Deepcool Steam Castle Steampunk Micro ATX Case Introduction
Deepcool more recently launched their first Micro ATX chassis with a bit of funky styling and absolutely eye-catching features. This Steampunk inspired chassis is called the Steam Castle, and while it may be an mATX chassis, it certainly has a lot to offer. You will find a multitude of items, such as support for a 280mm liquid cooler, tool-free drive bays, dual pre-installed fans, LEDs on each top punk that can change colors, a built-in LED brightness/color and fan speed controller, and much more.
While the Steam Castle may be marketed as a Micro ATX chassis, it can accommodate a Mini ITX board as well. Deepcool also went ahead and made the way you mount your components inside a little different - they're flipped everything 90 degrees. So instead of mounting your motherboard to the side of the interior (vertically), you'll instead be mounting it horizontally. The space inside may feel a little bit cramped due to the size and design, but according to the specifications below, you shouldn't have troubles with this not-so-standard setup.
This case is absolutely going to be a love it or hate it type of case because of its funky styling. Fortunately to help with some of your indecision, Deepcool is offering this case in four colors, including black, white, yellow, and red. It's not often that you catch a red case, let alone a yellow one. Deepcool's idea behind offering multiple colors is to help you match the color scheme of your components inside, which is mighty thoughtful. The case that we're looking at today is a matte black, which you can never go wrong with black!
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Currently the Steam Castle is running $99.99 shipped
on Newegg for the black
, and yellow
case. The yellow case can fluctuate up to $109.99 shipped on Newegg, however. This case even includes a crazy 3 year warranty.
Steam Castle PC Case Features:
Steam Castle PC Case Technical Specifications:
- 4 magic color LED lights pre-installed on the top, amazing effect (color changing, brightness adjusting and breathing, fan speed adjusting)
- 2 USB 3.0 2 USB 2.0 Ports
- 200mm fan (front) 120mm fan (rear) pre-installed
- Compatible with Micro ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards
- Support long VGA Card installation up to 320mm length
- Top panel supports max 240mm water cooler installation
- 2 grommets on the rear are ready for building external water-cooling system
- Tool free installation design for 2.5’’/3.5’’ SSD/HDD
- Independent two 2.5’’ drive-bays support SSD RAID build-up
- Two-layer horizontal structure, excellent for heat dissipation & compatibility
- Motherboards: Micro ATX & Mini ITX
- Materials: SGCC+PLASTIC (ABS)
- Dimension (LxWxH): 406 x 278 x 420mm (15.98 x 10.94 x 15.54 inches)
- Net Weight: 6.8KG (Approx 15lbs)
- 5.25" Drive Bays: 1
- 3.5" Drive Bays: 3 (Switchable to 2.5") (2 tool-free installation)
- 2.5" Drive Bays: 2 (tool-free installation)
- I/O Panel: 2×USB3.0/2×USB2.0/Audio×1/Mic×1
- Expansion Slots: 4
- Cooling Fans:
- Rear: 120mm black fan pre-installed
- Front: 200mm black fan pre-installed
- Power Supply Type: ATX PS2 (max: 160mm length) (W150*L160*H86mm)
- CPU Cooler Max Height: 200mm
- VGA Max Length: 320mm
Let’s move on and take a quick look at the retail packaging and then see what this funky case looks like on the outside.
Deepcool Steam Castle Packaging & Unboxing
Just like anything that you buy online, you will always hope that the product that you're purchasing is well protected so it doesn't arrive damaged. Our box arrived in pretty rough shape, so we can only hope that the contents survived! Let's take a quick look at the packaging for the Steam Castle, crack it open, and see what this case looks like!
As you can see, the packaging is a plain brown box with black printing throughout. On the front of the box, we're shown a rendering of the top and front, as well as a the product name written very large.
On the right hand side of the box we have Steam Castle written again, surrounded by a series of artwork.
The rear of the package gives you another rendering with the interior shown. It labels out a few key features that you will find inside the Steam Castle. This side also features the product name (Steam Castle) written very large on the bottom.
