The beauty of the Mini-ITX platform is that it enables case designers to arrange all the various different components into chassis in vastly different ways. This means that many different shapes of Mini-ITX cases can make sense, whereas for Micro-ATX or ATX cases, a tower design only really ever works. Over the last two years, a guy named Ray started working on his own chassis, the Inverse case, and a few days ago it finally made it to its launch on Indiegogo.
The Inverse case features a wide but slim design, and it's built around a “sandwich” principle. The steel internal chassis of the case splits in two, and you can mount components on each side, after which you sandwich them together. After that, you simply re-apply the aluminum external panels to complete the build, and that’s it.
Following a minimalist style, the outside has no branding or logos that you’re immediately aware of–only the front of the case has "Inverse" written in Braille and mirrored (because Inverse). Even the power button is hidden underneath the front I/O at the bottom of the chassis to maintain a clean appearance.
Next to the Mini-ITX motherboard, inside the chassis there is room for a handful of different hardware configurations. These range from accommodating a full-size dual slot graphics card (it ships with the required PCIe riser cable) along with a 240mm liquid cooling radiator, to housing a bunch of hard drives so you can build a media server. The choice is yours. However, consider that in going down one route, you’ll sacrifice another, so do study the case well before deciding on which hardware to purchase for it.
The Inverse case measures 72 x 464 x 308.5mm (HxWxD) and has a total size of 10 liters, which is roughly two liters more compact than the smallest Mini-ITX cases that house similar amounts of hardware. Even so, because of its narrow design, it’ll fit right underneath your monitor or sleekly on the side of your desk using a stand (although Ray doesn’t know how much the stand will cost yet).
If you’re quick, you can grab an Inverse case in black or silver for $129 plus shipping, but once the first 100 are sold, the price will go up to $149. That may seem a little steep, but considering the materials used, ease of building, and prices of other custom Kickstarter-type Mini-ITX cases, it’s actually not too shabby.
A neat idea but frankly I would like it more if they dropped the inverse thing and just loaded up the top with vent holes so people could have a straight top to bottom ventilation. As it is the system seems to be running kind of hot compared with other testers reports for his test CPU.
And ~$130 USD for it...
These guys should have taken the Thermaltake SD200 as base and improved on top of it.
Personally I like the cleaner look without the holes on the top.
What I do think is missing is magnetic filters that could attach on the bottom, or would slide in on the sides, depending on direction of air flow.
Wish them the best, but if you don't have a major Brand Name attached, I think you need to have demo units in the hands of a LOT of review sites such as Toms, so that potential buyers know what they are getting.
I've got many questions about the case but really if this this is small who gives a shit how many front USB ports it has?
I see a lot of configurations where fans push or pull air from the top of the case, wondering where that air goes.
But I have few inputs on it, it's only nitpicking but since it's so close to perfect maybe it passes along to the maker and we could see it in a new version, hopefully.
1) Dust filters. There has to be dust filters on all of the inputs, basically the whole bottom side.
2) 240 rad exhaust. I love that the maker of this case has managed to cram a 24 rad in there, it's amazing. But the air that inters has no direct exit path. Having holes on the top side of the case would mean sacrificing on the cleanliness of the case, but it would sure help thermals on an OC'ed CPU. He appears to get 84c with 240 rad and Prime95 stress test, I wonder how much lower that would be with exhaust opening.
3) there are some images with a single USB 3.0 while others (the black case) with 2. I hope the shipping version would have. No case maker has yet made a USB 3.1 front I/O, but having that option now that motherboards are starting to come with it would be great. The Asus Strix Z270I comes to mind regarding that.
4) The ability to put 25mm depth 120mm fans. It seems to me that the case is limited to the slim type of fans only. The ability to have 25mm would mean a quieter build. I would personally take the extra case depth for that.
5) Power button location. I'm not sure how easy it is to press it while it's under the case. I don't really think having in on the front would hurt "cleanliness" but to each their taste. All I care about is that it can actually be pressed with no issues or frustration.