ITX / SFF Case Contest - Your Suggestions

Crossfire Machines

Caliper Novice
Original poster
Oct 8, 2018
29
46
Hello Everyone!
My name is Tim and I'am part of a Hardware-Enthusiast and Modder Group in Germany.
We planning to do an competition of ITX and SFF cases across different manufacturers to provide an good overview what's currently available and how they compare to each other.
The first roundup will feature ITX cases with 2 PCI-slots, the second one will be based on an ITX APU build.

The written Reviews will focus on the following aspects:
- Build Quality and General Appearance
- Hardware Compatibility in Relation to Size / Volume of the Case
- Temperatures while doing Office / Gaming
- Temperatures in extreme Situations / Torture Testing

Things suggested:
- Cable Management
- Noise Testing
- Customer Service
- Assembly Instructions

I'am also planning to do an comprehensive list of all the hardware that you could possibly fit in every case.

What else would you like to have included / tested?
Any other suggestions?

Edit for clarity: This is not an open contest for everyone to enter, I will test all cases by myself to ensure consistency

This post is also on Reddit
 
Last edited:

Hifihedgehog

Airflow Optimizer
May 3, 2016
374
353
Nouvolo Steck

Case manufacturer: @macbosco

Please also consider including a Perceived Value for the Money section where you analyze price versus features and build quality.
 
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SilverFox18

Trash Compacter
Sep 29, 2017
41
47
Hi Tim -
Can I suggest one of your criteria should be rating cases for design 'originality' - introducing new and interesting solutions to market - thanks
 

Windfall

SFF Guru
Nov 14, 2017
1,482
1,164
Hello Everyone!
My name is Tim and I'am part of a Hardware-Enthusiast and Modder Group in Germany.
We planning to do an competition of ITX and SFF cases across different manufacturers to provide an good overview what's currently available and how they compare to each other.
The first roundup will feature ITX cases with 2 PCI-slots, the second one will be based on an ITX APU build.

The written Reviews will focus on the following aspects:
- Build Quality and General Appearance
- Hardware Compatibility in Relation to Size / Volume of the Case
- Temperatures while doing Office / Gaming
- Temperatures in extreme Situations / Torture Testing

I'am also planning to do an comprehensive list of all the hardware that you could possibly fit in every case.

What else would you like to have included / tested?
Any other suggestions?

This post is also on Reddit
Odd. I was just thinking about a competition this morning!

My HTPC Micro uses A Shappire Ryzen STX board. Could I participate in the ITX contest? Or is that cheating? If STX could have it's own category (would love to see it grow) that would be GREAT!

Also, make sure external bricks count toward the pc's volume.

I do believe that innovative products, like project Truebook, should deserve a mention, even if not practical.

To those who started derailing this thread:

JUST DON'T. The mods have made their position VERY clear.
 

tinyitx

King of Cable Management
Jan 25, 2018
873
792
I have just started to build on an ITX test bench. An open bench is not exactly a case but it still serves the purpose of hosting all the components. So, does a test bench belong to this competition too?
 
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el01

King of Cable Management
Jun 4, 2018
774
588
Cable management for sure (specifically). Especially given the cable sizes of some power supplies...



Also, it would be great to compile all hardware compatibility into a spreadsheet of some sort...

Might help @nrp 's project...
 
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Crossfire Machines

Caliper Novice
Original poster
Oct 8, 2018
29
46
Thanks for your input guys!

@Hifihedgehog I was thinking about that, but is a highly subjective thing.
Most cases I received so far are really "You get what you pay for" - which isnt a bad thing
But I will include something like this, maybe as a sidenote after the real review
I saw the Nouvolo Steck from @macbosco already and its looking good, but 100$ + shipping + EU Tax is too much for my wallet, Iam already buying the hardware to fit inside ;D

@SilverFox18 @Thehack
Let's talk about clones
... no .. really, its covered already.
I wont include something like this @VegetableStu, dont worry
If a design is liked and another manufacturer wants to do his version of it, Iam totally fine with it
Aaand I dont want to start a shitstorm by giving a personal rating of such a heated topic, sorry

@Windfall @tinyitx
Its not an open contest, I will do all the testing by myself.
Sorry if the post was misleading

@el01
Cable management is a great addition, thanks!
 

