The increased productivity, functionality and diminutiveness of components could not but affect the size of personal computers, which are intended primarily for office and home use. Back in 2001, VIA Technologies introduced the first motherboards with the ITX form factor (215 × 191 mm), which, however, did not receive proper distribution. But his successor, mini ATX, was much more fortunate. Despite the somewhat smaller dimensions (170 × 170 mm) and while maintaining as much electrical and mechanical compatibility with the ATX form factor as possible, this format has become increasingly popular. And at present, a computer built on this platform can include a sufficiently powerful multi-core processor with an appropriate environment. But such miniaturization poses difficult tasks for the manufacturer of cases and power supplies, at least in terms of layout, ensuring good heat dissipation. And few companies undertake such tasks. But the successors are waiting for their turn – already standardized form factors nano ITX (120 × 120 mm) and Pico ITX (100 × 72 mm). CHIEFTEC is one of the few that produces not just individual models for motherboards of the mini ITX form factor, but whole series of similar products.

mini ITX case - CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3

CHIEFTEC FI-01B-U3 of the already well-known FLYER series is supplied in a simple cardboard box, the main purpose of which is to protect the device from possible damage during transportation.

mini ITX case - CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3

The riveted body FI-01B-U3 is made in black and has a fairly compact size – 265 × 90 × 270 mm.

mini ITX case - CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3

mini ITX case - CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3

The scope of delivery includes:

power cord; detailed instructions (unfortunately, only in English); plastic adhesive legs; set of fasteners.

Thus, there is everything you need to assemble a computer for the mini ITX form factor.It should be noted that small adhesive feet allow you to install the computer both vertically and horizontally, and since they are made of rubberized material, the likelihood of scratching the surface or accidentally moving the case is reduced to zero. It should be noted that the CHIEFTEC company has provided for even such a seemingly trifle as special small recesses in the case in those places where it is most rational to stick these legs.

CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3 Housing Specification:

Motherboard support mini ITX
Dimensions 265 × 90 × 270 mm
Weight with power supply 3.5 kg
Drive bays 1 x 5.25 “(slim), 1 x 3.5”, 1 x 2.5 “
Power Supply GPF-250P (250W TFX)
Front I / O Panel 2 × USB 3.0, Mic-in, Audio-out (AZALIA / HD-Audio)
Expansion slots 1 (low profile)
CPU cooler height (max.) 65 mm
Graphics Card Length (Max.) 150 mm
Warranty 12 months

mini ITX case - CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3

On the front panel there is a backlit on / off button for the computer, an LED indicator of the hard drive, two USB 3.0 ports, audio and video connectors, a dummy panel for installing a 5.25-inch optical drive (slim). Unfortunately there is no reset button. Thanks to the black color, the design of the case turned out to be quite strict, but on the other hand, it will perfectly harmonize both in an office setting and on a home desktop.

mini ITX case - CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3

After removing the cover, you can see how the interior of the FLYER FI-01B-U3 is organized. The body itself is made of 0.6 mm thick sheet steel and has excellent rigidity. To fasten the motherboard so that it does not touch the case, special projections are made. Near the front panel there is a cage for installing drives and an optical drive.

Installing the motherboard isn’t the biggest challenge. The only problem can be neat routing of cables in such a limited space. And this can cause some difficulties. However, the wires from both the front panel and the power supply are bundled together, which, we hope, will greatly simplify this task. Installing a low-profile graphics card can complicate things a lot though.

mini ITX case - CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3

The front panel of the case is fastened with plastic latches, which, however, do not interfere with its removal. The wiring is well done and everything that is needed is assembled in bundles, tied with clamps. The connectors have corresponding signatures, for ease of assembly and connection to the motherboard, and their length is quite enough for this.

mini ITX case - CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3

mini ITX case - CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3

The design of the rear part of the case initially assumes the installation of a plate with connectors standard for all PCs. It is also appropriate to say here that ventilation holes in the case are located not only on the side of the power supply, but also on both sides to provide protection against overheating.

mini ITX case - CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3

The internal space of the FLYER FI-01B-U3 can be conditionally divided into three parts: for installing the motherboard, power supply and a cage for the optical drive and drives. This arrangement facilitates the replacement of components, which can be carried out without completely dismantling the devices in the housing.

mini ITX case - CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3

The basket for installing drives is removable. To do this, it is enough to unscrew the fastening screw with a bright plastic head and open the latch. The device of the basket is thought out and, despite its small size, it allows you to install three drives of different sizes: 2.5; 3.5 and 5.25 inches. True, the latter should be slim, and it can be either a hard drive (3.5 inches) or a thin optical drive. The slots for 3.5 “and 5.25” devices are additionally equipped with pressure clasps to ensure that the drives are not “bumpy” when operating in an upright position.

mini ITX case - CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3

The FLYER FI-01B-U3 power supply is a reliable 250W TFX power supply with ATX 2.3 specification and active PFC manufactured by CHIEFTEC itself. Characteristics of the CHIEFTEC GPF-250P power supply used in the FLYER FI-01B-U3 case:

ATX 12V specification

Form factor TFX
Efficiency > 85% (bronze efficiency certificate)
Dimensions 175 x 86 x 65 mm
PFC active PFC
Fan 80 mm
Safety
UVP (Undervoltage Protection)
OVP (Overvoltage Protection)
SCP (Short Circuit Protection)
OPP (Overload Protection)
AFC (Automatic Fan Speed ​​Control)
Cable routing diagram 20 + 4 PIN: 300mm;
SATA: 300mm – 150mm
Molex: 300mm – 150mm
4 PIN 12V: 300mm
Warranty 2 years

conclusions

The case of the mini ITX form factor CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3 makes a very pleasant impression due to the quality of workmanship of all elements included in it and their thoughtful layout in a limited space. It should also be noted that there is a rather powerful case for mini ITX and a high-quality power supply, which allows you to use even the most productive motherboards of the mini ITX form factor. It is possible to install a low-profile video card, which greatly increases the versatility of the case and even allows you to use the assembled PC as an entry-level gaming.

Separately, I would like to note the thoughtfulness of the design of the storage basket, which allows you to install devices with a size of 2.5 with a fairly compact size; 3.5 and 5.25 inches. The latter, however, should be slim format.

Since the body is made in black colors, it will be more than appropriate both on a desktop in the office and at home. And the ability to use it not only in a horizontal, but in a vertical position only expands the scope of its application.

In other words, purchasing a CHIEFTEC FLYER FI-01B-U3 case and building a home or office computer on its basis will be a good decision. Moreover, the average price for this device at the time of this writing, according to the Yandex.Market aggregator, is about 4.3 thousand rubles.


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By Alex

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is a Silicon Valley-based consultant and writer. His latest book Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less (Basic Books, 2016) and The Distraction Addiction (Little Brown, 2013) blend history, psychology, and neuroscience to explore the hidden role of leisure and mind-wandering in creative lives.

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