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  • bobbozzo - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    On page 1, "drive moderate-to-low voltage hardware" should probably be changed to "drive moderate-to-low wattage hardware". Reply
  • bobbozzo - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    My (fanless) firewall is an Atom motherboard running in a Morex T3310 case, which appears to be about the same size.
    It comes with a 60 or 80-watt external power brick and 80-watt internal DC-DC power supply.

    It only holds one 2.5" drive.

    It does not VESA mount.

    From your description of the Antec, the Morex may be easier to assemble, and may be a little better looking.

    The grill mesh is very fine on the Morex, so it's possible airflow would be worse.
    Reply
  • Belard - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    The photos show a VESA mount and a dual drive cage.

    But the heat is enough of a problem with just a single drive.

    It would be better to make it slightly bigger to have proper cooling.
    Reply
  • bobbozzo - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I was talking about my Morex case. Reply
  • londiste - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    i could get a fairly busy itx motherboard (based on the pictures, at least as busy as yours) into the case without taking out the power circuitry board.

    however, when trying to hide as much cables as possible away from the perforated side, and trying not to cover the ventilation slits in the side at the same time, i did have some trouble getting the side panel back on.

    i have to say that the power brick gets uncomfortably warm after heavy load already with my puny g620. i used to run the same system with a 80w picopsu and 60w brick which stayed considerably cooler...
    Reply
  • nethermancer - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I have one of these attached to the back of a 22" monitor and I cannot see the enclosure during normal use. This makes it like an All-in-one PC and my daughter really likes the small footprint in her room. I used an AMD A6-3500 triple core CPU and it really flies with an SSD and 4GB RAM. Could have done with a beefier PSU and allowed me to use a decent quad core CPU though. Antec managed a tiny 350W PSU on their minuet 350 case so why not here? Reply
  • Lonyo - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Well I would expect they should be able to get a 150w PSU in there, but then what exactly are you going to do with a 150w system in such a small case? It would probably burn up.
    Plus 90w is probably actually enough for a quad core CPU, as long as you aren't running it with any other hardware (which you can't).
    Reply
  • MrMilli - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Why does something like this need to be this expensive? There's barely any use of material, especially compared to full size towers. Reply
  • SodaAnt - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    It includes VESA mounting hardware and a power supply. Reply
  • MrMilli - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    VESA mounting kit: $5
    Delta PSU: $15

    So that doesn't explain the cost.

    You can buy decent mini towers including PSU for less than $50. Why does this need to be $80?
    Reply
  • sligett - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Well, there's an optimal size for anything. It costs more to make it larger, and it costs more to make it smaller. It also costs more to make something with non-standard parts. Sure, an ATX power supply is cheaper - they make them by the bazillions. And finally, if you *need* an enclosure this size, then you will pay to get it.

    That's life.
    Reply
  • plext0r - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I've been using the M350 case from mini-itx.com with my Zotac IONITX (Atom + Nvidia) motherboards and it's a great little case (MythTV). It includes the VESA mounting holes on the back (no bracket needed). I ended up sandwiching a Scythe 100mm x 12mm fan into the case since 40mm fans are too loud and I couldn't run fan less. Reply
  • Geraldo8022 - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I too think that is a nice little case (M350) with one exception; the power button is over the ATX connector. Makes for a barely doable installation. I use Sapphire E350 (Zacate). I have an SSd and a 500G 2.5 inch HD. I use the integrated graphics and it works for me. I also would like to see Express Mini PCI utilized more. I use a PICO and prefer it to what Antec has implemented. I plan on moving mine into some kind of flat bottomed duffel bag and start taking it into cafes rather than my laptop. This ITX system is mounted on the back of a 24in Asus IPS monitor. Involves a powerstrip and, of course, has no battery. I think someone is missing an opportunity by not making a specialized bag for something like this. I see these people with their little tablets and I will sit here with my 24 incher. Course I will just pack it from car so weight is not that big of a deal. We'll see. Reply
  • TrackSmart - Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - link

    That last part, about taking your 24" monitor + attached case out-and-about, is hilarious. Kind of like going back to the early suitcase-style computers where the top lid was a keyboard.

