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  • Grok42 - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    I like to see good clean looking case designs like this at a low price point. Given the price I would expect some compromises and honestly it could have been a lot worse. I think the industry needs more experimentation with how internal drives are mounted so I applaud any effort even failures. Hopefully they will come back with something better next time around. Maybe next time they will save some money by killing the external bays and putting the resources into the internal bays. Reply
  • versesuvius - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    The only time one needs a tool for a case is the hard drive and other storage parts. The problem is not that people do not know how to use a screw driver, but that it has screws on the two sides of the case. As it is right now, you have to go through more trouble with the toolless case than you have with traditional ones. The answer lies not with the case manufacturers, but with internal storage manufacturers. It is very ease to design a hard disk casing so that it needs screws only on one side, and not two. Yet after maybe 30 years of hard disks, the casing has not changed a bit. Even the SSD casing design has adopted the same philosophy. As far as backward compatibility goes, the casing can be designed to accommodate old cases as well. Anyway, I agree with the article about the drive cage. It is a stupid decision in all cases to begin with and it is stupid here too. After all, how many drives one changes during the lifetime of a PC? Two? As long as the case has to be opened that amounts to 10 during the lifetime of a case, while the extra accumulated heat is there all the time. Reply
  • arthur449 - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    "How many drives one changes during the lifetime of a PC?"

    I have a Coolermaster ATCS-200 case I bought in 2000 still kicking around the house. While it only has 80mm fans, it remains a very attractive and functional case for 'that random frankenputer' one generally has after a few years of building their own PCs.

    How many times have I changed the drives in that case? More times than I can remember. Some of them due to drive failures, some due to SSD / SAS experimentation, and many times for just cramming old drives in there and doing some bare metal testing of the latest silly OS that trickles down the MS TechNet vine.

    A good case will survive multiple generations of hardware, and (since its target audience is already building their own computers) will more than likely put up with many drive swaps as it's handed down to friends, relatives, or simply demoted to closet server duty.
    Reply
  • Lonyo - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    I still have my ACTS 200 or 201, and the next gen replacement case for it, but neither are in proper use.
    The motherboard tray from one is in use for a makeshift computer elsewhere where I can't use the full case.

    The drive cages in both are hideous though, compared to modern cases. We have come a long way from the old days.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    I won't buy a case with an open top.
    Too much chance something will spill in it, or dust will settle on my gear.
    Copy Lian-Li and Fractal Design - give us a simple option to use the holes or not.
    Reply
  • Blibbax - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    That'd add cost. It could sold as an accessory though - I too avoid open top or even open side cases. Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    Toss some sound dampening material over the fan mounts you don't intend to use; it works like a charm. The only problem, in my experience, is that the adhesive on sound dampening material is so strong that your decision is basically permanent.

    It's funny, I bought a box of sound dampening material, just for kicks, like seven years ago and I never used it as it was (presumably) intended to be used -- but I've used bits and pieces to great effect. And I still have some left.

    Cut out four tiny little strips of the stuff and place it on the borders of your fan mounts, and vibration basically disappears. That silly-sounding trick single-handedly resurrected two positively ancient (circa 2002) jet-engine-sounding cases (6+ 80mm fan mounts each) that were sitting in my basement, collecting dust.
    Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    That said, I agree that the proliferation of computer cases featuring fan mounts in every available space is somewhat annoying -- especially given that those cases typically only come with 2 fans out of the box.

    Likewise, I'd love to see more cases with the old fashioned top-mounted PSU design. I understand the benefits of the alternative, but even with a filter, a bottom-mounted PSU is less than ideal on my carpeted floor.
    Reply
  • Blibbax - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    Agreed on all accounts. Reply
  • TekDemon - Sunday, December 30, 2012 - link

    I think it's actually great since it's the cheapest case that appears to support the H100 cooler, which was the main reason I bought my Carbide 400R (which I love-it's an awesome case). I wouldn't have been able to use this case though since I have a super long pci-e card. Reply
  • Torrijos - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    I'm left wondering what is the useful effect of each fan in cooling the machine.

