Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
We have known, that for quite a long time now, NZXT is all about bending the rules when it comes to chassis design. Whether we look back to the anything in the Phantom series, the Noctis, even the Guardians, we find that NZXT has been tired of square case designs, and has tried for many years to add a bit of a curvature to their chassis lineup. The best part about NZXT and their idea to change what is normal, they have been wildly successful with it and have cases that with one glance, you know exactly what it is because of this.
The one thing about most of the earlier rounded designs is that they left the Mini-ITX motherboard users out there, with selecting a chassis that is much too big for their needs. So, NZXT went to the drawing board and came up with something unique to them. We have never seen a design such as this before. We have seen rounded panels here and there, and we have seen other cases with what can be called curves, but never once have we seen such a spherical design before. It is almost as if they took a basic square chassis and somehow overinflated it to come up with the idea behind this new Mini-ITX tower chassis that they are offering up for us to look at today.
Of course, we are speaking of the NZXT Manta from their Concepts series of cases. Usually in this series, we do see NZXT playing around with new ideas that may not fall into their other groups, but this is indeed the best we have seen. Not just as far as concepts go, maybe even more than any other chassis they sell. While the Phantom was the chassis to have in its day, the Manta takes it to a whole other level. This is a chassis, much like the Prodigy did, that will make you want to run out and buy a Mini-ITX based system, so that you have a reason to grab this chassis for yourself.
We chose the chart specific to the matte white version of the Manta we have, but there are three versions with a window in total. You can get this is matte black and matte black with red accents, or there is a fourth option that is black but offers no window. These are all Mini-ITX designs, which are 245mm wide, 426mm tall, 450mm deep, and weigh in at 7.2 kg. We are then offered clearances, where we see 160mm of CPU cooler will fit, the video card can be 363mm long, and power supplies can be 363mm long as well.
Cooling things inside of this steel and ABS plastic chassis is fairly easy considering what is compatible. The front of the chassis offers room for two 120mm or 140mm fans, and the Manta ships with a pair of 120mm fans there. The top of the chassis provides the same fans configuration as the front. The rear of the chassis offers room for just one 120mm fan and is also included in the Manta. Water cooling follows the fans, and both the front and top can house 240mm or 280mm radiators, and if you wish to add in another 120mm radiator, one can fit in the back.
At the bottom of the list, we find mentions of the drive bays. Here we see that there is room inside for a pair of 3.5" drives, and up to three 2.5" drives, with no room left for optical drives. This chassis comes with what is called "external electronics," which means this chassis has an LED switch at the back of the Manta. When turned on, it powers a light in the top panel, LEDs above the rear I/O panel, and at the same time, it illuminates the NZXT logo in the PSU cover. About the front I/O panel, we find the bare minimum, with a pair of 3.5mm jacks and two USB 3.0 ports. At the back of the Manta, there are two expansion slots, and any standard ATX power supply will fit.
If you like the white Manta that we are going to show you here today, you can save some money opting for this color choice. We found most listing for any color option; all fall in at $139.99. However, if you venture over to Amazon, this same white chassis can be had right now for just $119.99. We feel many will line up and had over their fists full of money to have what is the best take on rounded chassis design we have seen to date.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH
- Video Card: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP. Extreme Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB SSD
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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