Trending among exhibition systems, PC builds with vertically mounted graphics cards are becoming more common as case makers cater to DIYers who want to try this look. But designs that stand the cards parallel to the motherboard have one major problem that has hindered adoption by more buyers: The case may allow it, but the expensive PCI Express 4.0 riser cables needed to make it possible are usually sold separately. Of the few cases we’ve reviewed recently that support vertical mounting as an aesthetic option, some have required buyers to spend on extra brackets to mount the card, and none of them include a cable in the box. New brand Hyte changes that with its glassy, glossy Y40 ATX midtower ($149.99), which combines plenty of glass and an included riser cable to offer a neat foundation for a PC build with a vertical card holder.
Design: Red Rover
Available in red, white or black finishes, the Y40 is enclosed on two sides by tinted tempered glass and has fan mounts on the top, bottom, right and rear panels along with separate dust filters for the bottom intake fan and power supply air. inlet.
Hyte places its front-panel ports on the bottom edge, making it clear that the company would prefer to place the case on a desk rather than under it. A single audio jack combines a stereo headphone output and a monaural microphone input, two USB Type-A ports connect to a USB 3.x Gen 1 cable, and one Type-C port uses a USB 3.x Gen 2 cable. A power-on indicator light surrounds the power button.
The unique double set of expansion slots on the back includes seven half-height slots in normal position and four full-height “remote” slots. The design allows builders to fill all seven of the half-height slots with up to one expansion card while keeping the full-height graphics card up to 422mm long.
The part that makes it so easy to leave six of the original seven slot positions open (even if only for half-height cards) appears to be just a piece of plastic and metal bracket that guides the included PCIe 4.0 extension cable over the tops of nearby cards. It can be placed in any half-height slot, although the further it goes, the tighter its cable will be bent. The four full-height slot covers are designed to accommodate a graphics card with an extra heavy-duty heatsink, and only serve a single physical PCIe x16 connector via this cable. But if you have one of the latest mega beast GeForce RTX 4090 cards, you’ve got it.
As for motherboard support, this is indeed an ATX case. While I haven’t seen any obstacles preventing the use of larger boards, PCBs larger than the standard 9.6-inch ATX depth will obscure the Y40’s cable passages, and those longer than 10.8 inches will interfere with the placement of 140mm fans on the dual side fan bracket. So here we would plan for ATX.
While the side mount can accommodate radiators up to 280mm in length, users who want something larger will find a 360mm mount on the top panel that will accommodate radiators that are actually up to 410mm in length (including end caps). The large heatsink, offset to the left of the motherboard spacers, cleared the surface of our motherboard by about 52mm and even left 6.6mm gaps between our heatsink fans and the tops of our 44mm high memory heatsinks. Those who choose this space for their heatsink will need a large portion of this offset regardless of the height of their memory modules, as at 20mm the space between the motherboard and the top panel is thinner than most devices users would mount here.
The dual 140mm/120mm fan mount is offset approximately 18mm from the surface of the motherboard tray. Combining this distance with the length of the spacers would allow the 25mm fans to (barely) clear the edge of the oversized motherboard… the cables were not involved. The drive bay, which fits on the back of the motherboard tray, is drilled to accommodate one 3.5-inch or two 2.5-inch drives.
Hyte’s stated power supply depth limit of 224mm extends from the power supply mount to the intake fan. Removing the fan would give users an additional 140mm of space, as the supplied 120mm model aligns with the rear edge of the optional 140mm brackets.
Building with Y40
The Y40 includes folded instructions, a handy Phillips-to-hex socket for relocating the spacers, individual resealable pouches with screws, a breakout adapter to connect individual headphone/microphone cables to the headset combo jack, and five ratchet pull cables that may or may not be branded Zipper.
Cables from the chassis itself include two three-pin fans (one shown below), HD Audio (for the headset jack on the front panel), FPANEL combo block (for the power button and LED), USB 3.2 Gen 1 (for the two Type-A ports on the front panel) and USB 3.2 Gen 2 (for the Type-C front panel port). Although the combined FPANEL connector still confuses some builders, it’s a 24-year-old Intel spec that most motherboard brands adopted more than a dozen years ago: It simply took another decade for case makers to get on board.
Today’s sample build inside the Hyte case uses the ATX motherboard option of our standardized test configuration:
The graphics card does a great job of hiding the cable entry points along the bottom edge of the motherboard at this angle, while the top edge cables are hidden by the top heatsink from most viewing angles. We put a Corsair cooler there to help cool the motherboard’s CPU voltage regulator, and we recommend that anyone using a side mount for their closed-loop liquid cooler consider placing at least one additional 120mm fan on the top panel above the CPU socket.
Then again, a full set of fans would make the case more complete in a show build, and the decision to put a 360mm radiator on top or a 280mm unit on the side would be a builder’s concern. To create a fair performance comparison, we tested this sample with the same set of components previously used to test similarly sized cases.
Hyte Y40 Testing: Benchmark Results
Lian Li’s O11 Dynamic EVO was the closest test sample we could find to match the glass front and side of the Y40, but unfortunately it has an enlarged side chamber similar to NZXT’s H9 Elite… so we included both. By the time we configured the graphs, the Y40’s noise data led us to add the Fractal Design Pop XL Silent to the mix, and unfortunately, all four samples ended up within 3 degrees F of each other in terms of CPU temperature. It doesn’t say much there.
The Y40 is the worst with the O11 Dynamic EVO in voltage regulator temperature, mainly due to the dimensional relationship between the thing that provides airflow (our radiator fans) and the thing that needs it (the heatsink surrounding our CPU socket). In the case of the Y40, the extreme offset to the left and low placement will likely leave the upper motherboard cooler out of the way of the fans’ flow.
In terms of GPU temperature, the Y40 ends up roughly three-way with the Pop XL Silent and the H9 Elite, all three of which are bested by the O11 Dynamic EVO.
The sound pressure level results show how the Y40’s glass front panel roughly matches the Pop XL Silent’s damped plastic front panel in the amount of noise it allows to escape. The glass reflects more noise back into the case, so anyone standing for case could think it louder. (We don’t.)
Verdict: Let’s get high
Like the O11 Dynamic EVO that came before it, the Hyte Y40 performs adequately without even filling the side vents with fans. Likewise, building one of these cases as intended will increase its cooling performance and noise. On the contrary, the Hyte Y40 does something we haven’t seen none its competitors: Supports a vertical graphics card holder and cable without excluding the use of any other expansion slots.
Then again, while its competitors force builders to choose between one vertical or multiple full-height horizontal cards, the Y40 opens up your options by simultaneously supporting one full-height card vertically and multiple half-height cards horizontally. Like the top heatsink mount, which is offset far enough to fit a heatsink behind a 50mm tall DIMM, but low enough that the offset is actually needed, and the side panel, which supports 280mm radiators but no longer, it’s all a balancing act for a case that costs $150 but includes a $40-$60 specialty cable. In short: It performs on par with its spiritual relatives and is a great case choice if you like the look and know you’ll be using the cable.