NZXT Manta Test and Review Mini-ITX gaming case

NZXT Manta Test and Review Mini-ITX gaming case

We tested got another body of the NZXT, this time from a more unusual and bold Concepts line, which, like the concept karam automobile manufacturers fall futuristic body with a number of innovative solutions in the field of design, and in terms of layout .

It is about NZXT Manta body in a white version with black detailing and a large window on the left side wall. The case involves the placement format motherboard Mini-ITX, although it is not inferior in terms of size, and in some ways superior to Miditower-case, designed for use-a microATX motherboard. All the walls of the case, with the exception of the back and bottom, have a curved, convex shape that looks unusual and causes different associations – someone with the already mentioned concept cars and technology from science fiction movies, and someone – with the old CRT monitors and TVs with convex glass screen.

The case is very high quality painted: black paint on the tactile sensations reminiscent of soft-touch covering smartphones and white – at least nice silky coat of the same smartphone, occurring in some models. The body is really nice touch, while it is not fingerprints, it is doubly cool. In addition to the white color options and have a more aggressive black and red version, as well as more “boring” black version with a window and no window – only four varieties.

NZXT Manta comes in a big box, on the outer side of which is applied a quality color printing – you can feel that the product is not a budget. The package in addition to the body and the elements of the cooling system includes instructions for assembly, set of mounting screws, a small sticker with the NZXT logo and as many as 20 cable ties to tidy cable management. In the instruction each stage of assembly illustrated schematic drawing, there are explanatory captions.

NZXT Manta Test and Review Mini-ITX gaming case

NZXT Manta: Arrangement

The inner space of the case is conventionally divided into two volumes – the bottom put on an ATX format power supply and one seat for 2.5 “or 3.5” drive, and the top – at motherboard Mini-ITX, expansion cards and the basic storage system. Designated under the 5.25 “device not provided, and even a thin optical drive installed in the NZXT Manta will not work.

The body does not try to set records of compactness or density of components per liter of volume, but rather the opposite – a large amount of free space should allow the collector as carefully and quietly lay all wires, then to watch through a large window beautiful and expensive components in detail.

NZXT Manta Test and Review Mini-ITX gaming case

NZXT Manta: Design

Dimensions NZXT Manta – 245 (W) × 426 (V) × 450 (D) mm and weighs no power supply is 7.2 kg, which is quite a lot for such dimensions. It is pleasant to note that the case has not only heavy but also very durable due to the use of “sandwiches” made of steel and plastic on the front, top and two side walls. In addition, the side panels further profiled to form ribs, which makes them as durable.

At the same time the case itself and the substrate for a motherboard made of much thinner steel, but it can be seen only at the time of assembly. Assembled NZXT Manta felt very strong, almost monolithic, despite its convex shape with improvised “gaps” between the major components of the body.

Front panel of case does not carry anything but subtle company logo at the bottom. On the side faces of the decorative panel can be seen the vents through which the cold air gets to the front fans.

NZXT Manta Test and Review Mini-ITX gaming case

Button turn, lights and front I / O ports are located on the front of the upper wall of the case. The power button is located on the left, it has a circular shape, slow speed and fires with a loud click. Reset button designers from NZXT decided not to do. The unit includes two ports spaced USB 3.0 and the standard minijack audionabor of a microphone and headphones.

As a Power LED and HDD LED indicators used by a thin strip of the lens in the center of the composition under consideration. Total diodes are three: two on the edges burn always (Power LED), and a third in the middle blinks in time with the hard disk drive (HDD LED). The color of all three diodes – white, shining dimly they do, they will be clearly seen only in complete darkness.

If we are talking about lighting, you should immediately mention that this body glows white not only strip on top of the wall, but the NZXT logo on the power supply unit compartment case, as well as two LEDs lights up the back I / O panel, which should help when connect new devices to the already assembled, standing under a desk or in another dark place case – a trifle, but nice.

Highlighting the rear panel and internal logo, if desired, can be turned off for that button is provided on the rear wall. It is important to note that the selected backlight option is retained even after the power supply, so disable unnecessary glow whenever you turn on your PC is not required.

