UK Price (as reviewed):£51.98 (inc VAT) US Price (as reviewed):$84.95 (ex Tax)
When you dabble in the budget case market, you can't have it all. Sacrifices will have to be made in one or more areas for manufacturers to be able to hit a retail price of £55 or less. That's not to say it's unreasonable to expect a case that is well constructed, cools respectably and is easy to work with. It's precisely for these reasons that we continue to recommend Antec's One, and Corsair's feature-rich Carbide 200R is also a worthy contestant if you're willing to expand its GPU cooling.
It's been almost three years since we saw Xigmatek's now discontinued Utgard case, which was fantastic value at the time, and its giant Elysium also impressed us. Therefore, though we never had the chance to review the original Midgard, we were still cautiously optimistic about its successor, the Midgard II, as it has a wonderful array of features for such an affordable case.
Click to enlarge
The general design of the Midgard II is hardly enough to make you jump out of your seat in excitement, but the grooves around the edges and the soft-touch finished plastic ensure the chassis looks and feels far less tacky than it could at this price. The balance of mesh to solid exterior feels just right too, despite the case being able to house a whopping eight fans – the same number in the same positions as the Carbide 200R, in fact.
Four external 5.25-inch bays, more than enough these days, are to be found up front, with the top one being designed to only handle slimline drives. Below these is the meshing and dust filter material for the two front 120mm intake mounts, one of which is filled by default. Both side panels are flat, and the main one has room for two 120mm or 140mm fans, although no dust filter is provided here. The case is also available for around £10 more with a pre-installed window, which removes the option to install side fans.
Click to enlarge - The front panel (left) hosts a hot swap bay for SSDs and HDDs (right)
The roof mounted front panel is well equipped with the usual audio jacks sitting alongside a single USB 3 port (which has its own internal header) and two more USB 2 ones. We've seen similarly priced cases with two USB 3 ports, but the Midgard II has another trick up its sleeve in the form of its hot swap docking station. This bay, partially covered by a flap, supports both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives. Dust filtering mesh also covers the rear of the roof, below which sit two more 120mm/140mm fan mounts.
The all important job of exhausting hot air from the CPU area is covered by the rear 120mm fan. Also at the back are two small holes for routeing water-cooling tubes out of the case, covered by some very stiff grommets. Xigmatek also supplies an optional triple channel variable speed controller, which can be installed in any of the seven expansion slots. It's relatively rare to see such a feature in a budget case, so it gives the Midgard II a leg up over its competition.
Click to enlarge - Xigmatek bundles an optional PCI fan controller (left) and removable bottom dust filters (right)
Finally, flipping the case upside down reveals its foam covered feet that give the chassis sufficient clearance to allow airflow the floor mount vents. Both the PSU and lower fan mount are covered by separate removable dust filters, although sadly they're the type made of thin and flimsy material as opposed to a full slide out device.
Dimensions (mm) 205 x 488 x 458 (W x D x H)
Material Steel, plastic
Available colours Black
Front panel Power, reset, 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, stereo, microphone
Drive bays 1 x slim optical, 3 x external 5.25in, 6 x internal 2.5in/3.5in
Form factor(s) ATX, Micro-ATX, mini-ITX
Cooling 2 x 120mm front fan mounts (1 x 120mm fan included), 1 x 120mm rear fan mount (fan included), 2 x 120mm/140mm roof fan mounts, 2 x 120mm/140mm side fan mounts, 1 x 120mm bottom fan mount (fans not included)
CPU cooler clearance 170mm
Maximum graphics card length 295mm (410mm with HDD cage removed)
Extras Removable bottom dust filters, 2.5in/3.5in SATA hot-swap bay, variable speed fan controller