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Travla C137 Mini-ITX Case Review
Posted on October 8, 2003

Click to launch image viewer

Time to try out a couple of different PCI risers (right angled PCI extenders used to fit PCI cards parallel to the motherboard). The Travla C137 comes as standard with a single slot riser card...

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...but can also accept a 2 slot riser card (such as the one made by VIA). This is only possible when using 0.75" high 3.5" hard drives, or ideally 2.5" laptop sized hard drives. We only had a 1" high 3.5" hard drive handy. PCI blanking plates are provided if you don't want to use one/both of the slots.

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The C137 requires an extension riser card with standard Mini-ITX motherboards - this fits between the PCI card and PCI riser card. We've removed it from the picture to show the gap that is left otherwise. One extension riser card comes with the C137.

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The rear of the case with a motherboard fitted and the top back on. The C137 is specified as compatible with Classic EPIA, EPIA V and EPIA M motherboards. These all worked fine in testing, as did an EPIA CL 6000. We then tried ours with a couple of EPIA CL 10000s (as pictured), but the boards had powering up problems. We now understand this to be a "timing issue", and Casetronic and VIA engineers are working on a solution...

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When powered up, the splendid blue power LED is revealed. More shiny blue things please. Did anyone notice the hidden additional photos? Click open an image and cycle through them all using the image viewer.

Conclusion

The Travla C137 is a very well put together case that is more solid and professional looking than the Cubid 26xx cases - its nearest competitor in size and appearance. The slot on the front of the case for a compact flash adapter to sit behind is a nice touch, though it would have been nicer if a suitable adapter had been provided. Some users may prefer front mounted USB or Firewire ports, but there is space for the EPIA M expansion card at the rear of the case. The 90W and 120W PSU options will be enough to drive power hungry PCI cards, and adds P4 Micro-ATX motherboard compatibility - expanding the potential market for Casetronic. The 60mm case fan isn't as quiet as the (slower spinning) fan on the very quiet Cubid 3677/3688 cases, though that fan probably isn't able to handle cooling a 3.5" HD, P4 motherboard and 2 PCI cards. We think a Zalman Fan Mate would be a very useful (and simple) addition, to slow the fan down slightly. Usefully, the Travla C137 supports 2 PCI cards on an EPIA in a small form factor, something no other mainstream case can currently do. The Travla C137 certainly wouldn't look out of place as a Server or Industrial PC, or next to a digital cable or satellite unit as a Home Theatre PC.

*Shameless plug*
You can buy this case from the Mini-ITX Online Store!



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