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  • Z Throckmorton - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Thanks again, Dustin. I wholeheartedly agree that the Arc Midi is about as good as it gets for just under $100. I've used it for a handful of builds and it has become my go-to Benjamin case for many of the reasons you highlight - it's very good at stock and great when you take the time tweak it a bit (primarily, replace its fans or at least volt mod them). That said, I'm surprised that you'd put the IN-WIN BUC slightly ahead, or even really near the Arc Midi. In my opinion the BUC feels noticeably cheaper, it's harder to work with, and while looks are subjective, it's hideous compared to the Arc Midi. The Corsair 400R is a compelling alternative, but its rounded, bulbous, flared accents make it look like something the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man might design. The customers for whom I've assembled systems in the Arc Midi rave about it. Reply
  • ckryan - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Dustin, do you actually have time to do anything other than review cases?

    I agree about the aesthetics of the 400R, but questionable styling is an epidemic in all case segments. I know that many of the readers here at AnandTech are more likely to enjoy understated and classic styling cues than ostentatious adornment. The Arc is not hideous, which is always a plus in my book. But I've taken a different approach than in the past, and I prefer to have as little venting as possible on the case sides, as well as the front and the back where possible. It sounds counter productive, but I've been able to achieve both high performance and almost-silence with just a little work and the right components. Sandy Bridge has gone a long way to getting performance to noise ratios down, and Seasonic's X series (with fan and without) make a huge difference, and going all SSD is fantastic if you can swing it. Perhaps the next generation of GPUs can bring the same level of performance and low noise to the table, as I think every one deserves a quiet system. The case will always make a huge difference, but the fans in cases are always going to be an issue -- I just plan on replacing them, and if I don't have to, then it's all the better.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, October 08, 2011 - link

    You'd be surprised. I'm almost done with Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I also play Magic, hang out with friends and my cat, and get swirlies from all the jocks who scream "NEERRRD" whenever I walk by. Reply
  • ckryan - Sunday, October 09, 2011 - link

    I'm AM so jealous! You mean the jocks actually talk to you?

    I bet all the cool kids were copying off of you in that senior-level Case Review Dynamics class you had after homeroom.
    Reply
  • KamikaZeeFu - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    "And while it looks like the enclosure is capable of supporting a 240mm radiator, clearance above the motherboard is pretty tight as it is, so I wouldn't recommend it."

    Check again, the arc is the most dual Rad friendly case you can probably get. It's wider than other cases, and the top mounts are positioned to the left of the case.
    This creates enough clearance for the thickest of radiators. The fractal design product page even has a picture of a fat Rad mounted with motherboard inside.
    The case is wide enough that the Rad clears the ram easily, with a few inches of room even!
    Reply
  • KamikaZeeFu - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Also the top mounts allow a variety of fans being mounted, 2x120/140 or a 180 maybe even a 200 Reply
  • cjs150 - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    You beat me to it.

    Really, really poor work by the reviewer, 5 mins on the Fractal Website would have given the reviewer a clue.

    This is the first cheap case that is designed for water cooling. There are a couple of things I would change (start with the fans) but nothing major.

    This is the case for my next build
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    But isn't a cheap water build kind of an oxymoron?

    Perhaps its a growing market, but I still feel that water is pretty niche. Buying a $200 case is probably fine for those who already have the time and money to invest.

    But it's always good to have more options in the market.
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Saving money on the case allows me to spend more on the other bits of water cooling.

    Water cooling is for most of us - a bit of fun, an expensive hobby, good for silent computer and (when the **** thing leaks again) wonderfully frustrating
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    You'll note that the review says, "While it looks like the enclosure is capable of supporting a 240mm radiator, clearance above the motherboard is pretty tight as it is, so I wouldn't recommend it." Not recommending something isn't the same as saying it won't work. For the record, I wouldn't recommend water-cooling at all. It isn't much better than air-cooling, and the potential for things to go really bad (i.e. leaking) is enough of a concern that I just wouldn't bother.

    Given the appropriate choice of a radiator, motherboard, etc. you can certainly get everything to work well. However, spending $200 on water-cooling and putting it in a $100 case just isn't a common need or desire. It's not about it being a "fun hobby" or even silent; if you want silent you're going to want a better case in the first place. Not that this is a bad case, but thin metal and plastic won't be as good as thicker metal, no plastic, and sound dampening material. By the time you make a few judicious upgrades to the Arc Midi, you could have purchased a different case that already includes those "extras".
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Jared you are making things worse for yourself.

