Joined on 03/28/08
A beautiful case for high-performance home theatre PCs
Pros: I can hardly say enough good things about the appearance of this case. I’m a huge fan of the understated, minimalist aesthetic, which makes it look right at home in my living room. This was a major selling point for me.<br><br>The case supports most full-size video cards, and the design for making them fit is super clever. Keeping the GPU and CPU in separate chambers is a nice touch, since you don’t have to worry about heat from one affecting the other. Having the option to mount additional fans to the GPU intake vent is a plus.<br><br>Materials and build quality are great.<br><br>The case includes a sturdy base for optional vertical mounting.<br><br>Removable air filters are included on all intake vents.
Cons: At first glance, you might think that routing cables between the two chambers has to be done via a tiny hole between the hard drive bracket and the middle frame of the case – that’s how all the cables are routed when you first open the case. However, you can actually route them through a hole in front of the hard drive bracket. The manual doesn’t mention this, but I’m pretty sure it was intentional. It would have saved me a lot of trouble if I had known about this ahead of time.<br><br>The cable for the front-panel USB ports is absurdly long. It can reach outside the case in every direction. It’s about twice as long as it needs to be. In most chassis, this would be an annoyance, but in a small case like this, it's detrimental.<br><br>There’s no air filter on the side panel grille. While this isn’t a problem if you store the case horizontally, I can imagine dust might get in if you mount it vertically.
Overall Review: Other components used for this build:<br>Gigabyte GA-H170N-WIFI<br>Intel Core i5 6600<br>Stock HSF (might replace later with something quieter)<br>G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 2x 8GB DDR4 2133<br>PNY Geforce GTX 970<br>Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB M.2 SSD (for OS and applications)<br>HGST Travelstar 1 TB 7200 RPM HDD (for games and media)<br><br>I can’t fault the case for this, but be aware that it can be difficult to work in it if you have large hands.<br><br>If possible, I recommend buying a video card with a rear exhaust (blower) style cooler; otherwise, you will dissipate a lot of heat into the case, which can adversely affect the CPU performance.<br><br>While I used the stock HSF for my processor, be aware that the case is fairly short and can’t fit most aftermarket coolers. On a related note, this limits your overclocking potential. I had considered buying an unlocked processor, but I couldn’t find a cooler that could fit in the case and still dissipate enough heat.<br><br>I’m not sure if the case is to blame here, but the filter for the GPU intake vent would brush up against the fan I mounted there, which made a lot of noise. Fortunately, I was able to move the filter to the bottom layer of the case to prevent contact.
Cheap in both senses of the word
Pros: You can't argue with the price. It’s easy to install on an LGA-2011-v3 socket.
Cons: The pump has a noticeable buzzing or humming noise that I can’t get rid of. Based on some other reviews I’ve read, this is a common problem. I tried playing around with the fan settings in UEFI as other reviewers suggested. This made the noise subside somewhat, but it’s still there and very annoying. I guess this is what you get at this price point. If you can tolerate the noise, go for it, but this is a deal breaker for me.
Overall Review: Used to cool an Intel Core i7 5930K.
NOT CrossfireX Compatible
Pros: - Unable to use card. See below. -
Cons: I bought two of these, under the impression that they are CrossfireX compatible, as listed SEVERAL PLACES ON THE BOX. When I went to install them, I found that they lack the Crossfire tabs. It turns out that the box is outright wrong. Thanks, Sapphire. Don't bother with this card if you want a Crossfire setup because this won't work.