Back to Article

  • StevoLincolnite - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Seems black is the new beige these days. :( Reply
  • Belard - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    I thought it was the "new beige" 10 years ago.

    I've been using silver and white cases for years... I've never owned a black case for my main desktop.
  • Sabresiberian - Saturday, April 14, 2012 - link

    Hmm, no, beige was still the most common case color for a person building their own a decade ago.

    Black is better for 2 reasons, in my opinion; it fades from view better if it's a background piece of hardware you don't care to look at anyway, and, particularly if it's plastic, doesn't develop that old look beige does.

    My least favorite is silver paint or poorly finished aluminum; they seems to look the worst over time (again, my preference, it may not be yours :) ).

  • vol7ron - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    Yeah I had Black 10+ years ago, moved to silver 6 years ago, next one will either be a two-tone white/silver, or wood (veneer). Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Saturday, April 14, 2012 - link

    You'd prefer this was beige? Reply
  • jaydee - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    I don't see any exposed USB or headphone/mic ports on the top or front of this case, but they're listed in the spec sheet. Where are they? Reply
  • Light65 - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    It's on the right hand side of the case... click on the right side of the case and you should see it up front... Reply
  • jaydee - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    I see it now. Kind of an odd place to put them... Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I saw this case at Microcenter. It's a nice case, but the side ports are a terrible idea. I'd rather they go top mounted on a mATX. Otherwise it seemed like a very solid build. Reply
  • Azuredragoon - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Haha, this is hilarious, but that's the exact spot I need my ports with the way my table is set up Reply
  • sicofante - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Sharkoon makes two models almost identical to the one reviewed here, the MS120 and MS140. The differences are: front ports are actually at the front, and the HDD tray is not removable. Otherwise, the manufacturer is obviously the same. The MS120 has two 120mm fans at the front. The MS140 has a single 140mm fan.

    I found them while searching for an alternative to the Fractal Design model because of the side ports. The price is virtually the same too.
  • Sabresiberian - Saturday, April 14, 2012 - link

    Haha "almost identical" - except the ports, the hard drive tray, and the fans?

    Sorry, not really picking on you but that made me laugh.

    There seems to be this thing these days about using words or phrases like "identical" and "exactly like" when those adjectives don't apply at all. It either makes me laugh, or if it's someone with a computer problem I'm trying to help, it makes me roll my eyes; It seems to me that when someone says something like "My friend Joe Bob has a computer exactly like mine, and it doesn't do that", I find out that Joe Bob's computer is only alike, most often, in that they are both computers.

  • sicofante - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    Have you even checked the links?

    The boxes are identical indeed where it matters: the architecture of the chassis. It's the finishing that changes, exactly on the places where it's needed by many (front ports or fan choice, and the tray being removal or not). So "almost identical" is exactly the right expression here.
  • valinor89 - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Well, if it has decent thermal and acoustic qualities and everything I need fits inside I don't need much more. I have allways used crappy boxes and I put them on the desk besyde me.
    I just use headphones when playing or up the volume when I'm alone.
    I prefer to spend my money on a better GPU than on a box which I open once in a wile to clean. I usually avoid changing the mobo or CPU as far as I can so ease of use is not a factor for me.
    If I had to change those every week I would tell you diferent but...
    The only problem I see is the lack of USB 3 but I can allways use the rear ports if I need to.
  • Rick83 - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    You might want to be able to fit a mATX mainboard though ;)

    This, depending on the specific board, is apparently very tricky, due to the missing few millimeters of overall length.
    So, there's probably other boxes that may be slightly better, within this same price bracket.
  • Sabresiberian - Saturday, April 14, 2012 - link

    I tend to agree that if you want to save money on your build, the case is the best place to do that, because it least effects the quality when your system is up and running. The potential problems are, of course, cooling and noise, especially cooling, as a system that's too noisy for you will still run, but poor ventilation can stop you dead.

