REVIEW Deepcool Macube 110

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Hardware' started by the Fan-Man, Dec 23, 2020.

  1. the Fan-Man

    the Fan-Man Member

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    I'd like to take this opportunity to review the Deepcool Macube 110. Micro-atx is now a failry niche market, with the market swinging in favour of Micro ITX, or the long standing full ATX form factor. For instance on the AMD AM4 front there is only one X570 mAtx board, from Asrock and only a handfull of B450/B550/A520 boards such as the Gigabyte B550m Aorus Pro.

    More recently than not I have noticed mITX builds in mAtx cases. Not sure what the gain is here, but lets play along with the Micro-Atx fan base and see what the Deepcool Macube 110 offers. Being a relatively low budget case being one of the overall cheapest cases on the market with a full tempered side glass window coming in at sub $80, this should be interesting to see how well the case performs in thermal terms and build quality

    The Case:

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    Case comes in a very sturdy Deepcool box, well packed with cushioning and protection. The case arrived un-damaged sans some battle scars on the box which is good. Case inclusions are standard such as screws, cable ties & a small manual is also included. Case front IO includes 2 x USB3.0 & front audio and I can confirm the GPU slot covers are the type you break off as you need them vacated. Wear gloves, they are sharp!

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    Overall dimensions come in at 400mm x 225mm x 430mm, which generally speaking is quite large for micro-atx, now competing with compact full atx cases. This is moslty due to added roof radiator support which we will learn later on still has a restriction. The case comes with only one standard OEM quality 120mm fan with 3 pin power & molex for those still in the 1990's.

    Fan and cooling capacity as follows:
    • 2 x 120mm OR 2 x 140mm roof fans
    • 3 x 120mm OR 2 x 140mm front fans
    • 1 x 120mm rear fan
    PSU allows full size ATX, however if you have a modular PSU highly recommended make all connections prior as accessing the back of the PSU is limited by the HDD cage in the same cavity. The PSU cavity allows for 2 x 3.5" drives, and the motherboard backtray underside has support for 2 x 2.5" drives. These are nice to have but I won't be using.

    The side window is tempered glass and held in magnetically. Skeptical about it falling off in transport or rattling, it's actually really good. It's strong, easy to get to components and doesn't rattle or form any harmonic rattle when tested with high power fans. The roof has a removable magnetic dust filter/mesh cover, though pointless if you are using roof exhaust. The case also includes a GPU weight support bracket that I hadn't noticed at first...

    Stay tuned for the build & case performance below
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
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  2. OP
    OP
    the Fan-Man

    the Fan-Man Member

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    The build

    Scrambled some parts to make up a system build. They are:

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    AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
    32GB Gskill TridentZ RGB
    Gigabyte RTX2080 [in leiu of the 6900XT which seems very February at this time]
    2 x 1TB Samsung 970 Evo NVME SSD
    Gigabyte Aorus B550m Pro
    Corsair RM850x
    NZXT Kraken X63

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    still on order are:
    4 x deepcool CF120 ARGB 120mm case fans
    2 x Thermaltake Pure Duo 14 high pressure 140mm radiator fans
    1 x Coolermaster PWM/RGB fan hub

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    Just a quick flash of the BIOS to accept the 5900X and we are on our way


    One of the first things I noticed and definately a bad point is how flimsy the rear of the case is. As mentioned before that you need to break off the PCI covers to allow for the graphics card. Not only are these sharp as hell by finding out the hard way, the whole rear of the case was flexing as I was breaking them off. Secondly to this every time I lifted the case or supported it by the rear I could feel it bending. This brings back memories of early 2010's ebay spec computer cases. Furthermore unscrewing the rear fan to have a look at it and putting it back in warped the fan area a little bit.

    Removing the front face of the case allows access to install fans, again we are met with this flimsy AF sheet metal from the rear. Fan screws are ever so slightly tapered by design, but this sheet metal kept warping in some cases the fan screw going straight through the fan holes. Recommend not using electric screwdriver for this.

    Mobo and its components in, the rad went in next. There was a small issue due to limited clearance at the top of the cage. This will be motherboard specific but have seen this happen a lot. The room for the roof radiator is *just* enough for the standard radiator size + 25mm thick fans. Nothing else. So if your motherboard has the 8 pin power connector on the edge of the motherboard then the clip holding the cable in will offset the motherboard by about 1.5mm. This happened in this scenario :(. Because the fan blades are offset from the fan shroud, this meant that clip was 0.8mm from the moving fan blades. And when the fan ramped up under load it was enough to start hitting the power connector clip. I cut the clip off to make it work but less than ideal.

