REVIEW OVERVIEW
DESIGN
70 %
FEATURES
90 %
PERFORMANCE
80 %
BUILD QUALITY
60 %

Nouvolo Steck CaseFrom $155


Every month it seems like we get another quality Mini-ITX case. This month it’s the Nouvolo Steck, a modular all metal minimalist case. This aluminum unit comes in either a base air cooled version, or with an add on radiator section.

Nouvolo Steck Specifications

DIMENSIONSBase: 215 x 315 x 145mm
Stack: 275 x 315 x 145mm
VOLUMEBase: 8.7L
Stack: 11.2L
COOLER SUPPORTBase: Up to 70mm Air Coolers
Stack: 120mm or 240mm AIO
PSU SUPPORTSFX
DRIVE SUPPORTBase: 3 x 2.5″ HDD
Stack: 5 x 2.5″ HDD
GPU SUPPORTDual Slot up to 295mm
MOTHERBOARDMini-ITX

Packaging & Build Quality

nouvolo steck packagingThe Steck comes well packaged. Each component group has its own thick Styrofoam section that ensures safe delivery. The case does require user assembly, luckily its a very simple 8 screw process.

nouvolo steck base unit partsThe base unit case will come with everything you see pictured here. Unlike most cases, magnetic strips are used to secure the side and top panels. The metal used here is not very thick, the side panels and case spine have a decent amount of flex to them. This isn’t the type of case you can throw around, or safely put in a bag. I also found that there were some issues with panel alignment, particular the top panel and add on stack unit.

In addition to the components you see here, there is also an add on “Stack” unit that can accommodate up to 240mm AIO’s. There are also optional glass side panels that let you show off your CPU and GPU if you would like. Check back here next week. I will be doing a separate build with the stack unit and adding the info here.

Test System

steck build partsFor my test system I wanted to fill the Steck to the brim, and stress it as much as possible. The components I chose were the following.

CPUIntel Core i7-8700K
GPUGigabyte RTX 2070 Mini
PSUCorsair SF600
MOBOAsus Z370-I
SSD2 x 1tb Samsung 860 EVO
COOLERNoctua NH-L12S
RAMCorsair Vengeance 3000

Build Process

steck build processBuilding in the Nouvolo Steck is relatively simple. Everything fits into its designated section like its supposed to. The only issue I had was finding a place for the motherboard power cables. For more information on the build process I would check out the video above.

Steck + Stack Add-on Unit

The Nouvolo Steck also has an add on Stack Unit. This allows you to use up to a 240mm AIO to cool your CPU or GPU. You could also use it for additional hard drives, or intake/exhaust fans. The CPU cooler and graphics card were updated for this section to the components listed below.

GPUGigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 1060
COOLERCooler Master: Masterliquid 240

Hard Drive Support

The Steck is very flexible when it comes to hard drive placement. Depending on your case configuration it supports up to 5 2.5″ hard drives.

  • 1 under the PSU without the stack unit
  • 3 with Compact GPU without the stack unit
  • 1 with the Stack unit and 240mm AIO
  • 3 with the Stack unit and a 120mm AIO
  • 5 with the Stack unit and no AIO

Temperatures

Overall cooling performance of the Steck was very good in both case configurations. While the glass side panels certainly don’t do the cooling any favors, temperatures were still kept in check. If you go with a more powerful card like a 2080 or 2080ti, you may want to stick with the vented metal side panel to increase airflow.

BASE: CPUBASE: GPUSTACK: CPUSTACK: GPU
IDLE34C43C32C42C
GAMING67C72C58C76C
RENDERING82C58C79C66C

Noise Levels (average)

In either configuration I found noise levels to be acceptable. If you are looking to build a gaming pc that is as quiet as possible, the stack unit and a full length multi fan GPU would be recommended.

BASE STECKSTECK + STACK: CPU
IDLE41db39.5db
GAMING46.5db41db
RENDERING43.742db

Final Thoughts

nouvolo steck base unit caseNouvolo did a nice job with the Steck. It takes the layout and design of the Louqe Ghost S1 and expands on it, adding new features like riser feet and glass side panels.

If you are looking for a more affordable alternative to the DAN Case A4 or Louque Ghost S1 this is a great option.

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