    Radiators come in various thicknesses typically from about 34mm up to fat boys at 60mm. According to the Fractal website and other reviews the Arc supports up to 60mm thick radiators (although then it is tight). So a 34mm thick radiator would have about 1" of clearance

    If we take you at face value then surely you should be consistent and say that any case which has air cooling with clearance of less than 1" or 25mm is too tight and you would not recommend it.

    The price of the case is not as important as the quality of the design. If the side panels are a bit thin then stick some dampening foam on them (cost maybe $50 at worst). Up to now one of the best water cooling cases (maybe the best) has been the Silverstone TJ07 which is a lot more expensive, internal air flow is dreadful and needs some careful modding to make the water cooling work best. For someone like me who uses micro-ATX boards and storage is an SSD plus one HD, the Silverstone is completely overkill.

    The way Fractal have thought about the design is impressive and makes for a great case for watercooling without ANY (or at worst ditching one of the drive cages) modding. It could be better, but then again virtually every case on the market could be improved one way or another.
    Reply
  • whatthehey - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Spoken like a true watercooling zealot. Thanks for that subjective evaluation, CJS!

    Just because something FITS doesn't mean it fits WELL. And just because you can pour a lot of money into a Honda Civic and turn it into a rice racer doesn't mean you won't end up looking like a douchebag. For the 1% of the market that uses water-cooling, the pertinent question is this: does the Arc Midi work better or worse than other options?

    There are always exceptions, but most watercooled PCs that I've seen are in large full-tower cases, and the people use such cases because:

    1 - You want all the room you can get for the radiator and reservoir.
    2 - You're not going to move the PC around much anyway.
    3 - More room to build means you can put the watercooling to good use by having dual GPUs and the chipset all cooled by the same loop.

    I don't dispute that the Arc Midi can use a 240mm radiator, but I would strongly dispute anyone claiming that it's one of the better cases for watercooling. Perhaps Anandtech could have worded things better, but I'm in agreement with them on not recommending this case for watercooling.
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Monday, October 10, 2011 - link

    Zealot - I wish. At home I run 3 computers, one is passive, one is aircooled and one is water cooled.

    The passive one is a server, never gives any trouble but the mini-ITX case design (and integrated PSU - have these guys not realised that the world moved to 24 pin ATX cables years ago) could be a lot better.

    The air-cooled one is old faithful. It is noisy, needs the dust bunnies cleaned out every 6 months but is still going strong after 8 years, it is in an old coolermaster case and the design was pretty basic back then, for starters the "stealth" optical drive bay covers were useless.

    The water cooled one is the power house and gaming machine and to be honest a hobby. Although it only needs cleaned every 6-9 months, cleaning is a bit more complicated than the air cooled one. But it is very very quiet. It is in the Silverstone and anyone who has used that case knows that the design is deeply flawed (lack of airflow), it looks beautiful but not all the holes line up perfectly.

    Anyway back to the Fractal. People who know a lot more about water cooling than me are very impressed. The top rad placement is excellent because it is not dead centre of the top but shifted away from the motherboard to allow more room for bigger radiators.

    I probably would not use this case for a full ATX motherboard and quad SLI, but as I said I prefer micro-ATX boards. The only things that defintely need water cooled are the CPU and GPU(s). These days I am not convinced the chipset needs cooling, some people water cool the power delivery capacitors, but with a top radiator you are going to have a fan directly above them so that looks unnecessary. There is bags of room for a reservoir - use of the 5.25 bays or, given that the rear fan goes if you have a radiator up top, maybe where the rear fan is

    As I said the Fractal is not perfect, not convinced by the plastic front - and the front should definitely be re-tooled to support a front mounted radiator. But it is a lot better designed than many much more expensive cases. I have one on order for my next build
    Reply
  • Zebo - Sunday, October 09, 2011 - link

    I've water cooled since athlon XP days and never had a leak and that was when manufactures were clueless about galvanic corrosion. Today with delrin tops and like metals you should have zero issue. Reply
  • Tigashark - Sunday, October 09, 2011 - link

    Agree, if you end up with leaking issues you didnt put your loop together properly. Galvanic corrosion is one thing anyone looking into water SHOULD know about before they buy.

