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Hardware NZXT Manta Review

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Combatus, 15 Feb 2016.

  1. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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  2. Arboreal

    Arboreal Well-Known Member

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    A good looking case with nice curves;but it's on the expensive side and TOO BIG :nono:
    Its depth and height alone at over 420mm each put it into ATX case territory, never mind mATX.
    Yes you can WC with it, but you have a lovely small ITX board in a huge case whose dimensions would suggest it could take something with more slots easily.
    /SFF fascist
     
  3. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

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    I agree with the above. Large Mitx cases both miss the point and are lazy in design and concept.

    Having seen what the Ncase M1 has achieved with this form factor there is really no excuse for such large cases. In fact for me all I would want is a slightly taller M1 (about 1-1.5cm taller) so that a dual 120 rad + fans was easier to mount on the bottom. That way 2 x dual 120mm rads are very doable (they are now, but with a lot of effort) in a case less than half the size of this. (No window on the M1 with 2 rads though - wish there was a way).

    Even if the price was lowered I would never consider such a case for an award purely for the fact that it fails to deliver what the MITX form factor is about, a reduction in size.
     
    Last edited: 15 Feb 2016
  4. Arboreal

    Arboreal Well-Known Member

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    More eloquently put than me. I've never seen an Ncase M1 but it is a game changer for SFF builds.
    Shame no one mainstream is doing anything radical & small; I love the stuff that Silverstone has done - SG05/06 were trendsetters for mITX and SFX, but it's a form that is tough to follow in the sub 15L arena.
     
  5. Taua

    Taua Member

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    It's frankly a terrible ITX case. When I bought my hadron air, I wanted it to be as small as possible yet still pack some real power. That Manta case is verging into ATX size...it's ridiculous :/
     
  6. Hustler

    Hustler Well-Known Member

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    So you'd be getting a case that is almost as big as a mid tower with the added bonus of all the restrictions of a Mini ITX motherboard based build.

    Why...why would you do that to yourself?
     
  7. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    What ITX setup is going to get even close to requiring 2*280mm rads?

    Honestly, not only does it look pretty hideous (IMHO), but it totally misses the point of ITX. I love ITX but this totally butchers the platform.
     
  8. hero1

    hero1 New Member

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    I agree with everyone here. I really think they missed the mark by trying too much. NCase M1 set the bar for mITX cases and I hope the big players can follow suit by making something that good.
     
  9. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

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    To add to my previous comment, I think the review should have been far more scathing in regards to the size issue. Everyone here seems to agree that the rad support for the form factor is out of balance, and even if it can be justified the size used cannot.

    If reviewers continue to let such large Mitx cases slide (not that you necessarily did, but I don't think the review was harsh enough about this point) then manufacturers won't get the message. I can't see something like this selling well either, especially as it is aimed mostly at enthusiasts, who tend to know their stuff. I would be interested to hear for the manufacturer as to who they believe their target audience for such a case is to be honest.

    I am not the one with the market research but I would think the following:

    Enthusiast PC builders = niche
    Those wanting an ITX build = bigger niche
    Those then wanting to watercool an ITX build = even bigger niche
    Those wanting to watercool an ITX build with little to no interest in reducing a systems footprint = non-existent niche?
     
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2016
  10. Dogbert666

    Dogbert666 *Fewer Staff Administrator

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    I personally agree with the consensus here that this is too big a case for mini-ITX, but from a review perspective we have to give it fair consideration. Otherwise I could just simply list the dimensions and the fact that it's mini-ITX only and say "Too big. Fail. Try harder". NZXT could have used this space in a new, innovative or unique way. It didn't, and that's a shame, and I think this was made clear in the review. But I don't think large mini-ITX cases are doomed by default - the Enthoo EVOLV ITX is a solid case, not to mention the Prodigy. Granted, this is *even bigger*, but still.

    We can't dictate what should and shouldn't be allowed in a given platform - only you guys can do that by voting with your wallet. The reactions here also prove the point in the conclusion that "the aesthetics and size of this case are so unique that they're probably going to be the deciding factor".
     
  11. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

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    Whilst I agree Dogbert666, it is difficult to vote with your wallet when no real cases exist that that support what is on offer here at what is really MItx size. The M1 is expensive due to how it is made and its also difficult to get hold of.

    What else offers similar size and watercooling support at that size. The 250D is almost twice the size and many smaller cases can't fit a dual rad. These cases will continue to sell as there is no alternative. The reviewers have their part in reflecting the discourse of the communities which support them. Therefore maybe "Looks OK but too big. Fail. Try harder" Might not be an inappropriate review.

    The Evolv ITX is a solid case by all accounts but again, why does it exist? What does it offer that an MAtx case doesn't? This goes for most other MItx cases bar a few which then lack support for higher end hardware but are aimed more at HTPC setup and such.

    The prodigy was a step in the right direction, it was big mainly due to the handles but it was unique and offered something different in its size and hardware support and its ability to be customized.