    While I'm on the complain-train, while playing around with the radiator I noticed how visible the front IO circuit board was:

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    Later on it gets hidden by fans. But remember the fans are optional, and if it wasn't you could still see this from the window of the case.

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    Nonetheless, the system was mostly finished. Turned it on and installed windows. Dying to try out Cyberpunk 2077. This is when I realised the OEM fan that came with the case was DOA :lol: - The next day the new fans arrived and it was swiftly frisbee'd into the trash

    The finished product:

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    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
    juzz86 and Agg like this.
  3. OP
    OP
    the Fan-Man

    the Fan-Man Member

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    So, if you hadn't known parts of the case were made with record breaking thin sheet steel, it does look to the naked eye quite a premium case build.

    Reviewing the cooling of a case is quite subjective and I have this issue with another recent case build. The case manufacturer included one cheap nasty 120mm fan -which arrived DOA-. I know most of you and the entire enthusiast market will throw it in the bin and spec up the cooling with premium products. So I'm looking at thermals from a typical install point of view.

    My cooling setup was the Kraken X63, 2 x thermaltake high pressure 140mm fans on the 280mm radiator. 1 x 120mm deepcool exhaust & 3 x 120mm deepcool intakes. This equates to 3 x 120mm in and 2 x 140mm + 1 x 120mm exhaust which in theory should create negative air pressure. This was the intention as the case lacks any sort of active cooling around the GPU and I worry about a hotspot building up in this area. A way to test this theory is to remove the side panel and compare temps.

    CPUz can't see the cpu temp sensor, neither can HW monitor which is odd. Next best was the NZXT cpu block temp sensor received from NZXT CAM software. Under idle conditions the temps really didn't change. But there was a difference to the GPU under load.
    With the side case panel removed under load the GPU runs 10'C cooler [running cyberpunk full settings for 25 minutes]. You can feel a really hot pocket of air around the GPU that seems to stagnate. The negative air pressure within the case should pull in cool air from around the vents of the GPU, but it wasn't. The issue turned out to be the 120mm rear fan causing flow disruptions. This fan was not only loud because of its close proximity to the radiator fan was causing turbulance, disrupting the radiator fans but also appeared to distract the case air flow away from the GPU area. I got better thermals unplugging the fan causing a positive air flow in the case sending hot GPU exhaust out of the case perforations nearby. Since this, I have turned the rear fan to intake duties, thus reducing turbulance with the radiator fans & assisting in the positive air flow to push hot GPU air out of the rear of the case.

    My unpopular opinion: remove the tool-less PCI-E clamp (which can't hold the weight of modern GPUs anyway) and install 2 x 60mm optional fans or more ventilation, This would solve the hostpot issue

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    Thermals aside with the flimsy structure I was curious to tell if there was a harmonic weakspot in the case. To test this [prior to the full build] I loaded up the case with 6 Delta PFC1212DE fans (250cm @ 5500RPM). These monster fans that draw 4.6a each that I usually use for testing maximum radiator and cooler efficiency, and sometimes chopping vegetables - emit a huge range of vibrations. From low frequency at low speeds, high cogging effect from its super strong magnets to high pitch, high frequency vibrations that usually catch out IO connections or case sides that aren't flush. Despite my doubts the case didn't represent any accoustic weakpoint. Considering the side panel is only held by magnets that's pretty impressive! The only thing that happened was the roof mounted magnetic dust cover flew off from the over 500cfm being forced through it

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    Assuming most builds will be exhausting hot air out of the roof, this dust cover is useless and actually restricts exhaust air flow. Also, if the screws you used to mount the radiator/fan aren't flush screws (which they aren't, including the ones provided by Deepcool), then the magentic cover doesn't sit flush on the case for 140mm fans/rads as the magnets sit on the fan/radiator screws


    Final Thoughts

    For a sub $80 case with good radiator support and a proper tempered side glass window with no harmonic weakness, it's not as bad as I thought it would be.

    Pros:
    • Dual radiator support
    • Full length PSU support
    • Magnetic dust filter
    • Tempered glass window with strong magents
    cons:
    • Super flimsy frame that warps when you stare at it
    • Top radiator too close to exhaust fan causing turbulance
    • Top IO circuitboard visible from the outside of the case
    • Poor thermals around the gpu to lack of active cooling


    Gets a 5/10 from me
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2020

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