UK price (as reviewed): £129.95 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): N/A
One of the great things about mini-ITX is that case manufacturers offer a huge variety of layouts and designs, as it's trickier to keep a case both small and flexible enough to cater for more than a couple of usage scenarios. Raijintek's first attempt at a mini-ITX case - the Metis - focused on providing maximum CPU cooler headroom despite the case being one the smallest we've ever reviewed. This invariably meant it wasn't an ideal case from a liquid-cooling perspective, limited to a single 120mm radiator AIO cooler, which would also end up blocking the motherboard, while the GPU was resigned to the poorly ventilated roof of the case.
The solution, it seems, is here with the new Ophion, which ditches the CPU cooler headroom by moving the motherboard tray to the centre of the case and switching the GPU mount to the far side of the case using a PCIe riser cable. The roof is also freed up to allow case fans, and on the slightly taller Ophion Evo, a 240mm AIO liquid cooler into the mix. The case isn't as compact as the Metis, but it's narrower at just 174mm, and Raijintek has included two tempered glass side panels. Rather than being flush with the case, they're offset by a centimetre or so for some reason, leaving large gaps for air and dust to enter. Thankfully, Raijintek includes neoprene padding to seal these gaps, but we'd have preferred to see a more bona fide method.
The case includes the bare minimum of USB ports with a standard Type-A USB 3.0 and also a Type-C port, although that's also powered by the USB 3.0 header, meaning it doesn't offer full Type-C features or USB 3.1 speeds. Externally, the case is attractive and well machined with an fully aluminium/tempered glass exterior and bevelled edges. The roof has a huge magnetic dust filter, which sadly had a loose magnetic strip when we lifted it off but was easily replaced.
The base also has a smaller dust filter, but there are a few areas that are not catered for with regards to dust protection. However, despite the case's tiny size, there's no need to opt for an SFX PSU - it might make your life easier with more space inside the Ophion, but the case does support ATX-size PSUs. Like the Metis, the PSU mount is vertical with the base of the PSU facing the bottom of the floor and an extension cable connecting to the PSU then running to a standard kettle lead port on the rear of the case.
October 14 2021 | 15:04