Jonsbo RM2 Review
Ever looked at the back of one of those cheap microATX cases and went “hey, if the opening for component x is moved elsewhere, would I be able to fit a bigger board in this microATX?”
The minimalist block of aluminium on the left — well, grills notwithstanding — is the Jonsbo RM2, which is one of Jonsbo’s full-size ATX cases that is actually smaller than a tower MicroATX case.
No really; the case on the right is a Headway MicroATX, and those are my toes, unintentionally, to scale.
To all those already on their picoPSU thin clients or laptops, this one is still a little too big (um, rather, a lot too big). But the point is it fits a full size ATX board.
I can only list two officially produced, non-hobbyist cases that are the same size or smaller — one of which isn’t in production anymore, and one of which is, surprise surprise, its predecessor the RM1.
The side of the case is just shy of the size of a bog standard ATX mobo box. With a width of ~210mm, this gives us a volume of approx 21.5 Liters. The RM2 can’t be considered Small Form Factor then, as Intel’s definition says the volume must be below 20 Liters - but there’s still the novelty of stuffing a full size ATX board into a case about the size of the subwoofer of a home entertainment system.
You do have to make some sacrifices for this size though - there’s no place to put any optical drives or internal card readers. The board pretty much takes up almost all of the case on its own.. If you need this sort of thing, either use external ones or look for a different case, like Jonsbo’s slightly larger W2.
Jonsbo’s earlier RM1 did include an opening for an optical drive, which can be added at the cost of the very last 2 slots on an ATX mobo. As we can see, the option to do that doesn’t seem to be popular enough to keep in the face of the tri-Fire and quad-SLI dream.
Helpfully provided (read: sold to me!) is a relatively old setup that is still somewhat relevant:today:
- i5-2500K (Stock cooler)
- MSI P67A-GD55
- DDR3 1600ghz 8GB (2X4GB)
- Radeon HD 6950 2GB
- Samsung EVO 850 250GB
Yes, that is a rather long video card (~270mm worth of video card mind, longest I’ve seen by far), and it still fits. One could probably do SLI or Crossfire, but you’d need a better cooling solution for that for higher end video cards with less than ideal thermal design.
The trick to getting an ATX board to fit perfectly is to consider where the power supply ends up. It should “float” above the processor, where the PSU fan itself serves as an additional fan. You can use any plain ol’ ATX power supply here, at the cost of being restricted by the height of the CPU fan.
Jonsbo seems to have tailored the height of the case to the default fans included with any AMD or Intel processor. The RM2 has 95mm of CPU fan clearance so any flat-mount cooler will work, but tower coolers are right out — they are simply too tall.
The most important thing to remember here is that the power supply should be mounted last - and it should be connected before mounting. The PSU’s position on this board makes it impossible to access the RAM, SATA ports, board power connectors and jumpers once the screws are in. Getting at the PCI and PCIe will also be tricky. I would recommend using a modular PSU to avoid cable management nightmares.
Mounting hard disks in the RM2 proves to require a little ingenuity, as the manufacturer has not included any caddy whatsoever. Jonsbo seems to expect you to use 2.5” laptop drives, which certainly can be balanced/screwed onto what looks like a support strut, but it seems to have no issues holding a 3.5” drive, as long as 2 screws at least are used.
The RM2 is available in Black, Silver and a slightly more expensive Red. The silver one is available from local retailers; other colors may have to be ordered in.The MSRP for the silver RM2 S$129 undiscounted. I’m sure standard ATX cases can be had for less than half of this amount, but how many would look right at home in a living room or bookcase?
Besides, unless you really need the optical drives and such or more hard disk space, you are paying for a product that the likes of Silverstone and Lian Li technically don’t sell as of yet — and they would probably charge at least S$50 bucks more even if they did.
By the way, yes, it does Blender. Any other questions?