Here is another system case from HKC. Like its cousin we’ve discussed above, it can be found under other names and brands. For example, it may be called Morex Cubid T-3320.
This is one of the smallest computer cases possible. It lacks any 5.25-inch bays (i.e. it doesn’t support optical drives) and has an external power adapter all for the sake of compactness! Thus, the dimensions of this system case are virtually limited to the dimensions of the mainboard installed into it. It is not unlike a thin client we mentioned in the Introduction. A computer assembled in the HKC 007 would look appropriate standing next to a monitor at an office or shop or other such place, especially as it has an inconspicuous design with a mix of gray and black plastic and smooth curves.
It can be positioned vertically (on a stand) as well as horizontally, yet we guess the upright orientation is better. Take note that its side panels are in fact a vent grid. This is a proper solution because the external power adapter not only allows making the system case smaller and lowers the temperature inside it, but also deprives the components of active cooling. Everything inside this system case is going to be cooled passively by means of convection.
Now let’s take a look at the stand included with this system case. It looks very simple, just a single-piece plastic thing. However, do you know many stands for computer cases that are not only fastened to them with a screw but also become a seamless element of their exterior? Indeed, the silvery part of the front panel smoothly transitions into the stand if the system case is used with it.
Besides the stand, there is one more external component to the HKC 007. We mean its external power supply Seasonic SSA-0651-1 that has an output power rating of 60 watts and delivers only 12 volts into the system case. Further conversions of voltage are performed by a small card inside the HKC 007. That card has two output cables: a CPU cable (22 cm long) and a rather odd-looking cable with a 20+4-pin mainboard power connector, a PATA power connector, a SATA power connector and a floppy-drive plug. The latter cable is 22+9+9+9 centimeters long.
Now let’s get back to the system case. Its front panel offers a standard selection of I/O interfaces: two USB ports and two audio connectors. An inconspicuous but rather large Power button can be found at the edge.
The HKC 007 hasn’t got a proper back panel: the edges of the side panels curve in to surround the large opening for the mainboard’s connectors. The remaining space is occupied by a power connector. By the way, it is not a good thing that the power connector is at the top of the case if you position the latter upright. The power cord may try to topple the system case down.
Consisting mostly of vent holes, the side panels are made from plastic attached to a metallic wafer. This solution must have proved to be cheaper than all-metal panels, but maintains the required rigidity. The system case is rigid indeed. The small amount of metal is made up for by the small dimensions and the use of 0.7mm steel.
The chassis is virtually empty inside. Besides the HDD mounting plate, there is but a small card with voltage converters. Well, it should be empty considering its tiny dimensions!
The HDD mounting plate is quite a mystery for us. There are a lot of holes in it but we couldn't place more than one drive onto it. So what are the rest of the holes for? Perhaps the manufacturer intends them for HDDs other than 2.5-inch ones?
For all its simplicity and minimum of steps, the assembly process presented one funny problem to us. The chassis is so small that the wires from the front-panel connectors get in the way when you are trying to put the mainboard inside. The problem is easily solved, though. You just have to take the wires out of the holes through which they go inside and then install the mainboard. After that, you can insert the wires back into the holes.
It was easy to put the few cables neatly into the corners and out of sight.
If you fancy installing a mainboard/CPU combo with a separate CPU cooler, you must make sure the latter is no taller than 45 millimeters. Yes, it must be less than 5 centimeters! Therefore you may consider mainboards with an integrated CPU and passive cooling in the first place.