Good people. I'm Dmitry. Welcome to my Ridge review from practical design. We've received many requests. We hear you loud and clear. This case is both really nice- upgrade to the note to two days- of Reviving some of the features that slim Tower designed that fit into 2022- like giving us an absolutely Overkill cooling for the GPU chamber while at the same time really on optimizing the actual metal structure layout for that GPU chamber. I bought an 80mm fan that is useless and we have curvy side panels, so this should be fun for you. Now some standout design features on this Ridge include this fabric mesh at the front.
It's not meant to be like a performance mesh. It's not going to let in a lot of air. I tried to blow through it. Nothing's coming out on the other end, but it's acting as a beautiful visual contrast to an otherwise kind of bland slim Tower. But man, what a good design, not just from the Aesthetics point of view with this like gray fabric over here, but this front. The panel is magnetic, easily removable, just pulls out without any tools required. You can pop it back in and if you have one of those small USB receivers for mice, for headsets, for keyboards, you don't have to remove them. They slide right in nice. Unfortunately, everything is so condensed here with the io, so if I have a my pretty wide SD card reader and I go to pull it out, I might accidentally press the power button because it's right there.
This thing also blocks our 3.5 and go to Jack, so that's a no-go. But if you're using something low profile, easy access to our USBC port and it's nice. I really like this tasteful power glow right in the front, nicely visible and hidden.
At the same time. The case can be positioned vertically, which is probably what I would recommend, just because you have unrestricted access for airflow on both sides. And it's nice and slim, would fit beside your monitor without it occupying too much real estate on your desktop.
But laying it horizontally is also an option if you try to stuff it into like a bookcase for a media PC. But I also pose the question on Twitter and Instagram about this case used as a shelf for your monitor. So two reasons why that might not be such a good idea. First of all, the case is very wide. It does not look good. Second of all, we have this top mesh here that you monitor would sit on top and that is your GPU chamber, so not ideal. It's going to get hot and it's going to be intaking a lot of air and, depending on the base of your monitor, you might block too much of it. The primary reason why the side panels are bendy is because we have one thumb screw at the back. You simply pull this out. It's got two pegs at the back as well, but the front has these like inserts. So to close the panel, you insert it and you kind of squeeze it like a door and that creates the curve on the side panel. Not a big deal, right? So in terms of storage, we have these very clever, toolless SSD mounts. I love that design over here, and the cables are facing the power supply, so in terms of cabling, it should be an issue, and we also have two more SSD mounts in the front right here. They should be also facing each other as well for some additional storage. There is no three and a half inch drive storage in here, which is totally fine. I mean, look at how thin this thing is. So, yeah, otherwise, very easy access to everything.
The top panel is removable, the middle spine is removable, the bottom panel is removable. Everything is disassembled into just like a raw frame that you can easily work into, but then you have to put everything back together. And speaking of back together, let's check out this message from our sponsor. This is the most desirable fan in the air Kingdom and she's looking for meat to release all the static pressure through the tiny gaps in the body of a radiator.
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And that is because the plastic pegs on this top panel, the one that hold the side panel in place, stick out and they make contact with the graphics card, and I cannot close the top panel, which is unfortunate, because you know what is the point of having two really powerful 140mm fans for the GPU chamber if you cannot even mount a properly high-end GPU in here? Now, interestingly, the top panel can support up to three 80 millimeter fans. This is X excellent if you don't want to utilize any of the side ventilation and instead want to use the tiny fans for exhausting air from this chamber. It does limit your GPU height to 125 maximheight instead of 137, which, with my standard GPU, is like right up against the fan, which is not ideal, but it is an option. So now let's move on to the assembly. To simplify Cable Management, definitely pre-route and also connect to Cable type points the cables for the power supply. Before inserting the power supply, just because the cable type points are really really close, check it out. This way you can plug in your cables afterwards and everything is nicely organized. In order to access the bottom right corner for the motherboard Mount, you have to unscrew the power supply extension, pull it back, and this way you have easy access for that mount. For the GPU installation. I would recommend removing the top panel and the middle spine, clearing up all the space and much easier to work in. And don't worry about reinstalling the fans. That's easy to do after the GPU is in there, because you have to screw them from this side. Don't need access from here for GPU installation. We have this metal bracket with our Riser cable that goes into the motherboard and we also have this extension that you have to install here to elevate the card so it doesn't bump into anything and properly get seated in the PCI slots.
