Enthusiasts love the ability to choose their own hardware. Yet, the portability advantages Shuttle introduced in its early cube-shaped PCs drove many of them to build upon “proprietary” base systems.
The other side of space savings was similarly-handled by VIA, its mini-ITX products offering an even smaller “standardized” form factor for media-oriented PCs that were the antithesis of performance and value. Value champion AMD stepped in four years ago to fill the gap with a standardized form factor for Shuttle-style cubes. Its DTX initiative specified two-slot motherboards that fit half-way between ITX and Flex-ATX, all while using the same mounting screw locations.
Like many of AMD’s initiatives, its DTX announcements fell upon seemingly deaf ears in the mass market, and the few case manufacturers who paid attention quickly discovered that few of their customers ever knew what DTX was (to be fair, Intel similarly stumbled on its own BTX initiative, which was conceptualized to deal with the out-of-control thermal issues encountered by its Pentium 4). These cases were quickly relabeled ITX. After that, they sold in fairly large numbers. Fortunately, these cases have not gone away.
The reason we use the word fortunately is that these cases can fit a double-slot graphics card on available ITX motherboards. With LGA 1155 processors up to the Core i7-2600K now supported, ITX is finally able to fill the performance role of a truly high-end portable gaming machine.
|Cubitek Mini-Tank||Lian-Li PC-Q08||SilverStone SST-SG07B-W||SilverStone SST-SG06B|
|PSU Form Factor||PS/2||PS/2||PS/2||SFX|
|Space Above Motherboard||7.0"||1.2"||4.8"||3.5"|
|Weight||10.1 Pounds||6.8 Pounds||11.5 Pounds||7.8 Pounds|
|Front Fans (alternatives)||1 x 140 mm (stock only)||1 x 140 mm (stock only)||None (stock only)||1 x 120 mm (stock only)|
|Rear Fans (alternatives)||1 x 120 mm (stock only)||None (stock only)||None (stock only)||None (stock only)|
|Top Fans (alternatives)||1 x 140 mm (stock only)||1 x 120 mm (stock only)||1 x 180 mm (stock only)||None (stock only)|
|Side Fans (alternatives)||None (stock only)||None (stock only)||None (stock only)||None (stock only)|
|Optical Drive||2 x 5.25"||1 x 5.25"||1 x Slim||1 x Slim|
|3.5" External||1 x Adapter||None||None||None|
|3.5" Internal||1 x 4-bay Cage||1 x 4-bay Cage 1 x 2-bay Cage||One||One|
Not shown in the above chart is the fact that SilverStone’s SG07B includes a quality 600 W power supply. The SG06B also includes a power supply, but its 300 W unit isn’t designed to support the high-end gaming hardware we plan to stuff within its otherwise-capable shell.