    I spent ~ 12 hours cutting, checking, rechecking, dissasembling, fittting, testing on my 1st custom loop, at that has been running 24/7 for the last 2 1/2 years.

    For those who dont get WHY you watercool, its simple , Water is 100 times more efficient at transferring heat than air.

    Running CPU/Chipset/GPU under water and temps are *significantly* better than air for 24/7/365 operation.

    Water is definitely worth the investment in time and money, and for those who dont have direct experience, you simply cant judge water performance on the pre-made "water cooling" loops such as those offered by Corsair.

    The diff between those sealed units and a custom loop is night and day.

    Other than that looks like a nice case, not sure how it would go with a custom loop however, looks like it would be cramped.
    Reply
  • Kiste - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Looking at the gaping hole in the side panel (which doesn't even seem to come with a dust filter), I don't buy the statement that with "the "low" fan setting it's among the quietest". That's simply not possible, unless Fractal Design innovated some magic anti-sound tech that changes the laws of physics. Reply
  • KamikaZeeFu - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    I think that statement was meant as "compared to other sub $100 enclosures" Reply
  • Kiste - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    There are sub $ 100 enclosures without these idiotic side panel cutouts. It's a problem with the cutouts, not the price. Reply
  • Kegetys - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    In the R2 you can flip the side panels, ie. put the one with the fan grille to the right side. I find this helps to silence the noise quite a bit if you dont need the side fan. It looks like it might be possible to do it in this as well. Reply
  • UNHchabo - Monday, October 10, 2011 - link

    Hmm... I have an R3, and I never even thought of doing that!

    I still have the grille cover on, so I doubt it will make any difference to noise, but it will make a difference to the aesthetics!

    I'll try it out; thanks!
    Reply
  • beginner99 - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    I'm quiet surprised about the noise. I'm not sure that buying new fans helps much. i have the fractal R2 and those fans are inaudible, ok they don't have very good air flow but still. The noise comes from the GPU and probably cpu cooler and not the case fans and hence replacing them will mainly help improve cooling.
    But then if you want quiet you would not buy this case anyway.
    Reply
  • Iketh - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    For some reason, this article got me thinking about tiptronic fans... what happened to them?? I can't find in google searches Reply
  • Kepe - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    I strongly recommend you guys at Anandtech check out and review the Define R3. The internal and external layouts are pretty much identical despite differing aesthetics on the outside. What the R3 has over the Arc Midi, though, is noise insulation all over the case. It also has removable noise insulation pieces for those fan intakes and exhausts that are not occupied by a fan. This way you can choose to have a VERY quiet case, or a very well ventilated case that is still quite quiet.

    I have the R3 with 2 intake fans in the front, 1 intake fan at the bottom and 1 exhaust fan at the back. This creates a nice overpressure that ensures there is minimal dust build-up in the case. When idling, the computer is very quiet. So quiet in fact, that when I come home from somewhere, I can't even hear if the thing is turned on or off (I have a small 1 room apartment). Also the thermals are astonishing. My Gigabyte GTX 560 Ti runs at 34 degrees Celsius when idle, and never reaches 75 degrees Celsius in Furmark.

    The Define R3 cost me 75€ here in Finland (and we have huge taxes on everything), so I think it should be in the same exact price range as the Arc Midi.
    Reply
  • barry spock - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Yes, similarly I have the define mini. It has a lot of the same components as the arc here. For me the rubber access grommits did come loose, but apart from that I quite like it. Reply
  • Cyleo - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Seriously, I've been waiting for this to be reviewed by Anand. I've had a hard time choosing between the R3, Carbide 400R and this one for a couple of weeks now and been hoping Anand would at least review one of them (your reviews can be a real dealbreaker for me). It didn't make my choose any easier, I still love the design of the fractal's and Anand hasn't reviewed the R3 (yet?) but I have some new arguments now. Any tips/suggestions from the other good chaps around here? Reply
  • Kepe - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    As I mentioned in my post above yours, I would definitely recommend the R3. It has the same layout but with very good noise insulation (even on the side panel fan mount) that lets you decide how exactly the air circulates in your case. But I do recommend at least 1 extra intake fan with the R3. With stock cooling, performance isn't that great. It's not bad, but it isn't industry-leading either. Reply
  • hechacker1 - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    I agree.

