As Mini-ITX systems are moving away from the old slow systems they used to represent and are becoming more powerful with high-end hardware, they become more and more appealing to enthusiasts and gamers. Many companies design cases for Mini-ITX motherboards, with the usual design approach being the minimization of their external dimensions, as designers are striving to fit them into modern living rooms alongside gaming consoles and home cinema equipment.

Introduction

Very small Mini-ITX based cases that can hold powerful gaming systems do exist, but they do have a fair share of limitations - especially when it comes to cooling. Perhaps the most prominent example is the Fractal Design Node 202, a Mini-ITX case that rivals the size of gaming consoles and can hold a rather powerful gaming system, but with very limited cooling and power options.

NZXT is a company that took an entirely different approach with their Mini-ITX design. The company is known among gamers and enthusiasts for providing functional designs with high thermal performance. As such, the company has decided to design the Manta, a tower case reduced to fit Mini-ITX motherboards while still providing enough space for sizable air coolers and liquid cooling radiators.

NZXT Manta
Motherboard Size Mini-ITX
Drive Bays External -
Internal 2 × 3.5"
3 × 2.5"
Cooling Front 2 × 120 mm or 2 x 140 mm (2 × 120 mm included)
Rear 1 × 120 mm (included)
Top 2 × 120 mm or 2 x 140 mm (none included)
HDD -
Bottom -
Radiator Support Front Up to 240 mm or 280 mm
Rear Up to 120 mm
Top Up to 240 mm or 280 mm
Side -
Bottom -
I/O Port 2× USB 3.0, 0× USB 2.0, 1× Headphone, 1× Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 160 mm
PSU 360 mm
GPU 360 mm
Dimensions 426 mm × 245 mm × 450 mm
16.77 in × 9.65 in × 17.72 in
Prominent Features · New manufacturing technology offers unparalleled build quality
· Elegant, curved steel paneling and window
· Double the cable management space
· Dual 280mm liquid cooling support
· Kraken X61-ready with push/pull capabilities
· Integrated PSU shroud for a beautifully clean build
· Fully filtered, easy-to-remove intake
Price $130

Packaging & Bundle

NZXT is obviously not concerned about the looks of their packaging at all, as they ship the Manta into a plain brown cardboard box. If not for the small sticker on the side, nobody would be able to tell what is inside the packaging. Nevertheless, the box is very sturdy and the case is sandwiched between thick Styrofoam slabs, providing more than enough shipping protection.

The bundle of the Manta is very austere for a case with a $130 price tag, with the company supplying only the necessary mounting screws and hardware, a case sticker and a roll of small cable ties.

The Exterior of the NZXT Manta
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  • Voldenuit - Friday, June 17, 2016 - link

    "With a postmodern design sporting curved panels and smooth surfaces-"
    "Wait, what makes it postmodern?"
    "Well, it's all curved edges so it's pointless. It's Pointless, CORAL!"
    Reply
  • ES_Revenge - Friday, June 17, 2016 - link

    I was always waiting for NZXT to make cases for mATX and/or ITX. They did have the Vulcan (mATX) some years ago but that thing was one of the ugliest cases on the planet, so it didn't really count.

    NZXT has some very nice case designs (I bought an S340 and love it) so I was pretty excited to hear they might be making some new smaller-than-ATX cases. Thing about my S340 is, to me, it's HUGE! I've been making mATX or ITX machines since the PIII days so full ATX is rather large for me. Love the case but it's a *monster* compared to my other cases like Silverstone SG03 and SG06, and Bitfenix Pandora.

    So NZXT comes out with an ITX case--sounds like it should be awesome, right? Looks cool enough but thennnn... WHY ON EARTH is it as big as my S340? Are they stupid? Out of their minds? High as kites?

    Seriously this is the dumbest *mini ITX* case evar. How they could possibly fail so badly is beyond me. It's 10mm (7/16") shorter than an S340, basically the same depth, and (get this) it's actually *wider* than it!

    What is amazing is how there's really not much you can put in here that you can't put in the S340...yet that has space for a mobo with SIX more slots! What did they use the space for? Looks like just air. I'm not sure what kind of crack these guys were on when they made this, but I assure you it's the bad kind.

    Why the Manta isn't mATX is one thing to think about but when you realise it's as big as an S340, you have to wonder why it doesn't fit an ATX board.

    Sounded exciting NZXT was making cases for smaller factors, but then it turns out all they did was make a full ATX case and then make higher feet or something, make the roof higher (you know for more air and less slots?!?) and that way it only fits ITX, and then they called it a day. It almost defies the laws of geometry this thing. How the heck did they make it so the PSU sits almost directly below the second slot (obviously needed for videocards) yet there's still only two slots to the S340's *seven*? In the end it's somehow the same height?

    What a joke. Seriously NZXT? Just stick to making ATX cases if this is the tomfoolery you're going to engage in. Ugh.
    Reply
  • Haravikk - Saturday, June 18, 2016 - link

    I really can't bring myself to like anything about the design; the curves serve no purpose at all, so all they do is make an already rather large (for Mini-ITX) case even larger, and for me that's not at all what Mini-ITX is about.

    By all means, try to find a way to fit a full graphics card and decent CPU cooler into a Mini-ITX chassis, but do it in the smallest space possible.

    That said, all-in-one liquid coolers are hardly expensive, and since going small generally means a price premium anyway, I'm far more interesting in small cases that don't waste space making room for big air coolers when a well positioned radiator mount will do the job. This usually makes room for a PSU "over" the motherboard which drastically reduces the case's size, so with the trade off being big air cooler vs much smaller case possibly requiring a liquid cooler, I'm very much focused on the latter.
    Reply
  • Sn3akr - Sunday, June 19, 2016 - link

    The size defies the idea of ITX builds in general, and its ugly too ;) Reply
  • mauler1973 - Sunday, June 19, 2016 - link

    Why does the side if that thing look like a CRT monitor? I don't think I would use that thing if it cost $20. Way overpriced for a small case. Reply
  • bkydcmpr - Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - link

    I'm wondering if all of those 1990s industrial designers ended up in the pc chassis business now, this is almost the only consumer electronic product still dominated by those pre-iphone time tawdry designs, oh and gaming laptops, probably from the same group of people. Reply
  • andjohn2000 - Sunday, July 3, 2016 - link

    Looks ugly Reply
  • rvk19 - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - link

    i have this case .. and my gpu card gtx 670 with arctic twin turbo ii cooler won't fit in .. so do mind the customized gpu cards won't fit in .. other than that i like the case .. i took it because of it's different shape which i haven't seen anywhere so far and i won't be using more than one gpu card .. not a fan of SFF either .. so this case unfortunately falls under SFF and looks like a tower .. gpu card won't fit in if its loaded with a custom gpu cooler .. that sucked a bit .. Reply

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