|Part Number||AR1_Rpi4_Case Only|
|Has Auto Focus||No|
|Includes Rechargable Battery||No|
|Has Programmable Buttons||No|
|Item model number||B07WP8WC3V|
|Package dimensions||10.69 x 9.91 x 3.71 cm; 209 Grams|
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Argon ONE V2 Raspberry Pi 4 Case with Fan and Power Button | Supports Retro Gaming, Movies, and Music | Supports up to Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 8GB RAM
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About this item
- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- Includes two full-sized HDMI ports and Built-in IR for remote functionality
- Cools the Raspberry Pi as a heatsink and comes with a 30mm software controllable fan.
- Minimizes clutter and makes cable management easy with all ports on the rear of the case.
- The power button behind can perform a safe shutdown, reboot, or forced shutdown upon installation of proprietary script.
- The GPIO pins are accessible on top of the case and protected by a removable magnetic cover..Can be booted manually or automatically by setting jumper pins inside the case.
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Clean, Stylized Design
The Argon One Case is the ergonomic and aesthetic case for people to get into computers and electronics. Made with aluminum alloy and polished with gray finish, the case makes mini computers look modern, sleek, and stylish, easily attracting anyone into computers. Its minimalist design keeps cables in one area, and offers great cooling with properly placed vents. Ultimately, the Argon One Case combines functionality and futuristic aesthetics all in one package.
The aluminum alloy case doesn’t just make the computer look cool, but it also cools the computer too. The case has an extension that connects to the processor with a thermal cooling pad so that heat from the processor is transferred to the case. This means that the case becomes a heatsink passively cooling the motherboard so that the computer can work without building up much heat. To top it off, the case comes with a built-in PCB board with a fan attached to actively cool the computer further. These two cooling systems combined guarantee long-lasting use without overheating. The fan speed can be configured anytime via the terminal, as well as the conditions for changing the fan speed passively.
All the ports of the Raspberry Pi are accessed at the back to ensure that Cable clutter is at a minimum. This also makes the computer easy to tidy and pack up when on the move without compromising any ports of the motherboard.
Easy to Assemble
The case comes with a top and bottom, 4 screws, a built-in PCB Board, a silicon cooling pad, and a PCB Board that extends the audio and micro HDMI ports. Assembling the raspberry pi with the case though is as easy as 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C. Combining the parts together is simple and intuitive. All that’s needed is a four-way screwdriver, and that’s just to tighten the screws to the bottom of the case. No special tools needed a
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Top review from Singapore
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By ZhiMing on 4 January 2021
Top reviews from other countries
While researching the various options, I came across the Argon ONE case which appeared to offer all the items on my wish list and more (although see my comments on the power button below). I came across various reviews of the Argon ONE on the Web, but many of them just focused on unboxing and assembly, and even the better ones missed out some key information - so I've provided a fairly lengthy review which I hope people will find useful.
The key features of the Argon ONE case are:
- Passive and active (temperature-controlled) cooling
- Power management including a power button that provides: on, off, reboot & forced power off
- All ports are available on the rear of the case
- Full access to all 40 GPIO pins (including the power pins normally used by a fan)
- Status LEDs visible from the front of the case.
The case comes in a small, fairly elegant looking black cardboard box, which fits the case exactly. Upon opening the box, all you will find is the case itself (wrapped in a soft plastic bag) and a small, well produced user guide. The box is made of thin cardboard so it doesn't offer much protection to the case, but since this box will typically be sent inside more robust packaging this shouldn't matter. Also, it's good to see that there was absolutely no superfluous packing material used.
When you take the case out of the plastic bag, you find that the case itself consists of an aluminium top and a plastic base. Inside the case, there are a couple of small anti-static bags. One bag contains a small daughter board (more of which later) and the other contains various items used in assembling the case (4 small flat-head engineering screws, 4 longer round-head engineering screws, two small thermal pads and a set of self-adhesive rubber feet).
