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Thread: Cooltek C2

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    Cooltek C2

    Introduction

    With SFF systems becoming more and more popular, it's always nice to have plenty of options in cases.The C2 case is another small form factor PC case from Cooltek Powered by Jonsbo, and today i am going to take a closer look at it and review the case.The new C2 chassis takes the concept of the U-Series and gives it a great refresh.The C2 comes in two colour options available.



    C2 is an all-aluminum PC case that offers support for micro-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards.Seen below, this media server/HTPC chassis measures 270 (H) x 200 (W) x 224 (D) mm, it weighs just 1.2 kg, and features a side I/O panel with two USB 3.0 ports, one 3.5-inch and one 2.5-inch bay, three PCI slots and support for one 120/140 mm fan on the bottom panel.The C2 can house CPU coolers up to 80 mm tall and graphics cards up to 220 mm long.If you are planning on building an HTPC or ITX system, please continue reading my C2 review below and find out if this is the case you are looking for.




    Packaging & Contents

    Cooltek packs the C2 into a compact cardboard package with black print on it.You will find an image of the chassis on the front.Along the top of the box we also have the Cooltek and Jonsbo branding, as well as the C2 model number.Also we have some information stating that it is an Mini-ITX/Micro-ATX format chassis.



    Moving around to the rear of the box.As we would normally expect with a chassis, the side panels are removable.



    While both smaller sides hold identical information consisting of promotional texts,you will also find a sticker on one of these sides to let you know what color is within.



    The Cooltek C2 is held together by two compact foam spacers, which is quite sufficient for a chassis of this size and weight.A plastic bag further protects the unit from fingerprints and scratches.



    Even though the chassis is quite compact, there are a surprising amount of small parts.Not only will you receive a few cable ties, but Cooltek also includes special HDD screws and 4 round vibration-decoupled feet(8 mm) in the appealing design of high-quality Hifi components.



    A good sized dust filter for bottom's air intake.



    A basic manual out the contents within the Cooltek C2.




    A Closer Look - Outside

    The Cooltec C2 features a minimalistic, yet elegant looking design.From an aesthetics perspective, the C2 is a very good looking case which I have no doubt will draw in the buyers and the anodised black finish is gorgeous.There is no external drive bay on the Cooltek C2, which is the main reason behind its ability to hold Micro ATX boards despite its tiny size.The only thing that the Coolcube C2 has at the front is the Jonsbo logo.



    The main body and the side panels are made from 1.2 mm thick anodized aluminium.The top cover has a thickness of 1.5 mm.The individual panels on the Cooltek C2 also feel to be of higher quality than those of a Lian Li chassis, as they are thicker.The right side panel is completely solid.



    The switches are found on the left hand side of the side panel, at the bottom by the front foot.There are two 3.5 mm audio jacks for a microphone and headset, below those, the smaller button is a reset switch and the larger, a power button.These illuminate blue thanks to an LED ring around both of them.Lastly we have two USB 3.0 ports which are wired up to an internal header.



    You will find everything where you would expect it to be in the rear(except fan).



    Taking a closer look at the rear,the three expansion bays are protected by individual covers that are in turn secured by thumb screws.



    Air vents.



    Tipping the Cooltek C2 on its side reveals the hard-drive bay on the floor of the chassis.You may install a single 2.5"/3.5" drive here out of the box or an 120/140mm fan.The case also comes with four large rubber feet which would help with reducing any vibrations from components such as hard drives.




    A Closer Look - Inside

    To gain access to the interior of the chassis, one is required to remove four screws holding the side panel in place.There is obviously not a lot within the chassis as the bulk of space is for the motherboard.



    Motherboard standoffs come pre-installed in the frame.As you can see ,no cooling fans have been included.As i have noted before, the floor of the chassis is where you will be placing your hard drive or fan.



    The cables are quite long so I was able to route them nicely and hide them during installation.So you should be able to stuff it full of high-end hardware without having to worry about bending it out of shape.All the cables of the C2 are sleeved black and of the standard variety.The front I/O PCB is held in place by two clearly visible screws.



    One of the main features of the C2 is the hard disk holder for one 3.5 inch drive and a 2.5 inch HDD/SSD.It’s mounted next to the motherboard and can easily be removed to allow the installation of a Micro-ATX board.



    You must also remove this the hard disk holder for unobstructed access to the interior of the Cooltek C2.