    That being said, a case lasts a long time, and can easily be used for several builds. I have an Antec that's around 10 years old that I still use, and I don't see why I couldn't use it, aesthetics aside, for another 20 - except it's too small for my main computer build. Back then, overclocking-intentional CPU coolers weren't half the size of a shoebox, and I wasn't thinking about a multiple graphics card setup, or even having more than 2 hard drives (one was enough for me at the time). The cooling design is weak, and I've heavily modified it for the build that it holds now..

    So, if I buy a case today, I want a case that will be able to handle all I can foresee doing with it, which really means a 10-slot case. I want it to be able to fit whatever PSU and cooling solution I put in it. I may actually build in that case for the rest of my computer building life. Viewed with all those points in mind, how expensive is a $200-300 case, when it lasts me at least a decade?

    Viewed that way, such an investment could be seen as the cheapest way to go, in that it gives me more proverbial bang for my buck, and it will be very unlikely that I need to replace it for hardware build reasons. Regardless, viewed as $30 a year, a case price of $300 isn't all that much, even if your income and budget make a $300 price tag a big deal for you..

  • PubFiction - Saturday, April 14, 2012 - link

    I think most people skimp on the case and PSU, Neither has much effect on performance. The problem I see with this is that, the case is the one item you can carry through multiple builds without any problems. It also has a decent resale value, a good case is almost always good. So I prefer to buy a good case I like and then skip on one of the parts that will be replaced in a year or so anyway like the GPU. Reply
  • Taft12 - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    My cousin has this case, and I have a very different opinion than Dustin. It's absolutely perfect for any low-mid range system. Many of the complaints are about things nobody should be doing with a $40 mATX case:
    -aftermarket tower-style 120mm CPU cooler
    -higher-end video card with 2 PCIE power connectors
    -more than 2 hard drives

    For anything up to and including a Llano or i3 system with or without a no-power-connector video card, I couldn't name a better case since it fits in the budget perfectly. Even a modular PSU is not budget-appropriate, but I expect readers of this site would know to use a zip tie to bundle up all those unused connectors and stuff it into the space between the top of the case and the optical drive.

    If we move up a notch to an i5 or FX CPU plus a HD6850 or better video card, a $40 case is no longer in line with the budget, and we'll move up to something with the frills Dustin has been spoiled by that come with cases 2-5x more expensive.

    Looks great of course, much better than anything you could find at Newegg at a <$50 price point.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    I'd be willing to concede on some of those points, but I've known too many people that keep adding more hard drives, and a thermal design like this one benefits strongly from a tower style heatsink. Reply
  • Meaker10 - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    At the same time, so long as you are not in the business of replacing the cooler often, what difference does it make? Reply
  • Meaker10 - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Also once you reach much higher end (gaming wise) you will probably have a large single drive + SSDs or even just SSDs that take a single slot and sit them in an optical bay. Reply
  • Spivonious - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Agreed with all but the hard drive comment.

    Unless you're shooting for overclocking records, the stock cooler that comes with Intel's chips is more than enough, is quiet, and is very short.

    Most people building a mATX PC are going to use the onboard graphics, or at most a $100-level video card.

    Hard drives are always welcome though. Most start with one or two and then add as they need more space instead of replacing older drives with newer larger ones. Personally, I have 5 drives in my C2D build that I've acquired over the past six years. I appreciate a case that makes room for them.
  • dave1_nyc - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    I wanted to start this with "Do you really find the Intel stock cooler quiet?", but obviously you do or wouldn't have said so, and 'quiet' is in the ear of the beholder. And to be fair, it's free and given how little fin space it has, it works well. But.. maybe I'm just sensitive to the pitch or timbre of the sound, but I hate it.

    I recently built a file server and decided to go all the way down to an Intel G530. (And tangentially, I've been amazed at how capable it is; far more so than I had expected.)

    But I lived with the stock cooler only for about 2 days, and then replaced it with an $18-with-rebate CM Hyper 212 Plus. I know it seems silly to use a cooler that's almost half the cost of the CPU, but it's great: the CM is so understressed that the fan turns about 700 rpm most of the time and I can't hear it at all. Very nice.
  • Belard - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Yep... Empty Optical bays are made for storing cables and such. :)

    This case is no worse than the typical Dell / HP / Acer budget systems which are quite small, designed to hold 2 optical drives and 2 3.5" drives, nothing more.
  • zero2dash - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    It's arguably the nicest most feature rich case in that price range that is a small tower. Obviously you could get a BitFenix Outlaw or a Three Hundred for a little more but those are midtowers, not SFF towers.

