Decided it was time to try an enthusiast-built indie case. According to the creator, only 40 cases were produced, and I stumbled on the project just in time to pick up case #38. Case volume is 7.14L with space for a SFX PSU, m-itx board, dual slot GPU, and 4x SSDs.
The Salvo 400 is my 5th (?) small form factor case and may be my favorite yet. I'm coming from a larger console-styled case with similar layout and while I liked the case, I didn't love it. The Salvo 400 solves all 3 issues I had with my previous case:
- While the size difference does not appear dramatic at first glance, it is considerable: 12.23L vs 7.14L. It's the difference between looking like a small computer and looking like a large-ish console. I'm really digging the latter.
- The Salvo is also composed of two main pieces for the case body with eight screws holding them together and all components in the same compartment, with all fans facing the same direction. Hopefully this will allow for cooler operating temps in an horizontal orientation, though lack of compartmentalization could cause new thermal challenges.
- The Salvo's aluminum casing with powder-coated finish looks better than I expected. I wasn't a fan of all the perforations lining the case, and case noise will surely suffer, but I'm liking the aesthetic much more than I thought I would. Very industrial looking and stands out in a good way.
A few shortcomings:
- As with most itx builds, space is cramped. This was made worse by an included led control panel, eliminating SFX-L compatibility and eating up premium space between the PSU and GPU.
- There was a minor defect in the case finish. Extremely minor, but unfortunately for me it is on the front panel. Minor enough though that from the 10-foot test, it is not noticeable.
- Challenging build (not necessarily a con) with some unique implementations.
Benchmarks are still pending while I sort out software issues, but I think I'm done case-hunting for now.
TLDR: I knew this was a gamble going in, but I ended up being blown away by the quality and execution of this compact indie case.