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IN WIN 901 Mini-ITX Aluminum and Glass Case Review

Manufacturer: IN WIN

Introduction: The Elements of (Life)Style

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If this review began by describing this mini-ITX enclosure's all metal and glass construction, its rounded corners, and the premium price tag, it might easily start to sound like it came from that company in Cupertino. Come to think of it, this case would look right at home in a lifestyle magazine photo shoot...

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Living the IN WIN 901 lifestyle?

The 901 is definitely stylish, and this is in keeping with the design philosophy of a company that promotes the aesthetics of products first and foremost. So where does this design merge with functionality? This question is a fundamental part of industrial design (ID as it's known in the industry), and in our look at this striking enclosure we'll see how much substance there is to go along with all of that IN WIN style.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Computer cases are a personal thing, which is why we hesitate to make recommendations in this area. Within a certain price point there might be dozens of options for just about any need. But whether or not you're a fan of the sleek styling of a product like the 901, it's different beyond that first impression. The case starts with an aluminum quasi-unibody construction with tempered glass panels on both sides. There is a rather complex structure within this simple exterior, but it is well organized with some thoughtful (and some really smart) design choices.

IN WIN says the 901 mini-ITX case is an example of “precision craftsmanship with no compromises”, and an initial inspection would leave one hard pressed to disagree. It's apparent that some serious engineering has gone into this enclosure, and there is a high level of quality befitting something with this price tag. At $179.99 this is geared toward the high-end enthusiast community, and even a smaller subset considering it is only compatible with mini-ITX motherboards. And while mini-ITX is the supported form-factor, this is definitely not a SFF case. In fact, it’s almost big enough to be a micro-ATX enclosure, but this isn't a complaint. The size of the 901 allows it a unique internal layout.

Continue reading our review of the IN WIN 901 Mini-ITX Case!!


Our thanks to IN WIN for providing the 901 for review today!

From IN WIN:

“In Win 901 is built to achieve perfect balance between aesthetic design and superior functionality in a Mini ITX chassis.
The stunning minimalism exterior and innovative interior layout are engineered precisely to the most exacting performance standards.
901 accommodates 200mm power supply, and 300mm high-end graphic cards. It supports 120mm external mounted liquid cooling radiator, and CPU heatsink up to 130mm.”

Specifications

Material: 4mm/1.6mm Aluminum, Tempered Glass
External Drive Bay: Slim ODD x 1 (Includes SATA EZ-Swap Module)
Internal Drive Bay: 3.5” / 2.5” x 2 (Includes SATA EZ-Swap Module) 2.5” x 2
M/B Form Factor: Mini-ITX
Power Supply: ATX12V, PSII and EPS (Up to 200mm)
I/O Port: USB 3.0 x 2, HD Audio
I/O Expansion Slot: Full Height PCI-E Slot x 2 (Up to 300mm)
Thermal Solution Support:
- 90mm Rear Fan x 1
- 120mm Bottom Fan x 1
- 120mm Liquid Cooling Radiator
- CPU heatsink up to 130mm
Dimensions (HxWxD): 350 x 173 x 400mm (13.8” x 6.8” x 15.7”)


Packaging and First Impressions

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The 901 comes in a rather nondescript box, and once open you'll see some very thick foam packing protecting the enclosure, which is itself protected from scratches by a black cloth bag.

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Rounding out the package we have the hardware and manual, both of which are more deluxe than usual for an enclosure. The manual is very descriptive, with color photos and a good build walkthrough. The hardware is divided up in separate sealed bags - once for each different type of screw! (Made finding everything extremely easy during the build process.)

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Once removed, we see the 901 in all of its aluminum and glass glory:

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Next we'll take a closer look at this enclosure.

May 16, 2014 | 12:45 PM - Posted by JosiahBradley

I love the look of these art cases from In Win. Reminds me of my first custom build, an aluminim/plexiglass combo, but way better looking.

