APEVIA X-Telstar Jr. G Type Case Review

Desja - 2008-01-26 13:25:44 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: Desja   
Reviewed on: February 14, 2008
Price: $79.99

Introduction:

One day, not so long ago, someone realized that standard cases were somewhat boring. From the first fan mod to now, modders have added a range of creative things to their cases. Once modding really started taking off, manufacturers hopped on the bandwagon, wanting their cut of this new market. I remember the good ol’ days, where older Maximum PC and PC gamer issues contained ads for Alienware, pumping out quality PC mods. Aesthetics aside, do these, for lack of a better word, “prettified” cases actually increase performance in any way? Are there some real pluses to a modified case? The Apevia X-Telstar Jr. G Type Case has many extra features over your average whitebox; let’s see if they succeed or fail miserably.

The Apevia X-Telstar Jr. G Type Case is a smaller case, with lots of bells and whistles. Coming stock with two 120mm fans for the G Type and one 240mm and one 120mm for the S Type, these cases seem to have what it takes to keep a case of this size, nice and cool. Let's get a closer look at it.

 

 

Closer Look:

When I first received the package, I noticed the picture on the front. Most of the time, the cases I order have a plain brown box with no product shots at all, so this was a nice change. On the side panel it tells you the color of the case with a black sticker in the designated spot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Styrofoam protects the X-Telstar Jr. G from being bashed, and a clear plastic covers the case to prevent scratches tand the inevitable dust from shipment ruining the X-Telstar finish.

 

 

The X-Telstar Jr. G comes with your standard standoffs, screws and manual. It also includes rails for its tool-less disk drive mounts, which are a clean translucent blue color.

Let's get a better look at the X-Telstar Jr. G.

 

Closer Look:

Well we saw the packaging and as interesting as that is, I think what most of us want to see is the case itself. The Apevia X-Telstar Jr. G Type Case has a very cool look to it. The first thing I noticed on this case was the brushed red steel, offset by a flat black. The front looks like a yin yang symbol; the Apevia logo is inset into a round, chrome circle in the top right, and an LCD is in round, chrome housing in the bottom left. The design is very well laid out on this case. The second feature most people would notice on this case is the large, blue 120mm fan attached to a clear, plexiglass side panel. This feature really makes this case stand out as not being your average case. The back of the case features another 120mm fan. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The front of the case opens up to reveal five 5.25" drive bays and one external 3.5" bay (a second is hidden internally), as well as reset and power buttons. Getting a closer look at the side panel fan reveals a metal cover in between the fan and the plexiglass. This cover has holes in it and is in place to keep larger pieces of debris from getting into your case and ruining you fragile components.

 

 

Removing the bezel reveals that the Apevia X-Telstar Jr. G Type Case is pretty much, what you see is what you get. There isn’t very much room to do any after market modding on the front of this case. On the other hand, as I mentioned there are some very creative ones out there. Maybe there is something I am missing; the bezel is deep enough to add in more lights if a person wants to go all out on their case.

 

At the back of the case there is a 120mm fan. This fan does not have pretty blue LEDs, but it is the same translucent blue color of the side panel fan. It also has a protective guard over it to keep big debris out of the case.

 

Let's check out what else is under the hood

Closer Look:

This option is on most new cases but it is worth mentioning anyways; I love thumbscrews. Sure you could just buy them, but they need to be industry standard. Tool-less cases are becoming more and more common and I couldn’t be happier; there is nothing worse than dropping screws in cases when you are working on them. Another big pet peeve of mine is slipping with your screwdriver and scoring your motherboard. One of the options of the Apevia X-Telstar Jr. G Type Case is the snap in place tabs for your PCI expansion slots. At first thought, they are a good idea, but they seem a little flimsy to me. I don’t like plastic holding in my video card as I am constantly taking my DVI connection on and off my computer and spinning the case around plugging and unplugging various things. I can be a bit rough with my equipment and I don’t want a slight slip to snap the plastic tab off and ruin my motherboard or graphics card.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Apevia X-Telstar Jr. G Type Case seems very spacious inside for a “Jr” case. The hard drive bays are turned sideways, which I think is a great idea; I have struggled with smaller cases trying to get the SATA and power connectors off. Another great tool-less feature of this case is the hard drives are put onto the rails mentioned earlier and slide into place. Your DVD drive also slips easily into position, and you move the blue slider forward to lock the drive in place.

 

 

The rear fan of the case is not inset like some cases I have seen, so this does limit internal space a little. The fan is not just another cheap fan like most manufacturers use. It is a good middle-line quality fan that is not made out of really cheap plastic.

 

Lets put this thing together and see how well it does.