    I also have the R3, and the stock fan configuration can be lacking depending on your needs.

    1. If you populate all the hard drive bays (it makes an excellent RAID box case), you will need another fan in the front.

    2. If you have a hot chipset, you will either need a bottom or side panel mounted fan. My X58 chipset was crashing due to heat in the summer (110F outside), and putting on a low noise side panel fan solved the issue.

    3. It's default configuration is damn near silent compared to the ambient noise. You could significantly improve it buying a few higher quality low noise fans. And this is on a gaming PC/RAID box config. I can hear the hard drives over the fans.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    I just requested the R3, but I have a pretty hefty backlog of cases to review still.

    Honestly without knowing about the R3, between the 400R and the Arc Midi it's a tough call. I think I'd probably lean toward the Arc Midi, but I'd definitely populate the side vents with low-speed intake fans.
    Reply
  • Kepe - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Personally, I don't like side intake fans. A friend of mine actually installed a side intake fan to his rig, but all it did was raise the GPU temperature. This might have something to do with airflow and turbulence messing up the airflow to the GPU fan. Of course the placement of the side panel cutout for the fan affects this too. I don't remember the make and model of the case he uses, but it is a 50-70€ gaming case from a well-known manufacturer.

    If you want more airflow for the GPU, it's at least worth a shot to install a fan to the bottom of the case.
    Reply
  • Z Throckmorton - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    If your friend has an intake fan at the front of the case towards the bottom, tell him to try that lower side fan as an exhaust rather than as an intake. IME that lowers GPU temperatures. Reply
  • Daedalus454 - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    I did a lot of airflow experimentation with a couple of cases. I found that without exception, a side intake fan raised my GPU temperature, in some circumstances by up to 7 C. I theorize that blowing across the video card's intake lowers the air pressure in the GPU cooler enough that the GPU fan has trouble getting the air it needs.

    I'm using a Fractal Design R3 now too. I'm running two 120mm fans on the front intake, a 140mm fan in the bottom intake, a single 120mm fan on the rear exhaust, and 140mm fan top exhaust, trying to for the same high-pressure dust-resistance that you were going for. All the fans are the inexpensive Yate Loons. With all the fans on high, the only sound from the case is the soft whisper of rushing air, and my hardware runs very cool.
    Reply
  • Kepe - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Sounds pretty much like my configuration. I have the stock coolers still in place; 1 in the front, 1 in the back. In addition to those, I have a Noctua NF-S12 as a second intake in the front (used to be my CPU cooler fan, but I bought a new one when I bought the case), and some unknown 120mm 24V Papst model running at 12V and creating huge amounts of airflow (I stole/rescued it from work) at the bottom of the case, blowing air to the GPU cooler. The Papst makes a bit too much noise and I'm thinking about either lowering its voltage to 7V or buying a new fan altogether. Might as well replace the stock fans at the same time, too.

    Anyways, I love the R3 since it gives so many options as to how my case is cooled, and the noise insulation is amazing. I used to have an NZXT Lexa Blackline, which has to be one of the most beautiful cases I've ever seen. But it was loud. I usually turned off my computer when going to bed because of the noise, but now I don't need to. The only gripe I have about the R3 is the bright power LED on top of the front of the case. It is way too bright and actually lights up my apartment at night.

    Now I'm going way off topic, but I don't understand the use of bright LEDs in places where you only need to see some sort of light coming out. My new wireless N router has a blinking bright blue light that shoots me straight in the eye when sleeping. Also the Logitech speaker system I have, but don't use anymore, has a hugely bright blue LED that actually was a pretty nasty disturbance when watching movies on my computer. My point is why do manufacturers use these overly bright LEDs in applications where they actually disturb people? A regular LED isn't too bright, but one can see if it is on or not just fine.
    Reply
  • TrackSmart - Saturday, October 08, 2011 - link

    I've never found that very high air flow changed component temperatures by more than 1-3C under load, as long as air was flowing properly in the case (e.g. no dead spots for air to get trapped in).