Finally the last side is where we find out what color case is inside. There are boxes for green and blue, so perhaps Deepcool has intentions of building such? Lastly, you will find a very brief list of some of the key specifications.
Popping open the top of the box we see that Deepcool has used a nice dense foam to provide support for the Steam Castle, as well as a nice plastic bag around the chassis itself.
Pulling all of the aforementioned materials off, this is the glorious Steam Castle! It arrived completely damage free, despite the rough shape of the box. Take note that the side panel window is also protected by plastic to keep it scratch free. I did also notice that the chassis itself was a little dirty, but thankfully that was easy enough to wipe off.
Lastly, there was a box with the hardware that you'll need to mount certain components to the case.
This wraps up the packaging and unboxing portion of this review, so let’s move on and see what the exterior has to offer.
Deepcool Steam Castle Exterior Impressions
At first glance, you may be overwhelmed by the number of design elements throughout this case, which is exactly why on the first page I said this case is not for everyone. Some of you it may grow on, however. You likely have noticed that many manufacturers have gone the simplistic route, making cases look modern and clean, but Deepcool has designed the Steam Castle with a Steampunk inspiration, giving it a little extra kick and flare.
The very front of the case features two slotted grilles on either side for ventilation, a mesh vent up top, a series of imitation screws (which you'll find in a few areas of the case), and various other design features. None of these vents are filtered, which is a bit disappointing. This front panel does allow for a single 5.25-inch drive to be mounted and is made entirely of plastic.
The front panel pulls off quite easily, as you probably expected, by gently tugging from the bottom. Behind it we reveal that there is actually a slot for a 3.5-inch drive, but it would be entirely hidden by the front panel. Also behind the steel frame is a giant 200mm intake fan that comes pre-installed. Should you want or need to swap this fan out, it is also designed to take a 120 or 140mm fan instead.
Here is the back side of the front panel. Note again the lack of filtration.
Flipping over to the left side you can't help but notice the nicely placed and large tinted window. These side panels are a nice thick steel and don't feel cheap by any means.
Looking at the rear, we have a single pre-installed 120mm exhaust fan - which can be swapped for a 140mm if you'd like, grommets for external water cooling, a total of four expansion card slots, a bottom mounted PSU, and more ventilation to the left of the PSU, which conveniently has the 2.5-inch drive enclosure behind it. At the very bottom, below the PSU, is a removable filter. This is the only filter that you will find on this case, but one is better than none. Note that the side panels are secured in place by thumb screws.
The expansion card slot uses a rather unique way of securing your card(s) into place, by having you undo a screw, lift the bracket up, drop your card in, and drop the bracket back down. It's a nice and convenient tool-free way, as it will hold your cards in with pins and this single thumb screw.
Sliding over to the right side of the case is where we find a little bit of interesting. The side panel has all of the I/O ports integrated into it, as well as a knob to manually control the fan speed of up to three fans.
Starting from the top and working our way down, we have the fan speed control knob (plus LED brightness and color control), reset and power buttons, line in and mic out, dual USB 3.0 and dual USB 2.0 ports. Should you want to cycle the LED modes or colors, you just simply push in the wheel, it gives a distinct click, and you're on your way. As you rotate the wheel, you will then control the speed of fan and change the intensity of the LED.
One thing that I think will irritate more than a few people, is the fact that these connectors are actually connected to the side panel itself. This in turn leaves you with a giant mess of wires and makes it a little harder to access this side, especially when the system is all together. These should have ideally been integrated into the chassis itself, and the panel was just a cutout, or relocated for better function. We'll see this more on the interior impressions page.
Hopping up to the top of the case you will find four cylinder objects, called punks. These are quite deceptive, as you may initially believe that they are for fans. Quite contrary, they are actually there for aesthetics and house LEDs that can change from blue, red, or green. They do allow air to pass through them, however they are somewhat blocked from below. There is also another somewhat large unfiltered vent towards the rear (right in the below picture).
The top panel does remove just as easily as the front, as you just have to give it a gentle tug from the rear and it will pop off. Unfortunately there are wires connected again, so you will either have to deal with it or disconnect them.
