Here at XSR we have our own way of evaluating cases beyond the usual checking of features. We focus on three aspects of the design:
- Strength: Utilising our own hefty bodyweight we test side panels and chassis structure strength to make sure it can perform its main job, protecting your internals.
- Noise and cooling: Does it have adequate cooling? If so, is it quiet?
- Features: Are there any notable features? How’s its cable management? Any funky tooless systems?
Two thumbs up here. For such a compact design, the structure of the case is solid as a rock. The side panels are similarly tough with a little flex. Your internal hardware is perfectly safe in a Mini Tank.
Noise and Cooling
Here it seems Cubitek have you covered as well, because even with the compact nature of the case, its design works very well to pump in cold air from the front with the 14cm intake and plenty of exhaust with the twin exhausts. Also, the horizontal setup of the motherboard should allow for warm air to be blown straight from the CPU right out the roof without difficulty.
Noise wise, its not quite so idillic, but the Mini Tank still does well. The two rear mounted fans arn’t particularly noticeable and are silent with the side panels on. The front intake however is a little noisier and silence enthusiasts may want to fit a fan controller to keep things at the levels they like. I imagine the average user won’t notice, but its worth noting.
Cable management is pretty solid with this chassis, though as mentioned earlier, it would be nice not to have quite so many front panel cables; things can get a bit messy with all them.That said, the layout of the case is handled very well and with a modular PSU, you should have a pretty air-tunnel like case, if you know what you’re doing with a cable tie.
I also kind of dig the was that Cubitek have steered clear of the typicaly hit and miss clip mechanisms. While if excuted well they’re a plus point, if done badly they’re a real problem. Instead they went for including a whole host of screws for different ocasions, including plenty of thumbscrews. Its a middle ground, you don’t need tools but you can use them if you want.
NB. Except when you want to get in the first time. You will need your own allen key since the bundled one comes inside the chassis.
I also like that despite this chassic being designed with mini-ITX in mind, it could potentially handle some pretty high end hardware thanks to its clever design. The removable HDD cage allows for large GPUs to be installed and the horizontal motherbord makes it possible for a big CPU cooler to be fitted. Now, good luck finding a performance mini-ITX board with a decent CPU socket and a 16x PCIe port, but if you do, this could be the case for you.
The only thing that may put people off with this chassis is the cost. At best, it’s going to run you around £100. Even the notorious grey importers, OCUK, have it priced at £115.