FSP has introduced the cost-effective CST352 M-ATX compact case in both black and white color options. One of its striking features is the full-mesh design on every side, offering not just a clean and organized look but also excellent airflow. The CST352 design allows for rear motherboard mounting and has a unique expansion module, ensuring that users won’t be limited by the size constraints typical of M-ATX cases. Along with the case, an expansion compartment of the same color is included, and additional compartments can be bought separately if needed. This gives users the freedom to amplify the chassis size according to their needs.
- Model: CST352B/W
- Available Colors: Black, White
- Dimensions (LxWxH):
- Base: 391x205x325mm
- With Expansion: 391x205x362mm
- Supported Motherboards: Micro ATX, Mini-ITX
- Drive Bays:
- 3.5 inches: 6 slots
- 2.5 inches: 5 slots (using common mounting spaces)
- Front I/O: 2x USB3.0, Type-C, HD Audio
- Expansion Slots: 5
- Power Supply: Compatible with 150mm ATX / SFX
- CPU Cooler Height: Max 166mm
- Max GPU Length: 355mm
- Fan Support:
- Front: 120mm (1 slot)
- Top: 120mm (up to 3 slots) or 140mm (up to 2 slots)
- Bottom: 120mm (up to 3 slots) or 140mm (up to 2 slots)
- Rear: 120mm (1 slot) Note: Fan slots might be shared with HDD mounts. Availability might vary depending on the power supply or expansion compartment setup.
- Water Cooling: Supports 240mm or 280mm radiator.
- Included Fan: Rear 120mm (1 slot)
FSP CST352(B) black case unboxing
The CST352 boasts a compact M-ATX design, measuring 391x205x325mm initially. After the first expansion compartment is added, its dimensions extend to 391x205x362mm, but it retains its concise profile. In comparison with other models in the CST series, its modular nature provides greater flexibility for DIY enthusiasts who prefer smaller casings.
Featuring a full mesh design, the case includes a rear fan. For enhanced airflow, it’s advisable to add fans either at the top or bottom front. The mesh side panels can be manually removed without the need for tools, simplifying the assembly process.
The case offers a 5-slot PCIe mounting area. With an overhead power supply placement, it can accommodate graphics cards up to 355mm in length. Within the chassis, there’s a support bracket for the graphics card, and a 120mm fan can be positioned underneath the power supply to assist in GPU cooling.
Internally, besides supporting M-ATX motherboards, it’s also compatible with M-ITX. With an added expansion compartment, space is available for three 120mm fans or a mix of 3.5″ HDDs and 2.5″ SSDs. There’s also potential for a water cooling setup up to 280mm on top. Considering space constraints in compact systems, it’s suggested to utilize the provided power cord with the case to ensure safety and optimal fit.
The top and bottom panels of the FSP CST352 have identical dimensions and anchor points, allowing them to be swapped based on individual tastes. Originally, the IO interface on the case’s front panel is positioned on the bottom right. However, for those who prefer, it can be inverted. This IO interface has a power button, a combined headphone jack, two USB 3.0 ports, and one USB Type-C port.
Power supply installation At the hidden line
The FSP CST352 features a side panel that can be manually accessed through a slanted cutout at its back. The top and bottom of this panel are secured using a snap-in method. Once the side panel is removed, the first thing visible is the section at the bottom designated to cover the power supply. Above this, there’s a removable rack for the power supply, ensuring that cables are neatly concealed on the upper right-hand side of the case. Additionally, there’s a provision for a 120mm fan at the top rear of the case.
Upon manually detaching every panel, the bare structure of the FSP CST352 is revealed. Since it comes with additional expansion compartments, users can confidently install these after evaluating their hardware setup needs.
No subdivision hardware configuration, expansion compartment use
The FSP CST352 offers a unique design tailored for enthusiasts seeking a compact chassis. It accommodates most DIY hardware configurations without subdividing its space, is compatible with both Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards, and offers a 5-slot PCIe mounting area.
