The CCL Choice Hardware Statement:
We've committed ourselves to getting you the best value deals on the highest quality gear. In order to speed this process up, to constantly offer you the best prices and the best levels of stock, we've consolidated all of our Value lines (such as Cn Memory, Integral, Dane Elec, Freecom, LG etc.) under one set of stock codes. This means that ordering from the Value range will get you a high quality product for the cheapest possible price, but they might not always be the same colour or design, or from the same manufacturer.
We guarantee that we only buy high quality products, so that you can continue to order these items in confidence.
With that in mind we are going to take a look at one of the products that falls under our CCL Choice Umbrella. The CCL Choice ITX Case.
Currently the CCL Choice ITX case is one from Chenbro, a company that have not really been active in the consumer case market for some time since their stylishly designed Chenbro Gaming Bomb and Gaming Bomb 2 cases from around 10 years ago, looking at their website it certainly seems that they now focus selling to OEM's (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and SI's (System Integrator) such as Dell, Intel and HP.
Chenbro are a company that specialise in PC Chassis, the knowledge and expertise they have accrued since they opened shop in 1983 is vast. Chenbro lay claim to making the first case with a removable motherboard tray, which is a godsend to PC builders as it allows you to build the majority of hardware outside the machine such as the motherboard, processor, cooler and memory often the graphics card can be fitted as well.
But lets get onto the case itself:
- 250W Flex ATX PSU
- Metal Stand for the case
- USB 2.0 x 4 + audio (HD) on the front panel
- 1 x 60mm cooling fan included
- Padlock Loop / Kensington Slot
- Chassis Dimension: D x W x H (mm) 225 x 75 x 270
As you can see Chenbro did not take any risks with the look of this case, with a plain no-frills design used throughout the case, with simple clean straight edges and silver trim it certainly looks smart and simple.
Going inside the case you can see that the case is laid out in a functional manner, with the case being designed for ITX motherboards, the layout internally has had to be optimised to make sure that everything fits snugly, with no space being wasted, although the cables for the front panel and switches are all plenty long enough to reach inside the case which in such a small case means that you will likely have too much slack spare.
In the bottom left of the image below, you can see the tray that the hard drive and slim line optical drive mount to, which is secured by a screw then a sprung latch at the rear of the case which when triggered then allows you to remove the tray fully from the case to allow you to fit the hard drive easier than in situ, removal also then allows you to access the motherboard area so you can begin to fit your motherboard.
We decided to fit an Asus P8H61-I LX R2.0 Motherboard Core i7/i5/i3 1155 H61(B3) to give you an idea of what it would look like with a motherboard that takes a standard cooler than some of the more common AMD Fusion based M-ITX motherboards that are available.
As you can see it all fits snugly, although some of the cables did seem to end up blocking the fan on the front of the case when trying to stop them from trailing over the motherboard, so if you have a passive motherboard it would be wise to try and tidy up a little better to avoid blocking the airflow through the case.
Fitting the optical drive is a bit of a fiddly process because you need to fit the tray back into the machine in order to slot the optical drive back into the case. With an optical drive fitted it would appear that if the CPU cooler is placed on the other side (compared to the motherboard we used) you could also potentially run into clearance issues with the cables on the back, even then if you have the same motherboard layout as ourselves use of right angled sata cables would be a must and the shorter the better. The hard drive is easily fitted as the case comes with a removable tray to slide into and then slide back into the metal tray again used of right angled cables to avoid clearance issues is a must.
The power supply included in the machine has 3 sata power cables, with one being for slimline optical drives and the normal 24 pin and 4 pin power connector and because of it being rated to 250W and it being 80Plus Bronze rated means that it should not have any issues in powering the most common arrangements of hardware.
Once everything was fitted, plugged in and turned on the system was extremely quiet, with the unit being almost inaudible over background noise, with the primary source of the noise being the small PSU cooling fan which was occasionally heard.
System Specs Used :
Intel i3 2100
2GB Corsair Ram
160GB 2.5" Western Digital Hard Drive
Generic Optical Drive
The system itself when built worked absolutely flawlessly and whilst the temperatures of the system were not what could be achieved in the likes of a more ventilated or larger case, they were by no means bad and even with the hardware being pushed, as much as could be possible with no dedicated graphics card, the case showed no signs of having any problems with the hardware, although this in part I believe was partly due to the meshed vent directly above the CPU area which allows cooler air to be pulled straight in from the outside.
The CCL Choice ITX Case is a good case, boasting exceptional build quality and impressive features for its price, most noticeably the 250W Bronze Rated PSU, the only thing that I could pick fault with is the internal layout, if the wrong hardware choice is made it could certainly lead to a frustrating time getting everything to fit, otherwise with a good choice of parts it is a cinch to build into and the minute size and understated looks of the case means it lends itself very well to media centre builds as well as discrete business PC's.
CCL currently use these cases for the CCL Alpha Pioneer II Mini PC System which packs a Gigabyte motherboard with an integrated AMD dual core CPU with AMD Radeon HD6310 graphics, which is punchy enough to be a base for a media centre PC, the case is also used in CCL Brightspark Java Mini Education PC just in case you wanted something with a bit more oomph.