Cases, cases, and more cases. Everybody has one, that's a given. So how do we give a certain person that little cut above the rest that makes an entire LAN party stop and drop their jaws in awe when you fire up your rig. No, sound doesn't make that happen, an appealing case that isn't overdone does. You can do that with lighting effects, window kits, fans, and other eye catching things. Today, we have a combination of a few things, we have a gorgeous case for one, nice fans second, and third we have a killer Ultraviolet light source in cathode form.
The case itself is very solid and comes in a silver color, not unlike the color of the silver Windows XP Theme I'm sure we've all seen. The coloring on the case isn't brushed or anything, it has a nice satin look to it and it picks up light really well. It matches the plastic on the front, I hate cases where the plastic is noticeable a different color than the metal surrounding it. This wasn't a problem. All of the buttons on the front of the case are a nice polished chrome color and are all easily pushed! There is even a light extender for the floppy drive so the light isn't recessed back where you can't see its full beauty! (Uhh yea....) The glass insert they put there brings the light right out to the front for the entire world to see. (Unfortunately I stopped using floppy drives because I consider it all legacy technology that should be replaced) It's relatively the same size as most mid-sized towers are complete with the industry standard four 5.25" drive bays and two 3.5" bays along with four additional internal 3.5" bays. There is only access to one 3.5" bay from the outside of the case; most cases provide access to a second through a secondary cover not unlike the ones over the 5.25" bays. I didn't find one here, it doesn't disappoint me as I don't use them but some people might find this a drag if they have an A-B system set up of floppy drives. The covers for the 5.25" bays have a nice cut to them at the top and bottom, they are of equal size and when put together top to bottom they give this complete indentation effect that really adds character. At the top of the case there are ventilation ports that further the flow or exhaust of air. Towards the back, to the right of where your PCI cards are going to go, there is more ventilation. In the front of the case under the panel where the power, reset, and your temperature monitor are, there is more ventilation that you can easily see. Did I mention this was right about your USB 2.0 ports that come stock with the case? Silly me. Oh yes, and behind your USB 2.0 plugs there are....wait....yes.....four 80mm fan mounts!! That's incredible! Talk about air intake! I don't however agree with them writing "PUSH TO OPEN" on the door over the USB ports because, well come on people, if your buying a case like this then your going to know what's behind the door. You?re especially going to know when your hooking up USB cables to your motherboard too, which I might add are a refreshing orange color compared to the drab beige we see all too often in bland monochromatic cases. The front panel of the case completes the smooth look because they don't have the right edges you normally see, they have a smoothed over shape to them that really carries along the streamlined effect when you see it. The power LED is an appealing blue color, very bright I might add. Also, right below that, you have the red hard drive activity light. Most cases come with that bland yellow and orange combination that I see WAY TOO OFTEN! When you slap that chrome and bright blue together it?s time to grab the birth control and a hotel room cuz it really makes this case look good. The power button is recessed into the panel a little bit with a nice cut around it, the button itself is also chrome and blends really well. The buttons are designed very well in terms of ergonomics. I myself being a large (politically correct for fat) person, I like a button I can press. On my Chieftec case I have to use a screwdriver just to reset the thing! That?s not what we want here folks! You won?t have any troubles with these buttons; they are the perfect size for anybody! Above that, well, the temperature monitor is recessed. The thing that impresses me most about temperature monitor is that it?s in, yes folks, Fahrenheit!
The window kit that comes pre-installed in the case is very nice. It has a blue tint to it, I was told that it was ultra violet reactive but I really can't see how it is. I mean sure the corners of it light up when you have a UV on it but the window itself really doesn't do it much. They provide you with a blue led fan (2 leds are in the fan, it's not too bright but you can see them fine, they add a gorgeous touch to an already kickin chassis) and a custom cut spidey fan grill. The grill is almost a mimic design of the window itself so it's like looking at a resized version of the window all in front of a lighted clear fan! The window isn't a cut out and inserted window complete with molding or anything, it's just a sheet of Plexiglas behind metal that was laser cut into the design! I like these windows better because they can take more of a beating and you can remove the Plexiglas and reuse it if you have to being that they are screwed in by 8 screws. The screws don't detract from the look of the case because they are rounded off on the outside and take a screw from the inside. The fan grill that comes with the window itself is chrome and the metal over the window is the same color as the case. The side of the case that is on the side of the motherboard is just a plain case side with nothing on it. That's not very disappointing being that people usually don't mod the side that they are not going to see unless they have their system on some rotating pedestal for viewing purposes. Even then you'd only see a bunch of motherboard studs and a few USB wires.