    Granted, I build systems with relatively low noise and power consumption in mind. Think quad-core 95W TDP processors and sub 200W TDP graphics cards.

    Honestly, I think this case has too much ventilation for most builds. I'd rather have the sides and bottom sealed completely and have air move from the bottom front (intake) and out the top rear. The case would be quieter, require fewer fans, and probably have similar thermals. That's been my experience with modifying cases and testing component temperatures and noise.
    Reply
  • marvdmartian - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    1. yes, replacing fans is pretty easy, and most enthusiasts will have some sitting on a shelf somewhere, for easy/quick replacement. HOWEVER, 120mm fans are a whole lot more commonly found in said enthusiast's stash than 140mm fans, I would imagine. While the slightly larger fan might move a little more air, if it's going to be replaced, it's not going to be cheap to do so.

    2. I know many people love the sideways mounted hard drive cages. Personally, I loathe them, as I really don't have a need to swap out drives all that often (so the easy access is wasted on me, and, I imagine, many others as well), and the lower air flow past the drives is in no way a positive aspect. My question, then, is why has no case designer come up with a way to offer BOTH methods of hard drive mounting? Seriously, it can't be that difficult to design a cage-style hard drive mounting area that, with the removal of a handful of screws, can be turned 90 degrees and secured again. Shoot, you could even make it one or two screws, and a pivot mount at the top and bottom, since hard drives aren't as long as a case is wide.

    Sorry, but in my opinion, a $100 case is going to have to offer much more than this, for me to shell out my money (especially in today's economy).
    Reply
  • Fractal Design - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    1. Apart from the front fans (which are fitted with clips), all fan positions can be fitted with 120mm fans, since they have extra screw holes for that.

    2. In our opinion, the biggest benefit of sideways mounted HDD's, isn't the improved accessibility. What we and, I believe, our users, like the most is the improved cable management. Instead of having all those cables sticking out over the MB, you get them out behind the HDD's towards the MB plate, which allows for a very neat build.

    Actually, your wish of rotatable HDD cage have already been granted in the Arc Midi! It wasn't mentioned in the review, but you can both remove the middle HDD cage and rotate it 90 degrees.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Actually, Dustin did mention the rotatable HDD cage (page 2):

    "Opening up the Arc Midi reveals a thoughtful interior that takes a lot of cues from Corsair while improving a bit on their design. Fractal Design includes two drive cages with four drive sleds each, and the top drive cage can actually be either rotated ninety degrees or removed entirely. In the default configuration, the metal drive sleds (metal instead of cheap plastic!) orient the drives facing behind the motherboard tray."

    Easy to miss with all the other stuff, though. :-)
    Reply
  • Kepe - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Yes, sideways mounted HDDs are way better than longitudinally mounted. The main reason for me is that longitudinally mounted HDDs tend to stick out so much that it's impossible to install an HDD to the height within the case where a long graphics card is installed. I.E. a long gfx card blocks at least one HDD position when the HDD mounts are longitudinal. This is of course in midi towers. Fullsize cases don't have this problem. Reply
  • lwatcdr - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    You mentioned how sometimes the stand-offs/studs will come out when you swap motherboards. Ever think about using a little locktite on them when you installe them in the case?
    Even a small dab of superglue should work. the cool thing is that if ever need to remove the stud just get a socket that fits it and it will come right out. Superglue is week in shear
    Reply
  • kyuu - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    What I'd like is for these companies to start offering an option of buying just the case without any of the cheap crap case fans. I like the case, but it's a waste to pay for the included fans and then buy some good fans separately. Reply
  • Kepe - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    Actually the fans Fractal Design uses aren't that bad at all. They are very quiet when operating at 0 - 3/4 of how much the fan controller knob that comes with the case turns. The last 1/4 ups the sound level so that the sound of the air moving becomes clearly noticeable. But still the fans don't produce any whining or other kinds of extra noises. It's just the sound of the air humming by them. Reply
  • lwatcdr - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    How about a case shoot out with a difference.
    How about the Fracal Design Arc Midi vs the BitFenix Merc Alpha?
    Except spend $60 on upgrading the Alpha. Use the money to put in better fans and such.