NZXT Manta Test and Review Mini-ITX gaming case

Along the edges of the top panel are also ventilation holes for the upper fan, in this regard, the design of the upper and the front panel is very similar and largely coincide. The right side wall has no elements, while almost the entire area of ​​the left wall window Plexiglas covers. The window is made very high quality, with gaps at the junction of the minimum steel, all assembled exactly, to find fault really is nothing.

One of the interesting features of the rear wall can be noted except that the backlight back I / O panel and the backlight control button, which we mentioned earlier. Mounted on the case is not the usual small feet, and two pairs of massive plastic runners at the front and rear of the case. To prevent slip and more runners on vibrorazvyazki data are four small rubber strip thickness.

NZXT Manta: Cooling system

Maybe, NZXT Manta is not able to boast of advanced storage system, but with a cooling system had to Mini-ITX- case are all very good. NZXT Manta provides installation 5 case fans: two in the front wall (size 120 or 140 mm), two similar fans on the top panel and one on the back of the size of only 120 mm, but with the ability to adjust the mounting height, to better take into account the features of the CPU cooler and effectively work in tandem with them.

NZXT Manta Test and Review Mini-ITX gaming case

Supplied with two fan size is 120 mm, mounted on the front wall 1 and a fan on the rear wall. All fans manufacturer offers to connect to a common controller called PWM Fan Hub. The essence of the application of the “hub” is to connect it to the CPU Fan connector on the system board, and all the fans, including a processor, connected to the connectors on the controller. Thus the speed of all the fans will adjust to the PWM-signal from the system board. This is a very convenient solution to adequately automate the process of adjusting the rotational speed of all the fans, without resorting to external sensors and manual krutilki / switches.

It should be noted that if desired all case fans may be replaced by radiators liquid cooling systems relatively compact heat sink with no more than 27 mm in thickness and 280 mm in length can be secured to the top wall, the radiator standard thickness and also up to 280 mm long well will fall front wall, well, a small heatsink on the 120 mm can be placed on the back wall. Note that proprietary unattended CBO NZXT Kraken X61 closed loop radiator 280 mm easily installed both on the front and on the top wall. It is clear that this is a very niche solution, and apply at least one (not to mention a few) of NWO within Mini-ITX- case, few will dare, but the presence of the possibility of – it is in any case a plus.

Do not forget designers NZXT Manta and dust protection. Before the front fan filter is installed from small synthetic mesh in the plastic frame. For its removal must first remove the front panel, gripping the notch at the bottom and pulling the panel, unscrew the benefit of personal and bend the inside is not required, the whole operation takes just seconds.

NZXT Manta Test and Review Mini-ITX gaming case

Second dust filter located on the bottom wall, directly above the power supply vent. The filter is also made of a fine mesh of synthetic plastic frame. He quickly starts and is removed from the body by the guide. Putting to one side the body is not required to clean it.

Maximum CPU cooler height in NZXT Manta is an impressive 160 mm – enough to accommodate the majority of large models. On the substrate for the system board has a very large opening, so that the mounting holes for mounting the cooler on the part of the right wall will definitely be available, and the cost to change or clean the CPU cooler can not be dismantled.

NZXT Manta: Assembling the system unit

Both side panels are fastened to the hull by two thumbscrews. Forced to note that the quality of the thread for these screws, as, indeed, most other thumb screws in this case, leaves much to be desired: the work with them is almost impossible without a screwdriver.

fixing sidewalls mechanism – sliding reclining. Moreover, not used thin L-shaped cutouts, and the combination of a round pin protruding profile and – together they provide a soft and strong fixation even sidewalls upright case.

Racks for fixing the system board in advance affixed by the manufacturer, and the plug for the rear I / O ports are traditionally lacking. To install the 2.5 “drives on the system board provides the substrate 2 steel bracket. The disc is attached to this bracket with 4 screws and then himself bracket is attached to the substrate 1 thumbscrew – not the quick and easy solution, but it is more than safe.

To install a 3.5 “drive mounting holes are provided on the reverse side of the substrate, wherein the bracket for 2.5” disk drives in installation time should not be – they overlap and do not provide access to set screw 4, HDD fixing on the substrate due to openings the bottom wall.

