The NZXT Manta Mini ITX Case. Mini. ITX. This means small, right? A tiny wee dinky winky cutesy wootsy case that probably comes wrapped in cotton wool cause it’s just so TINY! Right? Wrong. Let me put it this way - I have a Cooler Master Silencio 550 ATX case sitting at my feet. I placed the NZXT Manta next to it and there’s not much difference in size. Sure the Manta is smaller but just by a wee bit here and a smidgin there. Remember, the Manta is an ITX case. It’s quite a bit bigger than the Bitfenix Phenom MATX case that my SteamBox is housed in. And the point I’m trying to make is that the NZXT Manta Mini ITX Case is bigger than you probably think it’ll be!

Not that the size is a negative as NZXT have utitlised it extremely well. This is a case for watercooled performance PCs. In fact it’s a wet dream for watercoolers (baboom tish!) as it can hold not one but two 280mm radiators with their cooling fans - one at the top in the horizontal position and one at the front held vertically. And the tough moulded plastic panels on the top and bottom unclip for easy access to the fixings. There’s also space for a full size ATX PSU (housed in an aesthetically pleasing shroud replete with NZXT logo) and a double height full length graphics card. There is no excuse for not keeping your cables tidy as the curved sides of the Manta have plenty of space for cable routing which is just as well as there’s a nice big window on the side so you can view the internals. NZXT have thoughtfully provided a hide to cover the motherboard cables and route them round the left side. While I may be tempting fate here, this looks like a case for an easy build with plenty of space for components and for working in.

There’s plenty of space inside for two 3.5” drives and three 2.5” ones. It’s definitely a 21st century case as there’s no option for a DVD/ Bluray but does anyone really need them in this day of digital downloads and USB sticks? There are two USB 3 ports on the I/O panel located on the top left of the case keeping the Audio In and Mic sockets company. A stealth power button lies on the opposite side across from a Cylon like LED strip for power and hard drive indicators. Back on the inside, the case comes with three 120mm NZXT fans - two at the front and one at the rear so you’ll be good to go cooling wise if you’re saving up for the dual radiators. Those that are wrinkling brows with concern at the thought of housing a 1080 with an i7 in an ITX case should unwrinkle those brows now. The Manta has generous venting along the top of the case and up the sides of the front. Perfect for warming your computer room.

Lastly, but absolutely definitely not least - the NZXT Manta looks amazing. I have the white version here which is the perfect colour to show off those curves. If the average PC case is a stick then the Manta is Jennifer Lopez. Curved on both sides, curved on the top and it even seems if it’s curved at the back, the Manta definitely has head turning looks. It’s not a case you’d be ashamed to have on display.

The NZXT Manta is a strange case that seems to be designed for a market that isn’t quite there. Folks that want performance kit aren’t going to buy an ITX motherboard. Builders purchase ITX motherboards because they’re small and fit in similarly small cases. Which leaves the Manta struggling to justify its existence which is a crying shame because it’s a fantastic looking case that’s quite different to others on the market. Maybe I’m the target market though as I’m now looking for an ITX motherboard so I can transfer my SteamBox into the Manta. Maybe looks are everything…