Xigmatek Spirit M Review – A Compact Mini Tower PC Case
Today we are going to take a look at one of Xigmatek’s latest PC case, the Xigmatek Spirit M, designed for users who want something small and compact, and at the same time budget friendly. The Spirit M is a mini tower PC case and the smaller brother of the Xigmatek Spirit mid tower case. It has a small foot print compared to other cases that can accommodate M-ATX and ITX motherboards. It also has the enough ventilation and water cooling support to keep your system running cool. Are you in the market looking for a compact mini tower case? Check out my Xigmatek Spirit M review below.
Xigmatek Spirit M Mini Tower Features
The Xigmatek Spirit M mini tower case has a compact body design with a minimalistic approach. Despite being small, the company was able to make room for up to 7x 120mm fans, with support for water cooling setup.
According to the company, the Spirit M “uses a new case design, with the most advanced concepts of integrated cooling solutions exceeding the cooling capabilities of the original chassis. You can now install two sets of 240mm radiators and an additional 120mm radiator giving you cooling effectiveness comparable to a Super Tower.”
The Spirit M also supports high-speed USB 3.0 ports located on its front panel, and it can support up to two high end graphics card in SLI or CrossfireX mode. There are also hidden slots that can support up to 2 SSDs or 1 HDD, located on the other side of the case.
- Spirit series exterior design
- Front panel designed with high airflow inlet
- Independent front I / O panel – easy to remove front panel (won’t interfere with wires)
- Removable 5.25“ rack, for greater airflow and ease of installing 240 radiator
- Can install 240 radiator on front and top
- Mesh PCI slots for greater airflow
- Hidden HDD, 3.5 ”x1 or 2.5“ x2 on the back of the motherboard tray increases internal airflow
- Detachable dust filter on the base of chassis
Xigmatek Spirit M Specifications
|Product Name||Spirit - M|
|Material||SECC with black coating
ABS, Steel mesh
|Dimension||Chassis body with panel and foot
|Drive Bay||5.25" External x 1
3.5" Internal 2 + 1 compatible with 2.5”
2.5" Internal 1 + 2 compatible with 3.5”
|Expansion Slot||4 slots, tool free PCI slot covers|
|Motherboard Support||ITX, Micro-ATX ( excluding motherboards with horizontally facing SATA ports. )
9.6" x 8.6" Micro-ATX ;
9.6" x 9.6" Micro-ATX with removal of 5.25" Optical Disc Drive
|Power Supply||Standard PS/2 ATX or EPS|
|Cooling System||Front Fan : 2 x 120mm fans optional
Rear Fan : 1 x 120mm Fan Preinstalled 120mm silent Orange Xigmatek 1200RPM
Side Fan : 2 x 120/140mm fans optional
Top Fan : 2 x 120/140mm fans optional
|Water cooler||Front 240mm water cooler optional,
Top 240mm water cooler optional,
Rear 120mm water cooler optional.
|I/O Panel||USB3.0*2 and downward USB2.0 support by internal 19pin, HD Audio in/out jacks|
|CPU Cooler||140mm height support|
|Max GPU length||350mm|
Packaging and Closer Look
The Xigmatek Spirit M comes in your typical PC case box. The features and specifications are printed on the sides of the box. Aside from the case, what I got are hard drive mounting brackets, tie wire, some screws and a manual.
If you are familiar with Xigmatek’s Spirit mid tower case, then you will notice that the front panel design is very much familiar. The cut-out lines, including the ones that you see on the side of the front panel, serve as ventilation for front air intake. The left side of the case is pretty much plain and simple.
There are four PCIE slots at the back that can accommodate up to two graphics card in SLI or CrossfireX configuration. The rear exhaust supports 120mm fan and the height can slightly be adjusted.
Meanwhile on the right side portion, you can see more cut-outs. The right side panel can support up to 2x 120mm fan, either for intake of exhaust. However, dust filters are nowhere to be found on the Spirit M except the dust filter located on the bottom of the PSU.
On top of the Xigmatek Spirit M are more ventilation holes that can support up to two 120mm fan or a 240mm radiator. I find the upper ventilation very tight and crowded already if you install a 240mm radiator on top.
The front panel features two USB 3.0 ports, a 3.5mm headphone and microphone port, an HDD and power LED indicator, a reset and power button. The power LED indicator turns blue but I find the light too strong, enough to reach the room’s ceiling.
