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Louqe Raw S1 Review: the Future of Minimal Mini-ITX

The Louqe Raw S1 is more than just a case – it’s arguably a functional work of art.

Louqe Raw S1
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

Although Louqe’s Raw S1 lacks a few basic amenities, it’s a stunning display of ITX minimalism, design, and craftsmanship.

For

  • + Stunning minimalist design
  • + Excellent Thermal Performance
  • + Very compact, even by Mini-ITX standards
  • + Oozes quality from every corner
  • + Easy Mini-ITX
  • + PCIe 4.0-Capable Riser Cable
  • + No RGB

Against

  • - No front IO or air filtration
  • - Expensive

Tom's Hardware Verdict

Although Louqe’s Raw S1 lacks a few basic amenities, it’s a stunning display of ITX minimalism, design, and craftsmanship.

Pros

  • + + Stunning minimalist design
  • + + Excellent Thermal Performance
  • + + Very compact, even by Mini-ITX standards
  • + + Oozes quality from every corner
  • + + Easy Mini-ITX
  • + + PCIe 4.0-Capable Riser Cable
  • + + No RGB

Cons

  • - - No front IO or air filtration
  • - - Expensive

Easy mini-ITX? Who would ever have thought you’d hear those words strung together? Not me, that’s for sure, and a lot of the PC building community would be inclined to agree. But despite that, the folks from a small Swedish company called Louqe have just conjured a new chassis that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It is, above all else, minimalist, elegant, beautiful, and to my surprise, possibly the easiest Mini-ITX case the world has ever seen, all while also being incredibly compact and thermally capable.

But there’s a lot missing in this equation for simple perfection too. For example, there’s no watercooling or radiator support, and nor air filtration. Heck, there’s not even any front IO beyond a USB Type-C port – and that’s at one of the back corners of the chassis. And it’s expensive, carrying an MSRP of $329.

The Louqe Raw S1 is, in that way, not a versatile case. There’s only one layout. But in not trying to be everything at once, I believe the Louqe Raw S1 may have come close to mini ITX perfection, fitting for our Best PC Cases list. Let’s get to know it, shall we?

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)

Specifications

Typemini ITX
Motherboard SupportMini-ITX
Dimensions (HxWxD)14.9 x 6.8 x 7.5 inches (379 x 172 x 191 mm)
Max GPU Length12.6 inches (320 mm)
CPU Cooler Height2.95 inches (75 mm)
Max PSU SizeSFX, SFX-L
External Bays✗ 
Internal Bays1x 2.5-inch
Expansion Slots2x
Front I/OUSB-C
Other 
Front Fans
Rear FansUp to 1x 120mm
Top FansUp to 1x 140mm
Bottom Fans
Side Fans
RGBNo
DampingNo

Features

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Louqe Raw S1

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)
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Louqe Raw S1

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)

As you tour around the Louqe Raw S1, it’s immediately obvious that there’s not much to this chassis. It’s incredibly compact at just 14.9 inches tall, 6.8 inches wide and 7.5 inches deep. In ITX terms, this chassis has a volume of 12 liters, which is indeed very small – for context, very, very few cases achieve a volume below 10 liters, and any that do have to make significant sacrifices to pull it off. Even the small Meshlicious case from Lian Li spinoff Ssupd is noticeably larger at 14.67 liters.

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Louqe Raw S1

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)
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Louqe Raw S1

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)

Coming back to the Raw S1’s outer shell: It’s made from a single piece of milled, bead-blasted, etched and anodized aluminum in a classy ‘Rhodium Gray’ color. Along its sides are large cutouts from the milling process, creating a mesh-like intake with a playful, yet strong industrial look.

This design, paired with the thick shell makes the Raw S1 ooze quality like few other cases do. It might not come with filtration, but the ‘Raw’ part of its name is very appropriate. It’s aggressively open on the sides, allowing for plenty of fresh air intake.

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Louqe Raw S1

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)
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Louqe Raw S1

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)

Circle to the rear of the chassis, and you’ll spot the same mesh pattern, but only at the top. This is the exhaust location. The top of the chassis is almost entirely closed off, but with an assisted exhaust at the rear, I don’t think this will be a problem.

You’ll notice that there is no immediately visible front IO. This is because the Raw S1 basically doesn’t come with any, other than the Type-C port at the back. Of course, this isn’t really an issue, as the system is light and it’s easy to tip over to access the full-glory IO at the bottom, but it’s something to keep in mind when planning a desk setup.

A Quick Comparison

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Louqe Raw S1

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)
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Louqe Raw S1

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)

Placing the Raw S1 between my trusty first-gen NCase M1 (I know it looks a little worse for wear, it has served me well) and the Phanteks Evolv Shift 2, it’s clear that the footprint of the Raw S1 is smaller than both these cases. It’s also significantly more expensive than the other two, with the NCase M1 currently costing about $210 and the Evolv Shift 2 just $100. But the materials quality of the Raw S1 is miles ahead of both these alternatives, so I wouldn’t say that the $330 price is unjust for what it is.

