Moneual MonCaso Sonamu G100 Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on May 25, 2011
The MonCaso Sonamu G100 is a small form factor (SFF) case from Moneual, which comes with a 350 W power supply and promises zero consumption when in standby mode, thanks to a relay that completely removes the power supply from the power grid when the computer is turned off. Therefore, this case is sold as having an “environmental-friendly design.” The problem, however, is that the manufacturer decided to use one of the worst power supplies available on the market, the Logisys PS350MA, which presents efficiency below 80%, thus creating a big contradiction. Read on.
The MonCaso Sonamu G100 is designed to be standing like a tower case (see Figures 1 and 2).
The left-side panel has two meshes to allow cold air to enter your computer.
The front panel of the Moneual MonCaso Sonamu G100 has only one external 5.25” bay, as is the norm with small form factor products. This bay supports standard-sized optical drives, which some users may think is an advantage over SFF cases that only supports slim optical drives. The front of the 5.25” bay is hidden by a cover that opens when you eject the tray of your optical drive.
This case has a big “Green Mode” button that, when pressed, makes your computer enter the “Sleep Mode.” In this mode, all components are turned off to save energy, and when you exit this mode your operating system and programs will be exactly the way you left them.
The main highlight of this case is the presence of an on/off switch that removes the power supply from the power grid when your computer is turned off, making your computer consume zero power. When your computer is turned off, the power supply is in standby mode, consuming energy. (Read our article, How Much Power Do Electronic Equipment Consume When in Standby Mode? for more information.) This is far from being a new idea; some power supplies have an on/off switch for this. What is different on this case is the presence of an AC outlet at the rear panel that is also turned off when you use the switch, so you can use this outlet to connect all your external equipment such as monitor, speakers, and printer. This way you will make not only your computer consume zero power, but all your peripherals as well.
The MonCaso Sonamu G100 has two USB 2.0 ports, one memory card reader supporting the SD and MMC formats, and the traditional audio jacks.
The top and bottom panels don’t have any fancy features, except for a small mesh to allow cold air to enter the computer. See Figures 7 and 8.
The rear panel and the interior of the Moneual MonCaso Sonamu G100 aren’t painted. The case comes with one sleeve bearing 60 mm fan (SDF6025LS) installed on its rear panel, and it has space for you to install a second fan. No technical specifications for this fan are provided. It uses a regular peripheral power connector, so it must be installed directly on the power supply.
As explained in the previous page, you can use the available AC outlet to connect all your external peripherals. This way, when you use the on/off switch available on the front panel, all your peripherals are removed from the power grid, making them consume zero power when turned off. You will need a power strip to be able to connect more than one power cord, of course.
The case has four standard-sized expansion slots, which come with solid covers that must be broken and tossed away.
Both panels are attached to the chassis using silver thumbscrews, which is great. The motherboard tray doesn’t have a cutout for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler, but you can hide thin cables behind the motherboard tray. (The motherboard tray has one clip for fastening cables on its back.)
The Moneual MonCaso Sonamu G100 has one standard-sized 5.25” external bay and three internal 3.5” bays. It doesn’t have 2.5” bays.
The major problem with this case is the power supply that comes with it, a Logisys PS350MA, which is a USD 20 product. We tested it separately, and it proved to be a real “bomb.” Labeled as a 350 W product, it can only deliver 220 W, with lousy efficiency between 71% and 78%. Moneual is selling the MonCaso Sonamu G100 as an “environmental-friendly case” and saying “save energy the right way,” because of the on/off switch that allows you to remove your computer and external peripherals entirely from the power grid. However, by using a low-efficiency power supply, Moneual is shooting its own foot, since users would be saving far more energy if the case used a power supply with higher efficiency.
Low efficiency and inability to deliver its labeled wattage are not the only problems with the Logisys PS350MA. It provides noise levels above the maximum allowed and voltages below the minimum allowed. This power supply may, in the best-case scenario, make your computer crash randomly and, in the worst-case scenario, burn your computer components.
To make things even worse, this case has one 5.25” and three 3.5” bays, but the power supply comes with only one SATA power connector.
In Figure 14, you can see the “standby killer” device that comes attached to the power supply.
The main specifications for the Moneual MonCaso Sonamu G100 case include:
We simply can’t understand the logic of promoting a case with “green” features and then adding a very low-end power supply with terrible efficiency and fake wattage to it. Users would save more energy by using a power supply with higher efficiency than by using the “standby killer” switch present on this case. This is the greatest contradiction we’ve ever seen in all the years that we’ve been reviewing computer products.