Enclosure ITX / SFF Case Contest #1 - Chieftec BT-04B-U3

Crossfire Machines

Caliper Novice
Original poster
Oct 8, 2018
30
47
In the following test I take a closer look at the BT-04B-U3 from Chieftec, a compact ITX case with handle and already installed SFX power supply.

Mirror for all pictures can be found here
Iam not a native english speaker, so bear with my mistakes :D
German Version can be found here and here !
If you would like get in touch with me or ask questions, just send me an PM or leave a comment



Features/Specs

Size (H x W x D): 32,3cm x 13,5cm x 24,0cm
Volume: ~10,5 Liter
Weight: 3,5kg with PSU included, 1,7kg without
Material: Plastic with coated aluminum / 0,6 mm steel (SECC)

CPU-Cooler: up to ~70mm with 2.5" SSD/HDD installed , up to ~60mm with a 3.5" HDD
GPU: 2 Slot up to ~190mm in length, up to 125mm width
PSU: SFX-only - 250W PSU included
Fans: 1x 80mm (front) + 2x 60mm (rear)

> Datasheet / Manufacturer Page



Packaging / Delivery

The case is inconspicuous, but well packed in a brown cardboard box.
A scheme of the case, the most important data as well as some cryptic numbers and designations were printed on it.
Wrapped in foil and surrounded by polystyrene, the case is sufficiently well protected to withstand the occasional "accidents" during transport.



Included are the usual sets of screws for Mainboard, PCI-Slots and HDD/SSD. Sadly no Fans or a manual.
But in addition, the case contains a 3,5" HDD bracket, Speaker/Beeper dongle and a Chieftec SFX-250VS PSU. Nice!
It should be enough to power most systems build around GPUs which only draw power from the PCIe-Slot.
For my reviews Iam using a Chieftec CSN-550C SFX PSU.



Assembly

The entire outer cladding consists of one piece and can be loosened with only 3 screws. Beneath it is the metallic grey basic structure of the case as well as the large, black holder for slim drives or hard disks. First the front panel for the slim drive has to be removed, then the upper part of the mount. Both are only screwed down and can be released quickly. The lower part of the ODD mount is riveted to the case and can't be moved, so I used the following order for my hardware configuration:
  1. Install CPU, RAM and M.2 drive into the mainboard
  2. Connect Front-IO, ATX and EPS power outside the case
  3. Mount the CPU Cooler
  4. Install PSU in the case
  5. Remove PCI Slot Covers
  6. Lift mainboard into the case and screw tight
  7. Connect the ATX and EPS to the power supply unit
  8. Install your GPU
  9. Fasten upper part of ODD bracket and front panel again
  10. Slide the outer panelling from behind into the small holes and screw it down
Unfortunately, the mainboard tray has no opening for the backplate of CPU coolers, which caused my Cryorig C1 bracket to press against the metal and the mainboard could only be installed with a little pressure. Maybe the standoffs are also lower than in other cases, so far I didn't have this problem. If you decide to install a 3.5" HDD or several 2.5" SSDs, please note that they are mounted directly above the CPU cooler and could get in the way depending on the height of the cooler. Also important is the width of the graphics card, which should not extend far beyond the PCI slots, i.e. should not be wider than about 12.5cm.










Chieftec does not go a special way for the cable management, there are no cable holders or a possibility behind the mainboard tray to lay. However, there is enough space between the case front and the mainboard/power supply to store the cables, so that the overall picture is surprisingly "clean" for an ITX Case:





Temperatures

All data from stresstests and benchmarks were logged with Aida64 Extreme 5.98.4800 in intervals of 1 second.
Each test ran for 30 minutes, then 30 minutes "cooling time".
The ambient temperature was also recorded every 30 minutes and is subtracted so that different ambient temperatures do not falsify the final result and allow direct comparison between the cases. All temperature data (dCPU & dGPU) are therefore delta values, thus the difference to the room temperature and not the direct component temperature.

The maximum component temperature for every test is listed below each graph, but is for illustration purposes only and cannot be used to compare the cases directly!

