- Jun 15, 2015
OK, this Realan E-i7 case has been around for at least 5 years, and it seems to (have) be(en) quiet popular as an HTPC. It is however under the radar among the SFF community due to
- limited availability (only the Silver version is available at Newegg only, or you have to buy direct through Aliexpress), AND
- the fact that it has a single PCI-E slot for a low-profile GPU, AND
- the fact that it supports only internal power supplies to be used with an external brick, AND
- the fact that, well, it's just an old OTC design that no enthusiast would pick over a custom/niche design
To give the specs, the case is 236x245x100mm at 5.78lt, and has a CPU cooler clearance of 77mm edge-to-edge.
Before I go into details of why this case ended up better than I expected, I'll give you a full list of what I could fit in there:
CPU: Ryzen 1800X ($350, thank you Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asrock AB350 ITX ($65, thank you Microcenter)
RAM: G.Skill Flare X F4-3200C14D-16GFX ($215)
CPU Cooler: Cryorig C1 ($65, thank you Cryorig for sending the AM4 bracket for free all the way from Taiwan)
GPU: MSI 1050Ti 4GB LP ($190)
PSU: G-Unique ArchDeamon with 2x Dell Ultimate 400W bricks ($255 incl shipping, thank you Guryhwa )
SSD: Toshiba RD400 256GB m.2 ($115)
Fans: 2xNoiseblocker M8-P ($35) and 2xNoiseblocker PC-P 80x15 ($35)
Cables: 2xSilverstone slim low profile SATA (for the two 2.5" SSDs I had leftover from the Dell system)
Bracket: Phanteks PH-SDBKT_02 for those two 2.5" SSDs ($9)
Total: ~$1400 including tax
Total weight: 3.2 kgs ~ 7 lbs (full system incl the case!)
What did it replace? A Dell Precision M6800 with Quadro K4100M graphics at 8lbs! Was it worth it? Hell yeah, I was itching to make a custom build for the last 3.5 years, and I sold the Dell for $1350 and I now have double the CPU muscle, much better gaming graphics (though obviously no Quadro goodies which I didn't need).
Must also note that I already had a big-ass Dell U3415W monitor in the office, and for home I purchased the cheapest 2560x1440 IPS monitor I could find, which was the Lenovo L24q for $170 incl tax.
Now, if you're paying attention, you'll see that the GPU I purchased is double-slot, while the case has a single physical slot! Plus, the Cryorig C1 cooler is huge, and still it fit with two 2.5" SSD's! Plus, there are 4x 80mm fans in there along with the 140mm Cryorig fan! How is this all possible??!
After the break
PS: No, seriously, I have to go now but I'll be back with pictures, because I would like to showcase how millimetrically awesome this build ended up being. And, no, nothing was a surprise actually... I made detailed measurements before I was sure it would all fit