    It might be interesting to have a guide analysing the effect of some fans combinations on the cooling performances.

    As an example of the question that need answering:
    - As it been determined which is preferable, positive or negative pressure?
    - Should a top radiator be use as an intake port (thus improving the CPU cooling by using fresh air, and with a fan pushing air does it improve the fan efficiency since its pushing colder/denser air trough?), or as an exhaust (avoiding hot air build up in the case)?
    - Should fans be use to push or pull air through a radiator?
    Reply
  • jonjonjonj - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    i think your looking for this. they are interesting articles.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-airflo...
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-air-pr...
    Reply
  • billcat1447 - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    I played with different fans acting on the internal pressure and found you def. want more air coming in than going out which I guess would be pos. pressure.
    The case didn't have the vent holes that most modern cases have so when I had more pressure pumping air out than in it caused the fans to work very hard to remove the air from inside the case and worst case it also overheated the power supply because it could not move air though it and pump it outside the case. I almost destroyed the power supply, the air was super hot. With air holes in modern cases and if it was all run through filters it might case the same condition but not as bad. You want dust to be removed before it can enter inside components so I would guess if filtered the less air being added would be the way to go. Most cases don't filter all the holes and I would want more air removed from the case than fans pulling air into the case but I would really only care about which fans can remove dust and mount then that way and which ones will cool the best while not adding dust and bringing air into the case. If there is a lot of holes pos or neg doesn't matter but the way the fans are mounted to get the best out of them is the most important part. I'd have air removed from the top fans, air removed from the power supply. Air entered for the front hard drive cooling fans and air entered from the side fan cooling the motherboard and memory (only if it's filtered).
    Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    There are endless debates about positive versus negative pressure. Different manufacturers even seem to have different opinions on the subject. (Antec, for example, seems to endorse negative pressure by default, whereas Silverstone is a vocal advocate of positive pressure.) Purely as a matter of cooling efficiency, I don't think there's a right answer: the ideal solution depends as much on the fans' placement in relation to your hardware as it depends on the direction of their airflow.

    That said, and all else being equal, I will always favor (filtered) positive air pressure, just because it reduces (or practically eliminates, in some cases) dust build up, and thus it saves the user from having to clean out the inside of his case regularly.
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    Imagine an Obsidian 150D for premium ITX. Reply
  • jonjonjonj - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - link

    i like the look. im not into the alien abducted my computer look. im convinced i could design a better budget case then most of these companies. if im going to buy a case that costs under $50 all im expecting is good cable management and air flow. i wonder what this case costs corsair air to make. Reply
  • Donniesito - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    Agreed. Give me clean lines, and I'm happy. I'm of the opinion that since my computer sits next to my desk on the floor, it doesn't matter what it looks like. It needs to be unobtrusive, and doesn't need to look like an alien ate my computer, nor does it need to light up like a runway. It just needs to sit there and work.. My display on the other hand needs to be all sorts of awesome ;-) Reply
  • johan851 - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    I felt like that little dig at the end of the article was neither relevant or correct. Thinkpads are still great, and what's that got to do with cases? Reply
  • JonnyDough - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    One Thing I would have liked to see:

    Completed cable management. Show me a finished computer with the cables all ziplocked down and looking clean. I just bought a Thermaltake Chaser MK-1 and did this and it's the best build I've done over the years. It really makes the PC look nice. Sufficient space behind the motherboard makes a huge difference, as do the pass through holes for the cables.
    Reply
  • Donniesito - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    I agree with this also. However, I don't use zip-ties for cable management. Years ago I learned the awesomeness that are velcro zip-ties and I've never looked back ;-) Reply
  • VTArbyP - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    Why has no one commented on the drive cage problems before me?

