Cubitek Mini Cube ITX Case Review

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Posted by on Friday, February 8, 2013 - 8:00am

Not from the ICE series but still has the style that many like is the Mini Cube which resides under Cubitek’s new Mini series. With ITX motherboards quietly becoming the go-to form factor for some, the Mini Cube is designed to give you the max chances of building the ultimate gaming system while using little terrain. 

Cubitek Mini Cube ITX Case Review

Introduction

Today, we are feeling a little special as we finally get an opportunity to review a case from Cubitek. I looked over Cubitek’s site some time ago and fell in love with a few of their cases. Their ICE series is one of the best looking cases on the market. The simplistic style is the true definition of brilliance. If you don’t believe go that a look….we will wait. I told you so.

Not from the ICE series but still has the style that many like is the Mini Cube which resides under Cubitek’s new Mini series. With ITX motherboards quietly becoming the go-to form factor for some, the Mini Cube is designed to give you the max chances of building the ultimate gaming system while using little terrain.  

Cubitek's take on the Mini Cube

Mini Cube is the world’s first Mini ITX chassis supporting cable management behind the MB tray. With the fully aluminum Mini Cube, Team Cubitek gives Mini ITX gamers maximum performance in a minimum space.


Specifications

Item Name

Mini Cube

Item Number

CB-MNI-B004

Color

External

Black

Internal

Original Aluminum Color

Size

Case Dimension (mm)

W 200 H 320 D 300

Carton Size (mm)

W 250 H 382 D 370

Weight

Net Weight (KG)

2.3

Gross Weight (KG)

2.8

Material

Aluminum

M/B Type

Mini ITX

Drive Bay

5.25" Drive Bay

N/A

3.5" Drive Bay

Hidden x 3 ( Max. )

2.5" Drive Bay

Hidden x 5 ( Max. )

I/O Panel

USB 3.0*2

L:400mm

USB 2.0*2

Audio*1

Mic*1

Expansion Slots

2

Cooling System

Rear

80 or 90mm Fan ( Optional )

Bottom

120mm Fan ( Optional )

PSU

Standard ATX PSU ( Max. 150mm )

Maximum Compatibility

VGA 

Max. 280mm long

CPU Cooler

Max. 150mm height

Features

Rear 80 or 90mm optional fan
2 PCI slots
Standard ATX PSU
Removable dust filter
Easy access I/O
4x 2.5" and 3x 3.5" HDDs ( behind the motherboard tray )
2.5" HDD hidden or 120mm optional fan


Closer look at the exterior

The Mini Cube comes in the only color Cubitek has released their aluminum cases and that is black. The is very short in structure measuring just 12.5” tall, 7.8” wide and 11.8” deep. If we bring this down to metrics than the Mini only takes up 19.2 liter of space on your desk. This is smaller than the Silverstone PS09, we just reviewed and far smaller than the Bitfenix Prodigy.

The looks of the Cube is so simplistic that there isn’t much to write about when talking about the exterior. We will still this review with first talking about the front panel. The front along with the top is one piece of aluminum. The only thing you will find in the front of the case is the power and reset buttons in the upper right and the Cubitek logo at the bottom center. Yes, you are seeing thing correctly, there are no exterior drive bays on this case. That means no optical drive here.

The sides of the Cube are simple sheets of aluminum matching that of the front fascia. No windows or vented holes to speak of.

The top of the case is in the same situation as the side panels, except for I/O ports. There are two each USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports along with dual audio jacks.

Looking at the bottom of the case we can see there are two vented areas for what would be the power supply and a fan.

Even the rear of the case is pretty clean as well as shiny. First thing is it has shares the original aluminum of silver not black like the rest of the enclosure. But have to love the bottom mounting of the power supply in such a small case.

The opening for a cooling fan is only designed for 80mm and 92 mm fans. This could possibly add noise to the system if not picky with your selection of fan. The vent is not designed in a way that is beneficial to the case. A redesign eliminating some of the surface area blocking exhaust is needed.


Closer look at the interior

The inside coloring is the same as the rear exterior panel…aluminum silver. Also missing from the inside of the case is any type of cages for drives. Also the case if long enough to support graphic card with a maximum length of 11” and wide enough for CPU coolers as tall as 6” in height.

Right off the bat you can see just where the drives are to be mounted and that is to the rear of the motherboard and it is obvious because of the holes in the motherboard tray. We will show you more of this later.  Also in the motherboard tray are three openings for cable routing.

Here we have another shot of the rear of the chassis but this time from the inside. The two expansion slot covers are vented as they really need be because of the lack of intake and exhaust circulation openings on the case.

Now we have a better idea of what the vents on the bottom of the case are for. The rear one is for the power supply obviously and the other for a fan no larger than 120mm. if you elect to not use the forward section for a fan than you are free to mount a 2.5”drive here.

The back of the motherboard tray is the location where you would have to install any storage you may use. a limit of four 2.5” or three 3.5” drives are supported.

 


Build Images


Conclusion

They say that first impressions are the longest lasting. If that is the case than I think Cubitek has bright future ahead. When I first view the Mini Cube ITX case, I immediately thought it would be the ideal case for a HTPC, office or even a light gaming machine. I still think that after playing around with it for awhile.

The case is superb looking, inside and out. The subtle exterior is clean and simplistic which is a style that has a huge following. This case can blend in environment in the house or office. This brushed aluminum panels are not the thickness we have encountered but they are far from the thinnest. The case is pretty sturdy and should be able to talk the abuse of day to day usage.

Some may call the lack of support a lack of a feature. Things have changed in recent times and fewer and fewer people are using a optical drive to install anything. Today, you can even install Windows from a flash drive. The lack of optical bays increase the support for more storage drives, ventilation and simply looks cleaner. Too many the optical drive has become today's floppy.

It took us no time to get a system built using the Cubitek Mini Cube. First of all, the case's interior is completely open making it pretty direct to install things. The only true worry you have to deal with when it comes to air coolers is if it allows you to use your ram and GPU. Clearance in the case isn't much of a concern as the Mini Cube does support almost 6" tall. Even the drives can be installed without the use of a screwdriver.

If intend to use this case for a gaming rig, you will have your choice of making video cards. But they will have to measure 11" or less in order to fit in the small space of the Mini Cube. Cards like the reference GTX 680 falls in the category of cards that can be used. But we do suggest using cards that cooling systems exhaust out the rear. Explanation below.

The only issue one may have with the Mini Cube is its ventilation aspects. The case supports two fans total without modding. An 80/92mm in the rear and a 120mm in the bottom. Even with the 120mm allow ample air to enter from the bottom of the case, warmer exhaust is not escape as quick. This is where the aid of a good CPU fan comes into place as it will let with the exhaust some.

One can opt to use an AIO water-cooling setup to help cool the CPU allowing for a cleaner setup as well as adding another fan to the build. How so? Configuring the cooler with a push/pull fan setup utilizing second fan will help. But if you like the Cubitek style but want additional options for better cooling internally look at their Mini ICE.

My only knock at the Mini Cube is the rear fan grill. Even with it being spattered with a bunch of tiny opening, there is still enough surface area to block half of the exhaust escaping from the case. A new design to this would make this an even better case.

Overall, I really like the Mini Cube from Cubitek and would recommend it to anybody looking for a smaller rig.

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