NZXT Manta Test and Review Mini-ITX gaming case

Last seat is universal, it is located on the inner side of the case bottom wall adjacent to the front panel. The disc is mounted on a bottom wall 4 and a screw screwed through the mounting hole from the outside of the case. This process can take a long time, besides all unclaimed wires from the power supply fall precisely in that niche, where it is necessary to operate the hard drive, which is clearly not the best way affect its temperature readings. In our opinion, this seat is used only if the other three are occupied and a quarter can not do.

Plugs for expansion cards attached thumbscrews each themselves thin plug perforated. The maximum length supported by the graphics card is 363 mm – this should be with a margin enough for any single-processor solutions. It is very important that the video card cooling system is not heavily favored her back (looking at the processor) side. In our case, the graphics accelerator almost touching the steel projection system hidden laying of wires, separating the space between the motherboard and 2.5 “drives.

The power supply is put into the body through the right side wall is installed is not a high podium with rubber feet and screwed with 4 screws on the outside of the rear wall of the case. External case connectors are connected with shielded cables with monolithic connectors for audio connection only provides HD Audio, USB 3.0 ports are connected monolithic block to the internal motherboard connector. The wires from the control buttons and LED indicators presented traditional loose.

PWM-fan controller is located on the back side of the motherboard substrate. It is connected with the second, much more compact board that is responsible for turning on and off the backlight. For them to work together, you must connect all peripheral connector 1, better known as the Molex, from the controller to the power supply. All case fans connected to the controller with standard 3-pin connectors.

For laying of wires hidden in the NZXT Manta is provided about 35 mm of space between the right wall and the substrate, a large number of cut-outs for the point O cable directly to the correct connector, as well as a large number of complete couplers and small slits for which they can be fixed. laying process complicates the fact that, even without installing any components a large number of cables already present in the body, stretched around the perimeter. Nevertheless, with due diligence and proper selection of accessories, you can ensure that the wires as power and signaling through the window on the left side was almost not visible.

NZXT Manta: Testing the effectiveness of case ventilation systems

This phase of the study is testing using software that load the various subsystems of the computer, which in turn, causes powerful enough heat. Thus it is possible to evaluate the performance and capabilities of the cooling system case.

The testbed consisted of the following components:

  • Motherboard Asus P8H61-I LX
  • Intel Celeron G540 Processor
  • CPU cooler Glacialtech Igloo i630 Light
  • Graphics Card AMD Radeon HD 5750 with passive cooling
  • Seagate ST9640320AS hard disk drive
  • Memory Kingston KVR1333D3N9 (2 bars)

This configuration is a standardized test for all small cases, so it includes a 2.5 “hard drive and CPU cooler close to the minimum height.

The temperature in the room during all tests remained unchanged at 24 degrees. Register temperatures SpeedFan program was carried out in the following modes:

Idle – idle mode: the operating system Windows 7 Home Premium with the included Antivirus MS Essentials and background processes for 1 hour.

Video (CPU) and Video (DXVA) – preview video Full HD (BDRemux) using VLC 2.0 player is turned off and turned on hardware decoder for 1 hour.

LinPack – CPU load calculations in the program-benchmark Intel for 1 hour; this software is notorious for creating unusually high load on the CPU, warming it up to the maximum level.

FurMark – load the graphics accelerator and to a lesser extent in specialized CPU benchmark for 1 hour.

FurMark + LinPack – simultaneous launch of both benchmark and run for 1 hour; here the load on the components of the PC should be maximized.

Note that during all test body was set in an upright position, air flow to the side walls was not impeded. Test results are shown in the diagrams:

Testing has shown that the body cooling system copes well with its responsibilities. Hard drives are far from the hot spots, strong heating of the CPU and GPU passive cooling systems do not render them virtually no impact.

With CPU cooling problems, too, should not occur: the maximum height of the cooler can be 160 mm, its fan (or fans) can help case “pinwheel” on the back and the top of the wall.

As for the passive cooling graphics cards, the NZXT Manta she feels is not the best way, because almost exactly fall on the GPU air flow, but due to the fact that the body as a whole large enough, there is no overheating graphics chip. It is worth noting that in this case, as in most other Mini-ITX-making, the best option for cooling the graphics card is a turbine, the discharged hot air outside the case.

NZXT Manta: Noise measurement

Noise measurement is carried out in accordance with our method using a sound level meter Octave Eco-110A in a soundproof room with a typical noise level of 20 dBA. During the measurement, all appliances in the room are turned off.

