Wanted to build an itx console-like machine so I did plenty of reading on the currently available cases. Narrowed the case list down to the node 202, ftz01, and the ml08b. I ruled out the node 202 over heat and noise concerns and ruled out the ftz01 over riser card concerns and aesthetics.
In summary, with no case fans, part selection is crucial. The gpu idles in the low 40s and at load hits the high 80s :D... Will have to sort that out. Unfortunately with the case in horizontal orientation, the gpu compartment has very low clearance with the ground where the main vent is found. Heat exhaust is lacking. The case itself becomes very warm to the touch around the gpu compartment.
This budget build basically recycled all my old components into a nice new package. The motherboard had no usb3 headers so I needed a converter to usb2 which can be found on Amazon for $5. If I were actually selecting components for this build I would be very careful with gpu selection. I like this case enough that I'm currently looking for a better gpu fit. As is the build works but gpu runs a little too hot for comfort and as a result the build is too noisy to be the ideal htpc/console replacement.
The shuriken fit perfectly in the ml08b. The i5 idles in the high 30s and? at load hits the low 50s. It would get 5 stars if the install wasn't so tricky. Made me wish for two more hands while I was trying to blindly attach the heatsink from the underside of the board while not dropping or crushing anything.
Great value if buying used. Poor mix with the ml08b case. This card needs case fans and/or excellent vent locations to run cool and quietly.
I really enjoyed this case. As others have described, it doesn't feel like a typical itx cramped build. The layout offers plenty of room to comfortably build in and as other critics confirmed, the riser card assembly felt durable and well thought out. I wish the case looked as good as the node, but from what I've read the build quality on the ml08b is better. The case has no fans so choose your parts wisely.
The front panel is plastic but looks good enough and the led is pleasantly subdued and can be covered by the sliding plastic plate if the USB ports are unused. I have to agree with another reviewer that the power button was a misstep. It's a hinged design that makes the button unnecessarily stiff and unresponsive. It usually takes three tries to turn the machine on as the button has to be hit at just the right angle and with enough force to get it to engage with the switch behind it.