When building systems in small cases you have to think out the installation a little more than a standard case. When space is at a premium, you need to carefully verify everything fits and is installed properly to allow for maximum cooling. While the Riotoro CR1080 is no different, I did find that installing all of the components was easy, and routing cables wasn’t as difficult as I expected. There are certainly a few gotcha’s that you need to be aware of both when installing the system and doing cable management, but they are all easily overcome with some careful planning.
Cable management is pretty easy, Riotoro has left plenty of room in the right spots to route cables, however in several I found it more difficult to properly route the cables, such as the big motherboard 24-pin cable, I had to route it through the bottom hole, rather than the one right near the connector. To get the SATA cables to go to the other side, I found it easiest to route them through the hole near the bottom 120mm fan (or the 120mm radiator).
Another concern with small systems is cooling, with one 120mm intake fan, plus the 120mm fan on the DeepCool Captain 120 radiator, I was questioning the cooling capabilities. Riotoro has implemented Direct Air Flow Technology (DAT) to push air directly over the hottest components, and allow it to escape out the back and top without any additional fans. How well does this work? I decided to fire up the test system which consisted of an EVGA Z170X FTW motherboard, with an i7-6700K CPU overclocked to 4.5GHz. Idle temperatures were 28C, while the maximum temperature under a heavy load the CPU maxed out at 72C; a 44C diffference.
As the case stands today, I have a few suggestions to improve the Riotoro CR1080. First, put a large hole in the motherboard tray for installing CPU coolers after the motherboard has been installed; while it would be behind the power supply, that is much easier to remove than the motherboard. Next,put a filter on the bottom 120mm fan locations to help keep dust down as they will probably be used as intakes. A simple magnetic filter would work great here. While I understand these could increase the cost of the case, what it provides the user would be worth a small increase in price.
The Riotoro CR1080 is currently available for purchase online for $79.99 plus free shipping. At this price, there is a wide range of ATX based cases to choose from, the lead selling point in the CR1080 is that it is one of the smallest cases available that fits a full size ATX motherboard, and the largest graphics cards. With the one exception in the finish process, if the CR1080 is any indicator of what Riotoro plans to do, they will definitely be a company to keep you eyes on.
Legit Bottom Line: If you want to have a full sized system in the smallest box possible, the Riotoro CR1080 is a great option! The CR1080 is Riotoro’s second case, and shows they are one to keep your eyes on as they plan to bring out more enthusiast grade products at a lower than “enthusiast” premium price.