In and Around the In-Win GRone

While I'm for the most part inclined to take the In-Win GRone's aesthetic out of the equation, I do want to make a few generalized notes about the build. I personally like the gunmetal gray color In-Win uses for the case, and the steel side panels and chassis match the plastic fascia and shell very well. There's a two-toned black and gray motif that I think serves the GRone well; if nothing else, it's fairly consistent.

The front of the enclosure is marked by what appear to be a series of ventilated bay covers similar to the old Cooler Master Centurion, but in actuality only the top three of these covers actually hide 5.25" drive bays; the rest are for consistency's sake while also allowing fresh air to reach the front intake fans hidden behind them. Above the drive bays are a healthy amount of connectivity: two USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports along with the usual audio jacks. Also included is a sliding fan speed switch that allows the case fans to operate in "silence" and "turbo" modes. The reset button is actually shared with the IDE access LED, which is the long sliver to the left of the power button. It's not labelled at all, but that's what it is.

Gallery: In-Win GRone

When you move to the top of the GRone, there's an angled accent that's ventilated and hides the trio of 120mm/140mm fan mounts, and in front of it is the recessed SATA hotswap connector. It's not quite as elegant as NZXT's solution in the H2 but it gets the job done.

Interestingly, the left side panel has a large window that's extruded and tinted aquamarine; if you look closely you can see the In-Win logo on it. There aren't any fan mounts, though. The only fan mount on a side panel is actually behind the motherboard tray, though an enterprising user could probably swap the two side panels if they felt like the existing allowances made for cooling were inadequate.

Removing the thumbscrews and popping open the GRone reveals business as usual with a few kinks thrown into the mix. In-Win positions the GRone as an E-ATX case primarily, and given the placement of the routing holes in the motherboard tray they're pushing that scenario pretty hard. There's a substantial opening next to the power supply bay, though, and both drive cages are actually removable. In-Win uses a drive sled design similar to what SilverStone employed with the FT02, where the door allows the drives to lock into place. Worth noting is the way removing the center drive cage doesn't result in losing the 140mm interior fan.

In-Win's design is for the most part clean, though they use red LED fans on the front intakes. Those fans are fairly dim and inobtrusive, presenting more of an accent, but then why tint the side window blue instead of red? We're already at three tones before we get to that blue window. Aesthetics notwithstanding, though, the GRone promises to be at least reasonably easy to assemble and I'm fairly optimistic about its cooling potential.

Introducing the In-Win GRone Assembling the In-Win GRone
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  • randinspace - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    It IS big. Reply
  • cjs150 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Lets start with the obvious, the front is ugly. They have taken the original Centurion Stacker and then made it a bit bigger and ugly.

    Sure it takes EATX motherboards which is useful for those that need that level of power and flexibilty. But other than that what does it actually do better than cases designed 5 or 6 years ago.

    There has been no thought applied to this case. Lets take some obvious ideas for improvement:

    1. If a case is designed for that many hard drives why is there no hot swappable ability?

    2. Similarly for that many hard drives it would be nice to see some thought applied to cable management and power distribution to the hard drives

    3. If the cases is intended for air cooling then cable management is vital - where is it?

    Antec 280 may not be my favourite case, but they thought about what market to go for and designed a case to meet that market. Fractal Design produces nice cases, with features thought through for a particular market (esp water cooling). Heck I even like Lian li for trying different things, even if they do not come off. And, despite some doubtful quality control issues, I own a Silverstone TJ07 and am about to buy the TJ08E.
    Reply
  • Skidmarks - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Although I haven't seen it in the plastic & steel yet, judging it by the pics it looks like a dreadful mess to me. Reply
  • rickon66 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    As an Antec fan, 1100 still overall best buy. Reply
  • angrypat - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    It does seem to be in fashion for cases to be overdone and scifi comic book like, I would rather have understated looks and form following function. And no damn doors or hinged covers, if I want to open an optical drive or access a usb port I don't want to open a door first. The question I never see asked is why so few cases have an SD card reader, much more useful than a front ESATA port; storage for laptops, tablets, phones and cameras. Rear expansion slot mounted fan controls suck, very inconvenient, and they are tossed in with many cases. As for myself, I build a pc, then may tweak occasionally but I am not constantly working in it, after 40 plus builds no case has really annoyed me to work in whether it was $20 or $100. The delivery people beating the crap out of them on the way to my door is another matter of course! Outside of a media center case I don't see any reason to spend more than $100 unless you want to show off. Cooling fans can always be added or changed, run off the mobo or a fan controller. The most important thing is to know what you are building; gamer, media center, office, everyday web surfer or a serious number cruncher etc. Reply
  • Grok42 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    The reason door and covers are used is they provide a clean look for the front of the case. Because case manufactures insist on putting 3 to 9 external 5.25" bays in the case they have to cover them up so the case doesn't look like crap. I agree, get rid of the door as they just require more case depth. Instead, just don't have any external bays and it's a win/win.

    They don't put a SD card reader in the case because it's like putting a VHS deck or DVD drive in a TV. Remember those? Why build a piece of dead tech into the case itself? I still have a 10 year old Lian-Li case as my main workstation. I'm sure glad they didn't build a zip drive in it. The days of sneaker netting data from phones, cameras, tablets, etc are long gone. If you still have a few devices you must do it with, that is what $5 USB card readers are for.
    Reply
  • bwcbwc - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    I take it this should be pronounced "groan"?

    Unfortunately I fall into the hate it camp at least based on the front panel aesthetic - it looks like a prop from the original Battlestar Galactica. Other design choices are less "groan" worthy, but as you say there are other companies in this price range with alternatives I find more appealing.
    Reply
  • Solidstate89 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    The GRone case? Are you kidding me right now? Who in marketing thought that would make a great name? Reply
  • MeanBruce - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Buy a man's chassis, the Corsair 650D was $161.99 a couple days ago on Amazon free shipping no tax. Stand Up Boy! Reply
  • Bonesdad - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    If you like the way this case looks, there is something wrong with you. Reply

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