May 16, 2014 | 01:26 PM - Posted by Daniel Masterson (not verified)

Wait is that a 770? I didnt know they made the 770 looking like the 780 or the titan. That's pretty cool.

May 16, 2014 | 01:28 PM - Posted by Daniel Masterson (not verified)

'not to self' read entire article before making a comment. haha. "but it's the OEM version which uses the TITAN cooler"

May 16, 2014 | 01:28 PM - Posted by Daniel Masterson (not verified)

note*

May 16, 2014 | 02:37 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Hey it fools a lot of people - a couple of vendors sold the 770 with the TITAN cooler, and NVIDIA had an agreement with Best Buy stores to sell this version under their own brand, too (where I got mine, btw).  Now if I could just put this cooler on an R9 290X (or if I had a 290X)...  :)

May 16, 2014 | 01:55 PM - Posted by botAI (not verified)

that's too small for my junk

May 16, 2014 | 02:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

is there a case that can hold 2 mobs ?
I would love to have in a single box both: windows and linux machines

May 16, 2014 | 02:40 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Two motherboards? I've never heard of that. But really, you could just install Windows and Linux on separate drives in the same enclosure to get a fully discrete OS experience

May 16, 2014 | 03:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

thanks for your reply
I want to have both linux and windows running at the same time

May 16, 2014 | 03:06 PM - Posted by Jim cherry (not verified)

check out mountainmods.com cases they aren't cheap but some of them can house 2 computers

May 16, 2014 | 06:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Caselabs would be worth checking as well

May 17, 2014 | 08:12 PM - Posted by biohazard918

you might want to take a look at the haf stacker from cooler master

May 17, 2014 | 02:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I find it really strange that you chose to install the Corsair cooler on the outside of the case. There's an empty space for the cooler inside the case, so why did you not take advantage of it? Like this: http://cdn.overclock.net/c/c5/500x1000px-LL-c5949c1c_pi2k.jpeg

May 17, 2014 | 03:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I was thinking this exact thing the whole review.

May 17, 2014 | 04:54 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

That space can absolutely support a single fan cooler, but I didn't do that for a couple of reasons.

First, I wanted to follow IN WIN's instructions on external mounting. The design is actually intended for the AIO cooler to be mounted against the external wall as shown, and this is how they picture it on their site and in the instruction manual.

Of course, there's no wrong way if it fits (and I like the cleaner profile of the case on that build you referenced) But that's the problem...

The second reason is space. Problem is that interior mount leaves very little space for rear I/O. (I think there's a reason they don't have anything connected to the motherboard I/O in that photo.) It would be a nightmare to try connecting cables to the motherboard with that in place, and larger cables (like a bigger DVI cable) might not even fit back there with the cooler in the way.

May 17, 2014 | 04:48 PM - Posted by johnestan (not verified)

Thanks for the review. I really like mini-itx cases. This one is nice but I'm in love with the ncase m1.

May 17, 2014 | 05:05 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

You and me both. It was painful to send the M1 back!

(I think I may have developed feelings for it beyond that of "normal" friendship...)

May 21, 2014 | 08:49 AM - Posted by Obababoy (not verified)

Love it all except for the video card placement. I will check back in when an aftermarket is tested. Good review!

May 21, 2014 | 11:02 AM - Posted by Gunbuster

I'm confused by this case where the main feature is a DVD drive bay cutout just in time for a world where 95%+ users don't have any need for such a drive.

May 25, 2014 | 10:47 AM - Posted by Jeff W (not verified)

Is there room to install a 120 liquid cooler w/ fan between the chasis and metal back cover. Don't really like the cooler on the outside of the case.

June 3, 2014 | 02:05 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Technically, yes. I would suggest a single-fan 120mm model to keep it as low-profile as possible (to leave room for connections to the back of the motherboard).  I was using a dual-fan cooler (the Corsair H75) and I wouldn't have had any room to maneuver with the cooler installed inside the opening.

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