    Installation and Finished looks

    One of the perks of testing a case this small is that sometimes there's just so little you can actually do that the whole thing just kind of blows by.With the Cooltek C2, there's only so much that can be installed, even by my Mini-ITX testing standards.CPU coolers up to a height of 80 mm are supported.



    Popping in the I/O shield is a little trickier than usual due to the pliance of the aluminum Cooltek uses, but getting the board itself in was fairly simple.It also support MATX motherboard with sizes smaller than 245X215MM.Please keep in mind that if you install such a Micro-ATX case the maximum hard disk capacity of the case will be reduced.



    The case headers included by Cooltek are a little on the long side for a case this small, but they get the job done.Up to 220MM display card can be installed.



    On the case bottom, another 2.5 and 3.5 inch drives each can be mounted.



    Depending on the motherboard used, it is also possible to install a 120/140 mm fan at the case bottom.



    Here is dust filter installed.



    Here is the hard disk holder with one 3.5 inch drive and a 2.5 inch HDD/SSD installed.



    Finally, installing the power supply and getting everything wired is always going to be tricky, and that continues to be an issue here. It's really just a matter of space, cables inevitably get compressed between the power supply and the CPU cooler, and you have to be very careful to keep them out of the cooler's fan blades.



    Once you have everything in order, though, the case is pretty painless to snap shut again, and the doors themselves are nice and secure.While it's not a total picnic, assembling the C2 is about as easy as it's going to get in this form factor barring the suggestions I made on .You'll see when we get to the test results, though, that any build using the C2 is going to need special attention paid to component choices.Anything more than a modest overclock won't be an option, and you should probably keep the wattage on the video card fairly low.




    Test System and Methology

    Processor: Intel Core i5-3570K
    Motherboard:Gigabyte GA-Z77N
    Cooler:Noctua NH-L9i
    Memory:16GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1800MHz
    Graphics Cards: Msi 7850 OC
    Power Supply: Corsair VS450
    Boot Drive: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB
    OS: Windows 7 Home Edition 64bit



    To test the thermal performance of the Cooltek C2 i loaded my test system for 15 minutes using Prime95 and Furmark and recorded the maximum temperatures reached using CPUID Hardware Monitor.I then restarted the system and left it for 15 minutes before recording idle temperatures.Room temperature was maintained at 20 degrees C for the duration of my tests.I also installed one Cooltek Silent Fan 140 PWM - 600 - 1,200 rpm at the bottom of the case




    Temperature

    I concede that I didn't go into testing with high hopes for the Cooltek C2, and my reasons for that are wrong.One powerful fan blowing through the right components can definitely be an extremely efficient way to keep things cool,but it has to be well-placed and well-chosen.The 140mm fan from Cooltek that i put in the C2 seems perfect, and its airflow is directed almost entirely at the expansion slots.




    Conclusion

    Mini-ITX cases are sure to be an increasingly popular area of PC hardware, especially as more and more motherboard manufacturers are producing high-quality mini-ITX motherboards.What was once seen as the preserve of low-power hardware is now edging towards acceptance as an option for reasonably fast PCs, with cases that can support all the hardware options involved.On many fronts, the Cooltek C2 is a sign of things to come, combining support for full sized hardware along with a mini-ITX/micro-ATX motherboard in a compact and stylish enclosure.If you like all-aluminum finishes, you're already shopping Cooltek, and the C2 won't disappoint.Owing to the case's small stature, the aluminum used feels at least a little more sturdy than it typically does even if it's prone to picking up fingerprints and potentially being scuffed.The symmetrical design and the rounded corners are actually all attractive choices.If you building a passively cooled HTCP,the case can do the job.The cube shaped box can be put somewhere where people actually see it.It has all the room to accommodate a standard ATX power supply.It even has a removable motherboard tray!What I would love to see improved for the C2 are more air vents,better internal cable management and tool-free installation.Using a standard supply just clogs up the entire box as there are wires hanging all over the place.I recommend a modular psu.Cooling was decent, especially for the medium graphics card i installed.



    At 40 Euro's the Cooltek C2 is even decent value for money, especially as it's an aluminium case requiring such intricate cutting on the panels.All in all I am super happy with the build.It's silent, ultra small and decent enough for some source and light gaming.From the beautiful all-aluminum construction,to its incredible lightness,combined with Cooltek levels of quality and refinement,the C2 is an excellent mini-ITX/micro ATX chassis. It is simple, yet functional.

    Last edited by testman78; 08-29-2014 at 01:05 AM.

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