QMicra from PC Design Lab: SFF Super-sized

Cases|Damping
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DESIGN AND LAYOUT

Our first impression of the QMicra left us a little underwhelmed. Taste is personal, of course, but the aesthetics of the QMicra didn't appeal to us. It seems too big to keep on a desktop — not a positive trait in what is supposed to be a SFF case. The two rods that run lengthwise along the top corners of the case seem out of place, despite their usefulness as carrying handles.


That's, uh, pretty large for a small form factor case.

Airflow is very simple, with spots for two 80mm fans on both the front and the back panels. High end systems may require all four fans, but most systems should be fine with two fans in the back. A little extra airflow will inevitably be provided by the power supply as well.

No stock fans are provided with the QMicra. PC Design Lab recommends fans from Arctic Cooling, but leaves the choice of fan to the user. Given the price, this is surprising, but perhaps it is understandable in a product aimed at the DIY market. Many enthusiasts would just replace the stock fans with their own favorite model, so why include them at all?


Intake vents for two 80mm fans are about 50% restricted.

The bottleneck for airflow will most likely be the two front intakes, which are about 50% restricted by the front panel and the acrylic fascia. The exhaust vents have wire grills that are much less restrictive.


The exhaust vents are much better, using unrestrictive wire grills.
Extra airflow will be provided by the fan in the power supply.

Without any parts installed, the QMicra feels very flimsy. The lack of an internal frame and the very thin aluminum panels do not inspire confidence that the QMicra can stand up to many changes in location. Rapping on the sides produced a sharp rattle that made us wonder whether the case would be suspect to vibration induced noise. However, once our test system was installed, the system felt and sounded much sturdier. Much like car manufacturers use internal parts to reinforce the car's body, the QMicra uses the internal components (especially the power supply) to give the shell much more rigidity than it has when empty.



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