Fractal Design Ridge Mini-ITX Case Review
Peter Donnell / 4 months ago
A Closer Look – Interior
Opening up the Ridge was surprisingly easy. Just undo a single thumbscrew at the back and the panel pulls away. There’s a lot of room in here too, and it’s clear Fractal has put in a lot of effort to manage and make use of the available space.
Starting with the upper chamber, there’s room for a mini ITX motherboard here on the left. There are some pre-installed motherboard stand-offs to so it’s ready to rock. There’s a huge cut-out too, which will make fitting/removing CPU coolers easier, without having to remove the motherboard from the case.
There’s a built-in riser cable, and the PCB is firmly secured into the bottom of the case, so that sucker isn’t going to slip free any time soon. Don’t worry, you can unscrew it to move it should you need to.
On the right, there’s a nice large area for the PSU, and with room for an SFX or an SFX-L unit, powering your slim PC will not be an issue. You can get a 750W SFX for around £140, and Silverstone even has a 1000W unit for £185 these days, which is just astonishing given their size.
There’s a large cut-out here, allowing some more room for the PSU, as well as any cables. As you can likely see, there are a few cables running on the interior but they’re all blacked out and should be easy enough to tuck out of the way.
There’s a huge lower section, which is where your GPU will go. It will support a graphics card with a max length of 335mm, a height of 137mm and up to 82mm thickness. That only rules out a few of the monster cards. Plus, the way the cut-out below the PSU is located, routing the GPU cable should be a breeze.
Now, as you can see, I mean… it’s pretty hard to miss them, there are two lovely 140mm fans in the bottom section mounted to pull air into the case. With the fans installed you have up to 57mm of room for the GPU thickness, but the full 82mm without them. On the plus side, if you do have a thicker card, your GPU fans will be able to draw air from the ventilated side panels anyway. I don’t think many will really need the fans due to this, but it’s nice that they’re included anyway.
There is a set of 3 x 80mm fan mounts in the bottom though, and that could be an interesting route to explore if you did need some additional cooling. doing so would change the GPU max height from 137mm to 125mm.
You can fit some 2.5″ SSDs in the front of the case too, however, having one here will bring the GPU max length down 10mm from 335 to 325mm.
Behind the motherboard, there’s actually quite a lot going on. There’s a recess to the side, allowing you to mount a pair of 2.5″ SSDs behind the PSU mount. They even come with some cool tool-free push-pin mounts.
However, I’m really impressed with the fans and their mounts. The fans are exceptionally good quality, but I wouldn’t have expected anything less from Fractal. The mounts offer both 120mm and 140mm spacings, and massively elongated screw holes ensure you can move them forwards or backwards to improve compatibility or even just to ensure the fans are blowing right into the part of the GPU that requires it most.