    The problem with removing the box from the 3.5' cage, sounds very familiar. I've had similar breakages numerous times in many things that I've had to put together. Usually I find that I missed some key instruction on HOW to remove the offending item without breakage. I still remember the feelings of "Ahh" and utter stupidity, when I found out how to open CD cases! :-) Is the cage removable? Can it be expanded in useful ways without destruction? I'd love to hear from the manufacturer and other builders using this case, since I like its looks and price.

    I can't get a good look at the 2.5" case with the pictures shown, but it doesn't look too enclosed. It seems to be just below the front fan and I wonder what effect that has. I would like some close up pictures of it added to the gallery. I feel the itch to drill or saw holes in it for cooling. Perhaps one could direct a bit more of the fan's air through it too. Wonder what would happen if the second front fan was added, slow speed, too cool the drives and perhaps the GPU. The case LOOKs sensibly laid out for cooling the SSDs and GPU, too bad it didn't actually do it, especially since the CPU temps were quite acceptable.
    Reply
  • billcat1447 - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    I got a new case, a smaller one and it had removable harddrive cages.
    While nice because it was the only way to put my video card in they didn't think it though very well. It left me with 2 slots while I removed 4. I could have removed 3 and left 3 and it would have worked a lot better and even could have removed just 2 and still got it too work. I had to buy mounting hardware to fit them to the full size mounts. Very stupid.
    I kind of like top fans because this is where most of the case heat ends up and so you can remove most with the lest effort. Computer cases are not cup holders and shouldn't have drinks put on them in the first place and is a non issue with me. I like well thought out cases with room enough to run power and other cables behind the motherboard to clean out the mess they can make.
    I notice that some cases with USB plugs are about as cheap as they get and just bumping them can ruin them. I would prefer they be mounted in a spot where you can't bump into them and/or made better or stronger. The Cooler Master HAF cases have very very cheap USB plugs in the front of their cases. Other than that they are very good cases. I prefer the power supply on the bottom with the fan hole facing up so dust isn't sucked into them from the floor. They are kind of a vacuum cleaner if you mount the fan down. But this is a personal pref. I think the case is overall cleaner if they are mounted on the bottom if you can put the cabled behind the motherboard space. Makes it easire to get at heatsink for cpu and the motherboard is easier to deal with also. But again, personal preference.
    Reply
  • OVerLoRDI - Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - link

    I have a 200R with 4 hard drives in the cage. I found the cage assembly decent, sure it isn't as robust as other options, but just being a little careful I didn't run into any of the problems you did.

    You also have the option to pop off the front of the case and move the fan down so it is blowing into the cage. I'm not sure why it isn't there by default, but that helps a lot with the cage temps.

    That being said my 4 drives are a bit toasty in there, but all within spec.
    Reply
  • Uthor - Friday, March 08, 2013 - link

    For what it's worth, I got this case today and had absolutely no issues removing the accessories box or installing a hard drive. Pulled back the plastic tab on the left side, slid the box out, and slid the drive in. I don't expect to be replacing the drive any time soon, so I also secured it with screws, but didn't feel like I HAD to. Reply
  • DigiMark - Thursday, April 25, 2013 - link

    I also purchased this case for use with a Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 ATX mainboard, Corsair TX-series power supply and several 3.5" drives. I found it easy to work with, no sharp edges and a clean look. It sits on the corner of my desk so I don't really have carpet issues, and I really like the power switch with integrated white drive and power lights, works well without being obnoxious. I didn't have a problem removing the hardware cardboard box, but I find that the single left-side latch for each drive does not secure well -- it's easy to push the drive past the holding pin with too much pressure. Once the machine is built is seems tight enough though. I should mention that while I used to build a number of machines using early In-Win cases, this is my first build in 6-7 years and my expectations were low, so also easily met. I think I will take advantage of another commenter's suggestion and move the front-mount fan down to blow past the drive cage. Budget pricing was important to me on this build and I feel like it is a good working case for the price. Reply

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