    Now hear me out before people jump on me.
    For a lot of builders they enjoy the act of building and improving. So it would be interesting to see if a hobbiest would be better off modding the Alpha vs buying the Midi.
    You can do the same thing with the Midi vs a more expensive case
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    I like the case. I might recommend it or the smaller brother, Arc Mini.

    However, I personally don't understand the obsession with:
    a) tool less installation in general and
    b) tool less installation of drives especially.

    I don't assemble / tear apart my cases that it is a big concern. And having actual screws to tighten gives me a better feeling. Depending on the approach, tool less drive assembly might also inhibit my ability to install non-drive stuff in the cages, for example water cooling equipment, fan controllers, back planes etc., when they use non-standard holes.
    This stuff may be important for big OEM who assemble millions of PCs. But for me as someone who assembles PCs for myself and friends and family, I see no reason to go with tool less, if I can avoid it. :-)

    But a good review overall! And I like that you guys are tackling a lot of normal-budget cases. I don't see the appeal in huge 200 to 300USD cases that can house 10 HDDs and 4 GFX cards. :D
    Reply
  • bhima - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    I'm sort of glad the noise levels were only OK, it makes my purchase of an Antec 902 feel I little bit more justified. Reply
  • bunnyfubbles - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    plenty of space for a mid tower build and was easily one of the most pleasurable experiences I have ever had when actually putting the computer together, I can't really recall any instance where I was stumped or struggled on how or where i was going to route my cable management

    http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/2272/dsc0120tq....

    moved the top 140mm fan to the front to have dual 140 intakes and make room for the 240mm rad of the H100, and added an aftermarket NZXT 140mm to the bottom as an intake

    right now my biggest gripe is the side panel which allows for either at 140mm or 180mm fan could be improved as the 200mm round fans have mounting holes that are actually in between the 140mm and 180mm dimensions they provide and thus are simply not an option to install without some sort of mod.

    A filter would also be nice for the side panel otherwise I'm more inclined to use it as an exhaust but that would likely upset positive pressure

    all in all it has easily been one of my absolute favorite cases to work with thus far, I'm tempted to buy another and convert some old systems
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Monday, October 10, 2011 - link

    That is one very nice clean build. I think I can spot my favourite Gentle Typhoons on the Rad.

    Do you need that many intake fans? Personally I would be tempted to pop in a thick 140mm rad at bottom (or front if you are not using the drive cage) a cool the GPU and CPU. But that is the problem with water cooling - once you start it is difficult not to tinker
    Reply
  • Malih - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    I finally swing to Fractal Design after reading this review and seeng the build quality of the Arc Midi, and reading several other reviews,

    but I was looking to build a silent system, and I also think about microATX system, so I decided to get the Define Mini, there's a "bug" in the case regarding multi-GPU setup, but since I'm not thinking of going multi-GPU (budgetwise), I decided to get the Define Mini.
    Reply
  • radium69 - Saturday, October 08, 2011 - link

    When are you guys going to review the Xigmatek cases?
    They a lot of midi towers that are very sleek and considered to be big value.
    Cheers,
    Kevin
    Reply
  • Zebo - Sunday, October 09, 2011 - link

    Just another el cheapo paper thin case. I have not seen a good case since wave master had like 3mm thick aluminum everywhere. Reply
  • snapdrag0n - Sunday, October 09, 2011 - link

    CM Storm still the best pound for pound at this price range. Reply
  • Bazzatron - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    The Fractal Design Define R3 is about the same price here in the UK. (About £75)

    Weighs a ton - combined with a "Be Quiet" PSU is the most silent PC I've ever built

    Very impressed with this case
    Reply
  • ggathagan - Friday, October 14, 2011 - link

    You don't mention any details about the top I/O ports, but the specs list one USB 3 port and two USB 2 ports. The pictures indicate the use of the USB 3 motherboard connection that has, thankfully, become more common.
    Given that connector, the choice of a single USB 3 port seems odd.
    If space limitations only allowed for 3 I/O ports, I would have thought that just two USB 3 ports or two USB 3 ports and an eSATA port would have been a better choice.
    Reply
  • ilkhan - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Take this case, swap to a mini-ITX mobo, chop off everything above the 3.5" drive bays and you'd have a pretty impressive 8 disk mini-server case. Reply

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