InWin Chopin Mini-ITX Chassis With Built-in 150W PSU Review




/ 3 years ago

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Introduction


InWin Chopin Mini-ITX Chassis With Built-in 150W PSU Review

Mini-ITX system builds have become big business as more and more consumers are looking for compact and stylish PC solutions for their home office and living room. The InWin Chopin certainly fits the bill, packing in a brushed aluminium design and front panel colour customisation that is sure to help you match the styling of your workspace, or add some flair to your home entertainment setup.

“Chopin is an ultra slim form factor case designed for the most efficient and user-friendly experience. It is only 3.3 liters in size, but comes with various multi-functional features. It has everything you need, and nothing you don’t.” – InWin

While too small to support a graphics card, the Chopin features a built-in 80 Plus Bronze 150W PSU that could save you a lot of money, as well as decrease the built time on your new rig. The compact form factor is not far off what you would expect from a games console or digital set top box either, so having it up on top of your desk, or sitting snug under your TV means it will be appealing to those building a compact workstation or HTPC.

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The compact chassis means compact packaging, with a tiny brown box with Chopin on the front, nice and simple.

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In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get you setup. There is a comprehensive owners manual, the mains power cable, a hard drive power cable, and eight colour strips in four colours to help you tailor the overall design of the chassis.

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Exterior


First impressions of this chassis are certainly positive, and noticing that the 4mm thick brushed aluminium panel wraps around the sides and the front of the chassis as a single piece, certainly adds to the overall build quality and aesthetics. There’s a large section of ventilation on the top/side and the panel is slightly raised, which should allow just a little more room for a good aftermarket, albeit still low-profile, CPU cooler.

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There’s a compact I/O panel on the edge too, with dual USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks. Towards the corner, you’ll find some etched LED markers with the actual lights subtlety placed on the front aluminium panel, as well as a master power button.

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Around the back, two small ventilation sections for the storage bays and a nice InWin logo in the middle.DSC_7977

The Aluminium panel is actually suspended away from some parts of the chassis, giving it a semi-floating look, like that found on the larger InWin 909 chassis.

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There is even more ventilation down this side, allowing airflow to the motherboard area as well as the built-in power supply.

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On the other side of the chassis, two thick rubber grips to help prevent the chassis sliding around and to also prevent it from scratching up your desktop.

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Around the back, you’ll find the motherboard I/O cut-out and the rear of the compact PSU, and little else; this is a compact chassis after all!

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Interior


There’s really not a lot of space in here, just enough room for a mini-ITX motherboard (standard or low-profile is fine), a compact CPU cooler, and that’s about it really. The interior is nicely finished in black ,with all black cables, so when you do see through the mesh cover, you’re not really going to see too many details to spoil the aesthetics.

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Motherboard standoffs are pre-installed, so that should speed up the install time.

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The PSU is tucked nicely to the side and offers up more power than you’re ever likely to need. Even a high-end mini-ITX motherboard and a powerful CPU aren’t going to max this out anytime soon and the bonus of 80 Plus Bronze efficiency is certainly a welcome one.

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Around the back, you’ll find space for 2 x 2.5″ hard drives, as well as a little bit of cable routing space.

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The bays are easily removable to aid with drive installations.

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And finally, having both bays away from each other should aid with the overall cable routing and keeping the case as low-profile as possible.

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Complete System


Fitting a system inside the Chopin is a little tricky, as the interior of the chassis is barely bigger than a mini-ITX motherboard. However, with a little care and a few cable ties, you’ll find there’s just enough space for all the required cables to be neatly routed around the edges, keeping them clear of the CPU cooler fan and giving you a fairly clean-looking build overall.

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I love that the PSU is closed up like this, having seen many mini-ITX systems with a simple PCB type PSU built-in, this is much cleaner looking.

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A few cables crammed in at the top, but still a good amount of space for airflow overall.

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The bulk of the cables are to the right of the RAM, especially the more bulky 24-pin cable, but the cables are cut to just the right length to reduce unwanted excess.

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Around the back, we’ve got one cable passing through from the other side to power up our 2.5″ SSD, which fit nicely into the removable HDD bracket.

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With the panels back in place, you can see the bottom edge of our SSD through the ventilation; I quite like this, it’s a subtle way of showing off your new drive.

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With the top panel back in place, you can see there’s plenty of ventilation on the top, giving us a nice look at the interior; good thing that cable management looks neat and tidy!

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The chassis looks great on its side too and since this is such a great looking chassis, we advise investing in a nice low-profile cooler, as you’ll be seeing a lot of it through that top panel cover.

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Final Thoughts


Pricing

The InWin Chopin is available from Overclockers UK for a very reasonable £69.95. When you factor in the 150W 80 Plus Bronze PSU comes built-in, this is easily one of the most cost-effective mini-ITX chassis on the market.

Overview

There’s not a lot to this chassis, as it’s quite compact and has minimal features, but there’s certainly a lot to love about it. The first thing I noticed is the build quality. InWin has built a reputation for premium products in recent years and the Chopin is another welcome addition to their range,  featuring a thick brushed aluminium panel that gives it a premium look and feel.

Building a system with the Chopin couldn’t be much easier than it is. You can access the interior of the chassis by removing a single screw, and the same for the rear section of the chassis for adding your storage drives. The PSU is built-in and all the cables you need to fit a motherboard and two storage drives are all in there and ready to use. I also like that all the internal cables are black, as it makes it easy to get a clean looking build, which is important given that you can see your components through the plentiful ventilation.

With audio jacks and a pair of USB 3.0 ports on the front, you’ve got all the connectivity you’ll need for a common HTPC or desktop workstation, and while 2 x 2.5″ drives may not be a lot, the cost of higher capacity drives is pretty good these days. A 3.5″ drive would be appreciated, but we understand that adding something like that would only increase the overall size of the chassis.

The real star of the show here, however, is the price. This level of build quality, practicality, stylish design and the built-in power supply make the Chopin exceptional value for money.

Pros

  • Durable build quality
  • Stylish Aluminium finish
  • Good ventilation
  • Built-in power supply
  • Competitive price
  • Compact size

Cons

  • None

Neutral

  • Only supports 2.5″ drives
  • Cable routing can be a little tricky

“From building a stylish and compact workstation for your home or office to a stylish HTPC solution for your home AV setup, the InWin Chopin is a versatile chassis with a lot to offer. Not only is it affordable, but it’s every bit the premium build and designed product we have come to expect from InWin.”

InWin Chopin Mini-ITX Chassis With Built-in 150W PSU Review

InWin Chopin Mini-ITX Chassis With Built-in 150W PSU Review

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