    Personally, I'd take one of the many cheap, lightweight, E350 powered laptops over your suitcase style E350 system, but I'd be amused if you actually did this.
    Reply
  • Seraphimcaduto - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I have this case as well, mine has a llano A8-3820, 8gb of ddr3 ram, a crucial m4 64GB and a 250GB WD HDD. I have to say that I love this case for its portability and power, but I had to mount an internal (low profile) 100mm processor fan to cool it better; the cooling was adequate before, but i was pushing the onboard graphics more than most (sane) people would. After using this case for several months, I can say a slightly larger power supply (even 120w) would be appreciated. Currently you are limited on your processor/main board selection and the extra 30w would greatly expand what you could use. Reply
  • Seraphimcaduto - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Forgot to say that I needed an extension cable for the 4-pin power connector as well and I used the asrock A75-itx. Only some of the asus mini-itx motherboards seem to have the 4-pin power socket close enough... Reply
  • coder543 - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    isn't the A8-3820 a mobile APU? how did you manage that? Reply
  • Seraphimcaduto - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_Fusion#section_...
    http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/processors/...

    Actually the A8-3820 is a revision of the A8-3800 CPU. Both processors are 65W desktop socket FM1 but are next to impossible to find, as mentioned in the review here of the Pudget AMD system with the same case. Both have the 6550D graphics, which means my little guy quite the portable LAN box.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Looking at the way wires end up jammed into every open space above the board it seems a pity none of the even smaller board sizes have gained any traction outside of with VIA. Using a slightly smaller board would allow for routing all of the thinner wires behind the board and then just having them pop up around the edges; leaving only the fat power cables clogging things up on top. The case doesn't have support for even a half height expansion card, which eliminates the main restriction against going smaller. Reply
  • Belard - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    They could have made it slightly bigger... making better airlflow perhaps as well as more room to hide some wiring. Since it has a power adapter, they could have made all the wires BLACK, including the USB to help make them disappear... actually, the inside should be painted black as well.

    This also shows how well the Apple MacMini is well designed, eh?
    Reply
  • SodaAnt - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Well, the mac min has a different set of design criteria. Apple doesn't have to fit a specific form factor, so they can mount pretty much everything on the board itself and do away with most of the cables. When you realize that you can get the same power as the $600 mac mini in a laptop $200 cheaper, you also realize how much more expensive it is.If antec were designing something like the mac mini, they could mount all the power hardware on the board, have a direct connection for the power, hdd, and fan. Further, the mac mini doesn't support two hard drives like this case does. Reply
  • sligett - Monday, September 03, 2012 - link

    Apple will sell you a Mac Mini with two drives:

    750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm + 256GB Solid State Drive
    Reply
  • deruberhanyok - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    a mini ITX motherboard with a pair of mini PCI Express slots. One for wifi and one for an SSD.

    You'd have less cabling and the SSD would get cooling from airflow off the CPU heatsink.

    Unfortunately, it seems mini ITX boards with mini PCI Express slots usually only have one. Still, better to put the SSD there and use a USB wifi dongle, I'd think.
    Reply
  • drfish - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I'm hoping to put an AMD A300 APU in one of these things. We don't need much power for the Solidworks models we produce but we do need the BS certified drivers so I'm hoping this will make a solid tiny workstation, err, a tiny Solidworkstation I guess. Reply
  • Termie - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Thanks for covering this hot new area of case design. I think ITX is really the way a lot of people will be going.

    While this case is smaller than I'd consider reasonable or necessary, it's definitely interesting to read about.

