My mini-ITX build is housed in a modified Realan Q6 low-profile case which I got off eBay. The Realan E-Q6 is a Chinese knockoff of the Habey EMC-600B (it even uses the same power supply), features an almost-identical look, and is much easier to find with cheap shipping if you’re based in Asia.
: The Realan E-Q6 comes with a completely covered top cover plate, and two sets of 2.5″ SSD mounting holes on the mounting plate underneath. To open up more space for CPU air intake, I got some breathing holes cut into the case. These do not come ready-made!
Drive mounts: 2×2.5″ HDD/SSD, no optical drive slot
Power Supply: 120W 12V DC-DC board (LR1005)
Dimensions: 200×80×225 mm / 8×3.2×8.9 in
Weight: 1.15 kg / 2.5 lb gross weight, 1.85 kg / 4.1 lb net weight
The braiding work on the cables is very barebones; the ends are secured by cable ties, and not even heatshrink-sleeved.
Mounting hardware #
There really is not much to say here, which is a good thing in this writer’s opinion: I moved to ITX builds to cut down on complexity after all. Four screws secure the disk mount plate to the side walls. Another four screws each secure the top and bottom cover plates to the side walls, and four motherboard screws secure the motherboard to the bottom plate. That’s it!
The disk mount plate seems to be a standard design also used for Realan’s larger cases — there are 3.5″ and optical drive mount holes labelled on it. There are two mount holes at the side for a 40mm side intake/exhaust fan (not included).
Considering the height taken up by the disk mount plate, there is very little headroom left for a cooler. In addition, there are no ventilation holes in the top cover plate; it seems the Q6 is really meant for low-TDP systems, such as the T-model Core processors, or Brazos/Kabini/Atom-based systems. Probably the only coolers that will fit are 1U coolers.
I got off to a bad start right off the bat, when the DC jack broke as I was trying to finesse the motherboard into place. There really is very little space between the DC cable and the audio port cluster on the motherboard (picture incoming), and you will probably want to remove the DC jack before installing the motherboard, to avoid a repeat of this. The DC jack is easily detached by loosening and removing the securing screw.
The cable braiding is of really low quality, and is held in place at the ends with cable tie instead of heat-shrink sleeving. Considering the likely market for such small-form-factor ITX cases, It doesn’t seem likely that this would ultimately save much cost; heat-shrink sleeving is just much more convenient and hardly more expensive.
The case feet are really cheap; the kind of stick-on feet you get with throwaway furniture. But I guess this isn’t really an issue if you keep them out of sight.
I can’t give a rating, mostly because there really is little else competing with the Q6 in such a tiny form factor, and also because many of these really low-profile cases are specialised for certain builds. Judge for yourself if this is something you want to try out. At this moment, really low-profile ITX builds are definitely still an early-adopter hobby and not really mainstream enough that I would recommend this case for everyone.
I will be assessing the case’s cooling performance shortly, with two 1U coolers I have on hand: the Gelid Slim Silence i-Plus and PCCooler S85. [tl;dr Gelid Slim Silence was anything but silent, S85 was quieter and performed similarly to the stock CPU cooler] I will also be comparing power consumption between the on-board LR1005 and a high-efficiency ATX PSU. Stay tuned!