Overall and Final Verdict
Well building the GEEEK A30 and building in it has been an experience. There is no doubt that this is a lot different than just buying a case off the shelf, but is the extra time worth it? Well for starters, this is a great looking case when built. I love the all acrylic design, especially because its nothing like anything you will find mass produced. This looks and feels a lot more custom without being as high end and expensive as some of the community made cases. They also were able to do a similar riser based setup that puts the GPU on the back of the case for its own cooling without making the case too thick overall. The downside to that, of course, is you are limited to 50mm on the CPU heatsink and the GPU also needs to be a smaller ITX focused model. Thankfully Zotac has a bunch of options for high-end cards like that and the GTX 1060 had a lot of short options available from just about everyone as well. Combined with the improvements from the CPU races building a fast gaming PC with 6 cores in this form factor is finally easy to do.
Even with a 6 core CPU and the GTX 1060, I didn’t really run into heat issues. The CPU heatsink that I went with was the main limitation and there are a few better options with the 50mm limitation. Our Noctua is great but it is only 37mm, you really need to use every mm if you want any better cooling than this. More importantly, the acrylic design didn’t heat soak and the two 80mm fans pushed the heat out. The fans didn’t end up being as loud as I expected either.
Now one of the major downsides to this case is just how difficult it is to get together. It's not having to build it that is the issue, its smaller details like the t-slot nuts that they used. With aluminum extrusions being popular in 3d printers there are a lot of designs that they have used that might work better. The bonus is t-slot nuts that hold their place in the extrusion could also make upgrading in this PC a lot easier in the future as well. As it sits I’m dreading having to make a few fixes, let alone swapping out something like the heatsink where I would have to pull the entire motherboard out to do. The instructions weren’t bad at getting the basic case together, but I think they could be improved to show how some of the optional accessories install and maybe they should also include steps that show when to run wires and things like that. With how small the case is, you basically have to build the case alongside with the PC.
Speaking of the optional accessories, let's be honest a few of these might as well be requirements. Specifically the PSU cover, given there aren’t any good looking FlexATX PSUs, I think everyone is going to need that one. I also think right now the PSU they are offering is the only good one. Then there is the PCIe Riser, you could pick up your own but you do need to plan on picking one up. A quick look on Amazon shows that all of the 300mm risers are over $30 right now with a few of the nicer ones getting up into the 50/60 range. So the one GEEEK is selling might be a good idea.
Overall, even with the frustration with a few of the instructions and the t-slot nuts, I do love the A30. Its size allows you to pack in a monster PC into an 8.29-liter form factor. The pricing is especially attractive with the case selling for $49.99. Like I said before, there are a few components that you basically need to buy so that can add to the cost. The PSU and Riser are the two big ones, obviously, you would need a PSU anyhow but just to give everyone an idea of what you are looking at. The price as tested for the case, fans, fan filters, PSU cover, PSU, and PCIe riser is $165.78. Still well below the cost of a lot of the community made cases at this size and that includes the PSU with custom cables. Building SFF has never been all about the costs, it is always going to run you a little more. But when you get below 10 liters in size, I doubt you find too many options that are cheaper than this at least not with room for a GPU.