Can anyone help me find a good compact ITX case?

SiO2

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I'm looking for a super compact no-slot, no-bay ITX case for a build, but can't seem to find anything that satisfies. I want something small like the Mini-Box M350 or Morex 557 (neither of those two will work) but there don't seem to be many other options out there.

There's one series of cases called "e-Mini" from somewhere in China that look neat. The E-2015/3015 (http://minicase.net/product_E-2015.html) especially looks perfect, I love the external sata+power ports on the side. The problem is I can't for the life of me figure out where the @#$% to buy them. A whole bunch of different companies list these as "their" product, but there's never a buy button. Mini-Box looks like they OEM one of them as the "M250", but I'm not sure if it's actually the same or just a clone or what (they've yet to respond to my email).

Is there anything else out there? I'm not looking for anything special, I really just want a small box with front usb that doesn't look like total ass. Something around $50 or less.
 

SiO2

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There are a bunch of models by that name, but from what I see they're all like $300 area. Is there one in particular you're thinking of?
 

eggDK

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Think Woxys means this one: http://www.streacom.com/products/f1cws-evo-chassis/

But yeah, they sell for around 100USD where I can find them..

EDIT: You don't describe what you want to do with the case, so I'm just gonna go ahead and suggest a NUC. You could even use a passively cooled case like the Akasa Newton which is around 50$..
 
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SiO2

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That certainly fits the "doesn't look like ass" part (I wish all itx cases could be that elegant), but price aside it doesn't appear to have front usb, which is a deal breaker (it's one of the main reasons I had to reject the M350).

Are there really no other options for a simple =<$50 itx case?
 

SiO2

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EDIT: You don't describe what you want to do with the case, so I'm just gonna go ahead and suggest a NUC.

I have a bunch of itx guts and I want to throw them together into a utility machine. I already have a board, cpu, heatsink, ram, drive, pico, cables, etc. I literally only need a case. I just want front usb so I can use thumb sticks without having to reach around back all the time.

NUCs look cool and if I was starting from scratch I might go for them, but not for this project.
 

SiO2

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Forgot to mention the ISK 110. The problem with that one is that the current versions have this huge ugly fan on the side that isn't even over the cpu on my board. They're also like $70, which is more than I really wanted to pay.

I've looked at InWin BP and BQs before and several of them look nice, but as with e-Mini, where the heck do you buy them? Amazon and Newegg only seem to carry like two or three models from them, and they're always near 70 bucks. (I'm also not sure I totally trust the custom psu in those things, but that's a different issue).
 

SiO2

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Well, I already know all those. As I said in my initial post I already looked at the M350 and asked them about the M250.
 

SiO2

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They only have three cases $50 or under. Ye Olde M350, which lacks front usb. The M250, which looks like an import of the E-2015 or E-3015 (and which they won't answer questions about), and the M200, which has zero ventilation.
 

goodbyegalaxy

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Have you seen the Realan cases? Check out the E-I5. It's $100, but it comes with power board and adapter so you don't need to buy a PSU.

There's a smaller E-I3 but it has no front USB (seems to be sold out), and a larger E-I7 with a slot for disc drive. I bought an E-I7 from the site above and have no complaints. There was one small issue and the seller fixed it right away.
 

SiO2

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Have you seen the Realan cases?

Yeah, see my first post about the E-2015 on minicase.net. Except I'm not convinced that "Realan" actually makes them... it seems whoever does OEMs them out to various companies. Either way, I can't find anyone selling the cheaper ones. I don't really need one with a built-in psu, since I already have a pico.
 

Stevo_

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You can find some of those Realans on ebay try a search like "lin pc diy realan" $25
 

EndersShadow

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another vendor that is in the US is PerfectHomeTheater.com

They carry an assortment of small ITX cases. However you wont find them under 50 bucks, more in the 100 range IIRC.
 

Zap

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Forgot to mention the ISK 110. The problem with that one is that the current versions have this huge ugly fan on the side that isn't even over the cpu on my board. They're also like $70, which is more than I really wanted to pay.

I picked up mine new from Amazon for $53 shipped. I just had it in my wish list and checked pricing periodically.

Remember that the price includes a decent quality PSU.

AFAIK the older ISK 100 had the fan. The ISK 110 does not include a fan.
 

illram

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Yeah ISK 110 has no fans.

It's a great little case and isn't horrible to look at.... although mine is tucked away behind a monitor.
 

Stevo_

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I'm looking for a super compact no-slot, no-bay ITX case for a build, but can't seem to find anything that satisfies. I want something small like the Mini-Box M350 or Morex 557 (neither of those two will work) but there don't seem to be many other options out there.

Is there anything else out there? I'm not looking for anything special, I really just want a small box with front usb that doesn't look like total ass. Something around $50 or less.

