ID-cooling are a relatively new player in the PC component market, but so far, we’ve seen some great cooling products from them and I’m eager to see how their first ever chassis stacks up against the competition. With a competitive price and promising high-end build quality courtesy of its pure aluminium casing, the T60-SFX sound like an attractive product for those looking at a mini-ITX gaming system.
Space is limited inside this chassis, but with the rise in popularity of mini-ITX form factor graphics cards, SFX power supplies and more, fitting a competent gaming system into a chassis of this size isn’t as tricky as it used to be. You’ll find there’s just enough room for a few hard drives, a reasonably sized graphics card and, of course, a mini-ITX motherboard and SFX PSU.
First impressions are very good, as the chassis is made from thick aluminium panels with a stealthy matte finish. The side panel is held in place by four large thumb screws, allowing for tool-free access to the interior. There’s also a good amount of ventilation, some to the rear of the PSU and a strip at the bottom that will help the GPU.
The same panel design around the back, helping further enhance the overall airflow, but no doubt sacrificing some sound proofing qualities at the same time.
The front panel houses even more ventilation at the bottom, as well as that rather funky looking power button and some USB 3.0 ports at the top. One glaring omission, however, is the lack of HD audio jacks, so you’ll have to rely on your motherboard’s rear I/O connectors.
Around the back, you can quickly appreciate how small this chassis is by looking at the motherboard I/O cut-out! There’s a small 92mm fan at the back to help with cooling, a pair of expansion slots and finally, the AC passthrough cable, as the PSU mounts towards the front of the chassis.
There’s even more ventilation on the base of the chassis, which is a good thing for your GPU considering the small capacity of the chassis and the fact it only supports a single fan, so you’ll be relying on passive airflow for the most part.
With the left side panel removed, the first thing you’ll find is a vertical hard drive bracket. This bracket will house 2 x 2.5″ drives. The bracket can be removed via four screws, making it easy to install the drives, but also giving you more room to install the main system components.
There’s also a single 3.5″ drive bay in the top, giving you a total of three storage drives; not bad for such a small chassis.
The rear 92mm fan is a good quality fan, which is a welcome thing given it’s the only fan.
The SFX PSU mounts towards the front of the chassis and there’s a little room above and below it to allow for cable management, by which I mean “cable stuffing”.
Remove the right side panel and you can screw the PSU into place, as well as attach the AC extension cable that runs through the chassis.
Building a system inside this chassis was no easy task, sure the case is simple enough in terms of design, but limited space is always tricky to work with. Mounting the PSU felt like it needed three hands, but on the plus side, you’re likely to only need to ever do this once. The main issue I had was a big one! There are two expansion slot covers on the GPU mounting, the first was fitted with a standard screw, the second used a Torx T6 screw, this is a major problem for a lot of people, as most consumer don’t have a Torx screw driver set just lying around. I can’t fathom any situation why they’ve done this, but they did, so keep it in mind.
Screw’s aside, the final build looks pretty good, sure the cable management looks a little scruffy, but that’s thanks in no small part to the use of a non-modular PSU.
There’s a good amount of space down here for excess cables, so those passive air holes are going to work rather well regardless.
There’s even more space up top for a few cables should you need it.
The PSU cable does trail over the CPU cooler a little, but it’s unlikely to cause airflow issues. The only problem you might have is if it touches a fan blade, but a quick cable tie will keep it out of the way should you need to.
The GPU has good clearance from the base of the chassis and will benefit from the lower vents on the side panels, as well as the plentiful ventilation on the base of the chassis.
Overall, a fairly decent looking build and good passive airflow around all major components.
The hard drive mounted on the vertical mount easy enough, then it should only take you a moment or two to hook up the required cables for it.
All panels back in place and the build is complete, a super compact and stylish exterior with a perfectly capable gaming system housed within.
Availability of this chassis is quite poor at the moment, although we do expect that to improve in the near future. At time of writing, I couldn’t find stock at our preferred retailers, but ID-Cooling state that the RRP is $79.99, which is as near as makes no difference £50 here in the UK.
This chassis is far from perfect, that’s not the best opening line for the conclusion, but it’s the truth. It can be a little tricky to work with, especially with no dedicated routes for cables, as well as a lack of cable tie loops where you would want them to help keep things tidy. That being said, there is room around the PSU to stuff excess cables, so with a little care and a few cable ties, you can get the bulk of cables out of the way of fans and other hardware, even if it doesn’t look particularly tidy.
Some of the panels don’t seem to fit as well as I would like, I had a bit of a fuss getting the side panel screws to line up and while it’s OK, it lacked the kind of precision you would normally associate with an aluminium chassis; eg, Lian-Li.
There’s a lack of audio jacks on the chassis too, which may be a bother for some people, but at least it’s a small chassis and it’s not exactly far to reach to reach the ports on the motherboard I/O, although it will mean unplugging speakers to connect a headset and that can be a bit of a pain, especially if you like to switch between the two a lot; USB headsets would negate this issue.
Of course, there’s also the issue with that Torx screw on the expansion slot cover, I don’t know what do say other than “what the hell is that all about?!”.
OK, it sounds like I really hate this chassis and while the evidence above would suggest that, I actually really like this case. The design is pretty cool, it has a unique shape and a certain premium and funky mystique about it that looks great when it’s sat up on your desk, or tucked down the side of your TV. It’s small enough that you can tuck it under your arm and carry it around with you, so it’s certainly going to be a popular choice for LAN gaming. The thick metal panels are also very durable, so a few knocks and bumps are unlikely to cause much concern.
There’s a good quality fan pre-installed in the back and loads of airflow throughout, just keep in mind that there are no dust filters, so you will have to give it a clean through a little more often than most chassis’.
- Compact design
- Room for a good graphics card
- USB 3.0 ports
- Lots of ventilation
- Good quality rear fan
- Supports 3 x HDD
- Durable construction
- Aluminium panels
- Competitive price
- No dust filters
- No audio jacks
- Torx screw on 2nd expansion slot
- Difficult cable management
“The ID-Cooling T60-SFX isn’t perfect, but for their first gaming chassis, it’s got a lot to offer, a cool design and its super-compact size makes it a fun choice for a LAN gaming build.”
Thank you ID-Cooling for providing us with this sample.