Description

Use: Gaming/General Use.

Problems: Fitting junk in a mini-ITX build.

--> CPU cooler vs PCI-E slot (replaced motherboard)

--> Video Card vs PSU shroud (bent the shroud and added a standoff)

Overall I am glad I did the build. It was heavily focused on aesthetics, and I think I pulled that off. It is a pleasure to glance over at it occasionally.

Part Reviews

Video Card

The Good:

  • Performance is admirable

  • Overclocking is easy

  • MSI is generous with RMAs

The Less Good:

  • This card is thick. 3 inches places it far above average and may result in clearance failures, especially when going mini-ITX.

Case

The Good:

  • The matte finish on the case is nice and robust.

  • The case comes with a PWM fan hub (speed comes from a MOBO header.)

  • LED's for power, storage read, PSU shroud, and case rear look clean (not overly bright) and can be turned on or off with a rear case button.

  • Snap-on top and front panel allow quick and easy access to dust filters.

  • Front dust filter is attached with a magnet and is very easy to access and clean.

The Less Good:

  • This case is pretty large for a mini-ITX. I knew this going in, but with that in mind...

  • Poorly considered PCI-E slot device clearance. For a case at this price, touted as an enthusiast case, and applauded for its well thought out and spacious radiator clearance, it has issues accommodating one of the most popular GPUs at the time of its release. The MSI R9 390 is absolutely thick at 3 inches but the sloping PSU shroud is an unnecessary design flaw that removes GPU clearance for absolutely no reason. A backplate isn't enough to prevent fan contact, only physically bending the shroud and adding a GPU standoff will provide the necessary clearance. I'm not sure how this was tested, but it seems like a glaring oversight.

All that said, I do like the case. Mini-ITX sacrifices build space and temps for a smaller footprint, and while this case barely reduces the footprint from a mid-tower, it does so while retaining enough premium features to satisfy me while looking excellent.

** Thought I would note that after about 2 weeks with a 2.5 inch thick video card in the PCIE slot that my video card fan caught in the PSU shroud slot and broke a blade. No amount of bending, standoffs, or configuration gave the video card enough clearance. I removed the 3 screws and the permanent bolt from the PSU shroud and added a separator to push the high angled section of the shroud down to lay flat. The card now has enough clearance.

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Comments

  • 48 months ago
  • 3 points
I'm quite confused why you did not snatched a Z97 MOBO for your i7-4790K. And then that CX750w... oh my goodness. It deserves a quality PSU: EVGA's B2, G2, or P2. Corsair's RMx/RMi, AX/AXi, or HX/HXi. XFX's TS/Pro Series or XTR. Seasonic's G Series. Even Fractal Design's Edison M is an option.
I am sorry though for the troubles you had with it. It looks like you got it working. Enjoy.
  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

I would have preferred a Z series mobo. I got this H97 at Microcenter because it was the only mini-ITX they had at the moment and after stressing over so many fitment issues I just wanted to finish the build. Should the opportunity present itself I would swap for a Z, but I will probably just deal with the lack of overclock until the next build.

I imagine I'll continue to get comments on the PSU, but for what it's worth the only reason I have it is because I got it so cheap. I absolutely understand the concern for a quality PSU and plan on upgrading this component in the near future. That said, besides some coil whine it operates just fine and will probably not blow up.

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points
No worries, just passing my concern and I am not going to spout non-sense to you either. I just care is all. And no it is not going to "blow up". Popping occurs if it is pushed too hard or something else occurred. You'll be OK for now, just whenever you can upgrade as you mentioned. Sorry it has coil whine though. I heard it can happen with the CX series. Best wishes for you. :)
  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

I have that monitor too! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I honestly have mixed feelings on it. The jump to 2K/1440 was exciting and this monitor pulls it off admirably. It's pixel-perfect, which I am happy for as well. I do, however, get a little of wash near the bottom. I have never had an issue with vertical viewing angles before. It looks a little better up on a stand, but I wish I was getting a more consistently vibrant image.

That said, I am glad that I got it and find it to be a great deal.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the cables! Where did you get those cable combs! Great build! +1

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

They are 3D printed! Much cheaper than shipping from China.

