Cheaper & Better? Montech Air 1000 Lite ATX Case Review

Cases, Reviews

Internal Features


The Air 1000 Lite has unrestricted interior space for motherboards up to 14.5” deep, but does not have the extra row of standoff mounts for the front edge of full-spec (13”) EATX motherboards. The more-common 10.6” oversized enthusiast boards will also encroach on power cord slots, which could make cabling messier than today’s standard ATX build. Also note all the extra holes on the forward portion of the motherboard tray, eight of which are useful for attaching additional 2.5” drives…with more than enough space to clear the 10.6” boards we just discussed.

The front panel includes two 120mm fans and can hold up to three 140mm fans, but whether it can hold a 3x140mm radiator is questionable, given that the case has only 43cm of space between the bottom panel and top port connectors.  While a 3x120mm radiator will certainly fit, the question of whether a 3x140mm unit’s end caps will clear internal obstacles remains.

Support for oversized radiators is enabled via a 60mm-deep hole in the top of the Air 1000 Lite’s power supply tunnel, but a 6mm fold on the edge of the lower drive cage reduces this space by as much. So there won’t be any 38mm-thick radiators mounted here, unless the builder chooses to mount the fans on the opposite side of the front sheet metal, which would require removing all the dust filter hardware. When using this feature for larger liquid cooling components, it’s best to stick with regular (25mm-thick) fans and radiators up to 28mm thick.

The Air 1000 Lite includes two 2.5” drive trays on the back of the motherboard tray, and a movable 3.5” drive cage inside the power supply tunnel. The 3.5” tray is flexible plastic with side pegs and is drilled to also support 2.5” drives, and comes loaded with a 3.5” form-factor cardboard box filled with mounting hardware. The top of the drive cage is also drilled for mounting a 2.5” or 3.5” internal drive.

Although the drive cage has two mounting positions, moving it forward to fit larger power supplies will cause it to encroach on radiator space.

Inside the accessory box are six #6-32 screws for power supply mounting and expansion slot replacements, eight #6-32 with smaller heads for 3.5” hard drive mounting, 33 M3 screws for the (nine) installed motherboard standoffs and (24) 2.5” drive mounting holes, a #2 Phillips adapter for standoff removal, a PC (beep code) speaker, a nylon hook & loop cable tie, and five plastic ratcheting cable ties.

Front-panel cables include USB3 Gen1, HD Audio, USB 2.0, Power LED, Hard drive LED, reset button, power button, and an mode button for an RGB controller that’s not included in this (Lite) version of the case. With nothing else to connect it to, we’d consider using it for CLR_CMOS if we were doing any serious overclocking in motherboard firmware. Not shown are the three 3-pin fan connectors.

Montech makes no pretense about its sliding cover being able to keep cards in place, and instead puts screws on all vented slot covers. This is a marked improvement over the break-out slot covers used on some of its earlier models.

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