The CMT340 PC Case from FSP
The CMT340 is a compact version of the CMT510 and made from SPCC steel, plastic, and tempered glass. It has a sleek look and an RGB lighting presentation with up to 20 different lighting combinations to give you that vibe you’re looking for.
The Presentation of the CMT340
The CMT340 arrives in a rugged cardboard box with standard packing tape covering the top and sides of the box. The packing materials do include foam end caps to safeguard the corners of the case during shipping, and a plastic bag to prevent any scratches.
I followed the manufacturer’s removal instructions on the box. The CMT340 was packed with the front panel facing down. While removing the case from the bag, a loose screw fell out. Upon closer inspection, I found that the screw came from the side panel of the tempered glass; however, it looks like it may have fallen out during shipping, since the case sits on its back when in the box. I simply put the screw back in its spot.
FSP’s CMT340 Design
The front and sides of the CMT340 consist of tempered glass within a sleek black frame. The other side panel is a plain black cover. The tinted glass in the front helps keep the slick look, while showing off the three preinstalled addressable RGB fans. The front of the case can also hold a 360mm radiator.
Removing the front panel requires some work. You have to open both side panels to get to the screws that hold the front panel in place. You can loosen the screws by hand or with a Philips screwdriver, but the screws are in a tight area, so I couldn’t use my hands that well.
The tempered glass front panel provides about 0.5 cm of space for airflow along the edges of the front of the case. We had some concerns about this, so we reached out to FSP. They explained that this was a design choice for aesthetic purposes. There is no mesh air filter on the front panel, and wider gaps could cause more dust intake. And for those with very young children, the wider gaps could potentially be a hazard for tiny fingers.
They also explained that having a mesh filter on the front panel would ruin one of the main aesthetic features of the case by blocking the intake and lights coming from the fan – thus defeating the purpose of the tempered glass visibility panel.
The design of the side panel is a bit different from others I’ve seen and used before. It’s unique. This tempered glass panel opens like a normal side panel – the screws are on the back of the case and you slide the panel off. This panel felt secure enough that I didn’t worry about the tempered glass sliding out of its frame mounting while removing or replacing the panel. The panel on the other side is a standard black panel that mounts with two screws to the back of the case
Top and Back
The top of the case has a magnetic dust filter that covers the majority of the area. Although there are no fans preinstalled at the top of the case, there is enough space there for a fan combination of 2 x 120mm fans, 2 x 140mm fans or a 240mm radiator.
At the front of the top are two USB3.0 ports, and an audio and mic jack. Next to the I/Os is the power button and RGB button, which is actually the reset button from what the cable management labels show.
The back of the case has the usual set up with 7 PCI slots and a bracket to hold the PCI cards in place.
The CMT340 has feet at the bottom for floor space and airflow to the dedicated venting area for the PSU. Along with the PSU shroud, that is one of my favorite features in cases. The bottom panel vent has a dust filter – a screen that slides in and out against the panel. Removing and replacing it is relatively simple. But we suggest wiping it off with a dust rag before removing it, to prevent dust from the screen getting into the case. Or have some compressed air on hand to blow out the case and screen.
We shared our notes about this issue with FSP, and they agreed that our concerns were valid. They did mention that a magnetic filter or a simple push-in/out filter would be considered for future upgrades.
Lighting up the CMT340
The main feature of theCMT340 is the RGB lighting for the fans. The case does not have any other lighting features. The fan hub is the brain and brawn of the entire case, providing 20 different lighting modes. It is:
- Powered by a Molex cable from the PSU.
- Controlled through the reset button on top of the case.
- Able to connect up to 6 RGB LED fans.
- Able to connect to compatible motherboards that provide RGB lighting options:
Going through each lighting mode is a treat on its own, and adding a compatible motherboard just makes the feature even juicier. You can switch between the default modes and motherboard by cycling through the modes until the fans flash two times in white. The controller board will have a lit green indicator telling you its ready for motherboard RGB input.
Inside the FSP CMT340
The CMT340 provides just enough space to squeeze in an ATX motherboard snugly in the available area. With the preinstalled fans at the front already protruding, a radiator at the front makes the space a bit tighter. The CMT340 has preinstalled standoffs ready to go for any ATX board of your choice.
You can see the three addressable RGB fans in the front and one addressable RGB fan in the back. On top of the PSU shroud are two mountable 2.5-inch drive slots. Lastly, an FSP logo is displayed on the side of the shroud.
The opposite side panel reveals the simple cable management and the fan hub. The bottom has the PSU area and a 2-slot 3.5-inch bay. You could adjust the bay to allow more room for a front radiator, although this will cost some space in the PSU cable area on the opposite side of the drive bays. You can remove it entirely if you don’t use 3.5-inch drives, freeing up a lot more space to manage those power supply cables.
The CMT340 provides a mountable bracket for the PSU. In other words, easier installation and no fumbling with lining up the holes between the PSU and the case. After installing the bracket to the PSU, it slides nicely into the case with rubber standoffs supporting the PSU.
The CMT340 is ready right out of the box for an ATX board installation, but I went with the MSI MPG X570 motherboard. Installing the I/O shielding is simple. I had to work a little more with CPU power cables because of the rear-mounted fan, but the absence of fans at the top of the case makes that easier. The power switch, USB3.0 ports, and mic/audio cables were long enough to reach the connections on the motherboard I used.
The PCI slot cover is a simple remove and reattach. This is a nice change, compared to other cases that have a sliding bracket. I find myself removing the sliding brackets entirely when I install PCI cards anyway, so as far as my personal preference goes, there is no reason to have it stay attached to the case. The CMT340 can take GPU cards up to 350mm.
I had no difficulties installing the Radeon VII in this. Also, routing the power cables was easy enough. The CMT340 has enough space for you to route the cables where you need them, while keeping the display nice and tidy.
Final Thoughts on the FSP CMT340
Overall, FSP’s CMT340 is a clean looking case that is designed to show off all your RGB glory:
- Addressable fans.
- Programmed lighting modes with the fan hub.
- PSU bracket mount.
- Removable PCI slot cover.
If you want to show off the RGB magic inside, then a case with tempered glass sides is something you will want to look at. Priced at $95 at the time of this review, the CMT340 case can quench that RGB thirst for your fans, keep up with cool cats, and most importantly – provide the functionality for a smooth-running PC.
[…] tempered glass panel engineered to slide open, rather than directly outward. This is similar to the CMT340 case I reviewed back in February. It’s a nice change, compared to the tempered glass you just put in place […]