Log First SFF PC - Ryzen Metalfish S3 build + case review

anew742

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
New User
Sep 27, 2021
3
1
Last year I built my first small form factor PC, and it went surprisingly well!

Here's an album detailing the build process:
Here's the PC Part Picker list: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/anew742/saved/pVJQD3


...and here are some thoughts on the Metalfish S3 case:

Pros
-Affordable. At ~$80 shipped, it costs less than a lot of full-sized cases​
-Easy to work on. The cable cutouts next to the motherboard for power, SATA, etc. go almost to the top of the case. And there are even more cutouts above the motherboard too. The easy part is getting everything to fit; the hard part is making it look good!​
-Modularity/configurability. Behind the motherboard is room for either a full sized 3.5" hard drive, or a GPU. You could definitely also fit a few 2.5" SSDs back there too, or put other expansion cards (or just use it as a "cable closet!"). It also includes an optional handle that mounts to the top.​
-Good airflow. With both sides of the case covered in hexagon cutouts, the CPU and optional GPU get direct access to outside air. (I suspect that the included mesh dust filter hurts temps, however. It's more "not hole" than it is hole!)​

Cons
-Panel fitment. The sides of the case are finnicky to line up, and never go on completely straight. Here's a photo:
So much for the box's claims that it's a "COMPUTER STRAIGHT CASE!" ;P​
There's also a slight gap between the folded front panel of the case and the rest of it.​
-I/O (or lack thereof). There's just a single USB 3 port and a power button. That's it! The power button doubles as a hard drive indicator, if you're into that sort of thing. The power button looks nice, but is strangely crunchy and occasionally gets stuck in its down position.​
-Chassis flex. Externally, the case is solid. However, the piece that the motherboard mounts to is concerningly floppy! I highly recommend attaching the hard drive bracket to help reduce this flex 'n' flop, even if you aren't using a hard drive.​
-Flex ATX power supply. Unfortunately, this case requires a flex ATX PSU. There aren't many power supply choices in this size compared to more normal ATX power supplies. And worst of all, these things are loud! I replaced the power supply fan with a far quieter one with roughly the same airflow, but it's still obnoxious. I've put up with it for a year, and can't stand it anymore. I'm going to go the ugly route and put a thicker Noctua fan sticking out the back (the right sized ones don't have enough airflow). I'm pretty sure that there are quiet flex ATX power supplies out there, but it's been over a year & I seem to remember that they were either really expensive or out of stock​
Overall, it's a solid and good looking case for the money. It's tiny but not much harder to work on than a full-sized case too! Just be aware of the flex ATX noise! If you're unable or unwilling to modify a power supply, I'd recommend getting the slightly bigger Metalfish instead - it doesn't use a flex ATX power supply.


Sorry for the rambly text wall! This was my first small form factor build, and this is my first post...I have lots o' thoughts on the subject
Oh, and hopefully this is the right forum category for this sort of writeup haha
 
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aromachi

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Dec 18, 2019
111
110
I use a flex in mine, but I tore out the 40mm before I even installed it. Didn't want a 40mm fan anywhere near my build :)
 
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