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DAN A4-SFX

Darksaber

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The Dan A4-SFX V4.1 is the smallest ITX chassis with full GPU support that we've ever reviewed. It also manages to walk that incredibly difficult line between the smallest dimensions and uncompromising SFF component support alongside full-length GPU capability. On top of that, it also performs extremely well with even big-boy hardware.

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Nice review but there is literally $5 worth of stamped, painted steel, with another $5 worth of stamped aluminium. Add another $5 for packaging.

This case is a huge ripoff.
 
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£200 for a case with 1x single USB port and no headphone socket? Pass...
 
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It is a brilliant case made by lian li. But lian li tuc 150, costs half of this. I have to be seriously out of touch with reality to buy this case.
 
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Way too expensive for the go-small endeavour. Just a box for heavens sake and doesn't even come with dust filters.

I'll save a million and stick with the NR200P upgrade soon
 
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It is a brilliant case made by lian li. But lian li tuc 150, costs half of this. I have to be seriously out of touch with reality to buy this case.
A4 SFX has one thing going for it - the size or rather lack of it. Well, and the layout but that is pretty common these days. TU150 is three times the volume.

OptimumTech had ITX cases side by side:
 
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Don't use this case with a 3000 FE series. Go for the Ncase instead.
 
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Never understood the craze for these small box PCs, too small and feel like a console, also so much limited space you have to buy components based off the damn case that includes, I/O, GPU AIB, CPU coolers, RAM kits and all. I'd rather choose components first and then build a PC around it, thi sis not a damn console. That's me anyways. When I'm paying so much why should I get restricted just to look cool, I shoved an RTX 3080 in this !!
 
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A4 SFX has one thing going for it - the size or rather lack of it. Well, and the layout but that is pretty common these days. TU150 is three times the volume.

OptimumTech had ITX cases side by side:
I love the case! You are getting me wrong. I do not like the price! You said it yourself tuc 150 is 3 times the size, that means 3 times more aluminium! But it costs half!
 
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As a version 1, NCase M1 owner, I know the appeal of SFF. I just built the rip-off version of this (Dreamcase D1FX) and had in imported from China for $115. I really like the size of it! It's nice to be able to get something this powerful, in something this tiny and small.

Thats really the overall appeal. Slightly different, possibly space limited desk, or something thats very portable without being a laptop.
 
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The problem with this case is not dust filters:


It is the placement of the hard drive bays. Using 2.5" Hard Drives could compromise the cooling performance of the case. I would want a 4TB drive for storage.

The price is also excessive.
 
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always nice to see some love and exposure for dan a4-sfx! a true piece of art and i think the first of the sandwich style cases.

as an air-cooling lover, i need to remark that dan himself offers a 3d-printable file in his website to print a fan-duct for noctua L9 that reduces turbulence and got me 7 degrees celsius better temperatures with my 9600k in this case. you can check it here: https://www.dan-cases.com/dana4_faq.html

There are also other (not many) air coolers like Alpenfohn Black Ridge, and arguably asetek 92mm AIOs are the way to go with big cpus, but i find the simplicity (?) of L9 + Fan duct + bios tinkering irresistible
 
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It is the placement of the hard drive bays. Using 2.5" Hard Drives could compromise the cooling performance of the case. I would want a 4TB drive for storage.
Stick a drive to the front of the case ;)

There are also other (not many) air coolers like Alpenfohn Black Ridge, and arguably asetek 92mm AIOs are the way to go with big cpus, but i find the simplicity (?) of L9 + Fan duct + bios tinkering irresistible
Black Ridge is honestly still not good enough for 90+W CPUs. Maybe with a 120mm fan that requires using Very Low Profile RAM.
 
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A neat package but too expensive. My heart is still set for the CM NR200.
 
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Poor thermals, no dust filter and expensive. Cases like these are why the NR200 is doing so well.
 

defaultluser

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A4 SFX has one thing going for it - the size or rather lack of it. Well, and the layout but that is pretty common these days. TU150 is three times the volume.

OptimumTech had ITX cases side by side:

The problem is, all that extra space is all "for show."

They only used a 75w 1650 graphics card in this test, but the cooling just can't remove it from the case without sounding as loud as a FX 5800 Ultra.

If you are going to actually handle the humongous graphic card sizes/power you claim to, then you need something the size/airflow of a Core 500 or Cougar QBX.

This is Just another Toy Concept Case, that is nowhere near affordable. And it sounds like you have to have a 3D printer to give it enough airflow for a much higher power-consumption than this cakewalk 175w test system.
 
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Never understood the craze for these small box PCs, too small and feel like a console, also so much limited space you have to buy components based off the damn case that includes, I/O, GPU AIB, CPU coolers, RAM kits and all. I'd rather choose components first and then build a PC around it, thi sis not a damn console. That's me anyways. When I'm paying so much why should I get restricted just to look cool, I shoved an RTX 3080 in this !!
I've built two Dan A4's in the last year because people wanted a PC they could just unplug and throw in a rucksack. COVID is doing weird things to work life, home life, and travel, yo.