Thehack

Shrink Way Wielder
Creator
Bronze Supporter
Mar 6, 2016
2,110
2,547
J-hackcompany.com
Thanks for your input guys!

@Hifihedgehog I was thinking about that, but is a highly subjective thing.
Most cases I received so far are really "You get what you pay for" - which isnt a bad thing
But I will include something like this, maybe as a sidenote after the real review
I saw the Nouvolo Steck from @macbosco already and its looking good, but 100$ + shipping + EU Tax is too much for my wallet, Iam already buying the hardware to fit inside ;D

@SilverFox18 @Thehack
Let's talk about clones
... no .. really, its covered already.
I wont include something like this @VegetableStu, dont worry
If a design is liked and another manufacturer wants to do his version of it, Iam totally fine with it
Aaand I dont want to start a shitstorm by giving a personal rating of such a heated topic, sorry

@Windfall @tinyitx
Its not an open contest, I will do all the testing by myself.
Sorry if the post was misleading

@el01
Cable management is a great addition, thanks!
I'm not sure why this is really a thing about clone?

If you have seen Hardware Canuck's annual Case of the Year, which is IMO the best case reviewer out there, has had an innovation category for the last two years.

But to be honest, if you can't already afford one of the cheaper ones, I'm not sure how you are going to have a good comprehensive list of cases considering the big names in SFF are around that price. The mainstream cases are really about copying the features of the these innovative cases and making it accessible to the mainstream market, so you're missing a big part of SFF if you don't get access to those cases. Do you already own any of the SFFLAB case?
 

SilverFox18

Trash Compacter
Sep 29, 2017
41
47
Hello Everyone!
My name is Tim and I'am part of a Hardware-Enthusiast and Modder Group in Germany.
We planning to do an competition of ITX and SFF cases across different manufacturers to provide an good overview what's currently available and how they compare to each other.
The first roundup will feature ITX cases with 2 PCI-slots, the second one will be based on an ITX APU build.

The written Reviews will focus on the following aspects:
- Build Quality and General Appearance
- Hardware Compatibility in Relation to Size / Volume of the Case
- Temperatures while doing Office / Gaming
- Temperatures in extreme Situations / Torture Testing

Voting on things to add:
- Cable Management
- Noise Testing
- ...

I'am also planning to do an comprehensive list of all the hardware that you could possibly fit in every case.

What else would you like to have included / tested?
Any other suggestions?

Edit for clarity: This is not an open contest for everyone to enter, I will test all cases by myself to ensure consistency

This post is also on Reddit
Hi Tim - in addition to your 'measures' listed above - some important 'customer care' deliverables

When I buy any computer hardware - I also value and appreciate good, clear information regarding the particular product and how to assemble (if required) Videos are even better.

Some manufacturers provide excellent component compatibility documentation and testing - which is a real plus for me (as a PC novice builder) and takes some of the worry out of purchasing hardware that will not fit or function well (which can be an expensive mistake).

When something goes wrong… how a manufacturer deals with it - how quickly do they respond to emails? what 'RMA' procedures do they have in place? etc.

Cheers
 
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Windfall

SFF Guru
Nov 14, 2017
1,482
1,164
Thanks for your input guys!

