System Building with NZXT Manta mini-ITX
During the build, I installed a Corsair H100i water cooling unit along with a RADEON R9 270X Windforce edition graphics card. I was very interested in seeing how cable management would turn out to be since there were no rubber grommets for the cable cutouts and no Velcro straps to tie down large cables. Let’s take a look at the build.
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97N-WIFI
System Memory: 2x4GB 1600MHz DDR3
Processor: Intel Pentium G3258 @ 4.8GHz
Audio: Realtek ALC892
Video: Gigabyte R9 270X 2GB GDDR5 Windforce Edition
Disk Drive 1: Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB SSD
Enclosure: NZXT Manta mini-ITX case
PSU: Corsair CX430M
Monitor: HP 23bw 23″ IPS display
Operating System: Windows 8.1 Professional 64-Bit
The overall build turned out well since there was a lot of work room in the case. I installed the radiator to the Corsair H100i at the front of the case with enough room for two more fans for a push-pull configuration. The Gigabyte R9 270X 2GB GDDR5 Windforce Edition graphics card installed without a problem considering how long the card was. Getting the cables to the motherboard was doable, but bending a few cables just to get them to plug into the motherboard was difficult because of the cable bar. Once I was able to get the cables plugged in, the cable bar does a good job at hiding most of those cables.
Cable management was simple to do thanks to the many cable tie down points on the motherboard tray. Although Velcro straps were not included, I was still able to tie down the large 24-pin motherboard cable without much problem. Since the side panels were curved outwards, the cables behind the motherboard tray had enough clearance and did not come into contact with the side panel.
Because I mounted the 240mm radiator to the front, I placed the two 120mm fans on the outside of frame. But does that mean we lose the front dust filter?
The front dust filter installed without a problem even with the fans installed outside the frame. The front dust filter was large enough for this kind of configuration. Adding two more fans behind the radiator could be done for a push-pull configuration.
The SSD brackets could be removed via a single thumbscrew. These brackets did not have a tool-less design as installing an SSD required four screws. I would had been able to admire the SSD installed in this system if only it was not upside down. Also, when installing a 3.5″ HDD behind the motherboard tray, these two SSD brackets must be removed to do so.
Take a look at how much room was left for additional fans on the radiator. Assuming there were additional fans on the radiator for a push-pull configuration, there would still be about a centimeter or two between the fans and the graphics card. The Gigabyte R9 270X 2GB GDDR5 Windforce Edition measures in at 11.5″, but it should have no problems with a push-pull configuration.
The LED’s on the motherboard rear I/O ports were bright and provided enough light to plug in the necessary cables. This was a great feature to have especially since this build was often left alone in a dark corner. What I would had liked to see was some sort of way to power these LED’s by battery. This way, the user can plug in all the necessary cables before powering on the system.
The illumination on the NZXT logo on the power supply chamber was very bright and looked great in darker environments. There were no LED strips on the interior or underneath the case, but I personally liked it without these added features anyway.
Let’s go into my final thoughts and end this review with my conclusion in the next section.