Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (2024)

K

kikimaru024

Caliper Novice

Original poster

Jun 12, 2022
24
17
  • Aug 25, 2022
  • #1

Alright, so since I still have too much time on my hands (i.e. unemployed) I took a little time today to look at the curious case of the SAMA IM-01 and how they've licensed it out all over the world.
I don't know if it was designed in Vietnam or in China, but that doesn't really matter, does it?

What's really interesting is how many partner companies have signed on to distribute this unassuming metal box, all over the world.
So far I've found:

Only FSP, Lian Li & Sapphire even changed the front panel (FSP adding a vented front & USB-C).
And most vendors also don't even bother to put any fans into the case.

Also, a little misconception I found while browsing - the Montech Sky One Mini is NOT a SAMA clone - totally different tooling & size!

  • Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (1)

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confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Team Leader of SFF.N

SFF Network

SFF Workshop

SFFn Staff

Jun 19, 2015
4,225
7,254
sff.network
  • Aug 25, 2022
  • #2

Interesting - I recently bought an IM01, didn't know there were so many clones out there.

@Revenant did a small review on it a while back: https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/case-overview-sama-im01.17034/

It's a pretty good case for the price, almost a budget Cerberus in many aspects including layout. I'm trying to build a watercooled AM4 M-ATX rig in it, but the fan mount locations are restricting me a fair bit as to radiator selection

  • Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (3)

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H

haunting

Cable Smoosher
Jan 2, 2020
10
0
  • Aug 25, 2022
  • #3

It can be manufactured cheaply with decent enough build quality, and the layout is tried and true without the cost and reliability issues of risers. Not surprised many vendors want a piece of this. NR200 only took off the way it did because SAMA isn't a brand as well known as CM

Revenant

Christopher Moine - Senior Editor SFF.N

Revenant Tech

SFFn Staff

Apr 21, 2017
1,704
2,755
  • Aug 26, 2022
  • #4

The case is good at $60. I wouldn't pay more for it than that.

FSP look the most interesting to my eye due to the mesh front. I can't recall off hand, but if the PSU can use the front as an intake it will help temps.

Mark13

Cable-Tie Ninja
Sep 5, 2020
179
227
  • Sep 7, 2022
  • #5

I took a look at the MicroCenter version on their website. The rear panel on their version has been updated to allow a 92mm in addition to an 80mm rear fan to be fitted. I also queried MicroCenter and they advised that the case comes with 2 side panels - one glass - one metal-ventilated. Some markets provide two metal plus the glass side panel - like the Cooler Master NR200P.

Last edited:

G

Gingerbeer

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Sep 6, 2019
109
97
  • Sep 9, 2022
  • #6

I got the SAMA IM-01 about six months ago, and I prefer it over the NR200 - it's barely any bigger and offers a lot more compatibility. The NR200 is a great case, but I think CM missed a trick.

Once I have enough spare cash for a EK-Quantum Vector FE RTX 3090 GPU block, I'll be trying out a twin 240mm radiator loop in there.

  • Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (5)

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hrh_ginsterbusch

Master of Cramming

Silver Supporter

Nov 18, 2021
520
206
wp-devil.com
  • Sep 9, 2022
  • #7

Gingerbeer said:

I got the SAMA IM-01 about six months ago, and I prefer it over the NR200 - it's barely any bigger and offers a lot more compatibility. The NR200 is a great case, but I think CM missed a trick.

For ITX or mATX? For mATX it'd be interesting, but the builds I've seen so far did not look promising (Background: My original plan for my system was to do a mATX mod with the NR200, hence I also looked into the SAMA IM-01).

cu, w0lf.

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Team Leader of SFF.N

SFF Network

SFF Workshop

SFFn Staff

Jun 19, 2015
4,225
7,254
sff.network
  • Sep 21, 2022
  • #8

New build in mine, awaiting some bits:

  • Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (9)

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R

rambleon84

Case Bender

New User

Oct 26, 2022
2
8
  • Nov 3, 2022
  • #9

I just finished my build in the lancool 185m. Went a little different with where I mounted things. Modified the front panel to get the AIO up top and then PSU down low.

Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (10)

I'm happy with how it's turned out. Case was $85 from microcenter

  • Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (11)
  • Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (12)

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kikimaru024, Mark13, Soul_Est and 3 others

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Team Leader of SFF.N

SFF Network

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SFFn Staff

Jun 19, 2015
4,225
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  • Nov 3, 2022
  • #10

Love it!! @rambleon84

I really should get some pics of mine completed this evening. And finish a review of cables too

  • Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (14)

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R

rambleon84

Case Bender

New User

Oct 26, 2022
2
8
  • Nov 3, 2022
  • #11

confusis said:

Love it!! @rambleon84

I really should get some pics of mine completed this evening. And finish a review of cables too

Here's a few more, showing a little more what I did with the front:
The case did come with a mesh side and brackets to mount fans there. I wanted to put the window to use though. Idle temps are high 30s, low 40s depending on ambient. Gaming, CPU stays in the 60s and gpu will get up to low 70s. Running a 5700x and the GPU is a 6700xt, mild over clock/undervolt on both.

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hrh_ginsterbusch

Master of Cramming

Silver Supporter

Nov 18, 2021
520
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  • Apr 26, 2023
  • #12

Currently planning to do a vertical version, with the front on the bottom, and the system as a whole hidden away behind a monitor. Potentially gonna add a "bottom" topper, to hide away a bit of the cable clutter. Did a quick test run, CPU temps only upped by 2 - 3 C, should get better when I rearrange the CPU cooler fans to exhaust instead of intake.

cu, w0lf.

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hrh_ginsterbusch

Master of Cramming

Silver Supporter

Nov 18, 2021
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  • Jun 12, 2023
  • #13

I've just measured the case again, for a reply in a thread, and it turns out, the official numbers are moot: Officially, the case is supposedly 21.92L, with 185 x 303 x 391 mm. That apparently includes the feet and some magic space pockets, because the "basic style" Inter-Tech IM-1 that is sitting here has the following dimension:

295 mm x 375 mm x 184 mm = 20.355 L =~ 20.36L

And nope, its not the front plate - that one is sitting flush, being built more like a steel "wrapper" around the first 25ish mm of the front part of the case frame. That may add a bit, maybe 1 - 2 mm to the case, but not 20.

cu, w0lf.

  • Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (19)
  • Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (20)

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maniel

What's an ITX?

New User

Aug 28, 2023
1
0
  • Aug 28, 2023
  • #14

i'm curious about going vertical with this case, mine stands under my desk and i'm a bit paranoid about spilling my drink on the case, also putting it on it's back would significant;y reduce it's footprint, is anyone here familiar with some projects or modifications enabling this case to stand on it's back?

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Team Leader of SFF.N

SFF Network

SFF Workshop

SFFn Staff

Jun 19, 2015
4,225
7,254
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  • Aug 28, 2023
  • #15

I've not seen one as yet, but I imagine some tall(ish) feet and right angle cables and it should work fine. The legend on the front/top IO will be upside down though :S

hrh_ginsterbusch

Master of Cramming

Silver Supporter

Nov 18, 2021
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  • Sep 7, 2023
  • #16

confusis said:

I've not seen one as yet, but I imagine some tall(ish) feet and right angle cables and it should work fine. The legend on the front/top IO will be upside down though :S

Been driving the system in upside down mode for quite a while, and I havent had any issues with that yet. Actually, its much more convenient, esp. considering the case sits on top of a Kallax shelf.

Take a look at my thread for thermals - I'd say its a win-win situation: Better thermals, less space wasted, and no issues with dangling PSU cables anymore Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (24)

Obviously this only works if its sitting ON the desk or a shelf, anything below a desk or even worse, on the floor (*shudders inwards*), wont benefit from this at all.

cu, w0lf.

  • Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (25)

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Discussion - The curious case of SAMA IM-01 and its many, many clones/licensees (2024)

FAQs

How many liters is the Sama im01? ›

It's a 21.9L case that supports MATX and ITX, and is has been a bargain interest in the SFF world.

Does the SAMA IM01 come with fans? ›

One small fan included, it's bad, but that's to be expected. The one downside is the feet, made of plastic, 3 were completely broken off when I opened the box.

What GPU is compatible with SAMA IM01? ›

SAMA IM01 can accommodate GPUs up to 335mm long and 245mm vertically high. This means that it can easily accommodate most RTX 3080s available in the market today, ensuring that you can enjoy high-performance gaming without any limitations.

How tall is the SAMA IM01 air cooler? ›

With 4+2 PCIE slots, you can install the GPU horizontally or vertically as you wish. length x 335mm and max CPU cooler height x 155mm.

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