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FSP CMT212A Review

Introduction

FSPs CMT212A case tries to combine the best of both worlds. A full mesh- front panel provides near-to-perfect intake, and full front panel RGB creates stunningly looking front RGB effects. Let's take a closer look!

 

 

Positive

  • Good Frontal Intake
  • 3x Included Front Fans
  • 1x Included Exhaust Fan
  • Affordable

Neutral

  • "Okay" quality
  • "Okay" feet

Negative

  • Fans could be PWM

 

What's in the Box?

The FSP CMT212A is a very specific case. Similar to what Montech offers with some of their cases, FSP's attempt is aimed at people that want an affordable case that is ready to go without the hassle of additional and potentially expensive non-performing components.

 

fsp-cmt212A-unbxoed

 

Therefore, a lot of the CTM212A has been stripped down in favor of a more affordable price tag. Like e. g the packaging.

 

The CMT212A comes in a very old-school brown carton box featuring some styrofoam blocks and a protective bag. Inside the case, we will only find the mandatory bag of screws and additional mounting hardware.

Specs

Even if the FSP CMT212A is aimed toward the ready-to-go and budget-oriented market, this doesn't mean that compatibility was left behind. Down below we added a short summary of the spec sheet:

Name FSP CMT212A
Color Black
Type Mid-Tower
Mainboard Size

ATX

microATX

miniITX

PSU Size

<150mm

Expandable by removing HDD cage

PSU Position Separate compartment in the bottom
Side Panel Tempered Glass Side Panel
Front Panel Mesh
CPU Cooler Height < 160mm
GPU Length < 320mm
3.5" Drives 2x
2.5" Drives 2x
IO

2x USB 3.0

1x USB 2.0

Dimensions 410x210x441mm (DxWxH)
Fan Spots

Front: 3x 120mm

Top: 2x 120mm

Rear: 1x120mm

Included Fans

Front: 3x120mm

Rear; 1x120mm

Water Cooling

Front: <= 240mm

Top: Theoretically 240mm, but only without VRM heatsink

Extras Front Panel has a reflective sheet that lights the complete front panel up.

Compatibility

Motherboard

fsp-cmt212A-mobo

 

As far as motherboards are concerned, the CMT212A can support the usual form factors. ATX, microATX, and miniITX all fit inside.

 

We would just like to note that not all spacers are pre-installed for ATX motherboards. The missing spacers are included inside the bag of mounting hardware, however.

PSU

fsp-cmt212A-psu

 

By default, the CMT212A can support an up to 150mm long PSU inside its own compartment in the bottom featuring a sneak-peak hole.

If the user wishes, he can remove the HDD cage in front of the PSU enlarging the maximum PSU length to the case's full length.

GPU

fsp-cmt212A-gpu

 

As far as GPU length is concerned, the case supports a maximum GPU length of 320mm. This would accommodate for e. g a Zotac 3080ti Trinity. For 4000- Series GPUs however, there is no GPU released so far that would make it inside of this case.

CPU Cooler

fsp-cmt212A-cpu

 

For CPU cooling, we can go with up to 160mm high cooler. This would allow coolers such as Noctua's NH-U12A and be quiet!'s Dark Rock Pro 4 to fit in.

Fans

In total, we can fit up to 6x 120mm Fans. 3 in the Front, 2x in the top, and 1x in the back.

 

fsp-cmt212A-fans

 

However, we don't have to. As this is a beginner-friendly- and budget-oriented case, FSP made sure to design the case in a ready-to-go state. By default, there are 3x 120mm front intake and 1x 120mm exhaust back fans included, pre-installed, and pre-daisy-chained.

 

fsp-cmt212A-3-pin

 

Although we love these types of things, we would have wished for the fans to be PWM controllable instead of 3-pin Voltage controlled.

Watercooling

fsp-cmt212A-design1

 

In terms of water cooling, the CMT212A is really not the best case for the job.

The only position in which water cooling radiators are supported out of the box is the front. Here we can install an up to 240mm radiator.

 

fsp-cmt212A-rad

 

Although the Front comes with 3x 120mm fan support, the needed space to accommodate the radiator's edges and hoes just isn't present inside the CMT212.

Cable Management

Although the CMT212 was able to score many performance and compatibility points, the cable management fell into the hole of budget friendly-ness.

 

fsp-cmt212A-holes

 

Other than a couple of holes around the motherboard area and a bunch of zip-tie slots in the back, there is very little to say.

IO

fsp-cmt212A-io

 

Similarly to the case's cable management capabilities, the IO fell into the same hole. With only 2x USB 3.0 and 1x USB 2.0 ports, it does the job, but nothing more.

Cooling

Although the last two categories looked quite dark, the cooling capabilities are everything but dark. In fact, they light up in every imaginable color.

 

fsp-cmt212A-mesh

 

The CMT212's complete front panel is made out of a thin mesh filter. Thanks to the huge amount of mesh with very little to no other obstructions, the case has near-to-perfect air intake. 

This alone allows the case to be a significantly better performing case compared to other cases in this category.

Design

Similarly to the frontal cooling, the case's design is also quite unique in this tier- and price category.

 

fsp-cmt212A-design2

 

The case itself looks relatively simple with not many outstanding aspects. The front however is a totally different story.

From top to bottom, the front panel lights up. Thanks to some RGB strips hidden inside the front panel, the case uses a white sheet that reflects said light and thus, light up in every color you want.

 

fsp-cmt212A-design3

 

Mixing this effect with the 3-pin ARGB connection allows you to create your own personal lighting show.

Installation

While reviewing the case, we performed a total of 3 complete builds inside the case.

In each of these builds, we did not encounter any major issues or notable complications.

 

fsp-cmt212A-psu-hole

 

However, one thing that did stand out slightly, was the added workload due to the case being purely budget-friendly.

Although this did not make things incredibly harder, we did feel like we were stuck in a time machine.

 

fsp-cmt212A-glass

 

The IO cables from the front panel are passing through the front panel before entering the main chassis, making the removal process significantly more annoying.

The Cable Cutouts are particularly well planned, or enjoyable. - They still do their job though.

Except for the first one, every PCIe slot is break-out only.

There are no perforation holes on top of the PSU shroud.

 

fsp-cmt212A-pcie-slots

 

Although all of these points can be counted as negative aspects, we are aware that we are working with a beginner-friendly budget case, not a 150€ premium mid-tower.

Conclusion

Overall, we were quite surprised with the CMT212A.

It is definitely a budget-oriented case with many missing aspects such as proper cable management, rubberized holes, a good IO, ...

 

fsp-cmt212A-design6

 

However, even if all of that is true, it still was able to score the three most important points of its category: Price, Cooling Performance, and being Ready-to-Go.

Additionally to that, the case looks significantly better than expected, the ARGB effect of the front panel is not only beautiful and vibrant, and the overall quality lacks not that much.

 

The only note about the quality we would like to make is that there was a scratch on our PSU tunnel.

 

fsp-cmt212A-psu-scratch

 

Thanks to the 4x included 120mm fans (although they are not amazing), they are definitely capable of getting a relatively good system going. This paired with the excellent airflow that the front provides creates a perfect beginner case.

 

fsp-cmt212A-design9

 

Due to all of the positive aspects, we can absolutely recommend the CMT212A for all types of budget-oriented or beginner/quick builds. As long as it is paired with a relatively capable cooler, the case will be perfectly able to handle it while looking stunning!

strumace
Introduction
What's in the Box?
Specs
Compatibility
Cable Management
IO
Design
Conclusion
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