With trends so frequently changing in the case modding scene, it seems like by the time I finish a mod ? it has already been done. It is nearly impossible to come up with an original window idea. Frustrating? Hell yes! Rather than worrying about a window design, why don?t we all just buy fully acrylic cases like the DCi CM 42-BL from Ev-Web.at. Acrylic cases have been a little more scarce than the average aluminum and steel chassis?, not because of any design flaws, but because of price, assembly and fear of ESD onto system components. With this chassis we have a chance to test it and it seems like all prior problems have been solved, but we?ll see about that! Shortly after speaking with Ev-Web, this chassis was laying on my front porch in a thin box. Unaware that this case required full assembly, I began to pull pieces of the case from the box. After pulling the pieces separately from their box, I began to pull the bubble wrap off each individual piece of acrylic and was quick to notice the quality. The acrylic thickness ranged from pieces at ?? to 1/8.? I then began to check out the front ?? acrylic. The creators of the case took the time to bevel the edge on the front and top pieces, not to mention how they also took the time to pay attention to smaller details such as sanding, and torching the edge of ALL the included acrylic pieces for a nice shiny/finished-off effect. The next thing I noticed were the blue drive bays?the drive bays consisted of ?? acrylic and had sanded and torched edges as well. If there?s one thing I can?t resist in a case, it?s the fine details. Next thing I noticed was all the hardware included in the box. Everything from a bag of motherboard leads, to brass screws both long and short, speaker, front control panel, IO rear panel, and even screws long enough to reach the IDE drives through the ?? acrylic. The screws included are fully visible from the exterior of the case, and are therefore polished to give the case an even better effect. The next thing that I noticed were the thin cotton gloves included. If you are worried about fingerprints all over the case during assembly, you may opt to use the cotton gloves to stop it from happening.
The instructions included for assembly were a bit blurry to me, so out with the instructions and in with the brain power. It took a couple minutes to figure out exactly how the case was supposed to be put together, but not a big deal. I Just unscrewed the brass screws and switched panels as needed. Before I go any further, I would like to make you aware that there were 8 acrylic cubes included which go in each corner which are used for screwing the panels into. Once again, paying attention to the finer details, these cubes are fully see through and include brass threads for the screws to grasp. I started assembling this case with the bottom panel (small centered speaker hole) and the front panel (drive cutouts, ??, beveled edges). I left all the screws loose until the entire case was assembled and then I finally went around and tightened everything. Next, I threw in the two drive racks (skinny holes all the way up) and screwed those in from the bottom panel and then placed the top panel (blue) on. Next came the rear panel (IO Holes/PCI Holes). After the main framing was finished. Then came the motherboard panel (gold leads already installed, blue) and lastly came the final side panel (two fan holes). This is where I noticed that I had been shorted by ONE screw and there were no extra screws included! Once I had everything as far as acrylic assembled, I took my screwdriver and continued to tighten all the screws until the case was sturdy. Remember not to OVERTIGHTEN the screws because the acrylic WILL Crack. I then pulled off the clear side panel and installed the front control panel (leds, power button, etc.) and attempted to install the speaker in the bottom panel but I never figured this out. In the bag with the system speaker were three screws which were too small to screw into the pre-drilled holes in the acrylic. This was the second problem I was able to spot with the case. Throwing the speaker back in the bag, I proceeded to install the drive fillers for both floppy and 5.25? bays. I pulled out the blue fillers and the bag of ?brass plugs? and installed the drive fillers. This method can cause two arguments. On one side, you could say that the plugs allow for easy access/removal of front bays, while others may argue that these plugs are a bad idea as they can cause fillers to fall out and be lost. Being lost did not seem like a problem to me, the drive fillers were so tight in there with the acrylic I had to take the back of my screwdriver and hammer the brass plugs in for the full effect. Assembly was finally complete. It took me about 45 minutes to fully assemble the case with all the appropriate tools, but that is without instructions and with my trial and error.
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