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Akasa Euler Review

Akasa Euler Review

Manufacturer: Akasa
UK price (as reviewed): £69.95 inc VAT (including power adaptor)
US price (as reviewed): $94.99 (ex Tax)

Most of the cases on Akasa's home page these days have been doing the rounds for several years. The same is true for its coolers. Anyone would be forgiven for thinking the company was slowly bowing out of the industry, but having spoken to the venerable cooling, power and case manufacturer recently we're pretty sure this isn't the situation.

The enthusiast market is no longer Akasa's main focus, instead the company has quietly been churning out some interesting cases for the low-power arena. Many are aimed at the digital signage industry and support slim mini-ITX motherboards or Intel's NUC. However the most interesting aspect about them is that they're fanless.

We recently looked at Streacom's ST-FC5S Evo WS fanless case, however it's main issue was price. It costs over £200 once you include a pico-PSU. The Euler, which we're looking at hear costs less than £70 and includes a PSU - likely to appeal to the more value-conscious out there certainly.

Akasa Euler Review Akasa Euler Review
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In terms of specification, things are a little bit sparse with it including no USB ports for instance. However, as Akasa was keen to point out, its current fanless case line-up is aimed at those that want a silent PC to tuck away in a drawer or behind their monitor so massive connectivity - and front port access in particular - are reasonable omissions.

What's more, it still has the potential to make a rather awesome HTPC and at a fraction of the cost of cases such as those from Streacom. Part of the reason the Euler is so much cheaper is that it doesn't have an elaborate heatpipe system to connect the CPU and case. Instead, the top section of the case sits directly on the CPU.

We certainly have our concerns about this design choice - lack of upgrade-ability, reduced thermal performance - but given the Euler's tiny dimensions of 228mm x 187mm x 61mm (W x D x H) we can see that there simply wouldn't have been room for a more exotic cooling solution - the case is barely any bigger than the motherboard itself.

For its size, the Euler is incredibly heavy at over 2kg. The amount of aluminium involved here is substantial, which hopefully bodes well for cooling, although Akasa does specify a maximum TDP of 35W, which limits you to low power variants of recent LGA1155 Pentiums, Core-i3s or Core-i5s. Build quality is excellent, with the entire exterior anodised black and all the joints made flush making it look very sleek indeed.

Akasa Euler Review Akasa Euler Review
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The Euler's one concession to extras is a space for either a 2.5in hard disk or SSD, which are attached using an included adaptor and the four sunken nuts next to the heatsink - there's no 3.5in hard disk support here. You'll also be limited in your motherboard choice - the Euler is only compatible with slim-type motherboards such as Gigabyte's GA-H77TN. At first they seem pricey but they also feature built-in PSUs, requiring just a compatible power brick to get going.

Akasa Euler Review Akasa Euler Review
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This also means there's no need for the usual power connectors on the motherboard. Instead, you'll find SATA power connectors to power your storage. There is a short SATA power lead and SATA data cable in the box too, which will be useful seeing as you don't need more than a few centimetres of cables.

The way you install the motherboard is pretty unique. As the top section is largely one piece, only the base needs to be removed to mount it. The four pins on the heatsink pass through the usual CPU socket mounting holes, and are secured the other side using nuts, with supports for the motherboard at the edges too. It's probably the quickest and easiest motherboard installation we've encountered.

The base then slots back in place and is secured at the sides and also sports four VESA mounting holes with the screws included as standard - useful if your monitor has a rear VESA mount but it obviously opens up plenty of possibilities as to where else you could mount it.

Specifications
  • Dimensions (mm) 228mm x 187mm x 61mm 1 (W x D x H)
  • Material Aluminium
  • Available colours Black
  • Weight 2.2kg
  • Front panel none
  • Drive bays 1 x internal 2.5in
  • Form factor(s) Slim mini-ITX
  • Cooling passive radiator (CPU)
  • Extras VESA mounting pins, short SATA cables