How To Build a Water Cooled Mini-ITX SFF PC w/ Ivy Bridge & KeplerFri, May 11, 2012 - 12:00 AM
Cubitek Mini Ice – Mini-ITX Case
The toughest part when building a Small Form Factor (SFF) system is finding the right case. Building a computer isn’t a cheap endeavor and since Mini-ITX cases aren’t that popular it is often a pain in the butt to find the right case for your needs. A couple months ago we received an E-Mail from a company called Cubitek and was introduced to their new Ice Series of cases. We looked at their product portfolio and came across the Mini Ice (model CB-ICI-B104) and it stopped us dead in our tracks. The Cubitek Mini Ice is an aluminum enclosure that measures just 9.06″ x 12.33″ x 14.29″ (WxHxD) and is priced at $169.99. The thing that caught our attention with this case is that it supports top and bottom mounted 140mm fans and had ample room for a dual-slot video card that is up to 13.38″ in length.
This case is a little larger than some of the mini-ITX cases out there, but it looked like it would be able to fit the water cooler and full sized video card that we wanted to use.
When the Cubitek Mini Ice arrived it exceeded our expectations and was exactly what we were looking for. The case has a minimalistic look to it, but we are tired of case windows and a bunch of flashy designs.
Cubitek is a brand new company that just started selling cases last month and the case we were sent was hand built. The build quality by Cubitek was pretty solid, but we did notice some small issues that will be resolved before this case starts selling online. For example, the top fan grill was higher on one
corner than the rest, the side panel mesh cover had small dents in it
and we noticed some small ripples in the aluminum on the top.
Inside the case we found that Cubitek placed the fan filter above the fan that was exhausting hot air from the case. Cubitek said this is a requested design feature to keep dust from falling into the system when it is not in use. You’d think the mesh fan grill would do that already, but you never know.
The back of the case has a spot for a standard sized power supply and two hose pass-throughs for water cooling tubes. We aren’t sure how someone would mount an external water cooler on this case, but we have plans on using those holes for something else.
The Cubitek Mini Ice has the power and reset buttons located on the front of the case with LED lights for power and hard drive activity below that. Along the top edge you’ll find two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, two High-Speed USB 2.0 ports and gold plated headphone and microphone audio jacks. With four USB ports on this mini-ITX case, you are sure to have enough ports!
Inside the Cubitek Mini-Ice we see that this enclosure has room for four 3.5-inch drive bays and that one of them has a 2.5-inch adapter inside that will hold two 2.5″ Solid-State Drives (SSDs) or standard notebook hard drives. The Mini-Ice comes with one 140mm fan screwed to the top of the chassis that is oriented to exhaust hot air out of the case. This clear 3-pin fan has four blue LED lights on it and is rated to move 49.05 CFM at 21.35 dBA. Our plan is to remove and throw away this 140mm fan and place a self-contained water cooler at the top of the case and use some high static pressure fans on the top and bottom of this case in order to move some air!