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Good Looks: A Case And PSU

Build It Yourself: A Mini-ITX Gaming System For Just Over $500
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The Deal/Steal: Chieftec FI-01W

This case looks great, whether it's lying flat in a desktop orientation or standing up as a tower, especially given its low price tag.

When this story went live in Europe, our enclosure of choice was called the FI-01W. But Chieftec doesn't sell it here. In the U.S., the same case shows up as Winsis' WI-10. It's really hard to track down, though. So, although all of our pictures are of the Chieftec chassis, we're using Winsis' WI-02 instead. Internally, the WI-02 is identical. It even includes a 200 W power supply. For as little as $45 online, we're happy to recommend the WI-02 as an alternative.

Like other Chieftec enclosures, the FI-01W (and, by extension, Winsis' WI-02) is built like a tank, albeit a tiny one. This can be a blessing as well as a curse. Be ready for a twisted neck and scraped fingers during the build process because this chassis has absolutely no give and promises only cramped working conditions.

Let’s first take a look at how the Chieftec FI-01W stacks up on paper.

Technical Specifications
Form FactorMini-ITX; Desktop form factor (Lying down) or tower form factor (Standing upright)
Dimensions
10.43" x 3.54" x 10.63" (Depth x Width x Height); 6.45 L (Volume)
Weight7.72 lbs (with PSU)
External Drive Bays1 x 5.25" Slimline with tool-less installation
Internal Drive Bays
1 x 3.5" With tool-less installation + 1 x 2.5" (Installation with screws)
Power Supply Unit
(PSU)
200 W TFX PSU (Chieftec DSI-200P)
Front Connectors2 x USB 2.0, Microphone input, Audio output (AC'97/HD Audio)
In The Box
Screw set, Accessory set, Motherboard spacer, Thumb screws, Four feet
Materials0.6 mm Steel, White Finish (Winsis' WI-02 is available either in a black or silver finish)
Fan Holders
None
Manufacturer's Website
Chieftec Product Page, Winsis Product Page
Street Price
$40


This is where we would have nitpicked the the Chieftec FI-01W’s smaller problems, except that we didn’t find any.

The only thing that we didn’t love about the FI-01W was its lack of a door for the optical drive. While the case comes with a removable cover, a simple door mechanism would have made the case perfect (though we recognize that a quality mechanism would have also made it more expensive). At the equivalent of $60 in Europe, or as low as $45 here in the U.S., we're fine with the chassis as-is.

We'll dive into power supply performance once we finish the build.

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Top Comments
  • 31 Hide
    zooted , February 7, 2013 3:45 AM
    Would be nice if they included benchmarks, but overall a nice review.
  • 23 Hide
    FormatC , February 7, 2013 3:55 AM
    @xkm1948:
    I have a "Zero dB PC" as one of the next projects, complete based on a AMD APU (A10 5700). We should stay a little parity, all last Mini-PCs were AMDs ;) 

    @zooted:
    The performance of a HD 7750 is wellknown and this little card is in the most cases the slower part. This is from the other project:
  • 19 Hide
    xkm1948 , February 7, 2013 3:26 AM
    What about putting in an APU instead?
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    xkm1948 , February 7, 2013 3:26 AM
    What about putting in an APU instead?
  • 15 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , February 7, 2013 3:40 AM
    That case almost looks like a Wii.
  • 31 Hide
    zooted , February 7, 2013 3:45 AM
    Would be nice if they included benchmarks, but overall a nice review.
  • 4 Hide
    A Bad Day , February 7, 2013 3:47 AM
    We have Mini-ITX gaming mobos that support OCing and 120mm closed loop water cooling...

    I demand a proper Mini-ITX case from the manufacturers!
  • 23 Hide
    FormatC , February 7, 2013 3:55 AM
    @xkm1948:
    I have a "Zero dB PC" as one of the next projects, complete based on a AMD APU (A10 5700). We should stay a little parity, all last Mini-PCs were AMDs ;) 

    @zooted:
    The performance of a HD 7750 is wellknown and this little card is in the most cases the slower part. This is from the other project:
  • 9 Hide
    sempifi99 , February 7, 2013 4:04 AM
    If I did not already have more desktops than I am currently using I would definitely consider building something like this...
  • 0 Hide
    bak0n , February 7, 2013 4:25 AM
    That was my basic setup until recently when I upgraded the cpu from a i3 2100 to an i5 3570k. The GPU from the 7750 to a 7870 and the case to a prodigy which supports larger cooling fans and dual slot GPU's. The lower frame rates or settings turned down wasn't cutting it for games like borderlands 2. But if you are into games like LoL the recommend build will be more than enough.
  • 3 Hide
    DjEaZy , February 7, 2013 4:55 AM
    xkm1948What about putting in an APU instead?

    ... my first idea too...
  • 11 Hide
    jestersage , February 7, 2013 5:02 AM
    Beautiful! Love it! Mini ITX System Builder Marathon, please.
  • 6 Hide
    jestersage , February 7, 2013 5:03 AM
    I also found this bit thought provoking -

    Quote:
    Overall, you should see good performance right up until the platform reaches its limit. Then performance will fall apart completely.


    Something to keep us readers grounded on reality.
  • 5 Hide
    palladin9479 , February 7, 2013 5:45 AM
    DjEaZy... my first idea too...


    The A10-5800K would be slower then a 7750 GDDR5 even with DDR3-2133 memory, though it would definitely be cheaper.

    What Toms was doing was combining SB/IB's better performance at single player timed games with a very specific dGPU. The dGPU is doing most of the heavy lifting which lets them get away with a weak CPU in single threaded environments. Since the purpose was to create a pseudo "console" then it'll work.
  • -5 Hide
    grumbledook , February 7, 2013 7:01 AM
    These tfx psus are typically noisy so I seriously doubt you'd hear the stock cooler over it. I sure haven't with my g850 in a similar itx chassis (In-Win bp655) with 2 different ones (got a 300w bequiet tfx psu to replace the overtly noisy one that came with the case. Much better but still audible).
    Why no mention of how loud the gpu is under load?
    Also, "no gaming pc is really complete without an optical drive"..... just no.
  • 4 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , February 7, 2013 7:56 AM
    The A10 6800K should dual nicely with this graphics card. I dare say it will be a better option then.
  • 12 Hide
    emad_ramlawi , February 7, 2013 7:57 AM
    Good work, can i please know the temps inside the system, like the AMD 7750 on Load and idle and the CPU as well, why no temps page
  • 8 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , February 7, 2013 8:03 AM
    photonboyLaptop instead??

    i was thinking on building a htpc /gaming PC and i was thinking to get a laptop aswell...but lets see, the only thing that you win with a laptop is mobility. In a htpc you can upgrade the video card with newer solution, you can upgrade the CPU (you can alwas insert an i3 there when prices are lower), the htpc is silenter, you can add SSD +HDD ... so the HTPC wins by far. The laptop is doomed, you will trow it away in 4 years (@ 500$, you will trow it away in 2 :) )), and @ 500$ your best deal in a laptopis the intel HD graphics orthe nvidia gt 610 witchboth are crap...
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