Today we have Montech’s AIR 1000 LITE Black ATX mid-tower case on the bench. The Air 1000 Lite is toward the base model in the Air 1000 family, sitting below the PREMIUM but above the SILENT, and represents a solid full feature entry-level mesh front panel case into the ATX case market from Montech, a relatively new PC case manufacturer from Taiwan, and goes for $69.99 on Amazon and Newegg.
The Montech Air 1000 Lite Case
Montech uses a standard ATX layout with a partially separated PSU compartment at the bottom of the case and a full-size easy swivel glass side panel window mounted on a hinge. Montech ships the Air 1000 Lite with three high airflow fans, with two 120mm installed in the top two front fan positions and one in the single 120mm rear fan position.
Up to three more fans may be installed, with two fan positions on the top of the case supporting 120mm and 140mm fans, and a third 120mm fan installed on the front fan mount, which can also support up to three 140mm fans. This brings fan support to a total of up to six fan positions, with five supporting 120mm and 140mm and one limited to 120mm fans. The fans are AIR FAN P120s using 3-pin DC. It is tuned to a high 55 CFM of airflow but can be kept quiet at a minuscule 23 dBA.
CPU coolers up to 165mm are supported, which is enough clearance for all but the tallest tower coolers and leaves plenty of room for the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 used for the review. Radiators are supported at up to 280mm (140mm x 2) or 360mm (120mm x 3) on the front, 240mm (120mm x 2) or 280mm (140mm x 2) on the top, and 120mm on the rear.
While there is room for three 140mm fans to be mounted up front, Montech likely stopped short of officially supporting a 420mm radiator in the front position due to limited clearance.
GPUs of up to 340mm in length are supported, however, the installation of a radiator on the front panel will restrict GPU length, with Montech giving a rough 310mm clearance measurement – this will vary with radiator and fan thickness. The ASUS ROG STRIX RX 5700 XT O8G GAMING previously reviewed measures only a meager 305mm and does not present an installation challenge when used in the Air 1000 Lite.
PSUs of up to 180mm in length are supported with the HDD cage in the bottom of the case installed or up to 200mm with the cage removed. The Seasonic Focus GX1000 in the review rig is a scant 140mm in length and didn’t require moving the HDD cage to its forward position in order to be installed, but power supplies in the more typical 170mm range or longer will definitely benefit from the extra space made available by moving the HDD cage. For this review, the HDD cage has been moved to the forward position in order to ease power supply installation and cable routing. There are 2x pre-installed cable management grommets and 3x Velcro loops for cable management.
Speaking of drive bays, the Air 1000 Lite can support two 3.5” or two 2.5” drives in the HDD cage, with an additional pair of 2.5” drives installed behind the motherboard tray, and two more 2.5” drives supported on the front side of the motherboard tray itself. These mounts on the front of the motherboard tray are well-positioned to be used if needed, as they do not overhang any of the cable routing cutouts.
Montech supplies a convenient pop-up air filter for the case front and a pull-out filter for the PSU for the bottom PSU intake vent and quick slide dust filter. The implementation is slick and something we’d like to see from more case manufacturers.
Tempered Glass Panel
Montech has outfitted the Air 1000 Lite with an untinted tempered glass panel that covers the entire left side of the case and is attached using two rear hinges and a pair of fairly strong magnets placed on the front edge. To ease opening the case, a strong nylon tab has been fixed to the front edge of the panel. The glass panel has a zero drill hole design, which improves structural integrity.
The hinged design is very convenient when the enclosure is sitting in its normal vertical position. However, when working inside the case with the case laid down on a table, we’d advise removing the glass panel first. This is because the hinges do not have any mechanism for securing the panel, which can be lifted up off of the hinge posts once opened to around 30 degrees. A catch would be appreciated here, though the design is simple in implementation and doesn’t impede work inside the case so long as the panel is removed before placing the case on its side.
Top and I/O Panel
The top I/O panel consists of the standard fare: power and reset buttons, separate 3.5mm headphone output and microphone input jacks, and two each of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0type-A ports. Missing is a USB Type-C port. There is also an LED button that is linked to an LED lead that is a part of the main case-control bundle that plugs into the motherboard, which is used for an LED control module that Montech ships with the Air 1000 Premium.
The front filter is also accessed from the top. By pushing down on the top of the filter, the filter is released and pops up a short distance. The filter can then be pulled straight up to remove for cleaning or increased airflow if desired.
The toolless quick release front panel removable case front panel consists of a large mesh panel that is flanked by front-facing vents on either side. The front panel itself is removed by pulling straight back, starting from the bottom, and houses the front filter. It is a toolless quick-release format. Removal is necessary to access the front fan mounts and is fairly straightforward as there are no cable connections.
Two of the three 120mm fans Montech has installed can be found behind the front panel. These are secured with standard fan screws and mounted appropriately for stock use.
We also recognize that Gamer’s Nexus found an issue with the diameter of the pores in the Air 1000 Lite’s front panel mesh and that Montech has stated that they have a program in place (info in the link) to swap out front panels if contacted by verified purchasers. Our review sample has the original mesh design, which uses 2.0mm diameter holes.
The Montech Air 1000 Lite supports standard ATX, Micro-ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards, and has appropriate standoffs preinstalled for ATX. There are plenty of routing cutouts situated around the ATX-spec motherboard region with the two cutouts in front of the ATX region fitted with rubber grommets. These are not fixed with any sort of glue or adhesive and definitely will pop off if not treated carefully, but in general, they stay in place and are fairly easy to get situated again if the grommets do become removed temporarily.
Power Supply Compartment
Montech has provided plenty of room for larger power supplies and power supplies with many power leads. Shorter power supplies will provide more room to work, yet even a longer unit will not prevent the use of the included HDD cage. The Air 1000 Lite also has four rubber pads to help dampen vibrations produced by a power supply.
The HDD cage can be moved from its default position to a position about 20mm further toward the front of the case. This allows for more room for the PSU and PSU cables at the expense of some flexibility for potential water-cooling installations. There is still plenty of space for a third 140mm fan if desired.
Montech Air 1000 Lite Specifications
|Materials||Steel, Tempered Glass|
|Dimensions L x W x H (mm)||416mm x 220mm x 490mm|
|Maximum CPU Cooler Height||165mm|
|Maximum GPU Length||340mm|
|Total Expansion Slots||7|
|Motherboard Size Support||ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX|
|Input / Output Panel||2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio in / out|
|Power Supply Support||ATX, up to 180mm with hard drive cage installedMontech claims up to 200mm with the drive cage removed|
|Internal 3.5″ / 2.5” Mounts||Two, one with a removable tray|
|Internal 2.5″ Mounts||Two forward of the motherboard, two behind the motherboard tray|
|Included Fans||120mm rear mount2x 120mm on front mounts|
|Front Fan Positions||3 x 120mm / 140mm|
|Top Fan Positions||2 x 120mm / 140mm|
|Radiator Support||Top: up to 240mm or 280mmFront: up to 280mm or 360mm|
|Warranty||Contact Montech: https://www.newegg.com/Seller-Store/MONTECH/about?position=return|