It was really nice to see that the user guide was quite well illustrated and written in pretty good English so that it generally provided clear instructions. However, it did miss out some key information at a couple of points: it says to attach a "Silicon thermal pad" but doesn't say why there are two thermal pads to choose from nor which pad should be used when. For people familiar with the differences between the Pi 3 B and Pi 3 B+ that's not a problem (the thicker pad is for the 3 B and the thinner pad for the 3 B+) but for newcomers to the Raspberry Pi it could prove confusing. Similarly, there's no mention of attaching the self-adhesive rubber feet - but again it's obvious how and where to fit them.
Assembly is actually quite straight forward and well illustrated in the user guide:
- Connect the small Ar1 daughter board to the Pi (the Ar1 replicates the HDMI and audio/video sockets so that they line up with the - - Ethernet and USB ports on the back of the Pi). Connecting the Ar1 requires a bit of force but it is important to fully insert the plugs into the Pi sockets - just take your time and be careful
- Attach the appropriate thermal pad to the heat sink on the aluminium case top
- Plug the Pi/Ar1 assembly into the aluminium top case by inserting the Pi's GPIO pins into the socket on the case and then secure the Pi and Ar1 to the case with the 4 small flat-head screws
- Complete the assembly by attaching the plastic base to the aluminium top using the four round-head screws, and attaching the small rubber feet.
After this, simply power on the Pi (at which point you'll notice that the base is actually made of dark transparent plastic that allows the Pi's power and activity LEDs to be seen from the front of the case), follow the simple instructions for installing the scripts which manage the power button, fan speed configuration and uninstall of the software if needed - and after a reboot you're ready to go.
The power button functions work as expected, and in particular, shutting down the Pi with the power button really does do a full power shutdown, i.e the OS shuts down and the Pi's red power LED goes out. However, I was tempted to drop my review down to four stars because with my case at least, the power button is a somewhat unreliable or perhaps over sensitive regarding power on and reboot - but it does eventually work so I decided to leave the review at five stars. The problems I've experienced are that it inevitably requires several tries in order to power on the Pi, and I also have to get the timing of the double-click for reboot just right before it will activate.
That small disappointment aside, one of the great things about this case, is that the power adapter is actually plugged in to a Micro-USB socket attached to the PCB inside the top of the case rather than directly to the Pi - so in addition to supporting the power button, the Argon ONE provides managed power to the Pi and the internal fan which also supports thermal monitoring of the CPU to control the fan speed.
It's important to use a strong enough power supply in order to provide sufficient power for the Argon ONE itself plus the Pi - and the recommendation is to use a 5.25V 3A power supply (note the voltage of 5.25V rather than 5V). Although Argon themselves offer a suitable power brick, all the pictures show it having a US plug, and there was nothing that indicated that the one supplied by Amazon UK would have a UK plug. So, rather than take the chance, I purchased a suitable power supply separately from the Amazon site.
Another great feature of the Argon ONE is that unlike with most other cases with cooling fans, fan power is not supplied by connectors attached to Pi's GPIO pins, but is supplied directly by the Argon ONE's PCB itself - which in turn means that all 40 of the Pi's GPIO pins are available for use. The Pi's GPIO pins are actually exposed as a set of pins hidden under a magnetically attached cover on the top of the case. Also, these pins are colour coded as well as being labeled on the case - but as they are slightly recessed, it will probably be necessary to use an extension block/cable in order to use them.
To check on the effectiveness of the Argon ONE's cooling, I ran some sysbench tests with the Pi installed in a standard plastic case (with a small heatsink on the CPU) and then again with the Pi installed in the Argon ONE. I ran two sysbench tests with the Argon ONE - the first using the default fan speed configuration and the second with a customised fan speed configuration (customisation can be easily done using a supplied script which is accessible as an icon on the Pi desktop).
With the Pi in the standard plastic case, the CPU temperature settled at around 75C - which means the CPU was heat throttling and its frequency was reduced from 1.4GHz to 1.2GHz. With the Argon ONE and the default fan speed configuration the CPU temperature settled at around 55C and with the custom fan speed configuration, the CPU temperature settled at around 50C. This reduction in CPU temperature has a direct effect on processing speed, and on average, the sysbench tests run on the Argon ONE were 16% faster than those run with the standard Pi case.