@Hifihedgehog I was thinking about that, but is a highly subjective thing.
Most cases I received so far are really "You get what you pay for" - which isnt a bad thing
But I will include something like this, maybe as a sidenote after the real review
I saw the Nouvolo Steck from @macbosco already and its looking good, but 100$ + shipping + EU Tax is too much for my wallet, Iam already buying the hardware to fit inside ;D

@SilverFox18 @Thehack
Let's talk about clones
... no .. really, its covered already.
I wont include something like this @VegetableStu, dont worry
If a design is liked and another manufacturer wants to do his version of it, Iam totally fine with it
Aaand I dont want to start a shitstorm by giving a personal rating of such a heated topic, sorry

@Windfall @tinyitx
Its not an open contest, I will do all the testing by myself.
Sorry if the post was misleading

@el01
Cable management is a great addition, thanks!
Are you saying, we send cases to you for testing??
 

loader963

Master of Cramming
Bronze Supporter
Jan 21, 2017
566
501
I know what you meant @Windfall . I’m hoping that English isn’t his native language and that he means he’s procuring his own cases and not wanting us to send him ours. Sometimes translation issues happen.
 

Windfall

SFF Guru
Nov 14, 2017
1,482
1,164
I know what you meant @Windfall . I’m hoping that English isn’t his native language and that he means he’s procuring his own cases and not wanting us to send him ours. Sometimes translation issues happen.
Yeah, it appears English isn't his first language. I'm just hoping this isn't a scam to get free stuff.
 
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Crossfire Machines

Caliper Novice
Original poster
Oct 8, 2018
29
46
@Thehack
Good point. Innovation or creativity of design.
I like the idea but I'am somewhat afraid it will end up in "But Case XYZ from totallyUnknownPerson had this feature first!!!11" lol
Added it for consideration anyway, thanks!
The tests will contain many "mainstream" (ITX is never mainstream :D) cases simply because they broadly available and someone who wants to get into SFF is very likely to buy one of those first before going full custom. I do not own SFFLabs cases by myself, but I got friends who do and will let me lend them. This whole contest isnt something thats just done in a week, more a long-term project. :)

@SilverFox18
Thats something really important I totally didnt consider, wow
Added!

@Windfall
No .. what?
Sorry if I said something misleading, of course I'am not asking someone to send me his case :D
If someone happens to be near me and got some spare time, I would totally drive there to have a chat & test, but thats it.
I meant what @loader963 said, the cases will be review samples from manufacturers that got in touch with me, lend ones from friends or bought by myself if I can afford it. English isnt my native language and mostly self-taught, sorry for any confusion
 
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Windfall

SFF Guru
Nov 14, 2017
1,482
1,164
@Thehack
Good point. Innovation or creativity of design.
I like the idea but I'am somewhat afraid it will end up in "But Case XYZ from totallyUnknownPerson had this feature first!!!11" lol
Added it for consideration anyway, thanks!
The tests will contain many "mainstream" (ITX is never mainstream :D) cases simply because they broadly available and someone who wants to get into SFF is very likely to buy one of those first before going full custom. I do not own SFFLabs cases by myself, but I got friends who do and will let me lend them. This whole contest isnt something thats just done in a week, more a long-term project. :)

@SilverFox18
Thats something really important I totally didnt consider, wow
Added!

@Windfall
No .. what?
Sorry if I said something misleading, of course I'am not asking someone to send me his case :D
If someone happens to be near me and got some spare time, I would totally drive there to have a chat & test, but thats it.
I meant what @loader963 said, the cases will be review samples from manufacturers that got in touch with me, lend ones from friends or bought by myself if I can afford it. English isnt my native language and mostly self-taught, sorry for any confusion
Alright, thanks, and no hard feelings. We have had scams pop up here before. Thanks for clarifying.
 
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VELKASE Michael

Airflow Optimizer
VELKASE
Oct 7, 2018
358
327
Hi Tim

I would add my ideas to the discussion of case review criteria but that could be considered a conflict of interests.

Do you have any regional availability requirements in mind for a case to be tested? One of my cases is in production and you can get a free sample depending on availability and your interest. There is no information about this case online yet, but I can share more details privately.

Michael