For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Matt – most commonly known as MattModsPCs.
I’ve been building computers since I was 14 – roughly 12 years of my life – and my passion is growing stronger than ever. Lately, I’ve been using a lot of NZXT cases for my personal builds. The H440 was my first NZXT experience and that led to my eventual selection of the S340 for another personal project.
Recently, my passion for PC’s took a shift to smaller form factors because of their space savings and portability. Yes, my friends, I still host LAN parties.
Enter the NZXT Manta Mini-ITX Case
The NZXT Manta case was something I was highly anticipating. With the company’s continued efforts to push the industry standards for what a case should be, I knew the Manta mini-ITX case would be the chassis for my next ITX project. The NZXT team managed to not only create, what I believe, is a beautiful chassis, but also incorporate the features and support for what an enthusiast demands from a case.
For an ITX case to feature up to 680mm of radiator support for a water cooling project in an ITX case is impressive – that’s ATX level support for water cooling! The Manta case has to be one of the most reassuring chassis to date. I have full confidence in this case being able to transport my water cooling loop anywhere I take it given how rigid it is. The case even offers enough space to work in comfortably while allowing you a very high level of cable management with minimum effort.
From the moment I saw the case revealed at CES 2016, it was settled: Manta would be my next case.
Why I Chose this Hardware for the Manta Mini-ITX Case
For my build, I wanted to utilize the space and flexibility of the case and have an enthusiast level gaming PC. I decided to go with a Skylake system and selected the i5 6600k processor for a good overclock potential and paired it with the EVGA Z170 Stinger motherboard and 16GB of Corsair Dominator Platinum 3000mhz RAM. Hyperthreading isn’t important enough in gaming to justify the price of the i7 6700k.
For my GPU I stuck with a Titan X I already had because it is the card that pushes my Ultrawide Dell monitor easily and is a very capable card. I’m running a PNY CS2211 240GB as an OS drive and two CS1311 240GB drives in RAID for my game drive. The entire system is powered by an EVGA 750w P2 platinum rated, fully modular unit.
Given the intent of the chassis, I had to go custom loop cooling for performance and aesthetics. I chose the Watercool Heatkiller IV CPU and GPU blocks because they are renown for their quality. There’s space in the chassis for 280mm radiators at the top and front so I picked up two Alphacool ST30 280mm radiators. My fittings are the Primochill RevolveRSX fittings on all the components and some Barrow 45 and 90 degree adaptor fittings to make the loop manageable, along with some Primochill PETG tubing. My reservoir in the case is also Primochill, the CTR Phase II 120mm reservoir, and it feeds a Barrow D5 PWM pump with pump top.
Part performance with such a complicated loop is above my expectations in the NZXT Manta. According to the CAM PC monitoring software, at idle the CPU sits around 18c and the GPU is about 23c. At load, the cooling really shows the potential of the Manta. I am currently dialing in some overclocks, but with no added voltage I can get 4.5ghz out of the i5 and maintain sub-50c temps and the GPU manages around 35c with a +430mhz bump to the core clock. All games I run at 1440p Ultrawide resolution hardly make this build break a sweat.
Introducing…The Praying Manta
I decided to name my build “Praying Manta” and it’s a play on the praying mantis insect. Insects are thought of as small creatures and the ITX family has the same impression on most, however the mantis family is the largest of all insects just like the Manta is to ITX cases. It also doesn’t hurt that they are green.
This build has exceeded my wildest dreams in terms of performance and it looks like something out of my wildest dreams in terms of looks. There were no corners cut in the chassis design and the team really made sure that anyone buying this case would be able to accomplish whatever their brain could possibly imagine.
NZXT claimed they were going to “Bend the Rules” but they honestly burned the rule book completely.
Your move, PC industry.