Well guys, I am happy to announce that we have a new contender for the SFF case crown and this time they got their funding – in 11 minutes ! We covered the topic a while back (here) but they postponed it to make the final product even better. And, oh boy, the (new) tricks this case has up its sleeve ! Decided to do a follow up because I believe it is worth it!
We will jump right in the story and as of the moment of writing, the case is up for grabs on Kickstarter. There are 28 days to go and inventory is going fast, so have a look before I convince you why I am so excited about this case and what the new improvements and upgrades are. Also, the early backers will get it around 6 months quicker than the non-backers plus with the extra incentive of a discount in price, depending on what pledge you choose.
The biggest change is that it will support up to a 240 mm AIO/custom WC setup with the mention that you can only install one regular 120 mm fan on the 240 rad which theoretically should be better than a standard 120 mm AIO option. The exact measurements for the liquid cooling must be no longer than 302 mm, 23 mm thick and of course 120 mm wide.
Then to refresh our memory of the facts about how this case stands out from the highly successful NCase M1, DAN A4-SFX or the Ghost S1, please keep scrolling:
* Compact ITX case with a total volume of 9.7 L using the sandwich/parallel inner separate CPU/GPU chambers connected via a flexible 3rd gen riser card.
* The case is milled out of solid blocks of 6061-T6 aluminium resulting in insane build quality and robustness instead of sheets of metal like other cases. No wonder this is worthy of the legendary hammer belonging to Thor. I mean 5 mm thick panels, just wow !
* To maximize ease of assembly, the interior frame/core is completely removable. This way it also doubles as a fully functional test workbench. Another trick that comes with this modular design is the fact that you can flip the core so you have complete choice in how the components will orientate. So you can have the AIO for example breath in from the top side.
* You get 3x color option for the anodized metal finishing, which is done by bead-blasting, in ‘Steel’ (light grey), ‘Dark’ (dark grey) and ‘Stealth’ (black) with the option for tempered glass panels or metal vented ones.
* The cherry on top is the option of an integrated Bluetooth/motherboard controlled RGB setup to make your rig feel even more alive.
* You can mount CPU coolers up to 51 mm tall, GPUs up to 322 mm long and 51 mm wide including the back plate, 120 mm AIO or a 240 mm rad but with only one fan, SFX(-L) PSUs, RAM up to 55 mm in height, 2x 2.5 drives and a couple of 120 mm slim or regular fans depending on internal hardware choice.
Well (moving) pictures are worth (more than) a 1000 words so here is the prototype in action via Optimum Tech:
For the finished look, here are some tutorials from the creators themselves which should answer any questions you might have. The first one covers the easiest setups, regarding air-cooling for the CPU.
In this one we find out the best order to install the components if you plan to cool your CPU with a 120 mm AIO, with excellent pointers for how to even pre-bend your PSU cables.
The last one shows us the modular panel options and how easy it is to flip the interior.
Conclusions – So far
Plain and simple, it is really cool, practical, modular and overbuilt ! I know how an ITX case sounds, weighing a little over 3 Kg, but if you want something that will last you many new configurations to come, you can’t beat milled out construction. For me alone, the term overbuilt is so rare these days and for this spec alone, I am hooked.
Price wise, yes it is still more expensive than our regular trio (A4, M1, S1) – all of the available pledges are here – but it has a lot to offer considering no other mITX case can brag with a reversible core, bomb-proof design, integrated RGB and all the other goodies we discussed.
Don’t forget to check out the in-depth thermal results supplied by THOR-ZONE as well (link), where you can see how it performs depending on how you orientate the core and the case fans.
Will this replace my DAN A4-SFX as my main rig? Time will tell when I test one and provide a full review. In the mean time, mark Q2 on your calendars for next year, because that’s when these puppies will ship, if you are one of the backers.