In Win Chopin Review

Written by Antony Leather

March 9, 2016 | 10:56

Tags: #best-mini-itx-case #htpc #mini-itx #mini-itx-review #small-mini-itx-case

Companies: #in-win

Performance Analysis

Things are relatively straightforward here - despite having no cooling fans, the Chopin coped well with our AMD APU, managing just 1°C above the delta T of an open test bench. This isn't much of a surprise seeing as the CPU cooler sits directly next to the large mesh side panel. One thing to remember, however, is that we don't use the rear I/O panel in any of our systems for the simple reason that fitting it to dozens of cases would likely see it fall apart after a while, not to mention making mincemeat of our fingers.

In Win Chopin Review In Win Chopin Review - Performance Analysis and Conclusion In Win Chopin Review In Win Chopin Review - Performance Analysis and Conclusion
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However, this could have improved the results here as any extra ventilation would be beneficial for the Chopin. Even so, most of the heat did seem to be expelled from the top vent and side panel, rather than the rear of the case. The delta T of 60°C was better than all the other cases we've tested in this configuration too, including the Cooler Master Elite 130, SilverStone Raven RVZ02, Fractal Design Node 202 and SilverStone Sugo SG13. Needless to say, if you just need a board and are happy with integrated graphics and two 2.5in drives, it's not bad at all cooling-wise.

As for the PSU, well, we were actually pleasantly surprised here. Admittedly, our testing only loads the CPU portion of the AMD A10-6700K so we would have been drawing well south of 100W, but it was practically silent at low loads and only span up to audible levels at very high loads. We'd have no problems sitting next to it on a desk

In Win Chopin Review In Win Chopin Review - Performance Analysis and Conclusion
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Conclusion

The Chopin is clearly quite niche and there are several significantly cheaper alternatives too. For both an APU-based gaming system or simply a discrete GPU-less HTPC or general-purpose systems though, price aside it's practically perfect. It looks great, is extremely well made, supremely compact and solid and as a bonus, it includes a decent PSU too. There are a few omissions though. There's enough room in the storage compartment for In Win to have offered a slimline optical drive - a slit at the front for a slot-loader wouldn't have impacted on the design too much.

Also, there's no 3.5in mount, yet with an extra 5mm or so depth, this could have been an option too. Thankfully, 1TB 2.5in drives don't demand that much of a premium over their 3.5in counterparts so an SSD + 1TB drive for your data is still definitely on the cards in this tiny case. If you're in no need of a discrete graphics card, then we can think of no better home for your hardware if you want as small a system as possible, but still want something that has style on your desk.

In Win Chopin


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