FSP CMT-series cases keep it clear and simple

Fully-transparent side panels have clearly been a big trend in enthusiast PC cases in 2017. The trouble for some users is that most new enclosures with the shiny see-through sides don't have any provisions for front-mounted devices like optical drives and card readers. FSP's new CMT110A and CMT120A cases allow those attached to their optical drives to bask in the glow of all of their RGB LED-illuminated components while still enjoying their Quake 2 installer dics and Bad Boys II DVDs.

The difference between the two FSP cases we're considering today is in the design of their front panels. The CMT110A (above) has an all-mesh front stiffened by a plastic support with hexagon-shaped holes. The CMT120A (below) has a solid plastic front panel that trades away some airflow in the name of style. Both models can fit motherboards from diminutive mini-ITX units all the way to regular ATX boards. Builders can fit up to seven expansion cards, two 5.25" external devices, a pair of 3.5" internal drives, and a 2.5" storage device inside. Graphics cards as long as 13.4" (34 cm) can push pixels and power supplies as long as 6.7" (17 cm) can switch AC to DC within the confines of these enclosures.

One 120-mm fan comes pre-mounted in the back panel, but both cases have room for up to six fans. Curiously, FSP lists the front panel's water-cooling support as "120 mm x 2," so we're not entirely sure whether that means a 240-mm radiator will fit. In any case, the front panel has mounts for two fans, the back and top panels have mounts for one spinner each, and the top of the power supply shroud can hold two more fans. The top fan gets a removable magnetic dust filter. The maximum height for a CPU air cooler is 6.3" (16 cm) in both towers.

The cases measure 17.7" tall, 7.3" wide, and 15.4" deep (45 cm x 18.5 cm x 41.5 cm) and weigh in at a rather feathery 8.2 lbs. (3.74 kg). The front panels are adorned with a pair of USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 connector, and the customary audio jacks.

FSP didn't provide any pricing or availability information, but the bend-and-snap-away expansion slot covers suggest that these cases will be targeted toward the bottom end of the market. Versions with steel side panels and one less USB 3.0 port are also available. We found a slightly different variation of the CMT120 with a translucent front panel and only one USB 3.0 port at Newegg for $45.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    The world has gone wrong when tempered glass is more important than expansion slot covers that you don’t have to break off with repeated forward-and-backward rocking in the hopes that metal-fatigue snaps it off cleanly before you bend the whole back panel instead.

    We are truly living in the shallow, cosmetic, disposable generation now. All thinly-veiled attempts at functionality and practicality have been murdered harder than Jon Snow at the end of season five.

      • mcarson09
      • 2 years ago

      World not generation. It all started with the side panel windows, at least some of those came with fan mounts.

    • 2 years ago

    Kidding about optical drives aside I actually think these cases look pretty nice.

    … in fact, I sorta wish they didn’t have optical drive bays.

      • mcarson09
      • 2 years ago

      The 5 1/4 bay is very useful and is a standard.

      • arunphilip
      • 2 years ago

      Do you object to the bays themselves, or the openings out front?

      I don’t mind the bays themselves, as they are a standard for some internal accessories (e.g. some controllers), and can be repurposed for 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives.

      I personally dislike the visible seams in the front, and wish those were hidden away behind a slide-out cover – or give an option of a seamless front panel with no openings.

        • mudcore
        • 2 years ago

        I dislike it for functional reasons.

        Because of the 5.25″ bays this case only has 2x front fan mounts. One of which is blowing into the bottom chamber i.e. mostly useless. Without 5.25″ bays a top fan mount would have been possible that blows directly into the CPU. This is the functional reason many new cases don’t have 5.25″ bays, it’s because most buyers rather have the extra cooling potential.

    • NTMBK
    • 2 years ago

    Nice to see optical bays, been too many cases with wasted space lately.

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