Viewing page 8 of 8 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
The SEED MA-280B is well-built and its sleek appearance makes it an attractive
addition to a home theater. However, it seems to be designed specifically for
the Atom boards produced by Intel. The I/O shield cutout is tailored for the
Intel D945GCLF/2, although 60W of power is much more than what Atom requires. The Intel Atom boards
have loud fans but they can be tempered with fan control, so a reasonably quiet
system is definitely possible with such a configuration. Unfortunately, they
don't make great HTPCs due to their underperforming hardware and lack of features.
Our attempt to use a Zotac IONITX
board with the MA-280B ultimately failed due to the lack of a fan which seems
to be a necessity to keep the GPU cool when under heavy stress. The fan for
the CPU/chipset heatsink could not be installed due to interference from the
hard drive and the case has no fan option aside from the 40mm one for the power
supply (which has no impact on system temperatures). Using an ION configuration
would heat up the box quite a lot and you would have to restrict yourself to
2D operation unless the case were modified to improve cooling.
* Solid construction
* PCI riser included
* Subpar power supply
* Insufficient cooling for ION systems
* nonstandard I/O shield
The Cooler Master Elite 100 seems to be an industrial product it is well-constructed,
but its appearance is underwhelming and it has a large footprint. Its much bigger footprint is
a direct result of support for microATX boards and to accommodate the included
FlexATX power supply, which single-handedly tanked the product in our view.
The noise from the power supply fan, even without a load, was just plain nasty
bad enough to forgo testing altogether. FlexATX power supplies are typically
not the greatest acoustically, but this one was particularly bad. Replacing
it with a picoPSU is obviously an option, but you could just as easily purchase
a different, smaller case and save yourself the trouble.
The Elite 100's microATX support is a curious choice it extends the
footprint of case significantly and given the power supply's location, none
of the extra expansion slots afforded by the microATX form factor can be utilized.
That leaves the microATX option only one advantage: price. Comparable mini-ITX
boards are much more expensive than their microATX brethren. That would mean
you would have to use a desktop processor though, which would be difficult to
cool quietly in the Elite 100 due to the height restriction the case
is just tall enough for a low profile Intel stock cooler. However, if you use
the stock power supply, a loud stock CPU cooler would be your second worse problem.
Cooler Master Elite 100
* Solid construction
* Supports mITX & mATX
* Loud power supply
* PSU blocks mATX expansion slots
* Large footprint
Our thanks to SEED
Master for the MA-280B and Elite 100 case samples.
* * *
Articles of Related Interest
Cases: Basics & Recommendations
LM100 Mini: "Exquisite & Desirable" m-ITX HTPC Case
Silverstone Sugo SG05 and SG06:
Gaming mini-ITX cases?
Antec ISK 300-65 mini-ITX case
Moneual MonCaso 301 Desktop HTPC Case
Fanless TC-100 mini-ITX case
Zotac IONITX-A: An ION / dual-core Atom
* * *
Discuss this article in the
|Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!|