Apex MI-008: A Cheap Quiet mini-ITX Case?

Viewing page 5 of 8 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next


There are some enthusiasts who are eyeing the mini-ITX platform for more intense applications and would like to utilize a more powerful mainboard and CPU combination. For them, space, or the lack of it, is the MI-008's main drawback.

There isn't much clearance between the power supply and CPU/chipset heatsinks, so the power supply fan may be affected by the heat from them. Cables can be tucked over the expansion slot (if not occupied) or below the drive cage.

Between the case floor and the bottom of the power supply there is only 5cm of clearance. When you include height of the risers, the width of a motherboard PCB and CPU (of a "normal" motherboard, in this case the Zotac GeForce 8200-ITX pictured above), there is room for only a 4cm high heatsink — most stock cooling solutions exceed that. One could use a 1U server heatsink, but for a more quiet solution we recommend replacing the power supply with a picoPSU — that will improve power efficiency, increase ventilation and give you 10cm of clearance for a CPU cooler.

Our build for this review stays closer to stock and includes only a single notebook hard drive suspended in the 5.25" bay. With thin construction, we expect vibration would be a problem with a hard-mounted a 3.5" drive.

For those seeking additional cooling, a 120mm fan can be fit snugly on the right side
next to the side vent. As we plan on undervolting the board's chipset fan, a Yate Loon D12SL-12 was placed in this position. It is a very smooth sleeve bearing fan and can be purchased at a reasonable price. A Zalman Fanmate was used to bring the speed down to 5V.

Installed and running. The power LED is faint green while the HDD LED glows bright red.

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next

Cases|Damping - Article Index
Help support this site, buy the Apex MI-008 TOWER BLACK P4 CHASSIS TWR W/250W ITX PSU+SATA POWER SUPPLY from one of our affiliate retailers!