The In-Win D-Frame Mini is an extremely well built case. It’s made of all aluminum tubes, has really great quality welds, and an excellent finish quality. The case does not flex or move at all (as it shouldn’t, given the design). The tempered glass side panels are also a nice touch. The downside to tempered glass instead of acrylic, is that I’m sure the tempered glass adds a good chunk of the price. High quality materials and construction comes with a high price tag, no doubt.
The case offers great flexibility in how you want your parts arranged. About the only thing you can’t do, is change which side of the motherboard the power supply is on. You can set the case up in any orientation you want, and can even turn it into a tech bench if you want (even if it wasn’t an intended function from In-Win).
There were a few design issues, that I would like to see addressed if there was ever going to be a revised version. Having an offset to the fan mounting bracket, to help avoid clearance issues with motherboard tray mounted 2.5” drives (in case you use the drive tray area for res/pump). I would think this would also help get the airflow over the motherboard as well. Having some kind of pump mounting plate as an option to install where the 2.5”/3.5” drive trays install would be nice too, but I understand that may be geared towards a very small subset of the market.
Getting away from watercooling related issues; I would also prefer to see the D-Frame Mini logo on the two sides of the PSU mounting location, rather than on the back. I’d prefer having something covering the power supply a little more, whether it’s that or mesh. With a GPU installed (especially a 2-slot air cooled GPU), you can’t see the D-Frame Mini logo where it is. It would also be nice if you could move the fan bracket from the bottom to the side, if you wanted to.
- Build and finish quality is fantastic
- Tinted tempered glass side panels
- Aluminum chassis construction
- Open air design for cooling
- Flexibility of case orientation
- Nice sturdy carry handle
- No way to prevent dust
- Little large for an ITX case
- Visible power supply/cables
- Minimal cable space behind motherboard
The modability for the In-Win D-Frame Mini may be somewhat limited, due to the almost minimalistic nature of the chassis itself. I think, however, it just demands more creativity. Paint would be an easy thing to do. You could maybe add some mesh or other custom panels in the PSU mounting area to cover that up a little. Custom aluminum side panels with different window designs, or acrylic side panels with an etch an idea for modding one of these cases as well.
Another avenue to go down would be making some custom brackets. Brackets for mounting more fans/radiators, or more expansion slots to incorporate a Micro-ATX or ATX motherboard instead. It’s big enough for an ATX board, so I’d say do it!
There is no doubt that this case is made to a very high quality standard. I didn’t see a single flaw in the finish, or the welds holding the chassis together. The materials used are top notch, down to the all tempered glass side panels. All of this attention to detail, quality, and material choice does come at a cost though. At a price of $349.99 (at time of review), the D-Frame Mini may be priced out for a lot of case consumers. Taking into consideration the materials used, and the uniqueness of the design (and the fact that the full sized D-Frame was a limited run, $400, and required assembly), I don’t think that $350 is too much to ask. I’m not saying everyone will be able to justify it, but if you really want to show off your hardware, and go to a lot of LAN parties, this might be worth the investment…