Enermax Steelwing Mini-Tower Case Review

Today’s review sample, the Enermax Steelwing, is a Micro-ATX, mini-tower case from a company that is primarily known for almost exclusively producing ATX mid-tower cases. With a height of only 11.81", the Steelwing happens to fall just short of the traditional definition of a mini-tower. The lack of a fourth expansion slot, internal drive bays, and SFX-only power supply mount further complicate things. Still, Enermax claims you can stuff the Steelwing with a Micro-ATX motherboard and gaming hardware and still keep everything cool. While we don’t have a Micro-ATX setup for testing compact cases, our standard testing setup will at least establish a bottom line of what the Steelwing can handle.

Depending on what flavor the reader chooses, the Enermax Steelwing comes in either a black/red or silver/green color scheme with a front LED case fan that matches the case's accent color.

Despite Enermax’s choice of name, the Steelwing features an all-aluminum construction, with a tinted tempered-glass window for a view. The front of the Steelwing features a set of decorative fins that cover the front air intake and break up the look of an otherwise flat front panel. These fins also hold a non-removable, coarse steel mesh, which provides minimal air filtration for the front air intake. Up top there’s also another air intake, sans fan mount, with the same steel mesh.

The front panel I/O ports on the Steelwing consist of a pair of HD audio ports, topped by a pair of USB 3.0 ports, topped by an LED lit power button that also contains the hard drive activity light.

The Steelwing’s left side features an anodized aluminum panel secured by four thumbscrews. Unfortunately, even though the panel is easily removable, it seems it only serves a decorative purpose with no opportunities for cable management hiding behind it. An extra bit of width, even if only a half inch or so would add a bit of extra value to the case and would make cable management much easier.

The back of the case is host to a standard motherboard cutout as well as three expansion slots and a mount for an SFX form factor power supply. The location of the power supply mount and its proximity to the motherboard limits the Steelwing to a maximum supported CPU cooler height of only 80mm. Meanwhile the lack of an additional expansion slot limits users of Micro-ATX boards to only a single high-performance graphics card.

Inside the Steelwing we find a 120mm green LED fan mounted inside of a bracket. Readers who choose liquid cooling over air cooling may toss the fan and use the bracket to mount a 120mm radiator and fan in its place. Alternatively, if you feel like not having any fans in your case at all, Enermax also advertises the bracket as being able to hold a 3.5” hard drive, though the airflow lost by such change will probably offset any benefit gained by the extra storage.

Moving on to the back of the case, we find a bracket that mounts both a 2.5” hard drive/SSD as well as a 3.5” hard drive. It’s worth noting that this bracket is tall enough to render the third expansion slot unusable when installed and may even interfere with double-slot graphics cards that come with extra wide cooling setups. However, if you need the extra expansion slot or don’t mind living without a 3.5” hard drive, there are two 2.5” hard drive/SSD mounts located under the bracket.

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  • EquineHero
    That looks hideous. Screw high airflow, I want something that doesn't look like Megatron and Bublebee's backyard abortion.
  • g-unit1111
    Got to give them props for trying something new in case design, but really, that green panel kind of cheapens the whole look of it.
  • takeshi7
    This case looks like an ugly and worse version of the In Win H-frame Mini. I wish that case came back.
  • g-unit1111
    Anonymous said:
    This case looks like an ugly and worse version of the In Win H-frame Mini. I wish that case came back.


    Yeah that was an awesome cases. In Win knows how to do it right.
  • DerekA_C
    Besides that I just replaced a m-atx board they have up to 5 expansion slots I see 3 here so wtf is that about even if there were the typical 4 say 2 16x slots for sli or xfire/mgpu this case would never work.

    THIS SITE IS GETTING GARBAGE EVERY FF-ing time I have to log into this site it wont post my post I have to repost and the ADS and the videos I am just about done with this site going to replace it with something else will be searching today.

    Another Interesting fact this site will not let me use it if I am using Firefox quantum which is AWESOME BTW but instead Edge browser works perfect thank god for not being able to get rid of edge lol HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    Besides that I just replaced a m-atx board they have up to 5 expansion slots I see 3 here so wtf is that about even if there were the typical 4 say 2 16x slots for sli or xfire/mgpu this case would never work.

    THIS SITE IS GETTING GARBAGE EVERY FF-ing time I have to log into this site it wont post my post I have to repost and the ADS and the videos I am just about done with this site going to replace it with something else will be searching today.

    Another Interesting fact this site will not let me use it if I am using Firefox quantum which is AWESOME BTW but instead Edge browser works perfect thank god for not being able to get rid of edge lol HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Four. Micro ATX only ever had four slots max. Micro ATX is a form factor, which means it has a fixed set of maximum dimensions.

    It's because the word "form factor" has a specific meaning that I'm going through certain articles and killing the term "small form factor". If "small" was a form factor you'd be able to give me dimensions. Mini ITX is a form factor that's small, but the form factor name is Mini ITX.

    And thanks for bringing up the constant sign-out problem. It's been less pervasive for the past few days, but it is a nuisance. Along with constantly being pestered to sign up for the newsletter I'm already signed up for.