    Sorry for the rant but I am just getting tired of this laziness from case manufacturers. I know that risk in business is often not looked upon kindly but to me this is just them being out of touch with the community. Really, who does their market research?
     
  12. Dogbert666

    Dogbert666 *Fewer Staff Administrator

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    I do get and appreciate where you're coming from - I'd love to see more innovation and a push for smaller SFF cases. Of the major manufacturers, I'd say SilverStone is leading the pack here and has been for some time (I seem to remember seeing the SG10, thinking it was ITX and then learning and loving that it was actually micro-ATX).

    My only point is that I can't push my agenda onto reviews too hard, nor those of more vocal members of the community, in the assumption that I or they speak for everyone. Don't get me wrong, I love having these discussions, and you certainly don't need to apologise for ranting on something you're passionate about, but it is feasible that someone has decided they're okay with a mini-ITX tower PC like this, the Enthoo or the new Define Nano S. In which case a review like "too big. Fail." is going to be of no use. I can question the use of such product, even suggest that the design is safe and lazy as I think I did in the review, but I can't say it's useless outright if it is in fact a functional, well made, easy to use product.

    I am just as clueless about these companies' market research as you, and I do very much believe there are elements of laziness and risk aversion in the design of this case. But it is possible that other consumers simply love the design and aren't that fussed about the size. Some may only want a moderate reduction in size. Plus, cases like this are much easier to show off your hardware with, and also very easy to work with, both of which are conceivably priorities for certain people, and legitimately so.
     
  13. HandMadeAndroid

    HandMadeAndroid That's handy.

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    Looks like a toaster.
     
  14. MightyBenihana

    MightyBenihana Do or do not, there is no try

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    Fair enough. I was being a little facetious. Might be worth trying to get an interview with someone at Corsair or another of the large companies to put these questions to them. Maybe we could get a thread going on the forums of questions we would liked asked. I think it would be a good way for companies to get feedback from the community (a good way to sell it to them) and also good for BT's profile.

    I think BT is grown up enough in its user base for such an interview to have real value for them.
     
  15. Dogbert666

    Dogbert666 *Fewer Staff Administrator

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    I would be up for something like that. Any other companies you (or anyone else) would be particularly interested in hearing from?
     
  16. Impatience

    Impatience Active Member

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    Corsair & Silverstone for me.. I'd love to have a Bit-Tech advice-designed "cheap" Lian-Li or In-Win in production, but in reality I think it'll more likely be Corsair or Silverstone to take on our thoughts. (Corsair would probably market it as a Corsair GAMING LAN case, Silverstone as it'd fit with their new SFX-L philosophy!)
     
  17. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    Even in that case it remains a "too big, fail". If you are a hypothetical consumer who wants to use a mITX board but wants space for lots of rads (or otherwise wants a big case for some reason), then they'd be better served by just buying an mATX or ATX case and putting the ITX board in it, than buying a bloated mITX case.

    While short-run cases like the Ncase M1, Dan A4, Kimera Cerberus, Freilite Brevis, NFC S4, etc are all fairly expensive, that is due to their small production volumes (hundreds to single-digit thousands) rather than anything inherent in their design. There is nothing to stop a manufacturer from taking the same layouts and producing a much cheaper case. Fractal Design have the Node 202 and Silverstone have the SG13, both of which are very compact while also pretty cheap. There have also been some bizarre cases of missing the point, like the PC-Q17 that takes the Ncase M1's basic design, but then bloats it to accommodate an ATX PSU and a front pointless void space, and loses the ability to mount any internal radiators. Or the MSI Nightblade MI, which puts the GPU on the wrong side of the motherboard, requiring a proprietary laptop-style cooler to be used, and uses a less easily replaceable 1U PSU.
     
  18. suenstar

    suenstar Collector of Things

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    I quite like the general design of the Manta, though I agree with the general opinion that the size is too much for the form factor.
    If I did modding projects, I'd be tempted to grab the white version to turn into a Portal turret.

    I wouldn't mind hearing from Antec and BitFenix.
     
  19. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    Despite everything, I really like the internal layout of this case, and bundling a software controlled fan hub is a nice touch. I'm not enamoured by the exterior, but it isn't barftastic or even remotely fugly, to be honest. I think "inoffensive" describes it best.

    The fact that it is around two inches wider, deeper and taller than my mATX TJ08 and PS07 cases is a major issue, as already mentioned numerous times - around 16 litres more!

    That's more than one of these:

    [​IMG]

    At least the size means your could dedicate a 240 AIO each to the CPU and GPU but, seriously, it's a gnat's nadger away from being able to accommodate a mATX board; so why did they insist on making it mITX only?

    Oh and, as picked up in the review, I'd expect hinged doors and that price point these days.
     
    Last edited: 17 Feb 2016
  20. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    It was designed for this guy.

    [​IMG]
     
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