What you also find when taking the top panel off, is the fact that you can mount either dual 120/140mm fans or install up to a 280mm radiator. Everything has to be internally mounted, as there is no room for top mount fans.
Finally dropping to the bottom of the case, you will notice the ventilation for the PSU and four feet with rubber pads attached to them.
That sums up the exterior of the case. Let’s move on and see what the interior has to offer.
Deepcool Steam Castle Interior Impressions
The exterior of the Steam Castle was mighty interesting (aesthetically), so we half expect a bit of craziness to happen inside. Indeed when pulling off the left side panel, we see a not-so-normal looking interior. You probably could have guessed that the interior was a little different from its wide stance. The motherboard is going to mount to a horizontal panel instead of the traditional vertical back panel. This should allow for excellent cooling potential and hopefully easier wire management. Inside the case you also have a 200mm intake and 120mm exhaust fan pre-installed.
The big mess of wires that you see is all for the side panel buttons. We'll see that again shortly. Also, removing the side panels was fairly easy by removing the rear screw and sliding the panel. There are no real grip points on the side panels, so it's all friction against your hand, but it's quite minimal.
The top right are your 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch drive bays, held in place with screws, both of which you can remove if you have any clearance issues. Again, whatever you mount to the 3.5-inch bay is stuck inside the case, while the 5.25-inch has a slot out front. Neither bay is a tool-free design.
On the very top, again, you have room for either dual 120/140mm fans, or a 240/280mm radiator. In order to actually utilize the radiator to its fullest potential, you'll have to undoubtedly remove the 5.25 and 3.5-inch bays.
The motherboard tray has four standoffs pre-installed for mini ITX, saving you a little time so you can play with your new investment that much sooner! You just have to install the extra ones required for your mATX build, should that be your board size.
On the lower right section we have a drive cage for 3.5-inch drives, and these are completely tool-free in design.
There is no flexing the caddy to clip it around your drive, but rather it slides open to fit your drive inside, then it closes snugly against your drive with metal pins to hold it in place - which is a nice little touch.
Sliding over to the bottom left is where your PSU will be mounted. It will be slid from the inside, as opposed to from the rear, and does have rubber bumpers to reduce vibration.
Turning around to what is normally the back side of an ATX chassis, we are greeted with a ton of wires from the I/O panel. These are permanently attached to the panel and may cause you some grief with installation or should you need to access your system from this side.
The other note worthy item from this view is on the bottom right. There is another drive cage for two 2.5-inch drives, also tool-free in nature. This cage acts differently from the 3.5-inch drives, in that you have to actually screw some rubber bumpers onto your drive and then slide the drive into its respective slot. Should you not want this drive bay or need the room for something else, you can also remove it, but it is no easy task. You have to remove the bottom panel, which entails removing the rubber strips to get to the screws.
This wraps up the interior features and impressions. Next up we’ll take a look and see how easy or difficult installing a basic setup is.
Hardware Installation Inside The Steam Castle
The hardware layout inside the Steam Castle is a little more unique, in that everything is flipped 90 degrees and mounted horizontally. It may be a slight hassle trying to get a few screws in, but overall I don't expect the experience to be bad.
We're going to start off with mounting the motherboard. Just make sure that you install any extra standoffs if you're running a Micro ATX board, as it's defaulted to a Mini ITX board. This task was relatively simple, thankfully, especially thanks to two standoffs acting as guide pins. There is plenty of room to get a screw driver in place, though you have to choose wisely on the length for obvious reasons. I also went ahead and mounted my CPU and RAM while outside of the case to make life that much easier.
Take note that I did not install a larger air cooler at this time, so I left my stock Intel cooler in place, which measures 46mm high. You are safe to install a cooler up to 200mm tall, so there should be little issue in choosing a giant air cooler if you want.
Should you choose to install a top-mount radiator, you will absolutely want to remove the 5.25-inch bay to remove obstructions from your fans and give you more clearance.
