For its annual CES appearance, Silverstone showed some new cases, PSUs, cooling and accessories, but one big surprise was the company’s first mini-STX form factor PC case.
The new small form factor was created by Intel, and it's smaller than mini-ITX. However, it allows enthusiasts to change various components other than the memory and storage. ASRock told us that it’s working on a mini-STX board, in addition to a full system with the form factor, but the company didn’t have either device at the show
The case from Silverstone is another sign that the OEMs are developing around mini-STX. This case (pictured) has a socketed motherboard, although we don’t know its manufacturer. Obviously, this was just to show a proof of concept: The form factor is coming soon, and Silverstone is one of the first companies to produce a component for it.
One thing of note is that there doesn’t seem to be any space for a PSU (our best guess is that it uses an external PSU). However, the case is still in its early stages, so its appearance could change in a few months. Obviously, price and release dates weren’t revealed. In fact, it doesn’t even have a name yet. Regardless, Silverstone wants its customers to know that it’s already thinking ahead.
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I'd fully expect these to require external power bricks, as without connectors there's no other choice, and given their size an SFX PSU would require you to double the volume of the case anyway. I doubt many case manufacturers can, or will, make bespoke PSUs.
What are the specs of this mSTX form-factor? The Skull-Canyon mSTX machine being developed is said to be 4x8", but there wasn't anything that jumped out from my quick perusal showing how much free space inside the case was available.
I would think with the smaller manufacturing process coming out soon they could possibly fit a near-flagship card into one of these. The main focus lately has been performance/watt instead of performance at any cost. It is quite possible that one of the newer GPUs coming out using HBM2 and a 14/16nm architecture could fit quite nicely in one of these while keeping the power usage and heat output low. Of course, this is in my opinion.
I could see this happening on the next gen or two, and I'm glad to see this kind of things, that little brick looks really nice.