    I'd be very curious, however, what your opinion would be of two cases I recently considered for an ITX build:

    (1) The Antec ISK 310-150, the big brother to the ISK 110 (which has that extra PSU headroom you're wishing for).
    (2) The Bit Finex In Win BP655, which is just slightly larger than the ISK 310, and which I ultimately chose for a recent ITX build.

    The Antec is slightly smaller (in one dimension only - height (in the long direction), and also has venting for a PCIe video card. The Bit Finex is much cheaper, has more PSU headroom, takes a 3.5" drive and a full-size optical drive, and has just a bit more room to work in.

    Again, thanks for covering this area of case design!
    Reply
  • Termie - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Sorry, I mean In Win BP 655, not Bit Finex. Reply
  • Zap - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I'm using the ISK 300-150 (different face than the ISK 310-150, all black with flip-down)
    http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=22326...

    In Win traditionally has somewhat mediocre PSUs. At least Antec's is somewhat known, as a review site used a load tester on it (hardwaresecrets?) and found it does put out what it claims without issues, other than lower efficiency than what is now considered normal. Only redeeming part of In Win's case is that it uses a standard TFX PSU, unlike Antec's proprietary PSU. Seasonic makes 80Plus Gold PSUs in the TFX size up to 350W. Good luck fitting 350W worth of parts into such a small case!

    I believe Antec uses slightly thicker steel than In Win for the case panels.
    Reply
  • AssBall - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    "...while it relies solely on the heatsink/fan combo to actively cool the system, it also relies solely on the heatsink/fan combo to actively cool the system."

    What?
    Reply
  • Termie - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I think that was an attempt at humor.

    One fan means it runs hot, one fan means it runs quiet...
    Reply
  • Lonyo - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Do you have any alternative PSUs to hand? Might be interesting to see if something like a PicoPSU would make the entire job any easier than dealing with the built in one (as odd as that sounds).

    http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=12383
    The main issue would be the fact there is only one SATA connector on that specific model, but you could get an adapter (although it would take up a little extra space), or re-wire a SATA connector instead of second PATA.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I'm a bit surprised they didn't go with something more like a pico-psu in general. Just using 12V in instead of 19V would allow for a significantly smaller board since you'd only need to make small amounts of 3.3/5V internally and not large amounts of 12V as well. Dropping the additional conversion should also boost total system efficiency and lower wall power as a result. Reply
  • Lonyo - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Yeah, the power circuitry based on the pics looks like a lot more than I would expect to be necessary given the size of a PicoPSU (I'm using on on an ITX system with G620T and HD6450, as well as 3x3.5" HDDs with no problems).
    If it's an ITX system with just 2.5" drives, there should be no issues with a low power PicoPSU instead of whatever they went with.
    Reply
  • Alex_N - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I built three identical systems using this case, used i7 3770S (65W quad core) for the CPU and Intel's reference mini-ITX ivy bridge motherboard. I use them for a small CPU-heavy compute cluster.

    Pros:
    -assembly was pretty easy. I was able to fit the motherboard in without removing the PSU.
    -very low power (I can run them all off one power strip)
    -very low noise... can't hear them running over the AC and my desktop, even with my head next to the case and at full load (obviously depends on your CPU fan, I'm using the stock cooler fan)
    -very space efficient (the other mini-ITX cases are 3X as large)
    -CPU runs cool at load

    Cons:
    -PSU runs very hot at load. Could be partially due to the tough cable management.
    -one of the PSUs was dead out of the three. Replaced it with a PicoPSU, which was much smaller (and maybe runs cooler, too, but haven't checked closely)

