SIZE & WEIGHT
The Case by Case Design MI-6 is a great compact case. If you are looking to build an HTPC or compact gaming rig this would be a great option.
Case by Case Design MI-6From $210
There are an ever increasing amount of excellent options if you are looking for cases in the small form factor mini-itx market. I always get excited when a new compact case comes to market.
Case by Case Designs MI-6 is a little different then the cases I have reviewed in the past featuring a narrow vertical orientation. I took a deep look at the case and its features.
|Fan Mounts||1 x 92mm|
|Dimensions||135 x 203 x 246mm|
|Max CPU Cooler Height||68mm|
|Max GPU Length||188mm|
|HD Support||3 x 2.5″|
Design & Build Quality
The CCD Mi-6 is made entirely of 2mm thick aluminum. It feels solid to the touch, and while it is not as thick as other cases it’s plenty sturdy.
The entire case is held together by 6 screws, four on top and 2 on each side. Internally everything is one piece. The case is designed to be as simple as possible and CCD has truly achieved their goal.
The silver accent surrounding the top panel, and bottom feet makes the case stand out. It’s a simple but gorgeous design that should be timeless.
Internally the case has two zones. The left side is dedicated to the GPU, and right houses the motherboard and CPU. The two sides are connected by a PCIe extension cable. The separation helps keep temperatures down on each side.
There are rubber padding points almost anywhere the a component may touch the case, or case panels may rub against each other. You can tell that there was great attention to detail.
Hard Drive & Fan Mounting Options
There is some flexibility when it comes to mounting hard drives and fans. The case can accommodate up to 3 2.5″ HDD, or 2 and a single 92mm fan.
Depending on the components you select, you may or may not need a fan to keep things cool. With the fan installed, I found that the PSU cables blocked a significant amount of fan airflow creating audible turbulence noise.
For the full build process I would check out the video review above. Overall building in the MI-6 is very straight forward. The only part that proved to be even a little challenging was connecting the PSU and hard drive wires. My Corsair SF450 cables made it a little tight. Custom cables would be the preferred solution here. You will find the full list of components used for testing below.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-8700K|
|RAM||32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000MHz|
|GPU||Gigabyte GTX 1080 Mini|
|Motherboard||Asus ROG Strix Z370-I|
|HDD||1 x Samsung 960 EVO 256GB
1 x Samsung 850 EVO 500GB
|PSU||Corsair SF 450|
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-L12S|
We now have compact PSUs, GPUs, and motherboards to power our systems. One of the last hurdles small form factor cases have to overcome are acoustics. The MI-6 suffers from the same audio performance issues as the rest of the industry.
While noise levels are reasonable, if you are coming from a full sized system you will notice the increase in noise under load. As will most compact system, the components you choose will determine how loud or quiet your system will be.
Note: I tested the system with and without a 92mm fan installed in the base. It was noticeably louder with the fan installed, but cooling performance was greatly enhanced.
The MI-6 does a decent job with CPU temperatures, If you are looking to run overclock-able high end chips like the 8700k you will undoubtedly run into some issues.
GPU temps were excellent, the vented side and top panels do a good job allowing cool air to get to graphics cards. I had no issues cooling my 1080 Mini, even though there is no direct exhaust port to the rear of the GPU.
The CCD MI-6 is an awesome case. It achieves its goals and would be an excellent case for a HTPC or compact gaming rig. The $210 price point falls right in line with other limited run compact cases. Just be aware of the CPU cooling limitations.