Last one I built was a 3900X and 5700XT reference card with 32GB and 3TB of NVMe storage. Thing was damn near silent as I was requested to tune for noise levels and ended up setting PBO to a manual underclock by limiting the 3900X to 105W burst (instead of 142W) and dropping the 5700XT down to 1650MHz max. It could chew through 3DSMax, V-Ray, and Premiere with ease and you had to get close to it with your ear to hear it over ambient background noise.

Darksaber said:
Once turned on, there is no visible element to let you know it is up and running. You will have to listen to the fans within to make sure it is. I would have loved a power LED, which some would re-purpose to an HDD activity LED instead.
I think we've finally found a valid use for RGBLED; Your PC is on if there's unicorn vomit spewing out of every vent in all directions. If you can't see any lights, it's probably off.
 
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Don't use this case with a 3000 FE series. Go for the Ncase instead.
DAN says if turn opposite SFX PSU then it can help blowing the rear fan’s hot air out.

I just worried about its RTX 30 compatibility:

3090 - Gigabyte Turbo, EVGA XC3 (need spacer to prevent fan hitting side cover) ONLY
3080 - FE (need turn opposite PSU), EVGA XC3 (as above) ONLY
3070 - FE, EVGA XC3 (as above), Gigabyte Eagle, ZOTAC Twin ONLY

In Japan, I have no chance to buy any EVGA 30, so I have to pick up TUF and move my PC parts into NCase M1 from DAN A4 to fit it.
Otherwise I will not move them because DAN A4 is the world SMALLEST case to access RTX 30.
 
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Drunk Healer

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Hi, Dan A4 owner here.

A bulk of this cost comes from the fact that Lian Li is the OEM, however it still needs factory time on the same lines that produce other cases. However, the quantity that this case is made in is much smaller. The economy of scale other cases have don't really apply here - on top of the related extra charges from Lian Li which doesn't apply to their own cases.

On top of that is the PCI-E 4.0 riser, which are still very expensive. Along with the stricter manufacturing tolerances for this case. If the case was produced in much larger quantities, or Dan Case were the OEM themselves, the cost would be much lower.

I hope I explained this properly.
 

dondan

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Nice review but there is literally $5 worth of stamped, painted steel, with another $5 worth of stamped aluminium. Add another $5 for packaging.

This case is a huge ripoff.
"You know nothing John Snow" Even if this would be true why should I limit my sales by selling these for 200?

Hot and loud with a crappy sandwich layout.
Did you ever had this case?

£200 for a case with 1x single USB port and no headphone socket? Pass...
So following your logic a +$200 case should have minimum +20x USB at the front? Maybe we should create a case where the outer surface is made out of USB ports ;)

It is a brilliant case made by lian li. But lian li tuc 150, costs half of this. I have to be seriously out of touch with reality to buy this case.
The TU150 is made by DIE-Stamping (high volume production) and not include a PCIe gen4 riser this is why the price is lower.

I'll save a million and stick with the NR200P upgrade soon
Nice to know is that the NR200P does only exists because of the NCASE M1. So without product like my and from NCASE you would never able to buy something like this ;)


@techpowerup: Thank you this very nice review :)
 
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So following your logic a +$200 case should have minimum +20x USB at the front? Maybe we should create a case where the outer surface is made out of USB ports ;)
Nice strawman. Back in the real world, even budget £30 cases like the Sharkoon MA-M1000 and the Rosewill LINE-M back in 2012 that had 4x front USB ports. Most of the rest of the 9,173x cases made since then have come with industry standard 2x front USB ports simply because that's how many are fed by a typical USB header and it would be artificially crippling a case to halve that for no reason beyond it being a deliberate choice for an overly artsy / pretentious "form over function" design. What do you do when copying a file from one USB stick to another, pull the case out and rotate it around each time like it's 1996 when all the ports were at the back? :laugh:
 
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hey Dondan! nice to see you also here! fighting in all fronts! must take a lot of time. I had thought of answering some common criticisms in the comments, but i came to the conclusion that they are not ready for this conversation.


"You know nothing John Snow" Even if this would be true why should I limit my sales by selling these for 200?

Did you ever had this case?

So following your logic a +$200 case should have minimum +20x USB at the front? Maybe we should create a case where the outer surface is made out of USB ports ;)

The TU150 is made by DIE-Stamping (high volume production) and not include a PCIe gen4 riser this is why the price is lower.

Nice to know is that the NR200P does only exists because of the NCASE M1. So without product like my and from NCASE you would never able to buy something like this ;)

@techpowerup: Thank you this very nice review :)
 

dondan

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@BSim500 Back in the days when I developed the A4 together with the community it was a community decision move forward with a single USB at the front. 99% of my customers put the case on the desk so it is very easy connecting devices on the back of the case.
 
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