For cooling, the case can house:
- 1x 12cm fan in the front
- Up to 3x 12cm or 2x 14cm fans on the top
- 3x 12cm or 2x 14cm fans at the bottom
- Plus, an additional 12cm fan.
The CST352 showcases an innovative layout by shifting the power supply to the front and suspending it, thus optimizing the compactness of the M-ATX case. It’s advised to use the included FSP 150mm compact power supply, which pairs well with the in-box graphics card support bracket, accommodating GPUs up to 355mm long.
The rear of the case, beneath the pre-installed fan, provides slots for six 3.5″ or five 2.5″ hard drives (though note these slots are shared). Given the compact nature of the case, users need to plan carefully. The arrangement flexibility depends on individual hardware dimensions. For instance, when adding a fan to the bottom, the shared space with the PCIe must be considered.
The FSP CST352 is now available in both black and white. For those looking to personalize further, expansion compartments in various colors can be acquired from major retailers based on individual tastes. With the included expansion compartment installed, the overall case height grows by just around 3.5 centimeters. For those attentive to cooling needs, there’s the option to equip an all-in-one water cooling setup, compatible with either a 240mm or 280mm system.
With the official setup utilizing a 150mm compact power supply, the FSP CST352 case has been designed to offer power supply routing on the upper right side, ensuring ease of cable management.
Hardware configuration installation sequence, side panel routing recommendations
The FSP CST352 features a front-suspended power supply design. Given its proximity to the rear fan, the power supply’s length is restricted to under 15cm. For optimal setup, it’s advised to use the original power cord, threading it through the power routing hole located on the case’s right side. For tidier cable management, motherboard wires can be directed back to the right panel. Any extra cables can be neatly secured using FSP’s original “devil’s felt.”
Installing a 240mm radiator on top of the FSP CST352 can be a bit challenging given its compact design, putting the cable management skills of DIY enthusiasts to the test. The I/O cables, when connected to the motherboard’s top, might feel snug. To facilitate a smoother assembly, it’s recommended for users to follow this sequence: motherboard > power supply > connect power cord > storage device > radiator > graphics card. Adhering to this order can help streamline the installation process.
Installation completed, and heat dissipation test
After the assembly is completed, considering the constraints of the small M-ATX case, the inclusion of the original 150mm ATX power cord, and the addition of an expansion compartment, integrating a top fan or water cooling system emerges as a suitable choice for optimal heat dissipation. One should also factor in the size of the power supply and the positioning of the graphics card. If you opt for a shorter graphics card, you can remove the graphics card support bracket to free up more space for versatile cable management.
- Processor: Intel Core i9-12900K
- Motherboard: ASRock B760M PG SONIC WiFi
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti
- Memory: CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB DDR5-6400 16G*2
- Operating System: Windows 11 PRO
- Cooling: 240mm AIO Radiator
- Power Supply: FSP 1000W Hydro Ti Pro
The FSP CST352 combines aesthetic simplicity with functional design, characterized by its full-mesh chassis that promotes effective heat dissipation without compromising its sleek look. It features buckle-style side panels, facilitating quick and manual disassembly and reassembly. A standout feature is its versatility; the case can be flipped upside down, and the front IO panel is detachable and reversible. This ensures the body can be positioned to the right of a screen without any compatibility issues, enhancing assembly convenience.
Yet, while the case offers flexibility in assembly, it does challenge DIY enthusiasts when it comes to selecting the right hardware and managing cables, especially if one aims for a high-standard configuration within this small M-ATX chassis.
A signature aspect of the CST352 is its innovative use of the expansion compartment, promoting limitless installation possibilities. This grants DIY enthusiasts greater freedom in their setups, whether they opt for a 240mm or 280mm integrated water cooling system, an added hard drive, or a fan. The expansion space is adaptably versatile. Currently, the expansion compartments in both black and white are available for $590. The main case itself is priced at $1,990 for the black variant and $2,090 for the white one. With its support for back-mounted motherboards, the CST352 is a valuable reference for those passionate about creating their custom small M-ATX build.
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Title: FSP CST352 Review: Modular M-ATX Chassis with Infinite Expansion Potential