Opening up the Raw S1

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Louqe Raw S1

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)
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Louqe Raw S1

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)

To open up the chassis, you start by laying it upside down on a cloth. Then, you undo four securing screws on the outside of the chassis and undo the locking mechanisms on the USB Type-C port and power button and budge these out of place.

Then, using the handle in the middle, you simply pull the core out from its outer shell.

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)

Internal Layout

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)

The case’s core is built with a red spine to house the sandwiched layout system. On its left side you’ll spot room for an ITX motherboard and the SFX power supply at the top, and the right of the spine is where you’ll install the graphics card.

But there’s room for a little more. At the top, behind the power supply, you’ll be able to install a cooling fan, and underneath the PSU there’s room for a 2.5-inch drive – though chances are you’ll want to use an M.2 drive, as space is a scarce commodity here. You can install a 140mm fan at the top exhaust, but it will require taking apart the top of the outer shell to reach the mounts. And connecting the cable will be challenging, as it would be the only component that’s not fixed to the main core of the chassis itself.

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)

Confusing? Worry not, the build on the next page will make it a lot easier to visualize a system in this case.

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Louqe Raw S1

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)
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Louqe Raw S1

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)

In designing this chassis, Louqe also wanted to ensure native PCI-Express 4.0 support, which is why that blue ‘ribbon’ cable looks as funky as it does. Traditional PCIe Riser cables generally have a lot of issues with PCIe 4.0, and even those claiming to support Gen 4 often don’t. Louqe claims that this is one that really does support PCIe Gen 4, but because I don’t have a Gen 4 GPU nor a Gen4 ITX motherboard & CPU on-site to test with, the best we can do is take their word on it.

A Tiny Collection of Included Accessories

(Image credit: Niels Broekhuijsen, Tom's Hardware)

What you see here is the entirety of the box and contents of the accessory bag. You get the chassis, four screws to secure the PSU, and eight (mine included one too many) more general-use screws for securing the motherboard is all you get. But chances are you won’t need even half of them – I only needed four.

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • Giroro
    Reminds me of the Mac Pro trash can, but without the custom-fit boards.
    Reply
  • junglist724
    Those are some seriously disappointing temperatures and acoustics. Wtf is up with those stylized vents. I hate it when SFF case manufacturers sacrifice ventilation for aesthetics. Cooling is already at a premium in SFF, why make it worse by giving it a weird ventilation pattern that doesn't let any air in?
    Reply
  • SonoraTechnical
    $329, before taxes, before shipping. sub par cooling and sound dampening.

    I have had my two black SilverStone Sugo SG05BB-450 mini-ITX cases since 2012 and have never found a reason to switch to anything else. Sure I had to mod it for multiple 2.5 SSDs and dusting off the front filter could be faster, but no big deal. I do like the Sugo SG14, but I appreciate being able to keep the Slim Internal BluRay optical drives for older software installations too (beneficial in my industry) with my existing SG05BB models..

    I do not see the appeal to a case like this at that price...
    Reply
  • Pollopesca
    Nice to see something that can come close to the size & simplicity of my old modified SilverStone FT03 mini. But the lack of filtered intake and room for a 120mm radiator makes it a pass for me. Definitely a step in the right direction though. I hope more cases like this will start to popup in the future.
    Reply
  • PapaCrazy
    Pollopesca said:
    Nice to see something that can come close to the size & simplicity of my old modified SilverStone FT03 mini. But the lack of filtered intake and room for a 120mm radiator makes it a pass for me. Definitely a step in the right direction though. I hope more cases like this will start to popup in the future.

    The ingenious design of the FT03/FT03mini that created a channel of air flow through the chassis, and allowed for taller coolers (or radiator) is lacking here. Many have been copying the vertical FT03 design (even arguably Apple) but almost everyone ignores the engineering part. Kind of important!
    Reply
  • W. Harper
    So it's a slightly worse than the NZXT H1 with better Aesthetics and crap thermals... And no included power supply or custom 140 mil AIO..... I'm good... Try again.
    Reply
  • Blood Sausage
    I have one key question. If the cables have to run through the bottom is there an expectation to have 90 degree bends to leave unless you have a hole in your desk/platform?

    If they're going to show a 3XXX Founders edition installed (per their web site exploded view video) you can assume 4k output and a quality cable has zero change to make that exit. A GOOD display cable needs way more space before it can complete a 90 degree turn.

    USB Stick? Wireless antenna connectors? Any USB extender to accommodate the lack of topside connectivity?

    I would really like to see the running config with cables installed.
    Reply
  • cptwhite_uk
    Obvious example of form over function, unfortunately. SSUPD Meshlicious is still the case to best

    https://ssupd.com/products/meshlicious
    Reply
  • Swedenevguru
    Pollopesca said:
    Nice to see something that can come close to the size & simplicity of my old modified SilverStone FT03 mini. But the lack of filtered intake and room for a 120mm radiator makes it a pass for me. Definitely a step in the right direction though. I hope more cases like this will start to popup in the future.

    Check pitchure in the top with the 120*25 mm fan under the powersupply you maybe can get in a radiator but you need to messure space
    Reply
  • rh4h
    "Excellent Thermal Performance"

    75 cpu temp with an aftermarket cooler and fans at 100 is excellent now? what a joke
    Reply