Cooling Performance and Final Thoughts

Cooling Performance

To get an idea of the temperatures one might expect from this enclosure, I ran the Z87-based system with an Intel Core i7 4770K at stock speeds and paired it with the GTX 770 from the photos. This graphics card really doesn’t exceed 80 C due to the thermal design, but I was monitoring the core speed to see if there was any thermal throttling on the GPU.

Test Platform
Processor Intel Core i7 4770K
Motherboard ASRock Z87E-ITX
Memory Kingston HyperX Predator 8GB 2666MHz DDR3
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 (OEM)
Storage Plextor M5 Pro 128GB SSD
Cooling Corsair H75 AIO Liquid Cooler
Power Supply Corsair CX Series 750 Watt Modular PSU
OS Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

Temps were created using Prime95 for the CPU, max stress torture test running for a minimum of 10 minutes to show a worst-case stock load temperature. Readings were made using RealTemp. The graphics temperatures were taken from GPU-Z after running Unigine Valley at 1920x1080 at the highest detail settings for 10 minutes after the core had stabilized at 80 C. Ambient room temperature was 19 C.

The thermals here are not of particular note - and that's a good thing! The CPU performed exactly as if it was on the open test bench – go figure, it’s outside the case! The GTX 770 held steady at 80 C as expected under load, but the core remained constant without thermal throttling.

Note: I'm in agreement with those who'd like to see an aftermarket Hawaii-based GPU for thermal tests, and this will be incorporated once I've added one to my test components. Blower-style coolers certainly have an advantage in cases without a lot of airflow, and aftermarket coolers present a much more challenging thermal environment as they put a lot of hot air into the case. The GTX 770 used here has never exceeded 80 C in any test I've done, and I've never had an issue with thermal throttling, either - but it's the OEM version which uses the TITAN cooler, which is probably overkill for this GPU.

Final Thoughts

The IN WIN 901 is very attractive, and this design makes it easy to build largely due (pun not intended) to its generous size for a mini-ITX enclosure. The advantage of choosing mini-ITX is obviously a reduction in size, and the 901 is nearly the size of a micro-ATX mini tower. The benefit is the roomy build of a larger case, but it's a little out of keeping with the form-factor, and the mini-ITX motherboard limitation adds to the cost of a build with this case.

And speaking of cost, we come to the second issue. With an MSRP of $189 and real world pricing just $10 less than that, the IN WIN 901 is very expensive for an enclosure. It has tons of style, and you will definitely pay for it. Don't get me wrong, the build quality is top notch and it was a pleasant experience to build up a system in it. But for most people it probably won't be on the short list of cases to look at, if for no other reason than price.


Pros

  • Striking design
  • Solid build quality
  • Easy to build in, mostly tool-free operation
  • Large GPU/PSU support
  • Hard drive and optical bays have SATA hot swap connectors/cables

Minor Complaints

  • Expensive
  • Quite large for a mini-ITX case

What you get with the IN WIN 901 is a well designed and very well made enclosure with startling looks usually reserved for expensive electronics. For anyone interested in a cool-looking case that offers support for large external radiators, as observed here the option exists with the 901 for that, too. The drawbacks don't outweigh the positives here, and IN WIN has created a lust-worthy option here if you like the style. This might not be the best option for those looking to build the smallest system, but it will absolutely produce a striking build that's far beyond the ordinary rig.

Image Credit: IN WIN

The IN WIN 901 succeeds as a well-made and very stylish option. Even if the look isn't to your personal taste, a few minutes with the 901 would convince the biggest skeptic that IN WIN's design is very functional as well!

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