    How many hard drives are people really filling up their PC's with that aren't servers?
    I have 2 drives in my Define R3, 1 drive in a Three Hundred, and 1 drive in a CM Elite 341.
    I really don't get the whole "8 3.5" HD bays" mentality that people have these days. If you're running a server (and it's not a rack), you're probably buying a large midtower or a full tower.

    No one with 8 HD's is going to put together a SFF, at least not without being sorely mistaken as to what they can and can't do.

    Also on the thermal performance....I'm assuming that all case reviews are done with stock cooling only and compared that way? I know it's somewhat of a given here but I would expect that if you added the side fan that the spot is there for, the internal thermals would be better on this case. Then again, those thermals would also be better with more fans added to the 1100 as well though, so the point is somewhat moot (but worth mentioning anyway).
  • Casper42 - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    I disagree with your statement about the drives. There is a middle ground and I'm right smack in the middle of it.

    I have a mATX Case and board but I have 5 SATA devices in use.
    1 Optical 5.25
    1 SSD 2.5
    3 HDD 3.5

    So while I don't need 8 drive bays, 4 would have certainly been great.

    On the flip side, I still dont see why cases need to have more than 2 5.25 bays and in mATX why would you need more than 1?
  • Pappnaas - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Has a spot for a 120 Fan in the back, but no front USB 3.0. Might not be available in the us, didn't check.
  • kmmatney - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    This has front USB 3.0 ports and looks like a nice case:

    I prefer the Antec 300 cases myself - have 3 of tmem at my house.
  • zero2dash - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    Almost identical to the CM Elite 341 I have.
    Nice thing about the 341 is the front CM badge is removable. :)
  • TrackSmart - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    From the review: "There's nowhere to mount a fan on the bottom of the enclosure, no openings on the top or the right side, and a single 120mm fan mount on the left side panel."

    No to be too critical, but Dustin writes this as if it were a bad thing! I'd be happier if they included a cover for the side vent, too. It would cut down on the noise and probably contribute to better front-to-back airflow. I think you have to evaluate "features" like a foolish number of vent openings based on the intended usage of the case. This happens to be a small, very inexpensive case that is clearly meant for modest builds. Just my 2 cents.
  • Iketh - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link


  • Casper42 - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    I agree as well.

    I think if this case was like a 1/4 inch wider, they could have gone with a 120mm Exhaust and all but eliminated the need for the side port.

    If they had either dropped to 1 optical bay or made the case a smidge taller, they would have completely avoided the problem with the Optical bay mount contacting the Mobo. The reviewer said to make the case longer, which might help for his mobo, but someone comes out with a mobo thats slightly longer and that plan goes to hell. Make the case a smidge taller and virtually any mATX board will now fit because you are under the 5.25 bay.

    My ideal mATX Case would have 1 5.25" Optical bay, 4 HDD mounts and 2 x 120/140mm intakes on the front.
    Then 120mm exhaust above the IO shield and some perforations above the PCIe slots so any lingering GPU heat can be pushed out due to positive pressure.

    On a normal ATX case, something I don't think most if any case builders have figured out is that you can really easily fit a 92mm fan in 4 empty PCIe slots mounted either inside or outside the case. This helps again with exhausting latent GPU heat.

