So, its been an era for Mini-ITX now, and slowly everyone will be looking for their dream HTPC. And for HTPC, casing is very crucial and the barebone that came with it.
As you can see from the recent Computex in Taipei, a lot of new Intel Atom based nettops has been available and more we are waiting for the NVidia Ion Platform to be in the market soon. Talking bout Mini-ITX, I got through this cute mini-ITX case from Taiwan, under brand: CFI. We called it CFI Cube to sound like the shape. You can easily find it out through Google by that name.
From outside, this casing has fine glossy finish and has a plastic coating, which probably used for the shipping protection.
Front side there is 1 drive bay, USB slots and audio jacks. And notice the PSU Cable which is connected to the rear and neatly tucked at the side.
From the back, there is one small fan to suck out the heat from the casing. This is definitely not enough if we were going to use the machine in an unconditioned room and for the whole day. With this, I came to think of modifying the case for better ventilation. Still figuring what can be added in.
When we look inside, the harddisk bay is right below the 5.25″ ODD bay, and this is kinda pack for the harddisk to ventilate.
From Top, you can see that the PSU is kinda small, packing 150W of power, and fit at the front part of the case. Everything is made to fit just nice in it.
And this is the rear fan to suck out the heat from the inside.
And these are few more shots of the casing with nearer view, and the actual size of it comparing with a screw driver.
And showing you my hand comparing to the front panel size.
When we take out the front panel, we can see there are plenty of small holes, perhaps this can be used for additional intake fan, which size is not easy to find. Need to search around for it.
The front panel is pretty easy to take off, by just few press from the inside.
So, when you fit in the Intel Atom D945GCLF motherboard, its just nice, leaving no empty space at the base.
The case came with a PCI slot at the back for expansion, and it fits right for the Intel Atom motherboard which has only 1 PCI.
So, check this top view when the ODD, HDD and motherboard is installed.
And here is the view from the bottom side showing the HDD and ODD which has a small gap in between for slight ventilation. Better than none ain’t it?
And here is showing the back from inside, and notice how the rear fan position right after the ODD and HDD bay.
More pics of the inside…
One hard thing is the cabling. Its pretty messy and need some trial and error attempt to look for better flow of the cabling.
But its okay though, you can always group them together, and tie them to the case by cable ties. It makes a really neat cabling. So, its good enough, and it will be best if we did some modification to the casing. Perhaps by using a mesh top, with additional fan on top and side. Plus a little LED sticks, and voila. Your cool home entertainment PC. HTPC perhaps? Wait till Nvidia ION boards is out in the market.
Overall, this casing is solid, not any cheapo case, and it cost quite expensive though. Slightly more expensive than Powerlogic Azzura casing. But its Mini-ITX though, and we pay for the size and quality. So, its worth it.
The variant colors are White, Black and Grey black. My top choice is White and Red.