Review Index:

DAN Cases A4-SFX Crowdfunded Mini-ITX Case Review

Manufacturer: DAN Cases

Introduction and First Impressions

The A4-SFX takes the minimalist, full-length GPU capable mini-ITX chassis design down to stunningly compact dimensions, and does so with a precise all-aluminum build and refined industrial design. Created by the one-man company DAN Cases and funded on Kickstarter, the A4-SFX share the spirit of the crowdfunded NCASE M1 that preceded it, but takes even that tiny enclosure's dimensions down considerably. It is, as the company puts it, "the world's smallest gaming tower case".

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What was omitted to bring the size down this far? Comparing the A4-SFX to the aforementioned NCASE M1 (an inevitability as both were crowd-funded and manufactured by Lian Li), the A4-SFX drops support for compact ATX power supplies in favor of SFX/SFX-L units, and CPU cooling is limited to a height of 48 mm, with no liquid cooling support. Many low-profile CPU coolers - including Intel’s stock design - fit this description, but the cooling limitation suggests stock CPU speeds are the tradeoff for such a compact case design.

So how compact is this case, exactly? The A4-SFX has a volume of just 7.25L compared to the NCASE M1 at 12.6L. Yet the A4-SFX can still house a powerful, gaming-ready system with standard components including a full sized GPU (up to 295 mm in length) and any mini-ITX motherboard and CPU.

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Continue reading our review of the DAN Cases A4-SFX Mini-ITX Enclosure!

Specifications from DAN Cases:

  • Product: A4-SFXv1
  • Material: 1.5 mm aluminum, brushed exterior
  • Colors: Anodized black or silver exterior, matte black painted interior
  • Sidepanels: Easily clippable with Lian Li Push Pin technology
  • Compatibility:
    • CPU Cooler: up to 48mm high
    • Graphic cards: Dual-Slot up to 295 mm length
    • Motherboard: Mini-ITX
    • Power Supply: SFX, SFX-L
    • Drives: 3 x 2.5" HDD/SSD
  • Front ports: 1 x USB 3.0 (internal 20pin plug)
  • GPU riser card: 3M Twin Axial 300 mm riser
    • 3M item No. 8KC3-0726-0300
    • Speed: PCIe 16x Gen3+
  • Case Size: 200 (H) x 112 (W) x 317 mm(D)
  • Overall Dimensions: 205 (H) x 112 (W) x 327 mm(D) / including feet and rear protrusions
  • Case Volume: 7.25 L
  • Case Weight: 1.25 Kg

  • Pricing and Availability: €230 (~$244 USD), Kickstarter

For information on future availability visit the DAN Cases product page.

Packaging and First Impressions

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Inside the box the enclosure is well protected with clear plastic and thick styrofoam, and with the packaging removed we are left with a shockingly small case.

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This case is the size of a shoebox. Seriously, my last pair of dress shoes came in a box slightly larger than this.

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Looking at it from the outside it almost seems impossible that a full gaming system can fit in here, but that's what it is designed for.

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The aluminum exterior of the A4-SFX has a black, brushed finish; with separate panels for each side and one larger L-shaped panel for the front and top. Each of these panels is vented, which is absolutely going to be required to keep a system cool in these cramped quarters.

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Around back we see that the GPU sits parallel to the motherboard, as this case does not have anywhere near the depth to house a video card in its default position on the motherboard's PCI Express slot. A riser card and flexible cable are used to reorient the GPU in this design.

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The bottom of the case offers a storage mount with an optional dual 2.5-inch bracket pre-installed, and the enclosure sits on four rubbery feet.

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Next we'll take a look inside the A4-SFX and cover the build process with this incredibly compact enthusiast case!

Video News

April 19, 2017 | 10:37 AM - Posted by Mnemonicman

Got the case and really now just waiting on Ryzen itx motherboards. There are definitely cheaper itx cases but almost none this small.

April 19, 2017 | 12:39 PM - Posted by Ophelos

Your in luck, Biostar just lunched it's mitx board.

