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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)

For thermal and acoustic testing, other than fan speeds, we’re running the hardware we have entirely at stock settings to mimic the results you can achieve as closely as possible. 

Acoustic Results

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Acoustically, the Louqe Raw S1 performs just as you’d expect: raw. It’s an open mesh chassis, and acoustic performance will depend entirely on the silence of the components you select.

For the optimized idle, generally we run the GPU fan speed at 40 percent (the 2070 Super FE GPU does not have a Zero-RPM mode), and run the CPU and included case fans at the lowest speed they will spin at. But because our GPU doesn’t have a Zero-RPM mode, I’m also including a measurement without the GPU to simulate noise levels on GPUs with a fan-stop mode. In this mode, the system is inaudible, practically matching the noise floor of the room. With the GPU running at idle, the measurement gets significantly louder, so do yourself a favor and find a GPU that has a zero-RPM mode if you value silence at idle.

For a realistic load noise level, I set the CPU fan speed to maximum and the case fan to 1250 RPM, with no GPU running. This produced a pleasant noise level. Adding the Founder’s Edition RTX 2070 GPU to the mix at 75% fan speed made the system annoyingly loud, so if you can, also try to find a quieter GPU to work with. Given that the FE 2070 Super is one of the loudest stock cards in years, that shouldn’t be hard.

Although the difference between having the shell on and off isn’t huge in the numbers, but the shell does take some of the harshness out of the sound profile and creates a much more plasant, contained sound signature, especially with the Noctua spinners.

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

Thermal Results

For the thermal tests, all case and CPU fan speeds are set to 100 percent, and the GPU fan is set to run at 75 percent fan speed.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Thermally, the Raw S1 puts on an impressive show. Of course, removing the outer shell from the chassis nets a significant performance advantage, but the results with the shell on are still very impressive. These figures were what we recorded normalized to a 20 degreees Celsius room, and while I wouldn’t go hard on the overclocks in a system like this, there is plenty of headroom to create quiet fan profiles for silent operation.

A Note About Dust Accumulation

In the optimized idle profile, the Noctua CPU cooler and NF-A12x25 case fan were able to run at just 250 RPM, which is pleasantly slow and quiet. Pair that with the SF750 power supply that has a fan-stop mode during low loads, and a GPU with a Zero-RPM fan mode, you should be able to keep dust levels reasonably well under control, provided you don’t spend hours each day gaming.

Conclusion

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

What sets the Louqe Raw S1 apart from the crowded world of PC cases is that it isn’t afraid to go in a totally different direction and limit your options. There is no tempered glass, no watercooling support, no RGB, nothing that falls into the typical trends of today’s day PC case design. And that, I applaud. It takes courage as designers to swim against the current and try something like this.

And when all said and done, the Louqe Raw S1 is hands-down the nicest ITX chassis I’ve ever had the honor of working with. From its stunning, elegant single-piece external shell to the simplicity with which a system inside it pieces together, the Raw S1 is a chassis that I’m going to remember.

Is it perfect? From one point of view, no. It doesn’t have air filtration. There’s no real front IO, and no room for expansion. But none of that is what the Louqe Raw S1 is about. Extra fans, filtration, and expansion space would make the chassis bigger and more complex, entirely defeating the point.

Because of this, I would actually say the Raw S1 is perfect – because it does a 100% job at achieving what the designers set out to achieve: a simple, easy-to-work-on minimalist system that looks the part and cools well.

In my book, this case is a massive success. It’s expensive, priced at $329, but keep in mind that this is a chassis that’s designed and built entirely in Sweden because the creators wanted to be able to keep a very close eye on the production process to ensure maximum quality – and it shows.

That, plus the money you spend on the case is money you’ll save on cutting the RGB and not caring about what your motherboard or GPU look like – not only do you not see the internals – you simply can’t fit much in here.

The Louqe Raw S1 is more than just a case – it’s a functional work of art that offers just what you need for a clean, high-end ITX build, and not a thing more. Pre-orders are expected to open on Amazon in May, with units shipping in June 2021.

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