Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Going by what FSP has to say about this chassis, we can see that they are trying to hit on all of the features which draw in customers. They speak of a sleek and elegant design. Support for most motherboards, and optimal airflow patch, which is intended to keep the parts inside cool. Things like this we see on every product page for a chassis with a wide open interior which is what all companies are doing now. However, with what we see all the time, we have a higher standard of what is expected and plan to dissect this chassis to see if it is worthy of your hard-earned dollars.
The whole idea of the CMT chassis line is to give FSP a foothold in the market, offering many of the things that customers want to find in a chassis today. They offer multiple fans, some of their cases have LED fans, and each chassis in the series is unique in some way, while internally are similar. We have seen an earlier release from this series already, but FSP has released a trio of cases that they wanted to ensure we got our hands-on too. That being said, we are about to venture into the most compact of the series, and see what FSP has in store for us.
We would not go as far as to say that the CMT230 is the bottom of the barrel, although it is a budget-friendly model which has had much of what made the CMT510 so attractive removed. At the same time, they stick with the wide open interior, room for all of the major components while offering water cooling capability, all while not trying to dig so deep into your pockets. On paper, this chassis seems like a real contender, but we have to get up close and personal with the CMT230 Mid-Tower Chassis before we make any claims about it.
The CMT comes with one option for color, and that is black, inside and out. Most of the chassis is made of steel, which has been painted, but some of the parts are made of plastic and are color matched to the rest of the chassis. Dimensionally the CMT230 stands 450mm tall, it is 210mm wide, and from front to back, the CMT230 is 390mm deep. One fact that says a lot about this chassis though is the weight. In this instance, the CMT230 is said to weigh in at only one pound empty. The last things to mention on looks and external features would be that FSP uses a plastic side window in the left panel and that the front I/O panel has HD Audio as well as USB 3.0 ports to stay relevant.
Inside of the CMT230, there is room for a pair of optical drives, something many makers moved away from. For storage, you have four locations. Two of them are in a cage for 3.5" drives, while the other two locations are specific to 2.5" drives. There are seven expansion slots in the back, room for Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, or ATX motherboards.
The chassis is shipped with a trio of fans, all of which are 120mm fans, and all are lit by blue LEDs. Two of these fans are in the front of the chassis, while the third is in the back. On top of that, there is a total of six locations for fans, and even holes for 140mm options too. Water cooling is also supported, but you have some limitations. The front of the chassis will hold a 240mm or 280mm radiator, and the same is found at the top of the chassis. Sadly, even though you can install three 120mm fans in the front, the PSU cover blocks room needed for a 360mm radiator.
What we see right now, is that about anywhere you wish to look up this chassis for purchase, the cost is the same. On the FSP product page, they show the MSRP of the CMT230 set at $69.99. Wherever we looked, we are seeing that the major e-tailers are sticking to that price. Both Newegg and Amazon have the CMT230 in stock, and the prices are identical to the MSRP. At first glance, we feel the cost is not out of line, as it appears this chassis has what everybody wants in a case, but by the time we are done, that opinion may change.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IX Code Z270 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 7700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: NZXT Kraken X62 (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Team T-Force Night Hawk RGB TF1D48G3000HC16CBK
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: Samsung XP941 256GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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