Nanoxia CoolForce 1 Review

February 9, 2017 // 2:52 p.m.

Tags: #atx #low-noise #mid-tower #nanoxia #nanoxia-coolforce-1-review

Nanoxia CoolForce 1 Review

Manufacturer: Nanoxia
UK price (as reviewed):
Approx £75 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $119.99 (ex tax)

The last Nanoxia case we saw, the Project S, was pretty awesome with its drawer style design and quality materials. The new CoolForce 1, meanwhile, takes us back to reality with a standard mid-tower design. While once revolutionary and a refreshing change from overly plastic, horribly coloured cases, the all-black, minimalist aesthetic here feels somewhat tired by this point; the CoolForce 1 certainly isn't begging to be shown off. We can live with that, however, as its main purpose is to be discreet; it has a number of design choices specifically geared towards users looking to cut down on noise.

Nanoxia CoolForce 1 Review Nanoxia CoolForce 1 Review
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A primary look over the case reveals build quality to be a mixed bag. The steel, for example, that used on the flat side panels, is certainly strong, but on the flip side the plastic areas feel cheap, with the I/O panel being a particular let-down, flexing easily when pressed. We also find that the case's feet are lined on the bottom with foam rather than rubber – quite often a sign of a less expensive case.

At first, the front panel, which sports a faux brushed metal finish and a pair of optical drive bay covers, appears to be completely solid. However, there are actually very small holes running down the sides of the central section that allow air in, as well as a larger hole on the bottom which doubles up as a means of yanking the panel off. Doing this reveals a dust filter guarding two 140mm intake fans. Sadly, the clips that hold this filter in place broke after a few uses – perhaps magnets would have been a better idea.

Nanoxia CoolForce 1 Review Nanoxia CoolForce 1 Review
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The front I/O panel has a great selection of ports and buttons. As well as the usual USB and audio ports, Nanoxia has included a USB 3.1 Type-C header here. This is more of a pass-through port and as such will need routing to a Type-C connection on your motherboard, most likely found on its rear I/O panel. You also get a three-step fan controller capable of controlling three fans (9W maximum in total, so high wattage fans are off the cards). Lastly, there's an LED control button used to switch the case's green LED lighting on and off. The LEDs are installed behind the front panel, shining out through the aforementioned small holes. The power LED is also green and lights up the Nanoxia logo.

Nanoxia CoolForce 1 Review
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The roof has a single piece of plastic covering all three fan mounts, with a passable locking mechanism at the back keeping it in place. The plastic is thin, flimsy, and not backed by noise dampening material. The fact that it's a single piece means you'll have to leave one or two fan mounts open and exposed to the elements if you don't fill all the fan mounts here, which is especially troubling as no dust filters are provided to help close up the remaining mounts.

Nanoxia CoolForce 1 Review
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The power supply dust filter is another piece of plastic that fails to impress, mostly because it's tougher to use than it should be, and properly realigning it with the rails on the underside of the case is tricky thanks to them being positioned too far forwards. The filter also doesn't extend far enough forwards to cover the lower fan mount, so anyone choosing to utilise this position would be turning their PC into something of a hoover.

Nanoxia CoolForce 1 Review
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At the back, there are four holes covered with grommets. Traditionally, these would be used for external water-cooling setups, although with this case they will be used to route the USB 3.1 cable from the front I/O to the back of the motherboard. A rear 120mm fan acts as the system's only exhaust.

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm) 207 x 525 x 495 (W x D x H)
  • Material Steel, plastic
  • Available colours Black
  • Weight 9.4kg
  • Front panel Power, reset, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0, stereo, microphone, fan control, LED control
  • Drive bays 3 x 3.5in/2.5in, 2 x 2.5in
  • Form factor(s) ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ITX
  • Cooling 2 x 140mm/120mm front fan mounts (2 x 140mm fans included), 1 x 120mm rear fan mount (1 x 120mm fan included), 3 x 140mm/120mm roof fan mounts, 1 x 140mm/120mm bottom fan mount (fans not included)
  • CPU cooler clearance 165mm
  • Maximum graphics card length 285mm (425mm without HDD tray)
  • Extras Removable dust filters, three-step fan control, front LEDs

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