All right, ngpu installation is complete. Now I can insert the fans, Mount the rest of the bracket, connect it and we're ready to fly. You absolutely should not place this case horizontally if you're speccing out your system. It will completely choke the CPU tower and you can see the temperatures absolutely Skyrocket both on the CPU- more so on the CPU- than the GPU. Surprisingly, I found that adding the 80 Miller fan while not running the side ventilation helps to remove some of the CPU heat that accumulates and, I guess, makes its way into the GPU chamber.
So if you are struggling with CPU temperatures, definitely adding an exhaust fan helps with that but at the same time significantly worsens your GPU temperature because no longer do we have something to intake for that GPU chamber and, by the way, you can run the side fans and the top fan simultaneously if you want to. I also set the side fans to exhaust just to see what's up. It significantly helps with CP you cooling again, because there's a lot of heat accumulates there and we can take it out. But it's also fighting air for the GPU and you can see the GPU is just suffering.
And so when we look at the entire ITX stack on the GPU side, Ridge have done a fantastic job. Those fans deliver a good amount of air. I mean it's way too much air. I'll talk about that in a second. But yeah, the GPU chamber is absolutely under control. Well done, Ridge. If you're building a gaming system with a focus on GPU cooling, this should be, you know, one of the considerations on your radar. On the CPU side, of course, you know we are a little toasty. It's subpar just because we don't have much clearance for the CPU. There's no exhaust for this CPU and, yeah, it's not ideal. But still, if you're focusing on the GPU side of things, the ridge delivers. Now, aside from temperatures, there's absolutely no reason you should be running those fans at 100. I don't know why fractal design did this. 1700 RPM means this case is an insanely Cloud. Also because the fans are so close to that side panel, it produces a really unpleasant sound. Take a listen, as you can hear.
Removing that side panel made the case so much quieter and if you want to have a decent experience with all side panels on, reduce the fan to 1000 RPM and you still get decent Temps. Now the Case is dead silent. This is what fractal design should have done from the start, including the same size fans but something lower RPM, because this GPU chamber doesn't need anything higher. I do want to say I like the ridge, I like the direction of the slim Tower, I like the design and if your primary focus is a gaming system with good GPU cooling, this is perfectly fine, and if you work within those parameters of not exceeding the certain maximheight for the graphics card, you would be fine. But my gosh, this GPU chamber could have been much better optimized because of the top panel and it's not.
On top of that, the included 1700 RPM 140mm fans are absolutely Overkill. In the noise Department, no ITX sff system should sound this loud at load. But also looking at the price perspective of 129 dollars with a gentle Riser cable is actually fairly decent. But there are a few things you should be aware of, like there's absolutely no dust filtration and with a system that is so heavily focused on negative air pressure of making sure that all you have is intake- that's kind of an issue- you're going to have a very dusty system in here very quickly. Also, make sure to install the side panels in the correct spot so they are reversible, so you can put the ventilation side on the other side and this one here so you can easily choke the CPU tower cooler if you're running with one of those. So just be mindful of that. But I still have a feeling that this would be a very popular Tower in the ITX space for the slim foam Factor. But man, if only fractal design Focus that five percent of expanding the top section to accommodate much larger gpus because of that additional cooling, I feel like it would have been like an absolute killer ITX case. It still is, as long as you work within its limitations. But yeah, let me know what you think of the new Ridge. Thanks so much for watching and, as always, spend responsibly, my friends.