    It's been about 4-5 months and I'm very happy with them. Quiet compute cluster, low cost, low noise, low power consumption, fast boot times (SSD + new style BIOS - UEFI?). I'd consider building these for friends/relatives who need a non-gaming PC, as well.
    Reply
  • fic2 - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I am curious as to what PicoPSU you replaced the PSU with. Reply
  • EnzoFX - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I love these things, but I don't understand why they can't do proper length cables, or include cables that would just fit well, as opposed to something at standard length. Furthermore, why cant' they make some custom connectors or adapters. It must be possible, for them to create maybe even a new standard to keep cables to a minimum size and length in these type of cases. The power is only going to so few devices that it should warrant custom cables perhaps? The ease of assembling and better airflow would be worth the marginal extra cost, surely? Reply
  • jhoff80 - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    ...but with most new mITX boards having a mSATA slot, I'd absolutely love to see a case with 0 drive bays but that still has two PCI expansion slots (preferably with a riser) to support a dedicated GPU. Reply
  • Wardrop - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Just a shame that Antec cases are always so ugly... or maybe out of date is a better description. Would have looked awesome back around the turn of the century, but otherwise, I think Lian Li are the only one's making attractive cases of this size (or a little larger). Reply
  • Scannall - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I agree, it really does look bad. I used a Wesna case for my HTPC.

    http://www.shop.perfecthometheater.com/HTPC-ITX2-B...

    Looks far better.
    Reply
  • Wardrop - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    That Wesna case is pretty nice. Thanks for the link. Reply
  • Anosh - Wednesday, November 07, 2012 - link

    Expect it gets to warm Reply
  • Anosh - Wednesday, November 07, 2012 - link

    *except Reply
  • MadAd - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    When do you think we might get a SFF forum to chat about all this?

    Laptops are so not SFF material and they drive out SFF chat.
    Reply
  • MadAd - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    Would the SSD have been a bit happier had it been mounted the other side and not directly under the CPU plate? Reply
  • mariush - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    Where are the close up pictures of the power supply, both the external one and the internal board?
    Where are the close up pictures of the case, without anything shoved into it?

    Oh there's two galleries...why the hell two separate galleries?

    Why so much suck usability wise?
    If I'm opening a gallery in a new tab, I get no link to go back to the article and I can't tell if there are other galleries. Luckily this is a fresh article so I clicked "Galleries" I saw the other gallery but if this was an older gallery I would have no way to tell if there are other galleries.

    The external power supply one is made by Delta so that somewhat guarantees it's a quality one but the internal board is also important to see for some people.

    I can barely see from the picture it's a 19v adapter - what's the point of large pictures if you don't get more information from it than what you can see in a thumbnail?

    Why no close-up pictures of the actual pcb - that's the real power supply (well, dc-dc converter) !.. Why no test of what they say, is it really 92% efficiency? I doubt it, 92% efficiency is probably just for the external adapter.

    Very long USB and sound cables... I can't figure out why they have to be so long in such case.
    Reply
  • mariush - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    I apologize. There IS a link back to article in the galleries, called "Back to post" ... but it's positioned in such a way that I confused it to a "Previous picture" , "Next picture" type of link. Reply
  • twinclouds - Saturday, September 01, 2012 - link

    I have been using the case of Shuttle X27 for some time. I took out the original board and added a more powerful ITX board. The size of the case is 2.9"x7.2"x10.5". It is actually smaller than the Antec case mentioned here in volume. It is narrower and longer and looks better for me when in horizontal position. In addition it has the space for a slimline CD/DVD drive. The only inconvenience is that it does not have a flash card reader. I wish someone can build such a case for retail. Reply
  • herrdoktor330 - Sunday, September 02, 2012 - link

    Here's a thought: packing a bigger AMD APU (think the upcoming Trinity A10-5800K) into this size case and doing a modest overclock to the APU's GPU. You could do some modest gaming @ 720p on a rig like that in a profile smaller than the Xbox 360. The only bottleneck is the external power supply. So I started looking at the manufacturer's website of the power brick and model number (delta electronics - adp-90CB(?)-AB). I couldn't seem to find anything on the delta electronics website matching the CB part of the model number. That designation doesn't seem to match any of the laptop or mini-pc brick model numbers. So here's my questions:

    1) Is there any information on the output connections on the adp-90CB(?)-AB vs the ADP-150BB B. I'm still googling up information on the topics of outputs, allowable voltages, and such to answer my own question. But maybe someone here knows the answer?