Hardware:
  • Intel Core i5 6600K (Delid - 4,4Ghz @ 1,25V Locked
  • Gigabyte Z270N-WIFI (BIOS F6d)
  • 2x 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury (HX421C14FBK2/16)
  • CRYORIG C1 with CP7 Thermal Paste, fixed at 60% PWM - 1030RPM
  • KFA2 GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, fixed at 60% PWM - 1100RPM
  • Samsung M.2 SATA SSD
  • Chieftec CSN-550C 550W SFX-PSU


3DMark - Firestrike Combined


Peak Temperature: 66°C CPU Package - 65°C GPU
Ambient: 18,8°C - 19,8°C


Aida64 System Stability Test


Peak Temperature: 72°C CPU Package - 35°C GPU
Ambient: 20,4°C - 20,2°C


Unigene Heaven


Peak Temperature: 61°C CPU Package - 65°C GPU
Ambient: 20,5°C - 21,0°C


Aida64 System Stability Test + Unigene Heaven


Peak Temperature: 83°C CPU Package - 71°C GPU
Ambient: 19,7°C - 20,2°C


Prime95 Small FFTs


Peak Temperature: 84°C CPU Package - 36°C GPU
Ambient: 20,2°C - 20,5°C


Overall I was positively surprised by the temperatures.
The generous air slots for the graphics card are noticeable in the temperatures, the air sucked in from above can be exhausted out of the case through the gap at the level of the PCI slots. Aida64 in combination with Unigene Heaven or Prime95 in MaxHeat setting make the CPU sweat a lot, but for an overclocked CPU in an ITX case without active air supply such unrealistic values from synthetic tests are acceptable in my opinion. Under typical "gaming load" like in 3DMark or Unigene Heaven the temperatures are even in a very good range!

I would have liked to see an air intake for the CPU cooler placed a little further in the middle, maybe Chieftec will check it out in the next revision of the case. If you look at the pictures on the product page and compare them with my pictures, my case already has 2 more air intakes, so Chieftec is improving this case, nice to see! In a second test run I will test the case again, but then install it with 1x 80mm + 2x 60mm fans. Especially the potential improvement of the CPU temperature should be interesting!



Compatible Hardware

CPU-Cooler (with 2,5")
> Cryorig C1 / Noctua NH-L12S / EKL Alpenföhn Silvretta / ...

CPU-Cooler (with 3,5")
> Cryorig C7 Cu / Cooler Master GeminII M4 / EKL Alpenföhn Black Ridge / ...

Graphic Cards
> Sapphire Pulse ITX / Gigabyte Mini / MSI Aero / ...

Case Fans (80mm)
> Arctic F8 / Akasa Slimfan / be quiet! Pure Wings 2 (BL044) / ...

Case Fans (60mm)
> Chieftec AF-0625S / Cooltek Silent Fan 60 / Nanoxia Deep Silence NDS 60 / ...



Conclusion

Chieftec advertises with "various possibilities" as well as "multitude of inexpensive standard components" and can definitely keep its promise with this case. The BT-04B-U3 is especially suitable for a low-cost entry into the world of SFF computers when a graphics card without an extra power connection is used, since no separate power supply has to be purchased. Unfortunately there is no possibility to buy the case without power supply yet.

The installation of the hardware with larger coolers can be a bit fiddly, but with some planning in advance and "preparatory work" outside the case it is really not that hard. With a good 75mm height, the Cryorig C1 I used was even higher than Chieftec's approval for this case - but it still fit well! The provided CSN-550C power supply pressed with the plug for the power cable against the rear PSU mount, but it was still possible to fasten it properly . My contact at Chieftec also assured me that the new revision of the case will have a gap at the beginning of 2019, that will fix this small issue with this specific SFX PSU.


With a little planning and the right hardware, it's easy to build a compact gaming PC with a practical handle on the top.
Even in a normal backpack it can be stowed easily. Finally, I can say that I liked the "Kleines Schwarze" from Chieftec! ;)
It offers a good build quality, included PSU, decent temperatures even without case fans (stay tuned for that!) and a nice range of hardware support - for a good price!
 
Last edited:

ondert

Airflow Optimizer
Apr 16, 2017
289
133
Didn't know chieftec is doing this type of case. What is the max height for the cpu? I bumped into this image for the previous version.