PC Design Lab Qv2E SFF Case

9 Overall Score
Build Quality: 10/10
Layout: 9/10
Price: 8/10

Extremely well built case.

The price is high enough to make you cringe.

Specifications 

 

  • Mainboard: micro-ATX
  • Power Supply: Standard ATX
  • Drive Bays: (3) 5-1/4″ Bays
  • Storage: (4) Internal Hard Drives
  • Cards Slots: (4) PCI/E
  • Cooling: (5) 120mm Fans, (1) 2x120mm Radiator

Construction

 

  • 1/16″ Aluminum with Powder Coated Finish
  • 11″[279]H x 11-7/16″[290]W x 14-3/8″[365]D
  • 7-1/2 lbs [3.4 kg]

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The Qv2E arrived in a plain brown box with no markings to indicate which company was behind the product in the box. We like that, because a great product is more than just the packaging it comes in, it’s all about performance in the computer hardware world. You can drop a rusted pile of junk in a pretty box, but when you open it up, it’s still a rusted pile of junk.

This small form factor case is extremely light, but built like a tank. Dave LaLopa, from PC Design Lab, let us know that in their in-house testing, he was able to stand on top of the Qv2E without any failure in the structural integrity of the case. That is impressive from a case that weighs in at 7.5lbs. It is made from 1/16″ aluminum which explains the toughness of the Qv2E.

The Qv2E does have a rather unique look to it. The design of a case is a personal choice, of course, and this SFF case has a clean look that puts it right at home on top of your desk. It measures in at 11″(279mm) high, 11 7/16″(290mm) wide and 14 3.8″(365mm) deep. Below is a quick graphical comparison of the Qv2E and the Silverstone SG03.

[img]dimensions.jpg[/img]

As we can see, the Qv2E is considerably wider and a bit longer than the SG03. The Silverstone case comes in much higher, but overall, both cases are small. The increase in width and length of the Qv2E is what gives this case the advantage over any small form factor case we’ve seen so far. There are always trade-offs when size is the limiting factor, but PC Design Lab put a lot of time and thought into minimizing them.

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Taking the cover off the Qv2E is a tad challenging at first. There are four thumbscrews, 2 on the back and 2 on the front, that need to be removed. The four feet need to be loosened, but not removed. Once those two steps are complete, you can gently pull the top cover out on both sides and lift it off the main part of the case. Here is what you are left with sans cover:

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The inside of this case is simple, functional and very roomy. On the front end, attached to the optical drive bays, you have two HDD cages that support up to four HDD’s total. Add in four 2TB drives and you can have up to 8TB’s of storage! There is room for three 5 1/4″ bay devices as well as a full ATX power supply. On the back end we have 4 PCIe/PCI slots as well as space for a 120mm fan.

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Moving in for closer inspection we see that the Qv2E is an almost completely tool less design using thumbscrews where possible. In the Qv2E revision, the grills are held on with screws and nuts. On previous versions, the grills were welded on making removal a challange.

So, we’ve seen how well put together this case is and how much room is in there. Now, let us move on to some installing of kickass hardware!

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