    I'm a big proponent of traditional front to back cooling.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure it was intended as a negative; Dustin is merely pointing out the various aspects of this small enclosure that you don't get. I'd agree that the lack of bottom/top/right vents isn't a bad thing for the intended market. That's sort of the point: don't get this type of case for a high-end setup. Know the limitations (i.e. it works best with a smaller mATX mobo and modular PSU) and set your expectations accordingly. Reply
  • Spivonious - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Can we get something listed with each case for the size? Obviously a full ATX case is going to cool better than a tiny mATX case. Reply
  • Leyawiin - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Pop in an i3-21XX and a compact card like an HD 7850 and you'd have a decent little system. Both have pretty modest thermal output in relation to their performance. Reply
  • Silenus - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    I recently built a gaming system for a friend with this case. We were trying to keep it as small as possible while squeezing the budget as much as possible. In it are:
    Z68 board, i5-2500k overclocked, 92mm tower cooler, Radeon HD 6850, 2 x 3.5" hard drives.

    All told it works great. It is definitely tight but with some care taken on install and cable management it all works nicely. There is no room for expansion but we knew this going in. For the money and size it's a nice budget option IMO.
  • TrackSmart - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Sounds like a great build, though probably more CPU and GPU than I would have put in this little case - particularly with the overclock! I would have imagined something akin to a Core i3 + 6750/6770 and no overclock (i.e. a true budget system with modest gaming chops).

    Your build should be within the thermal limits, even if a bit hot, based on Dustin's overclocked configuration. If you have some thermal numbers for gaming situations (i.e. CPU/GPU temperatures) I'd love to see them.
  • marc1000 - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    I still dont understand how is it possible to fit 2 drives in there. the drives will go with the cables coming to the BACK of the case, is that it? wouldn't they interfere with the cables for the GPU? Reply
  • Belard - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Or its sister case, TJ08B-E?

    These mini-towers will only hold mATX motherboards (4 slot), and in reality - most people simply don't need 7/8 slot boards anymore. We can do SLI/CF with many mATX boards nowadays. I remember the says of having the HUGE Antec cases that were heavy and required 4 LOUD cooling fans to keep things... cool.

    I've gone as small as i can with my Antec P150, which has a regular ATX board that has never had anything more than a single video card nor a 2nd optical drive.

    I've seen this SS SST-PS07B in a FRYs store, it looks great inside and out... its $95, but doesn't look cheap at all. Includes 2 huge front fans with a easy to remove & clean filter. I'd prefer round power buttons, but oh well. It does have 2 USB 3 ports on the front.

    There is room for cable management in this flipped motherboard layout (Case opens from the right side, mobo upside-down).

    About this review on the Core 1000... it doesn't look good. Spend $5 more and get a much bigger HAF912 or an Antec 300. There are some people who will side mounted ports. I have my P150 inches from my keyboard. I wouldn't mind having the SS replace it (I think) as long as it performs well and can hold 3-4 SSD/HDs.

    Hence noise is important to me. My case is almost silent. There are louder things in my home, my room and outside. Reasons for a case OFF the floor is dirt, easy access to drives/ports, pets - like dogs can mean more hair getting into the vents. Cases on desks don't get kicked. Kids knocking into cases.

    Each their own... as people have different needs. A friend has little needs, but has a HUGE Thermaltake tower from 6+ years ago that is heavy... it'll hold 8 HDs easily. But he wants no computers on his desks... So we'll soon gut it out and stick in an i5-35xx in their soon. :)
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Covered them both.

    Look for TJ08-E and PS07 in our search bar.
  • tambok2012 - Saturday, April 14, 2012 - link

    I just got this pictures from our country philippines
  • mariush - Saturday, April 14, 2012 - link

    Our Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is by no means [..], but its 159mm height caused the tops of the heatpipes to press against the side panel, bowing it outward a little.

    Yeah, because someone who buys a $40-45 dollar case is obviously going to to buy a $30 cpu cooler when the retail processor come with a perfectly good stock cooler.

    How out of touch can some reviewers become...

    This is not a case designed for overclockers, no need for special coolers, the stock ones are fine for regular users.

    The only flaw I see is the small cage. A 4-5 unit one would meet more users' needs.
  • stoggy - Saturday, April 14, 2012 - link

    how disconnected? He is using a downward facing PS, in a top slot. That will severily reduce his ability to overclock too, extra heat.

    Lesson to learn, Its easier to cool more heat in a smaller space then it is to cool less heat in a greater space. Google it, check in Heating/AC, simple physics too.

