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Realan I5-4200U/E-I7 mini ITX case builds

By hier2000 ·
Tags: Hardware
A few weeks ago I ordered the I5-4200U and E-I7 cases from Shenzhen Realan, the manufacturer that makes the Habey EMC-800/600 that I've seen a lot of folks use here for HTPC builds. One of the complaints about the EMC-800/600 is that they don't have enough ventilation and none on the top. The E-I5/E-I7 address this issue with more ventilation and a little bit different style, looking now a bit more like one of the Wesena ITX6 or 7 cases. The insides are basically the same and the Habey cases with the same HDD/ODD mounting plates and the same 12V 120W DC power board. The I5-4200U also gets the same 60W AC adapter as the Habey cases but the E-I7 gets a 84W AC adapter.

Late last week I did my first build with the new I5-4200U case again using my bedroom HTPC platform: ASUS P8H61-I, G620, 64GB SSD, 250GB 2.5" HDD and the Gelid Slim Silence i-Plus CPU cooler. First impressions of the I5-4200U are that this is a really nice looking small case. It's nice brushed aluminum with a "diamond" edge that gives it a cool look. Building with the case is pretty easy. It starts with taking four screws off the top. To make things easier to get the motherboard in, I also took out the power board which was two screws for the board and a nut at the back of the case for the power jack. There are no sharp edges anywhere and fit is perfect. The front panel cables are long enough to reach anywhere on the motherboard and then there is plenty of room on the sides to tuck cables away. The HDD bay comes off with four screws and holds any combination of 2 x 2.5" SSD/HDD or 3.5" HDD. With a 28mm CPU cooler, the 3.5" HDD was tight against the cooler but possible if needed. The best fit was with 2 x 2.5" devices, in my case a SSD and 250GB HDD. Everything looks roomy and well ventilated.

I plan to do some thermal and power testing later.
I also have the E-I7. It's similar in style but 15mm taller and has an ODD slot. When I get one of those built I'll post a mini-review here too.

Here are the links to the manufacturer's product pages:
http://www.minicase.net/minipc-i5-4200U-N44.html
http://www.minicase.net/product_E-I7.html
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