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Rosewill RS-MI-01: An Ultra Low-Cost Mini-ITX Chassis

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  • Rosewill RS-MI-01: An Ultra Low-Cost Mini-ITX Chassis

    Phoronix: Rosewill RS-MI-01: An Ultra Low-Cost Mini-ITX Chassis

    After spending $30~60 on an APU, and as low as $30 on a motherboard, you are probably looking for an ultra low-cost computer case / PSU to go with a new budget AMD AM1 build, right? If so, the Rosewill RS-MI-01 is a very cheap mini-ITX enclosure that also includes a 250 Watt power supply, but its $45 price tag may raise concerns over quality.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=20266

  • #2
    Rosewill PSUs are decent enough to not burst into flames, so for a low end APU rig, this would do just fine. Rosewill PSUs could be trusted especially under low load of the APUs.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by phoronix View Post
      Phoronix: Rosewill RS-MI-01: An Ultra Low-Cost Mini-ITX Chassis

      After spending $30~60 on an APU, and as low as $30 on a motherboard, you are probably looking for an ultra low-cost computer case / PSU to go with a new budget AMD AM1 build, right? If so, the Rosewill RS-MI-01 is a very cheap mini-ITX enclosure that also includes a 250 Watt power supply, but its $45 price tag may raise concerns over quality.

      http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=20266
      I use this case for a few smaller systems. The PSU is decent; I have only had 1 of 3 fail on me and I'm not sure what caused that failure (it probably me messing around).

      On the back of the chassis in a hole slightly larger than the rest of the vent holes; when facing the back of the chassis it is in the upper left-hand corner of the back, farthest away from the expansion card slot. It is supposedly for a Wi-Fi antenna (based on literature found elsewhere), so that saves a trip out to the garage to perform modifications. That same hole, with a little work, makes a nice sturdy place to mount the external power connector jack found in lower wattage Pico-PSU models.

      So combine a Kabini Mini-ITX board with a Pico-PSU in this small case and you have a nearly silent HTPC in a SFF footprint.

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      • #4
        It's great to see some low-end hardware being reviewed on phoronix!

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        • #5
          This absolutely fills me with confidence.

          While there's nothing extraordinary about this sub-$50 mini-ITX computer case, it's nice overall and so far the power supply has been acting fine.
          "The good news is, it hasn't blown up..."
          so over the coming months if there's any PSU problems I will be sure to make it known on Phoronix.
          "...yet."

          Originally posted by SangeetKhatri View Post
          Rosewill PSUs could be trusted especially under low load of the APUs.
          "These really shouldn't blow up when idle. You didn't plan to use that thing for anything worthwile, right?"

          Originally posted by NotMine999 View Post
          The PSU is decent; I have only had 1 of 3 fail on me and I'm not sure what caused that failure
          "1 in 3 is way below the average failure rate of high quality PSUs, right?"


          Is there no data sheet of the PSU? Efficiency, available protective features, certifications, ...? If there isn't, you don't want it near flammable things, nor do you want it to run unsupervised.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by rohcQaH View Post
            Is there no data sheet of the PSU?
            Newegg says the PSU is an Apex AL-8250SFX. So I checked it out, also on Newegg. No PFC, single 12V rail, efficiency is listed as >= 65%. Aside from the 24pin mainboard and 4pin CPU connectors, there's two molex and two sata connectors, and a FD connector (does this one still have use nowadays?). Overall quite bad, especially the low efficiency and lack of a PFC, but what can you expect for this price.

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            • #7
              Always buy a good power supply separate from a computer case, remove a low-quality power supply, and put in a good one.

              In my opinion, that power supply should not be included in computer cases. By then, the cost of the computer case will come down to about $40, but I could be wrong.

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              • #8
                Some card readers and other case attachments (lcd screens etc) can use the floppy power connector.

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                • #9
                  Including a PSU in a tower tends to be more cost effective. The tower and PSU are generally the largest single objects you put in your computer (unless you have a high-end GPU or 3rd party CPU heatsink) so by cramming them in the same enclosure, you save a lot of money on shipping.

                  For these APUs, I see nothing with using this PSU. Sure it isn't very efficient, but the system should still run stable for years.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SangeetKhatri View Post
                    Rosewill PSUs are decent enough to not burst into flames, so for a low end APU rig, this would do just fine. Rosewill PSUs could be trusted especially under low load of the APUs.
                    The power supplies may be good but I find it interesting that some of the motherboard manufactures recommend a 300 watt supply. Of course they don't know what is going into the machines but it is something to keep in mind. A smart builder would likely build these machines with an SSD of some sort so that would address power issues.

                    In case you are wondering I spent too much of last night downloading manuals and so forth from the various AM1 board makers out there. I find the offering very compelling for some uses I have in mind.

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                    • #11
                      This is just an APEX case rebranded. I used one of these cases with an atom d330 mini itx case back when the atoms were just released. Back then there were no SSD drives, just mainly 3.5" hard drives which utterly cook in this case. Nowadays with everything running so cool with much less power requirements this case should be pretty reasonable.

                      Some mods I did to the case:

                      A 120mm fan can literally snap into the place where the internal 3.5" hard drive is to go, blowing directly over the motherboard. I drilled a few air holes in the opposite side of the case on the expansion card side.

                      I removed the drive cage in front and drilled 2 sets of holes in the case bottom. I mounted 2 3.5" drives on their sides directly to the case bottom with a couple of struts on the new "top" of the drives to keep them separated.

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                      • #12
                        Okay decided to snap a pic of what hacks I added in:

                        http://imgur.com/IF8cv6d

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bnolsen View Post
                          Okay decided to snap a pic of what hacks I added in:

                          http://imgur.com/IF8cv6d
                          Cool. I wonder why the case isn't something like that from the beginning, a fan on the side makes a lot of sense, to cool both the CPU and the disks. The Silverstone Sugo SG05 (which I'd buy if I was making a small machine right now) has it on the front, but this case isn't high enough to accommodate that, so the side is the next logical choice.

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