Here's the link for the ones I used if you are interested: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:920166

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I really like the white NZXT Manta. :-)

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Me too. Honestly, I entered Microcenter to get an S340 but on a whim I checked to see if they had gotten any stock of the Manta in. I was going for a white build and they had a single Manta in and it was white. My wallet suffered a hit, and the case isn't perfect, but it sure is lovely.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

When my Dad saw my red/black Noctis 450 build he told me that he really liked it, so I decided to build him a computer for his birthday. Instead of doing the same color scheme/size I went with the black/white Manta and it makes me want to build one for myself. :-P

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Hit here how did you get the r9 390 to fit, on mine he fans keep scratching the bottom of the case

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

My solution: I pressed down (hard) against the higher side of the PSU shroud and managed to bend it down a little, providing a little more space for the fans on the upper slope. Then when I screwed in the GPU clip I only used the top screw hole and pushed the card as high up as possible while tightening. I also added a rubber PSU standoff from my previous case underneath the far corner of the card (the corner closest to the front of the case, and highest up on the PSU shroud.) This effectively postured the card as high as it would possibly go within the slot, pressing the GPU backplate up against the bottom of the white cable shroud. I don't believe the PSU cables coming in through the PSU shroud (into the card) provided any additional lift for the card once all that was done, but they may help if you didn't use a standoff.

This is something that I struggled with. In fact, it's the reason I moved from a Bitfenix Prodigy (The side of the case pressed up against the GPU fans and there was simply no way to fit the card in without modifying the case.) The MSI R9 390 is a full 3 inches thick and I thought for sure if any mini-ITX case would clear it then a new, enthusiast focused NZXT case would but... it was difficult to pull off and took a few tries before it would consistently clear. Good luck to you, and check back in if you need any additional help.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

manta case looks m-atx(ish)

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

It is definitely on the large end. I wish for being so large that it had more space for the video card. I added some pictures of this case next to my old Bitfenix Prodigy (not M) as a size comparison. Both are large for ITX cases anyway.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

How has your temps been with the r9 390 so far? I have that card and I really want this case. I don't mind bending down on it to clear up some space for the fans but I am concerned a bout the temps. I plan on getting a g10 for it at some point in the future but it will be a while. Also do you do heavy gaming?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Depends on what you are running. I have gotten it up to 94C with Divinity: Original Sin EE maxed at 2560x1440 and a second 1080p monitor on occasion, but it rarely goes above 85C usually. I have also had it reach 94C and start downclocking in modded Skyrim (again at 2560x1440), but your mileage will vary there, obviously. I recently added some more pictures of where I removed some screws and lowered the PSU shroud permanently. I highly recommend this method over bending and standoffs to guarantee fan clearance.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

does your card throttle, i have a r9 fury and im trying to figure out how to cool it better

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! I do have a question I need to figure out ASAP if you can answer it at all. I plan to use the Zotac AMP! Extreme GTX 1080 Ti with this case (which is 56.6mm wide) and I wanted to know with your experience using a card that's 51mm wide if you think there would be enough clearance there for it, or will this just plain not fit?

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

My guess is that I am too late to answer you but I figured I would still do it for future readers.

Don't do it. This case really doesn't play nice with with open-air coolers, especially the thick ones. The PSU shroud is angled and the highest point is dangerously close to the GPU, no matter the thickness. I don't believe it was properly designed to handle anything besides (and maybe including) blower coolers. I was forced to clip the PSU shroud connection and force the shroud to lay flat and away from the GPU to prevent it from touching, and it still doesn't provide enough room for substantial cooling. Maybe with a water cooler instead? Unless you are prepared to mod things properly this case doesn't play nice with open fan video cards.

[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Everybody should know that you should never cheap-out when buying a power supply.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha, to each their own I suppose. On the PSU front, you are right. The only reason I have it is because it was so cheap. It is the next item to receive an update.

[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

i was going to use this case in an itx build but then i thought "hmm maybe i should go for something that is more flexible and more appealing to my desk space