constantly, so the noise was a big problem to solve because of sleep.

The second problem is with graphics. The produces said untruth about the size of graphics board you can set up into this casing. You can afford 11,8 inches on paper, but in real life it is possible to set up only 6,3-inched card, 6,5 as maximum. The fact of the matter is that I have bought Radeon of 10,23 inches, it was good, even some free space left. However the graphics card had blocks all ways to power box connectors, no matter how big you have. I had a box 5.9 inches long, none the less all connectors were blocked. So you have to keep it in your mind, buy graphic controllers with max length of 7,9 inches, 6,3 inches are even better. If you have a nonstandard power box, I mean it is bigger than 6,3 inches, the graphics card has to be of 6,3 inches length, not more, otherwise it will be hampered by a power box.

The third problem is the fact that the producer formally allows setting up tower-shaped coolers, but actually it is almost impossible to find a cooler of needed size. It is necessary that the cooler’s radiator must not touch RAM, as it is situated close to it. You can buy low-profile Ram for solving this problem, or you will have to choose a cooler which’s radiator will not touch RAM. Secondly, the cooler has to be not more than 4,3 inches wide and tower-shaped coolers of these sizes are rare. As a result I couldn’t choose a proper cooler: some of them didn’t fit and others were not good in other parameters, not connected with casing.

Now let’s talk about advantages:
– Stylish design. Well, it is a really nice black cube designed in Apple style. It looks expensive and sophisticated. The materials are nice to touch, especially on the front side, made from mat polished plastic.
– The ventilation system is well thought out, there is a casing coolers’ controller, so you can almost fully turn them off.
– There are three casing coolers, two 3,15-inched and one 5,5-inched on back side. All coolers are quiet this time; I cannot say anything bad about them.
– There are some simple dust filters. You cannot do without them nowadays, their help is really big, and they hold big dust particles. It is really easy to wash them, just put them under a water stream. They are made from plastic, so they will get dry very fast. There are air0take arrays on each side, except the top. It is good and guaranties that cooling will be of good quality; it is very important in such small space.
– The manual is very detailed.
– The inner structure of the casing is very well thought-out. If you are going to make a server, you can set up to six hard drives. If you don’t need it, you can take the hard drive sockets off, as I did. The sockets are provided with anti-vibration pieces of tapping made of rubber. Rubber has to lower a vibration load and it seems to be working, at least I don’t hear a hard drive. There will be no problems in setting up SSD drive into same sockets.
– The fastening set is OK, there are enough fastens for any need.
– There are USB 3.0 sockets on the front side with some audio outputs.

On the whole there are much more advantages than disadvantages, as you can see. That’s why I can say this casing is good. Of course you can consider a price as a disadvantage, but has something good ever been cheap? I can recommend this casing to you if you are not going to set up a tower-shaped cooler or big graphics controller.

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Author: Eric
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