April 19, 2017 | 01:38 PM - Posted by Mnemonicman

Yeah they look good but I'd trade in that dvi port for more usb ports. And I think MSI or Gigabyte announced/leaked a possible itx board.

April 19, 2017 | 11:30 AM - Posted by anonymous

So you're saying the gpu temps are better than the other cases?

April 19, 2017 | 11:51 AM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

I don't think you'll see much of a difference between temps open-air vs. inside the case, no. It is a very well-ventilated design, with vents above, below, and next to the GPU cooler. Much better ventilation than the typical enclosure; but no additional airflow from case fans, either.

April 19, 2017 | 12:53 PM - Posted by overpowerlol

Man that thing is as tight and a nuns.... *cough* joke book!
Looks good for a front room setup but I wouldn't want to lose a half decent cooler on a gaming pc.
I'm still rocking Fractal Design's Node 304. It's not the smallest but still small. AIO cooler, full length windforce x3, 4x Noctua quiet fans and 2 SSDs with room to spare.

Really can't see me ditching it any time soon.
Might be a good option for some if this is difficult to get hold of.

April 19, 2017 | 04:10 PM - Posted by pdjblum

awesome review of yet another gorgeous aluminum mini itx case

you answered all the questions as to my concerns with tolerances in the build for heatsink, psu, and graphics along with everything else

still can't find the PC-Q17 WX for sale and this think is only available on kickstarter at the end of May

and those biostar mini itx 350 and 370 boards are also no where to be found

so want to build a system, but no one wants to take my money

thanks so much for doing another aluminum case review

maybe you can get one of these to review: LIAN LI PC-V359WRX Black/Red Aluminum MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case

yet another one I would be happy to use, but always shows out of stock at newegg; i don't know if it is discontinued or a new product that is still not in stock

April 19, 2017 | 04:19 PM - Posted by Chasp_0

Sweet little case! Could surely do with a better name though,
"whats that case?"
"oh its a Dancase"
"whos Dan and why do you have his case?"

yah see?

April 19, 2017 | 07:40 PM - Posted by LauRoman

Can you fit a quad channel, 44 thread, car priced build in there? Yes, yes you can...

April 20, 2017 | 07:05 AM - Posted by Jann5s

Dan is about to launch another kickstarter campaign at the end of May for the V2 version of the case.

April 20, 2017 | 08:38 AM - Posted by Mobile_Dom

If only it wasn't £250 :(

April 20, 2017 | 01:59 PM - Posted by Activate_AMD

Looked pretty hard at one of these as an alternative to my ncase M1, but it seems like HSF and motherboard compatibility are issues. Yes, there are options in the size range required, but as soon as you start looking to overclock the CPU a bit, the choice narrows a lot. Certain motherboards like the Asus ITX boards with the weird VRM daughterboard setup run into clearance problems and ram compatibility is a challenge. Even if I ignored the fact that I'd be replacing one expensive tiny case with another, the limitations seemed like a bit too much of a sacrifice.

It is beautifully designed though.

April 21, 2017 | 02:14 AM - Posted by Gerry

fair play to the reader who sent this in for review. really wanted to see more of this in depth. would love a build video [or a tiny tom logan~ type in depth review about it] but i realise its too late and probably too much too ask. i bought one of the first batch of ncase m1's and had i not i would have insta bought this, i think the concept of both of them is beautiful.

April 22, 2017 | 05:08 AM - Posted by ocmunkee

Just a quick update - I purchased the A4-SFX through the initial kickstarter.

I LOVE it, but it will perform better with a blower fan GPU as it helps exhaust the heat immediately.

I'm running a Silverstone SX500-LG to power:
Asus Z97I-Plus, i5 4570 (slightly undervolted and OCed), 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LP
Gigabyte GTX 1080 FE (previously Strix 970)
1TB 840 EVO **AND** 2TB Samsung Spinpoint

It is 100% possible to run 2x2.5" drives with an SFX-L PSU.

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