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SkyHawk Galaxy Chassis

Page: 1/2
Manufacturer: SkyHawk Aluminum
Product Name: Galaxy Chassis
Reviewer: SpLiZaaT

Thanks to

For Providing Us With This FINE Product to Review

Just a few weeks ago, SkyHawk Aluminum gave us the chance to take a look at their new Jupiter Case. This week, SkyHawk has given us the chance to look at their newest case; the ?Galaxy.? I was really excited to see this one up close ? I just loved the idea of the ?Lava-Tube? style front. Once I got the case, I soon realized that the Galaxy chassis is EXACTLY the same as the Jupiter, the only difference being the front bezel (makes sense seeing that they are both part of the new PSR case line). You will notice a great similarity between both reviews besides the perspective on the front bezel. Enjoy!

Shortly after receiving the Galaxy, I was surprised by its weight. It felt like a feather, even lighter than my Lian-Li PC-7! I just had to weigh this case, and sure enough it was significantly lighter than other aluminum cases I had reviewed. The gross weight on this case was only 15 lbs. and that?s why I call it a featherweight. This featherweight stands approximately 16" tall and has a width of nearly 8". This case comes standard with four 5.25" bays and dual 3.5" bays, which is pretty much standard for this sized ATX case. Starting off with the overall construction I was VERY impressed! I thought that such a light case would have strength issues, but this one stood no chance of being dented or crushed under normal daily activities like LAN?s. Although I usually do conduct the strength test by standing on and placing all 115 lbs. of my manly muscle on top of the chassis, I decided not to do it this time (like I do on all aluminum cases). Although aluminum is fairly strong to minor things like dents, one of the weaknesses is its ability to be crushed. This was a risk I was not willing to take. Another quick thing I noticed was the Galaxy?s beautiful "grain." Like all aluminum cases, this one did indeed have the brushed look, but the brush on the SkyHawk was quite noticeable as it seemed a bit coarser. This coarser look definitely won my heart!

Speaking of hearts, the "heart" of the Galaxy would have to be its appealing front panel. Composed of everything from plastic, aluminum and even Plexiglas, the Galaxy could, quite possibly have the most beautiful front (even over the Jupiter!) I have seen yet. It sure does beat the boring old Lian-Li square style front. Starting with the basics, accessible from outside the case are four 5.25? bays as well as two 3.5? bays for floppy drives. The front of the Galaxy if much like the Jupiter in the way that all the bay fillers and front is covered in 1/8? thick blue-tinted Plexiglas. I don?t know why, but it makes the case WAY more appealing and gives it a nice finished off look. In the lower portion of the front plastic bezel is the main control panel consisting of the Power button, power LED, reset button, reset led and my favorite, a space for case badges! The panel which surrounds the control panel is so chrome that I can see myself in the reflection ? clear as a mirror! The actual power button size is great. For many people ? fat fingered or not ? powering on a system is definitely a snap! The reset button however concerns me?it?s just a tad bit smaller than I would like but can be activated using your fingernail. When I first noticed that the case included an area for a case badge, I ran to my room and grabbed my bag of TwistedMods case badges and slapped it on there! Much better! At the very bottom of this case a similar USB panel to the Jupiter?s. Included with this USB panel is dual USB ports (1.1/2.0 compatible), headphones, microphone and one FireWire port for all of you digital video camera people out there J. I have not yet had a change to look at the end of the USB cords, but I would imagine that hooking up the USB pin by pin like most chassis? would definitely be a pain in the ass (especially without SkyHawk including the instructions!). This brings me to the most important part of the case, the light up ?lava-tubes? on each side of the front panel. This has to be one of the most clever ideas thus far in chassis? design. Lighted by blue LEDs at the bottom and top of each tube, these things extend from the very top of the front bezel to the bottom of the bezel. They give off a fair amount of light too! I like this style a little more than the Jupiter just because I think the Jupiter?s light up is a bit obnoxious, but the Galaxy is unable to change colors and is a static blue. Blue isn?t your color? Pull out the soldering iron and make those light tubes your own colors!

The top, left and right panels were all fairly standard for aluminum cases. Their grain makes them look extremely elegant, and the side-panels are light enough to where I could actually play frisbee with them?not joking! Walking around the back of the case, things looked pretty standard. This case has slots for up to 7 PCI and the basic I/O Panel. One thing that I did notice is that it has optional cut-outs for the older style AT computers with the separated serial and parallel connections. I was however really disappointed to see such a great case without the removable PSU plate. The removable PSU plate allows for easier install and uninstall of the PSU through the back of the case rather than having to pull the entire motherboard out of the case to prevent cracking the CPU when you pull the PSU out. If you have read earlier case reviews, you know how I love fine detail and SkyHawk did just that! In order to avoid those dents in the side of the case to use as a handle when removing the side panel, SkyHawk installed these little Chrome "C-shaped" handles on the BACK of the panel making it easier to pull the panel off. I am sure the pictures can give you a better idea of this. Let?s move to the inside of the case.

Inside the case, immediately after removing the side panel, I couldn?t help but notice the HUGE mess of wires inside. I was surprised that my system wasn?t even in it yet and there was such a mess already! Just as the outside had a great color and grain so did the inside. The inside of this case looked almost like it had a whitewash on it (it was really light colored). From what I could see, the Galaxy had 4 internal hard drive slots along with the previously mentioned two floppy bays (which could easily be used for hard drive mounting as well). In the front of the case was an 80mm intake fan powered by molex which pulls air right between any hard drives installed. In the rear of the case is a thin 60mm exhaust fan and this bulky 80mm exhaust fan mounted in a position that would pull air straight from in front of the heatsink. This was a rather original design, as I had only seen it once before on a Nikao case, but they sure do take a away room. But if you are afraid of running out of room, they have designed this duct in such a way that it can easily be removed by unscrewing two screws from the outside of the case. Very easily fixed. Not only this, but they also designed it so it can be moved in front of the PCI cards and that is exactly where I put it! I felt that my power supply fan would, along with that 60mm fan, pull enough air away from my processor so I used the duct as a PCI cooler. Very good idea if you are over-clocking your video card! As far as the issue with removal of the PSU, this case did not seem to pose a problem. Once I finally got a look inside this case, I saw that a power supply could be easily removed without any careful maneuvering to avoid a collision with the heatsink. Although, they have once again addressed this issue, it still would have been easier to remove the power supply from the rear.

Included in the "goodie box," was a ton of thumb screws to use for even PCI screws, along with the usual motherboard leads, component screws and PCI covers. I was very impressed to see that finally someone is producing a case that has a full array of thumbscrews all the way around. It makes installation and un-installation of components much easier at LAN parties so you don?t have to worry about bringing any tools! Overall, I was fairly impressed with the SkyHawk Galaxy. Everything from the detailed and original front to the processor duct impressed me. A few minor design flaws including the separate PSU plate and cable mess but those would not stop me from buying this case if I were using it for a server or a more stationary computer. Aluminum does have the ability to lower case temps, but you often times have to baby an aluminum case to keep it from being scratched. When this case is released to the general public, it will be available for around $75 which is extremely cheap for an aluminum case, even cheaper than the Jupiter (although the Jupiter has the ability to change colors)! For $75.00 what do you have to lose?! Something like this from Lian-Li might cost all the way up to $150.00! Other last minute options from SkyHawk include a pre-modded side panel and pre-installed power supplies!

Here we see the Power button, Power led, Reset button and hdd activity LED. And then we have SpLiZaaT!

More Pictures on PAGE 2

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