To control the fan voltage supply used independently controlled converter.

The body is equipped with a single-channel fan controller that can manage a family at the same time the fans, and also has an additional uncontrollable uses a four-output to connect the CPU cooler. the controller is powered by a peripheral slot ( “Molex”) by two denominations of supply voltage 5 V and 12 V. When serving only 12 will not be in a controller to regulate the output voltage on the connectors, and the fans will spin at maximum speed. In this controller there is no governing body that is accessible to the user, and the output voltage change occurs depending on the signal channel PWM CPU cooler (PWM duty ratio), which is supplied to the controller via an appropriate input jack.

It should be borne in mind that when you set the PWM duty ratio of less than 30 per cent of the speed control is not performed.

In this case, the algorithm is implemented, in which the voltage to the fans is adjusted depending on the direction of change of the duty ratio. With an increase in the duty ratio of 30 to 80 percent of the fans will continue to rotate at minimum speed (710 rev / min), and when it reaches 90 percent – go to maximum speed (1320 rev / min). By reducing the fill factor the situation is reversed: from 100 to 50 per cent of the fans run at maximum speed, and 40 to 30 – at the minimum.

A certain logic in such an algorithm is. Fans rotate at a minimum noise level at a relatively low temperature of the CPU, while its high magnification, which usually corresponds to a large computational load on the component, system performance is close to the maximum. By reducing the load case fans cooling system to reduce the temperature to the thresholds that are set by the user in the system board software for the CPU, then the fan switch to minimum speed.

The only thing that is not very well fit into this logical idea – is the maximum fan speed at a duty cycle of less than 30 percent.

Note that the maximum voltage that the controller is supplied to the fans is about 11.67 V and a minimum – about 4.45 V. The intermediate values ​​in this case absent.

Performance body cooling system varies quite widely, depending on the voltage supply fans. Subjectively, this parameter allows to evaluate the noise level that is in the range of 23 to 38 dBA at a front panel is removed and the PWM duty cycle from 30 percent to 100 percent.

The assembled body cooling system noise level ranges from 21.5 to 34 dBA at the microphone arrangement in the near field. At minimum speed the noise is minimal noticeable for premises in the daytime and most satisfied with this level and at night. At maximum speed the noise can be considered quite comfortable when working at the computer in the daytime, and evaluate its level can be the average for the premises during the day.

Setting noise reduction from a source inside the body when measured from the front up to 4 dB, which corresponds to the average level for solutions with complete walls. Perhaps if the case has been sealed over, then this option would be better.

Complete fans do not emit extraneous sounds neaerodinamicheskogo origin, the controller also works silently.

The case has a decent acoustic ergonomics, but the application of the algorithm of the cooling system would be more came up a powerful workstation, not a home multi-function computer.

NZXT Manta: conclusions

NZXT Manta – product niche and definitely controversial, not for nothing that the manufacturer assigns it to the lineup of concept buildings. It can be recognized and further developed, and can quietly go into the shadows, they do not gain popularity specimen. NZXT Manta certainly not intended to create HTPC and inconspicuous installation next to the TV in the living room. Wishing to assemble looking unusually powerful workstation with advanced storage system case is not too please: it is possible to install a maximum of 4 drives, of which only 2 full size. This is, by and large, the most significant disadvantage of the model, given its size, approaching Miditower-solutions.

White with black and black with red model NZXT Manta should go well for gamers who are tired of the strict, straight body with a minimalist design and want something more unusual, violent, futuristic. Of course, the design of the case – it is a very subjective question, someone will like it, some do not. The only thing is useless to argue – is the quality of NZXT Manta painting. Covering really looks great, it does not remain fingerprints, and it is very pleasant to the touch.

Recommended price NZXT Manta is an impressive $ 140, so that the body belongs to the upper price range, and struggled to her match: a strong quality steel, advanced cooling system and protection from dust, the ability to install multiple systems, liquid cooling, intelligent fan controller, switchable backlight – all this is present in the body and performed at a high inherent cost level.

Source: nzxt

NZXT Manta Test and Review Mini-ITX gaming case was last modified: December 21st, 2016 by Casey Rembrandt