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Thread: InWin Chopin MAX

  1. #1
    Xtreme Reviewer
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    InWin Chopin MAX


    Thanks to the huge support of enthusiasts, the mini-ITX form factor is gaining popularity, and with it a new life, which encourages manufacturers to reconsider their point of view and release computer components for new requirements. In particular, this applies to video cards, motherboards and cases. InWin was one of the first companies to pay attention to the changing preferences of the computer society and announced a new case with the original name Chopin in honor of the Polish pianist. The first version, that is, the InWin Chopin , was already considered one of the best ITX PC cases in its day. And now comes its latest and improved version, the InWin Chopin MAX. Small, smart, elegant and spectacular! That's the Chopin MAX , an ultra-slim form factor PC case designed for the most efficient and user-friendly experience. It features a 4mm brushed aluminum casing that completes a clean and elegant chassis front. Plus something important: it includes a pre- installed and upgraded 200W 80Plus Gold power supply . Compared to the previous model, which was 150W, it is an important and good figure in 2022, since the consumption of the CPUs has increased (although for a setup without an external GPU, the two are more than enough). Top and side mesh panel design enhances heat dissipation and provides excellent ventilation. It is only 3.3 liters in size but comes with various multifunctional features. We are going to see in depth the design of this product, as well as the assembly process and the quality of the materials.

    On paper, this reads like a premium product and it’ll be interesting to see if it can offer the performance to match.

    Packaging & Contents

    The compact chassis means compact packaging, with a tiny brown box with Chopin MAX on the front, nice and simple. Just below the part where the model is indicated we have an indication: "200W".

    We also have the brand logo at the back in black and in its characteristic red color.

    If we go to the sides, in one of them we will have the complete specifications of the PC tower.

    If we go to the other side of the box, they show us a list of features, some of which are unique to InWin Chopin MAX. Available in titanium grey, black and silver.

    Once we take it out of its box we find a good protection inside. It comes with the two typical polystyrene sides plus a transparent plastic bag that wraps the entire box to prevent dust and other things from entering.

    In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get you setup. There is a comprehensive owners manual, a hard drive power cable, and eight colour strips in four colours to help you tailor the overall design of the chassis. And, finally, a small card with a QR code that will take us to the user manual.

    Separately, looking ahead, we note that InWin Chopin MAX is equipped with a complete power supply, which requires a laptop-type power cord with a connector, commonly referred to as "Mickey Mouse" because of the rounded edges of the plug.

    A Closer Look Outside

    First impressions of this chassis are certainly positive, and noticing that the 4mm thick brushed aluminium panel wraps around the sides and the front of the chassis as a single piece, certainly adds to the overall build quality and aesthetics. Its modern design combined with the high-tech Titanium Gray color gives the system a fresh, clean look that simply won't go out of style.

    It measures 217 x 84 x 244 mm and weighs just 2.2 kilograms. The Aluminium panel is actually suspended away from some parts of the chassis, giving it a semi-floating look.

    There’s a large section of ventilation on the top/side and the panel is slightly raised, which should allow just a little more room for a good aftermarket, albeit still low-profile, CPU cooler. On the other side of the chassis, two thick rubber grips to help prevent the chassis sliding around and to also prevent it from scratching up your desktop.

    Around the back, two small ventilation sections for the storage bays.

    There is even more ventilation down this side, allowing airflow to the motherboard area as well as the built-in power supply.

    Around the back, you’ll find the motherboard I/O cut-out and the rear of the compact PSU, and little else. This is a compact chassis after all!

    There’s a compact I/O panel on the edge too, with dual USB 3.0 ports and a Type-C port, which transfers data at up to 20 GB/s. Towards the corner, you’ll find HD audio jacks, some etched LED markers with the actual lights subtlety placed on the front aluminium panel, as well as a master power button. There is one special feature: the colored stickers for the front panel and back panel. The manufacturer gives the user four different color patterns that can be flexibly applied according to one's taste. These can be attached on both sides (lying: above and below) and should make the color of the case stand out a bit. Orange, yellow, blue or red - the user can decide for himself how he would like to design the housing. They are glued with 3M adhesive directly to the surface near the USB ports and the power button.

    A Closer Look Inside

    In order to remove the side panel, you need to use a Phillips screwdriver.

    Then the small protruding ears need to be pulled up with a small force and then pulled out to open the side panel.

    There’s really not a lot of space in here, just enough room for a mini-ITX motherboard (standard or low-profile is fine), a compact CPU cooler, and that’s about it really. The interior is nicely finished in black ,with all black cables, so when you do see through the mesh cover, you’re not really going to see too many details to spoil the aesthetics. Motherboard standoffs are pre-installed, so that should speed up the install time.

    The InWin Chopin MAX's upgraded 80 Plus Gold power supply provides maximum efficiency while keeping noise pollution to a low minimum. As we said, now we go from the previous 150W to 200W. The model is IP-AD200C7-2.

    The connectors that comes with the PSU are very simple. A MB 24Pin with SATA, plus a CPU 4+4 Pin. SATA can expand with one-to-two extension cable that came in the accessories package.

    The back side panel is opened, and you can see that there are several drop-shaped holes for hanging SATA hard drives. You’ll find space for 2 x 2.5″ hard drives, as well as a little bit of cable routing space. The huge opening is for the convenience of M.2 plugging and unplugging on the back of the motherboard.

    Installation Process & Finished Looks

    Fitting a system inside the Chopin MAX is a little tricky, as the interior of the chassis is barely bigger than a mini-ITX motherboard. However, with a little care and a few cable ties, you’ll find there’s just enough space for all the required cables to be neatly routed around the edges, keeping them clear of the CPU cooler fan and giving you a fairly clean-looking build overall.