The front part of the case holds this utterly gorgeous panel full where you can turn on your computer, reset it, and see hard drive and power activity along with a temperature monitor. I found the temperature probe to be a bit short, it will only reach about halfway back across your motherboard. This is alright if you want to monitor case temperatures or hard drive temperatures, maybe even cd-rom temperatures (that's a stretch though). If you?re the person though that likes to get their probe under the shim and up against the core (I am) then you?re going to be out of luck and out looking for a digidoc or some other monitoring unit! The small panel though that holds all these features is a beautiful chromed over look complete with embossed dots and lines along with very attractive bevels cut into the sides! It's one of the nicest layouts I've seen for a case yet truly!
The back of the case is nice too, they incorporate enough size for large motherboards and I/O shields with all the bells and whistles, but they also made enough room for TWO 80mm fans, one on top of the other. I see this as crucial to good, consistent, system cooling! This is where most of your heat builds, its right above all of the PCI slots, the AGP slot, and even the CPU fan on your heatsink! You need to get that out of there so that your system can run at a lower temperature! This is always good. Where you mount the PSU on the case is stationary, there aren?t any removable panels to incorporate different things there. These would be nice when you?re going to switch PSUs. It will make sure you don?t whack your heatsink and crack that good old reliable processor (that?ll be the day when a computer component of any kind is deemed ?reliable? and lives up to it?s name).
Note: This is about the fans.
Included with this case I found myself looking upon six, yes six, gorgeous fans that were tinted blue, otherwise clear! They were high quality fans and they all had fan grills on them. All of the fans were 80mms in diameter and were placed in the slots for the two in the rear of the case and the FOUR in the front of the case!!!! The fans fit down into that tight spot with ease, the four of them teamed together provide great airflow across your hard drive, motherboard, and PCI cards and right out of the back where there is ample room to vent. Those two fans in the back can even pick up some of the intake and exhaust it. The fan on the case window doesn't really interfere with the flow of air as you can flip it around and make it exhaust or intake. I chose exhaust because I was too lazy to flip it around!
Note: This is about the cathode now.
I mentioned lighting earlier; well I received some lighting with this case. At first look, it was the brightest ccfl I've ever seen that was ultraviolet. Upon further inspection I noticed that the source was extremely bright, but you had to literally touch an ultraviolet reactive unit off of the thing to get any results. So maybe I was wrong about the case window, it might light up under a brighter source! It had one of the highest quality housing units I've ever seen; it also came complete with all the Velcro needed to hide the entire unit and its wires! The wires given with the unit are extremely long because it allows you also to mount an on/off switch for ease of use and accessibility. Saves power too, for all of you concerned with that, I'm sure not!
Note: This is about the Power Supply.
To my wonderment I found yet another surprise upon receiving the case, there was a power supply pre-installed. Not just your run-of-the-mill supply either, a four hundred watt supply made by Powmax. I was extremely disappointed when I saw ONLY four Molex connectors coming out of the unit. I was a little happier though when I noticed it had a 12v dedicated connector, most new motherboards are incorporating this onto their layout near their atx plugs. The 5v and 12v hot wires on the Molex?s run a steady current, so you don?t have to worry about any hardware damage occurring to your rig! The unit runs surprisingly cool also, most power supplies just blow out heat all of the time, it?s ridiculous. They are probably one of the most neglected pieces of hardware in your rig, but one of the most important also. Ahh, irony. Anywho, the supply isn?t flashy in terms of color but it does its job very well. The four Molex connectors isn?t an issue if you piggy-back as many fans as you possibly can which I did, and then ran my cd-rom and hdd off of their own power connectors.
MORE PICTURES ON PAGE 2
Next Page 2/2 >