Next I installed my video card, which was made extremely easy thanks to the tool-free design, which also felt very secure in holding my card. I haven't experienced such a simple video card install in quite some time, so this is very refreshing and a nice design. My video card measures 266.7mm in length, so I was forced to remove the 3.5-inch bay for more room when installing my power cables. My card honestly wouldn't even fit with this bay in place, as it was ever so slightly too wide.
Mounting your drives is as simple as pulling out the caddy, gently pulling it so it separates, dropping your drive between the pins, and closing the caddy up around it.
Next up I installed my PSU. This is not a modular PSU and the wires are quite long and this PSU is huge. Thankfully this chassis has a ton of spare room at the bottom, making for very convenient storage of these excess wires. I did not find any issues routing my wires through the provided holes, though it would have been a little nicer seeing some of them with a rubber grommet to clean everything up that much more, but at the same time you have to remember that these holes will likely be hidden by a video card.
Hooking up the remaining wires and side panel proved to be a little tricky and required a little creative thinking to keep things neat throughout. I ended up routing the USB, power, and reset connectors in the space in front of the PSU and everything else through the grommet hole. Part of me wishes these wires were a smidge longer, as when the side panel is resting flat on the ground next to the case, it will begin tugging, which is very bad!
I've opted to not install an ODD, since optical drives are quickly becoming obsolete (especially to me), but should you want to, you can easily knock out the metal plate and remove the 5.25-inch filler on the front panel.
Finally I slid the side panels back in place and fired up the system for the first time. I cranked the fans up to full speed and could barely hear them.
I also played with the LED colors, and this is what you will get.
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Overall the Steam Punk chassis does a pretty darn good job of keeping your wires tidy. The video card hides any mess that you may have inside, so you can be a little sloppy, but don't forget about that precious airflow.
Let's get some final words in and wrap this Steam Castle review up.
Deepcool Steam Castle Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Deepcool is making quite the bold statement with the Steam Castle, as it provides features that you won't really find on another chassis. Many cases today have gone way of simplistic and flat design, but the Steam Castle introduces steampunk styling to give it more flare. With that said, it's going to be giant 'love it' or 'hate it' relationship amongst people looking in this price and size category.
Inside the Steam Castle, Deepcool chose to go with a non-standard setup, flipping the motherboard 90 degrees and mounting is horizontally. This in turn provided a slightly easier installation experience and should also assist with better cooling potential.
Speaking of cooling, this case includes a 200mm intake fan and a 120mm exhaust fan, but also has room for dual 120 or 140mm fans up top, or even up to a 280mm radiator for your favorite AIO liquid cooling setup. I wouldn't recommend trying to do a custom loop in this case, as it is quite cramped, measuring (LxWxH) 406 x 278 x 420mm (15.98 x 10.94 x 15.54 inches).
Now let's not go wrong on the whole "cramped" terminology, as there is a ton of room for just about any component you decide to throw at it. You can put a video card in up to 320mm in length or an air cooler up to 200mm in height, which provides you with tons of options.
Deepcool is offering this case in four colors and is running $99.99 shipped
on Newegg for the black
, and yellow
case. The yellow case can fluctuate up to $109.99 shipped on Newegg, however. This case even includes an incredible 3 year warranty.
My one and only big gripe with the Steam Castle is with how the front I/O panel is setup on this case. Mounting everything to the door makes for an incredibly difficult time accessing the right side of the case. I would have liked to see some of the wires be a hair longer to help with any potential pulling when removing this side panel. They could have either done that or relocated these items to a panel that isn't going to be accessed much, such as the front.
A minor item that was a little disappointing was the lack of filtration for this case, though the PSU does include one, which is a good start.
Overall I had a very pleasant experience working with the Steam Castle, so if you're looking for a fairly small case with a very unique design, by all means don't pass up checking out this case. The added touch of tool-free components and the lighting setup are really nice touches.
Legit Bottom Line:
Deepcool's Steam Castle is a very funky case that you'll either love or hate, but it has some unique features and design elements, plus lots of room and cooling potential in a compact box, that you can't pass up on considering it for your next mATX build.