There's something appealing about tiny cases like the Cubitek Mini Tank. Especially given that, with the release of fully-featured, mini-ITX Intel Sandy Bridge and AMD Fusion boards, we've been looking to replace our current Doberman-sized machines.
Cubitek reckons you can stick a 34cm graphics card in this here case, and a 16cm CPU cooler too. It certainly had no trouble housing a relatively small GTX 460, although it did require some quite thoughtful cable fiddling.
Keeping the PSU well out of the way in a compartment at the base of the case creates space but it's harder to put a big PSU in place and cable management is far from perfect. The layout is sensible enough though – but we have seen more elegant space solutions elsewhere.
The biggest problem teeny-tiny cases face is temperature, especially cases like the Mini-Tank which encourage you to fill them with high-end components. We found GPU temperature management especially good – the GTX 460 inside, churning out endless Heaven 2.5 frames, got no hotter than 71°C degrees.
The cooler on the Fusion motherboard we installed is no heavyweight and took up about two of the 16 allocated centimetres for cooling your processor, but still managed a fair 65°C degrees under load.
Chucking a full-sized fan in there wouldn't be an easy task as the case panels aren't as dismountable as we'd like, but the Mini-Tank seems to succeed where others have failed in mini-performance PC case design by keeping things reassuringly cool.
One 120mm and two 140mm case fans are backlit by 'gamer-red' LEDs to retain some enthusiast rig credibility, and while they keep temps lower than most, they're noisier than most too.
That's the trade-off. It's one of the best micro-gaming solutions we've seen though, with sturdy build, good temps and room for proper coolers and even this gen's AMD cards.
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