The Exterior of the NZXT Manta

With a postmodern design sporting curved panels and smooth surfaces, the NZXT Manta is designed to stand out from the crowd. As we will see in the following sections, the curved panels are not just for show, adding to the functionality of the case. However, they also increase the width of an already significantly large Mini-ITX case. Measuring 42.6 cm tall, 24.5 cm wide and 45 cm deep (16.8 × 9.7 × 17.7 in), resulting to a volume of 47 liters, the Manta is massive for a Mini-ITX case. It is just 3% smaller than the Zalman Z9 Neo, a full ATX case, and nearly 60% larger than the Cougar QBX, which also is a tower Mini-ITX case. NZXT clearly was not very concerned about making the Manta compact, only to have a high performance gaming tower reduced down to Mini-ITX motherboard dimensions.

We received the black version of the Manta with a windowed side panel. NZXT also offers white and windowless versions. The satin black paint is very smooth to the touch and slightly resistant to fingermarks. On the other hand, the glossy acrylic window that NZXT installed is highly reflective, making it almost impossible to see inside the Manta from a large angle or if the lighting inside the case is poor. The “rainbow” effect seen in some of our pictures is caused by the camera’s polarizing filter, which is unsuccessfully trying to filter all of the lighting reflected by the acrylic panel.

11.2oz soda can inserted as a size reference.

The front panel of the Manta is entirely plain. There are no external drive bays, no buttons and no ports to be found on it. NZXT is even supplying their own company logo with the case’s bundle, allowing the users to choose where (and if) they want it adhered.

In order to reach the intake fan filter, the front panel needs to be removed. This is an easy task, as the panel can come off by simply pulling it from its bottom. The intake filter is a simple nylon filter that cannot stop small particles but can be easily cleaned and reused any number of times.

A closer look in between the side panels and the main body of the case reveals vents, which explains where the front intake fans draw air in from and where the air pushed by the top exhaust fans goes, as there are no other visible openings on the main panels of the case. This approach however undoubtedly adds a significant amount of air flow resistance that can adversely impact the performance of the cooling fans.

The front I/O ports and buttons can be found at the top panel. A large power on button can be seen to the left side of the panel, while two USB 3.0 ports and 3.5mm audio jacks have been installed to the right side of the panel. There is no door or cover for the USB/audio ports.

A look at the rear of the NZXT Manta reveals the presence of a 120 mm exhaust fan, which also hints that the case is just a shorter version of a gaming tower system. NZXT placed the PSU compartment at the bottom of the case.

The NZXT Manta stands on two very wide U-shaped legs. Four long anti-slip rubber pads keep the Manta from slipping on virtually any surface. A nylon filter can be seen covering the PSU intake, which can be removed from the back of the case.

Introduction, Packaging & Bundle The Interior 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!"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sn3akr - Sunday, June 19, 2016 - link

    The size defies the idea of ITX builds in general, and its ugly too ;)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • andjohn2000 - Sunday, July 3, 2016 - link

    Looks ugly
  • 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 ..

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