Best of all, I then overclocked the Pi to 1.55 GHz, ran the tests again, and got a further 10% improvement in performance. So, with the Pi running in a standard plastic case, the test ran in 270.31s with a final CPU temperature of 75C, and in the Argon ONE with the Pi overclocked to 1.55 GHz, the test ran in 209.10s with a final CPU temperature of just under 55C - an overall saving in run time improvement of 61s or 23%.
Some final comments:
The Argon ONE case looks great, and I really like having a "mini desktop" Pi where all the cables plug neatly into the back of the case rather than having cables coming out of three sides.
There is a small drop in WiFi signal strength, but this was not a problem for me as the Pi still achieved a good signal strength and wireless speeds that would support several HD video streams at the same time.
There are IR headers on the Argon ONE PCB, and although they are not currently enabled, this feature will hopefully be made available in the near future.
Finally, it's not lost on me that the Argon ONE case and power supply (when bought from Amazon UK at least) cost more than the Pi 3 B+ itself - but in my case I was happy to spend the money in order to get the features provided by the Argon ONE.
Due to the relocation of the GPIO and other pins do check if you are using any HAT's if they will still fit though, you may need a ribbon cable to relocate those, and several of the pins are used for the fan control as far as I'm aware.
Runs pretty quiet with the fan on, which with their script you run is software controlled - but you'll be totally silent if under 55 degrees (or if you've not installed and configured their fan controller script). The top half of the case is metal so acts as a heatsink, so you may not even have the fan in use depending on the temperature of the pi - lowest temp it can kick in is 55 degrees, depending on settings you use.
The WiFi and bluetooth do still work as the underside of the case is plastic, though obviously not quite as well as if you were using a plastic case, but not been an issue for me.
There is another version they make (of the original) with an MVME slot and also a separate MVME upgrade which fits underneath (for existing) and connects to one of the USB ports, although apparently that ONLY supports SATA MVME drives and can be issues powering with the official power supply not being powerful enough, though a common issue with additional drives especially if not SSD/MVME.
I had a problem when it first arrived, that although the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ board started up and LEDs showed it was powered, there was no output on HDMI. Removing the audio/video adapter and connecting the HDMI directly to the board caused it to work. I therefore contacted the seller who promptly answered. But I noted that the low voltage popup was showing in Raspian even connecting directly to the HDMI socket on RPi. I found the problem was the stock Pi 3+ power supply, does not supply enough voltage to power the fan and circuitry that feeds the Pi in the Argon One. I noted that in USA there was a 5.25V PSU available for the Argon one, which is not available in UK. I found another 5.25V 3A PSU on Amazon from a reputable company and bought that. The Pi now works perfectly inside the Argon one case with the HDMI connected correctly. The issue is that there is a voltage drop over the PSU cable and then a further voltage drop on the Argon One power board, which took the voltage below 4.75V. The voltage is now almost exactly 5V at the board with the 5.25V PSU connected and is working without the low voltage warnings. You need to be careful because the tolerance on most PSU's would mean that you could operate outside of the Pi Voltage tolerance and damage could occur, but in my case it is fine.
I now have a beautiful little device that fits the environment it is in, with no cables showing. I will probably buy another one for my weather station device.
I should have deducted 1 star for the PSU issue, but I was impressed by the quick reply from the seller, even though I managed to find the actual issue myself. I also note that Raspberry Pi also supply a 5.1V PSU, so thes must be a common problem, not just with Argon One.
I did ask the question as to whether I would get the v1 or v2 case and got no response which was disappointing. A customer from Canada said in previous comments they got the v2 case so I took a chance and ordered as I needed a case. Of course the v1 case turned up. (The images in the listing were the v1 case at the time). I’m submitting this review in April 2021, the images now show the v2 case (with full HDMI sockets) so be sure to check when it arrives.
Would I send mine back because it had Micro HDMI sockets? No, but full HDMI sockets are much tidier.
So I bought this case hoping for an improvement. The default for the fan to come on is at 55° but its never gone above 34° on purely passive cooling! Very impressed!
For my purposes its not essential to have access to the gpio or need full size hdmi plugs but if I pick up another pi4 for any reason I'll definitely be running it in one of these cases!