10/26/2021: *UPDATE* – usually put my updates near the bottom, but I don’t want readers wasting their time going that far. 😉 The DIYPC MA01-R case is the worst case I’ve seen since 2006. Main problem was the advertised 13.20″ H x 6.80″ W x 14.00″ D measurements are not correct. The case is actually bigger than ‘Rose‘, and I would not have purchased if I knew that! The DIYPC is 14 1/8th” tall wid the feet on, and over 13.75″ wid them off. The old ROSEWILL Micro ATX Mini Tower model FBM-01 is a thousand-times better case, so I’ve given it the 16 GB’s of memory, and promoted it back to secondary test computer…or now, main Intel test computer. Was going to use ‘DIYPC‘ as the new TV computer, but the 43″ Samsung TV couldn’t deal wid the Ryzen™ 5 3400G APU with Radeon™ RX Vega 11 Graphics…AMD is always a pain! So, I promoted ‘InWin‘ to the TV computer spot…which actually works better space-wise in that area. That cleared up the Mobile Cart‘s middle shelf, and I demoted DIYPC to last computer I use for anything. 🙂

I’ve been searching for a computer case that is no taller than 13.75″ high for almost 3 years now, and have found some…tho they’re usually too wide or too narrow or too deep or a combination of those or just too expensive.

There must be 120-million different computer cases being offered, and searching for one type is made more difficult by other types jumping in front, along wid 2-thousand reviewers who claim they know which ones are best for you. Most of those reviewers always seem to point to Amazon for “check the price.”

The old ROSEWILL Micro ATX Mini Tower model FBM-01 came close. One of the best cases I have ever owned, and certainly one of the most versatile when it comes to exterior bays. Tad too tall & a tad too deep (for what I want), but was about as close as I could get @ 13.78″ H x 6.89″ W x 15″ D – specs claim to be 13.86″ deep, but mine is actually 15 1/8th deep w/o the rear side-panel screws. Usually went for less than $20 with no tax plus free shipping. ‘Rose‘ is now used as a TV computer.

Brief on my computers ‘n their requirements

  • Usually name my computers by their cases.
  • Desktop Real Estate is very valuable too me, so I *NEVER* want a computer on the actual desk’s desktop; however, will occasionally use a laptop on it.
  • Main computer is usually under the desk & on my right side wid easy access to power button ‘n bays ‘n ports.
  • Two main support and/or test computers are usually stacked on each other, and to the right of Main computer.
  • Like a Mobile Cart to my left side, that can be slid outta the way when not in use, and the monitor for that is nearby on a swivel monitor arm.
  • To save Desktop Real Estate I use swivel monitor arms.

Not any major shape requirement, usually, but ‘Location Location Location‘ matters, e.g. the two “stacked” computers seem to work best if bottom one is tall ‘n upper one is short. ‘CM130‘ is stacked on top of ‘Antec Jr.‘. Main computer needs to be about 15″ tall. Here’s a pic:

  • CM130‘ has moved from the Mobile Cart (left side) & is now on top of ‘Antec Jr.‘ over on the right side. The cart actually slides under that desk’s extension, wid just 5.5″ sticking out, and it has 3 shelves…’DIYPC‘ will go on the bottom shelf, and the cart doesn’t need to be pulled out to use that computer for a quickie.

DIYPC MA01-R Mini Tower Computer Case

DIYPC MA01-R is my latest case (arrives next week). After building a temporary test computer – see the Build a Windows 11 PC w/ junk, spare parts, old components, and a $12.99 Microsoft Windows 10 Pro OEM Global CD-KEY post: 1) I decided that the Small Form Factor ‘InWin‘ test computer is just too small for a test computer…to hard to switch OSes ‘n test SSD’s. 2) I also liked that old Ryzen™ 5 3400G APU, but the ‘Open Air Country Boy PC‘ case didn’t make a very good permanent case.

Name for this new test computer is: ‘DIYPC‘. Computers on that Mobile Cart don’t get a lot of work, but get enough to require easy access ‘n versatility.

Newegg had these cases for $29.96, but the ‘Biden Affect‘ has caused Newegg to start adding taxes plus shipping costs!?!? Final cost was $37.40!!!! Almost didn’t buy it at that price, and actually removed the buy about 3 times, before finally buying it.

The 13.20″ H x 6.80″ W x 14.00″ D measurements, if correct, were just what I have been looking for, and I suspect prices are going to get higher ‘n products to become scarcer whilst the Totalitarian Democratic party is in charge.

I also like the USB ports on top. To keep costs low I will probably just add one of the spare 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap SATA Mobile Racks, or maybe steal the Kingwin SSD/HDD Internal SATA Tray-Less Hot Swap Mobile Rack Cage for Dual 2.5” SSD/HDD from ‘Rose‘ & replace it wid the 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap SATA Mobile Rack. ‘Rose‘ is now a TV computer, so it doesn’t need multiple Hot Swap bays. Will need a 5.25″ to 3.25″ bay adapter for ‘DIYPC‘.

  • Note: I rarely use interior drives anymore, since I often switch OSes when testing, even occasionally on my main computer.

Have already removed 1 CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 8GB (1×8) stick of memory from ‘Rose‘ & placed it into ‘InWin‘, after I had removed 2 sticks of G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 2400 from ‘InWin‘ & stuck them in the ‘DIYPC‘ build in progress. The G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series was originally in ‘Antec Jr.‘ as a 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4 set…now 16GB still in ‘Antec Jr.‘ & 16GB in this new build remodel.

I do a lot of switching around of components, so try to plan in advance for it. Did some testing yesterday to make sure everything was compatible ‘n working right…then did a double-check wid a UserBenchmark benchmark test. All 3 computers are still running great.

  • The UserBenchmark benchmark test is one of the best testing methods to see how you computer is performing on actual ‘Desktop OS Duty‘.

My Cases

I had remodeled the Mobile Cart not long ago, lowering the middle shelf, and moving the electrical power strip closer to make it easier to turn on w/o pulling the cart out.

When shopping for a small case, a lot of mini-ITX cases are *HUGE*, and will only take an ITX MoBo in those huge cases!? This new case is smaller than a lot of mini-ITX cases, and it takes only a micro-ATX board (or so the info said). The old MoBo is a cheap one, but it will be fine for what I want.

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!