Why didn't the Morex 557 work? It has 2 USB 2.0 ports in front. Think those could be modded to 3.0 without much trouble seem to have standard spacing, and looks much better in person than online photos would suggest. I have one for a fanless system.

morex_zpsn6jligzw.jpeg
 

SiO2

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re:ISK 110:
Yeah it looks like I mixed those up, oops. Either way though I've never personally seen either going for under $65. Call me cheap, but I really don't want to pay that much for what amounts to a plastic box. I know the ISKs come with a psu but it's proprietary. In a <$30 e-Mini case I don't care, but for the ISK if it blows you're out another $70+ because Antec doesn't sell them separate. I don't need another psu anyway, I already have a pico that works fine.


re: ebay:
I've been looking on ebay believe me. It's a royal pain in the ass though, as neither ebay themselves nor google can do proper searches anymore. You type in "E-2015" or "e-Mini" even with the quotes you get random motorola E series phone cases and shit. Some people put "lini" in the title, some "realan", some no name. Most don't mention "itx" and some don't even say "case". A lot that I can find are the old models, which are $25, plus like $15 shipping then you find out it's used or they ripped out the psu or something. It's all over the map and you've never really sure what you're getting with an ebay sale anyway.

re: Morex 557:
My board has the 24 pin up in the front right corner. The 557 has its usb mount board in the same spot. The pico's connectors stick out too far and it won't fit unfortunately, the case needs to be like an inch longer.
 

SiO2

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A lot that I can find are the old models, which are $25, plus like $15 shipping then you find out

I should clarify: I don't necessarily care that it's old per se, just that the older ones look worse IMO, and since the psu in those things is probably junk, if I'm dropping $40+ into this box I at least want it to have those extra external sata connectors or something. I can deal with $50 for a well made nice looking case with no features, but for one of these imports it really needs something to sweeten the deal. I dunno, maybe I'm just cheap. Honestly though if I saw someone reputable selling an E-2015 or E-3015 with psu/sata for even $50 I'd go for it.
 

SiO2

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Well I mean I might have to if I can't find a better case, but that's super awkward.
 

jeremyshaw

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Eh, it's how I use my Mac mini, nowadays.

AFAIK, doesn't the M350 have an internal front USB? Any chance of just cutting a hole in the front plastic to access it?

Otherwise, why not a powered USB hub?
 

SiO2

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It does, but I'm not dropping any significant money on a case only to ghetto a hole in it. If I'm buying, I'm buying something done professionally, at least nominally. Otherwise I can just go down to the hardware store and DIY some shit out of plastic and glue for like $10.

As for a hub, that's a thought but it doesn't help much. One of the big reasons this is itx is because I'll need to move it around fairly often, so having to un/plug a hub all the time isn't really any better.
 

qwerkus

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Realan aluminium case are great. w60 or w80. Check out my next build for inspiration!
 

EndersShadow

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It does, but I'm not dropping any significant money on a case only to ghetto a hole in it. If I'm buying, I'm buying something done professionally, at least nominally. Otherwise I can just go down to the hardware store and DIY some shit out of plastic and glue for like $10.

As for a hub, that's a thought but it doesn't help much. One of the big reasons this is itx is because I'll need to move it around fairly often, so having to un/plug a hub all the time isn't really any better.

They also make usb dongles/extension cords so you could connect it in the back, route it along the side and have it flush with the front. Still ghetto, but not "AS" ghetto lol....
 

SiO2

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Yeah that's another of the 'e-Mini' series. I've heard of alibaba and tried to search there but I don't really understand how they work. It seems to basically be a clone of ebay...? A lot of listings talk about wholesale stuff and minimum unit orders anywhere between 50 and 1000, are normal people allowed to buy shit there? Are the people selling there actually legit? I'm ok buying something from overseas but I want to know that whoever I give my cc details to won't just take it and run.
 

EdZ

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I've heard of alibaba and tried to search there but I don't really understand how they work. It seems to basically be a clone of ebay...
Alibaba is a clearing house for components (but has expanded to sell pretty much everything from industrial equipment to cleaning supplies), generally in bulk quantities, often with shipping only to mainland China. AliExpress is a more 'consumer friendly' storefront to Alibaba offering items that can be purchased in small quantities (generally single units) and offering international shipment.
 

SiO2

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Ah ok thanks, that explains a lot. Are these actually legit companies, or is it still like ebay where it's just random people? Is there some Chinese paypal thing you have to go through or do you just order stuff directly like from Amazon?
 

Siba

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They seem relatively legit, I've ordered a few things from them without issues
They accept regular paypal, nothing fancy
It's probably just a nationalized version of ebay where the government is helping all the sellers get around ebay fees and keep more profits within the country
 

EdZ

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It's not like ebay. There are no auctions; it's a listing of sellers, who are manufacturing companies rather than private individuals.
 

SiO2

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Hmm... ok.
I think I'm going to try making a post in the general case section first before I make any moves on ali. I still have trouble believing there aren't any sub-$50 itx cases out there besides the M350 and the e-Minis.
 

SiO2

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pseudo necrobump with some info for anyone who searches this topic and bumps into this thread:

I got the "M250" from Mini-box. As I suspected it's actually an e-Mini E-2015 (says so right on the box) but they took out the psu and external sata ports. The door for the sata ports is still there, but hot-glued shut. Oh well.

FWIW, the case is much better made than I was expecting based on pictures. It's heavy duty steel with a good construction and paint job. The only annoying thing is that it can't be used laying flat because the usb ports would be on the bottom (and you can't flip the faceplate).
 
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