    Possible solutions for reviewers concerns:

    1. Zip-Ties. We use to use them. Back when case mods ment saws and drills.
    2. Proper Power supply
    3. Grinder to lower the heat pipes, this might not be enough though, In which case i would suggest a drill. Probably with a 1/4" bit.
    4. Growing a pair.
    5. Have fun.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 14, 2012 - link

    "This is not a case designed for overclockers, no need for special coolers, the stock ones are fine for regular users."

    Speaking of being out of touch, who are you to say what a case is or isn't supposed to support? This is a review, and the point about the CPU cooler is exactly that: if you happen to be the type of user that has or plans to purchase an aftermarket cooler, the case has some cooler height limitations. That's useful information, and there are many (MANY) people that read AnandTech that are hardware enthusiasts who overclock just about every PC they own.

    Your comment is pretty much exactly what we've said: if you plan on a moderate config running stock, the case will work fine. Then again, if you're doing that, just about ANY case will work fine. If we tested with the stock Intel HSF, however, we'd be adding noise and reducing cooling efficiency, all in the name of saving $30. The same people that won't want to buy a superior $30 cooler also won't want to buy an i7-2700K, or an SSD, or a GTX 560 GPU, etc. We test with a higher end setup along with overclocked settings because if that will work in a case, then everything lower spec will also work.
  • mariush - Saturday, April 14, 2012 - link

    "...however, we'd be adding noise and reducing cooling efficiency, all in the name of saving $30"

    That's EXACTLY what most users buying this case did, give up features commonly found on larger cases to save 20-30$.

    The stock Intel and AMD coolers are not exactly low quality ones. Users can actually perform a reasonable overclocking with them - they don't HAVE TO buy a better cooler just to overclock.

    In such a small case, even with good coolers the cooling efficiency will be reduced. By the time you add a large video card and the large cpu heatsink into this case, you'll barely have any airflow at all.

    So coupling this case with high performance after market cooler doesn't really make sense, and by writing it out you make it seem like a flaw, instead of something obvious.

    For a real world example, why would I pay 40$ for this case, then pay 30$ for an aftermarket cooler, when I could just as well pay 60$ for an Antec Three Hundred case that comes from the start with a 140mm top fan and a 120mm side fan, has more "slots" for 120mm fans and better airflow due to the power supply being mounted at the bottom?

    The Antec 300 case coupled with a stock CPU cooler will almost definitely keep the processor cooler, compared to a large cooler in a crowded Fractal Design case.
  • samoya22 - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    The Antec 300!
    Oh, wait...that's not the...?
  • UltraTech79 - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    I spent 29.99 at compUSA about 8 yerars ago for a better case AND it came with a freakn 250W power supply that has not exploaded and killed anyone yet! (parents low power comp)

    This think is pure junk. Whats with the mesh in front? Why try and get fancy with limited funds? Stick with the basics. And a vent on the side? REALLY? If you fucking have a system that needs that extra kind of cooling, you sure as fuck have the money to toss $30 more at a case.
  • UltraTech79 - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    Already found a far supirior case for 10$ more. Free shipping. Why was this ugly piece of junk even reviewed??

    This guy is only 20$ ! And its still better!
  • Mugur - Monday, April 16, 2012 - link

    I don't think they are in the same class. Frankly I consider the case reviewed great for an inexpensive mATX build. And I'm sure that there are a lot of ugly tin and plastic 20$ cases... :-) Reply
  • GPCustomPC - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    Does the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo really fit inside this case? It states 150mm of clearance and the EVO is said to be 159mm. Reply
  • GPCustomPC - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    Never mind, I see now that the heat pipes were hitting the side of the case. I'll be sure to use a smaller cooler such as the CM Hyper TX3 if a customer requests an aftermarket cooler while using this case. Reply
  • DualCaesar - Tuesday, December 03, 2013 - link

    I bought it and it has a netting covering the front, I'm not sure if I should remove it or not.
  • Xoslicer 32 - Thursday, June 11, 2015 - link

    in what order do i connect the led lights and power button etc...Thanks! Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now