The side panels of the Spirit M are somewhat thin and lightweight, and can be bend by hand if applied with the enough force. The interior of the Spirit M looks spacious and uncluttered, makes it easy to work with even if you have bigger hands. There is a huge hole on the motherboard tray for easy installation of aftermarket air or water cooling bracket.
The drive cage below can be removed if you have other plans for the lower section of the case. On top is a 5.25″ external bay for optical drives or other accessories. Unfortunately it’s not tool-less, even the PCIE slots are not tool-less.
There are enough holes on the motherboard tray, even for the cables. But it doesn’t have a sufficient gap between the tray and the side panel for the cables. When you put back the left side panel, there is a big possibility that the cables will be pressed, specially if the cables run through the lower portion.
The Xigmatek Spirit M has four circular hard plastic feet which is enough to support the weight of the case. There is also a removable dust filter for the power supply, and this is the only dust filter on the case.
You can install a radiator with two 120mm fans in front of the Spirit M. You can only install your radiator and fan in one orientation, the fans are located in front and the radiator is on the inside.
Xigmatek Spirit M Build
Here are photos of how the Xigmatek Spirit M will look like with the components installed. So far so good, and I didn’t have a hard time installing the components inside the case. For this build I am using an Asus Maximus VI Impact mini ITX motherboard, a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card, Cooler Master V550 semi modular power supply, Enermax LiqTech 240 All-in-One water cooler, two WD hard drives, Silicon Power S60 SSD and the Kingston HyperX Fury SSD.
Obviously not the best cable management, but as you can see there is still plenty of room for air to pass through easily, and space for longer graphics card. The only problem that I encountered with the Spirit M is the additional (hidden) drive slots located on the other side and just below the 5.25″ drive bay. You can install a 2.5-inch storage drive either on the inside or back side portion for the one with a horizontal orientation. But the problem lies with the other 2.5-inch storage slot in the vertical position.
As shown in the picture above, there are four holes for a 2.5-inch drive. The problem with this setup, and I have seen this in several different chassis as well, is that there is very little (no) gap between the storage drive and the metal base putting unnecessary pressure on the cables (specially the SATA power connector). I was not able to install the SSD on this portion because it will put force on the SATA power cable and connector, and most probably bend the SATA fingers on the SSD.
In the end I just left the SSD hanging on the other side. Despite having very little room for cables to run through on the lower section, I was able to close the left side panel. Although I think that the side panel somewhat bend or bulged on the lower portion.
Price and Availability
The Xigmatek Spirit M mini tower case is now available. As of the date of posting this review, its has a retail price of $44.99 and you can order one from Newegg here.
Xigmatek Spirit M Review: Conclusion
Now for the conclusion part: I wasn’t expecting much from the Xigmatek Spirit M, considering that this is a budget case. There are other mini towers or cube type cases, like the BitFenix Prodigy M and Fractal Design Node 804, that also offers a small footprint and are designed to support M-ATX and ITX motherboards. However, I just felt that the Prodigy M is too cluttered and somewhat difficult to work with. Meanwhile I don’t have any problems with the Fractal Design Node 804 but it comes with a much higher price tag. There are other cases out there which I haven’t tried, but it’s either they came with a higher price tag or cheap but just doesn’t deliver.
The Xigmatek Spirit M seems to offer the best of both worlds, having a much lower price tag and at the same time has the features that most system builders are looking for. It’s not the most solid and sturdy case out there, others might refer to it as somewhat flimsy. But it’s lightweight and sturdy enough to support your system. I was a bit surprised when I got the package since the box was really light for a PC case. I thought the box was empty with only the Styrofoam inside.
The only thing that I didn’t like was how the hidden storage slot was implemented. Please Xigmatek do not repeat the mistake of what other PC case manufacturers are doing, and put an enough space between the SSD or HDD from the base, so that the SATA cables and SATA power connectors can easily be installed and removed without putting pressure on the cables or connectors.
Aside from that, the rest are all positives about the Spirit M chassis for me. This is definitely a great mini tower chassis considering the set of features that it can offer and the reasonably affordable price tag as well. I don’t have any problems recommending this specially to system builders or users who are on a budget. If you are in the market looking for a mini tower case, definitely consider the Xigmatek Spirit M as one of your option.