    The CPU cooling space has been optimized, increased to a maximum of 54mm.Thus, it is perfectly compatible with original Intel and AMD CPU coolers.

    I love that the PSU is closed up like this, having seen many mini-ITX systems with a simple PCB type PSU built-in, this is much cleaner looking.

    A few cables crammed in at the top, but still a good amount of space for airflow overall. The bulk of the cables are to the right of the RAM, especially the more bulky 24-pin cable, but the cables are cut to just the right length to reduce unwanted excess.

    Around the back, we’ve got one cable passing through from the other side to power up our 2.5″ SSD.

    With the top panel back in place, you can see there’s plenty of ventilation on the top, giving us a nice look at the interior.

    The chassis looks great on its side too and since this is such a great looking chassis, we advise investing in a nice low-profile cooler, as you’ll be seeing a lot of it through that top panel cover.

    Undoubtedly aesthetically it looks beautiful and very clean, added to the small size it can be perfect even in the living room, next to the TV. And thus have a powerful but small computer, or use it as a video game emulator, console as such or "Windows TV".


    Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 4650G (6 cores, 12 threads, 3700-4300 MHz)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte B550i Aorus Pro AX
    Cooler: Noctua NH-L9A
    Memory: Team Group T-Force Xtreem ARGB 4000MHz (2 x 8GB)
    Video card: iGPU Vega 7
    SSD drive: Western Digital SN750 500Gb

    Additional equipment and software:

    Monitor: AOC U2790PQU, resolution - 3840 x 2160;
    Operating system: Windows 10 64-bit;
    Drivers: AMD Software Adrenalin 21.7.2.

    For overclocking video cards, as well as monitoring temperatures and fan speeds, the proprietary utility MSI Afterburner was used. To check the temperature regime of the video card in conditions close to everyday, we used the 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme stability test. The noise level was measured using a TM-102 digital sound level meter. The measurements were taken from a distance of 30 cm. The background noise level in the room is no more than 28 dBA. All system fans turned off. On the graphs, the limit of conditional noiselessness for the system is determined at the level of 30.5 dBA, the limit of conditional comfort is 37 dBA. The air temperature in the room was 25 degrees Celsius. Additionally, power consumption readings were taken using a Robiton PM-2 wattmeter and printed circuit board temperature readings using a Fluke 59 Max IR thermometer.
    We decided to test a compact case of the SFFPC family on an AMD platform with an integrated Vega 7 graphics core with overclocking up to 2200 MHz in the core and RAM up to 4200 MHz (IF = 2100 MHz), emulating the possible use of InWin Chopin MAX. The processor is running stock.

    Let's start with a more plausible and optimal load - the game one. Without installed additional fans for intake / exhaust, the InWin Chopin MAX case still demonstrates good temperature performance of internal components due to abundant perforation and two intake coolers (processor and power supply fans). This creates more pressure inside the case and allows warm air to leave the case more actively, although a single case fan is better for this task.

    In terms of acoustic comfort, the Chopin MAX case is at its best: there are no own fans, and the system coolers are recessed inside, located behind thick walls. Therefore, the novelty does a good job of lowering the noise level of the CPU cooler even at full power.

    Final Thoughts

    There’s not a lot to this chassis, as it’s quite compact and has minimal features, but there’s certainly a lot to love about it. The first thing I noticed is the build quality. InWin has built a reputation for premium products in recent years and the Chopin MAX is another welcome addition to their range, featuring a thick brushed aluminium panel that gives it a premium look and feel. Available in titanium grey, black and silver, the single, seamless piece of 4 mm thick aluminium is bent and shaped around the three side edges, while a customizable I/O strip and back can add a unique personal flare, or show synergy with a business brand colour. With audio jacks and a pair of USB 3.2 Gen ports on the front, you’ve got all the connectivity you’ll need for a common HTPC or desktop workstation. The front panel I/O now features a Type-C port capable of 20 Gbps performance, which is four times faster than standard USB 3.0. Despite its smaller size, the InWin Chopin MAX supports two 2.5-inch SSDs situated on a user-friendly installation plate. A 3.5″ drive would be appreciated, but we understand that adding something like that would only increase the overall size of the chassis. There’s also direct access to the rear of the motherboard tray where some Mini-ITX board designs offer an additional M.2 SSD port. Building a system with the Chopin couldn’t be much easier than it is. You can access the interior of the chassis by removing a single screw, and the same for the rear section of the chassis for adding your storage drives. The PSU is built-in and all the cables you need to fit a motherboard and two storage drives are all in there and ready to use. I also like that all the internal cables are black, as it makes it easy to get a clean looking build, which is important given that you can see your components through the plentiful ventilation. Now with 25 per cent more heatsink clearance (up to 54 mm), the InWin Chopin MAX supports both AMD and Intel stock CPU coolers on their latest respective platforms. The newly redesigned perforated mesh panel increases the ventilation surface area to enhance the speed of heat dissipation. The included 200 W, 80 PLUS Gold PSU provides excellent power efficiency and minimal noise.

    The case is currently available from €149.99 plus postage. For such a small case, the price seems to be quite high at first. However, considering the build quality, the design and the well thought-out structure of the case, it is a very reasonable price (built-in power supply). Finally, you have to keep in mind that this is not a case for the general public. From building a stylish and compact workstation for your home or office to a stylish HTPC solution for your home AV setup, the InWin Chopin MAX is a versatile chassis with a lot to offer.

    Last edited by testman78; 11-20-2022 at 07:25 AM.



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