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Casetek Tiny Tower Casing
By Vijay Anand
Category : Casings And Coolers
Published by Jimmy Tang on Friday, 23rd August, 2002
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  

The Casing Innards

The Casetek Tiny Tower case houses a micro-ATX mainboard comfortably with one optical drive (or other 5.25-inch drive) and up to four hard disk drives (HDDs). With a tiny case like this, there is a catch; it is only able to house two 3.5-inch HDDs and two 2.5-inch notebook HDDs. You have to be mentally prepared to make sacrifices with casings of this form factor. Still, it is a remarkable configuration.

For a casing this narrow in width, the Tiny Tower case is still able to accommodate standard PCI and AGP expansion cards. There are 4 expansion slots at the back of the case and with the mainboard allowing, it should hold up to 3 PCI and 1 AGP expansion card in an ideal system. Most micro-ATX mainboards come in this arrangement too.

The Casetek Tiny Tower Casing with a micro-ATX motherboard installed.

These expansion slots allow you to install typical PCI and AGP cards and that is a boon. You can skip hunting for low-profile expansion cards, which could cost you more.

This is the Power Supply Unit (PSU) that comes with the casing. Amazing that 200W is all it needs to power a system, but be aware that this also limits what kind of peripherals or expansion cards you plan to load this little system with.

The casing comes equipped with a small Seasonic 200W PSU. You may wonder if that is enough for a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP system, but we can tell you that it is designed for it. Since it is just a 200W PSU, you must consider what you stick into the system. A power-hungry GeForce4 Ti 4600 would definitely be pushing the limit and you may not be able to fit it into the system in the first place. PSUs of this form factor are rare and not easy to find. So, if you want to upgrade to a more powerful PSU, you may have a hard time. We think this is about the only major drawback of the Casetek Tiny Tower casing. Other standard ATX PSUs in the market will not fit into the case and Seasonic does not have a PSU of larger output capacity in this form factor.

The exhaust fan at the rear end of the casing.

Besides the 80mm fan within the Seasonic PSU, the only other casing fan is an exhaust fan fitted at the back of the case just above the ATX I/O deck. It is a 60x60mm Evercool 0.19A, 2.28W fan, which moves a decent amount of air, but it is also stealthy. On a simple setup with perhaps only one HDD, one CD-ROM drive, using on-board graphics or a low-heat dissipating graphics card and any typical Northwood Pentium 4 CPU, I believe the casing ventilation is more than adequate.

Near the front panel, you'll find ventilation and mounting holes for another 60x60mm intake fan. If you intend to install a fan here, it may obstruct the secondary 3.5" HDD installation and Casetek left that as an option for users to self-install. However, if you keep a positive air flow out of the casing with both the rear and PSU fans drawing heat out of the casing, these ventilations holes at the front panel will give you a fresh supply of air for cooling your HDDs and other peripherals too.

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