    2) Assuming you could jimmy up a compatible brick, could the internal PCB handling power in the ISK-110 be able to handle the extra 60w and 2.6 times the amps a bigger brick would offer?

    for reference:

    http://www.delta.com.tw/product/ps/adapter/adapter...
    Reply
  • mariush - Sunday, September 02, 2012 - link

    The delta brick is a 19v 4.77a or something, for a total of 90 watts. You can see the rating (barely) in one picture.

    The case has internal dc-dc converters that generate the 3.3v , 5v and 12v out from that 19v with about 90% efficiency, so the system sees about 85 watts in total on those 12v, 3.3v and 5v outputs.

    I already complained about no close-up pictures of that dc-dc converter inside the case, and this is one of the reasons: I can't see what ICs are used, how the voltages are generated.

    The most used voltage will be 12v so the internal board probably is configured for 12v @ 8A max (12v x 8a = 96 watts), 3.3v @ 4 A, 5v @ 4A or something like that.... but all added up can't exceed 90w, the external brick's rating.

    You may be able to replace the brick with one rated for more current as long as it's still 19v (for example use a 120w brick with 19v output) but in the end it depends on the circuit on the board inside the case if the chips can output more current on 12v.

    They may be unable to output more than 6-8A or they may be locked to a maximum value to keep the board cool. But if you're lucky, they may be able to output 10-12a reliably on 12v alone, possibly with a heatsink applied on them.

    There's no overload test on the power supply, no information in this review. Which sucks.
    Reply
  • herrdoktor330 - Sunday, September 02, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the feedback. Good thought on the locked amp values too. I didn't think about that.

    Again, I'm still doing my own research into the matter. But you're right... it'd be cool if the Anantech crew looked into mods like that. But maybe there's some other group that may try this.

    I guess if one was inclined, this thing COULD take an A10-5700 when they get released without any power brick mods. But still, it'd be nice if you could work with this form factor but have a little more power at your disposal.
    Reply
  • Manyak - Thursday, September 06, 2012 - link

    I just got done building 12 systems for an office using this case. They're using i3-2100's, ASUS P8H77-I motherboards, 2x4GB DDR3-1600, and Crucial M4 SSD's.

    1: It is possible to install motherboards without removing the PSU. You have to put the right side of the motherboard in first (the part closest to the front of the case), and kind of squeeze it in under the front panel USB block as much as possible. Then lower the back end down into the case. If the I/O plate has tabs sticking out into the case it'll make it hard, but you can just bend it outwards a bit with your finger while pushing the motherboard down. It's tricky, but it works.

    2: You installed the SSD in the slot that sits directly behind the CPU, and there's no insulation between it and the motherboard. If you install it in the other slot I think it should run a little cooler.

    Also, you should take a look at the Morex M350 case. In theory it's a similar design to this one - completely minimalistic, with nothing but mesh - but it's even smaller. Yet it manages to give you a much neater build, and HDD airflow is a lot better.
    Reply
  • CaptainDoug - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    Surely there's a place for 2 or 4 gb of ram... Reply
  • irqsRfun - Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - link

    http://www.mini-box.com/M350-universal-mini-itx-en...

    This might be a better fit for some applications, since it does not require the purchase of a power supply.
    Reply
  • powerarmour - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    Just built one of these myself :-

    http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/1981/img2012112...

    Intel Core -3-3225 (w/HD 4000)
    8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1866
    ASRock H77M-ITX motherboard

    Found it very easy to install tbh, didn't have to take the power board out either, just slide the motherboard in back to front (angle towards front of case, lower, then slide up to the backplate)

    No problems with cabling either, just look at the pic :)
    Reply

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