 

 

Installation:

Anytime I install my components into a new rig, I put my motherboard in first; I find it makes it easier to move around inside the case. Some choose to do the PSU first, which makes sense if you do not want to slip and drop a heavy power supply onto your motherboard. Removing your RAM before installing your motherboard is also a recommended step. The less you have to catch on corners the less chance you will ruin your components. First thing's first, you need to install the correct standoff pattern before you do anything else; putting your standoffs in the wrong place can cause you to short out your motherboard. When in doubt...all motherboards come with a manual these days; use it!

  

 

 

 

 

 

The next thing I do is start plugging in the USB and power switch/LED cables directly to the motherboard. The Apevia X-Telstar Jr. G Type Case has an internal thermometer; you will want to place this cable whereever you want to read a temperature. I decided to put it under my expansion cards, which should provide a more accurate reading of ambient temperature not affected by CPU or CPU radiant heat.

 

 

 

When I installed my PSU, I noticed there is quite a bit of room for my PSU. Granted, my PSU is small, but I believe a lot of the mammoth PSU's on the market wouldn’t have any problems fitting in this case. The next thing I do is install my hard drive and DVD drive and plug in all the SATA and power connectors needed for the PC to function correctly. As you can see, the hard drive rails just slip into the pre-drilled holes on the hard drive and slide into the hard drive bay. For the DVD drive, the optical bay slider is slid forward into place and the drive is locked into its position.

 

 

 

As you can see, there is quite a bit of room left in this case. There is more than enough room for an 8800GTX, even though this is not a full size tower. The front panel has a fan controller, two USB, one firewire, one mic port, and one headphones port, which are all plugged into the PSU and motherboard.

 

 

The Apevia X-Telstar Jr. G Type Case looks awesome all lit up. The front LCD tells me the voice unit rating from 1-100, what percentage I have my fans running at, and what my 5V and 12V are running at, on top of looking cool. The design looks very impressive in the dark, but I have to shut the door to my office because the PC is too bright at night. As a bonus, it is blue and as you know, blue rocks; in my opinion anyways.

 

 

 

Let's test this case out and see if these fans really do what they are supposed to.

 

 

Specifications:

  

Model No.Case

X-TSJGT-RD

 

Material Metal Color

Red

Main Board

Standard ATX / Baby AT / Micro ATX

Window

Yes

Power Supply

N/A

Drive Space

5x5.25" / 2x3.5" / 3x3.5" (hidden)

Motherboard Size

up to 11" x 12"

Expansion Slots

7 Front Panel

Switch Power / Reset

Front Access Ports 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Firewire, 2 x HD audio

Cooling Fan Space

Up to 3 x case fans:
1 x 120mm fan - front (optional)
1 x 120mm UV blue LED fan - side window (included)
1 x 120mm fan - rear (included)

Front Thermometer

1 x Sophisticated LCD

Front Fan Controller

1 x Fan Speed Controller

Led Display

Power / HDD

Shipping Weight

21 lbs

Dimensions(DxWxH)

20" x 7.75" x 16.75"

Cu'ft

2.64'

 

 

 

Features:

Now Lets go test some of these features.

Testing:

I will be testing the Apevia X-Telstar Jr. G Type Case against my old Super Case and my current Thermaltake Wing 100 RS. The tests will consist of idle and load temperatures for CPU, GPU, chipset, ambient, and hard drive. I will also be testing the internal thermometer against my digital thermometer I have used in the past, which is accurate to 1 decimal point. I will not be showing voltage tests in this review because I do not have a PSU voltage tester on hand and there was a considerable difference between my motherboard voltage sensors and the cases. Saying whether one is right or wrong would be a biased opinion, so for this reason I will leave this test out. The fans will be run at 100% for fairness.

Testing Setup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Apevia and the Thermaltake were neck and neck for most of the tests. The Apevia took the lead in the GPU test. I think this was mostly because the Apevia was the only one with a 120mm fan on the side panel instead of PVC piping, allowing me to turn my 8600GTS heat piping vertical for the first time, like it is supposed to be. I know my digital thermometer is accurate so I was a little sad to see that the internal thermometer was that many degrees off.

Conclusion:

I must say the Apevia X-Telstar Jr. G Type Case definitely caught my eye. The design and features were very well thought out. Let's get back to the questions we asked in the introduction; did the “prettified” case help performance in anyway? Yes, part of the reason this case looks so nice is the 120mm fan. Sure it may be more so the pretty blue lights, but the big fan is a huge plus for this case, both aesthetically and for cooling. Are there some real pluses in a modified case? Absolutely; the LCD screen fan control and dual stock 120mm fans give this case a huge push in the right direction. My “Super Case” is the closest thing I have to a whitebox and the Apevia blew it away.

All of the neat features aside, there were a few notable flaws; the cheap plastic tabs for the PCI slots and the fact that you need to store the rails for hard drives if you don’t use them all up is a little irritating. Other cases use tool-less drive bay options that are stored on the drive bay till you need them. My office is a mess I can’t keep track of little rails, so I hope they try something different in the future. These are some small drawbacks to an otherwise great case. In spite of these flaws, I still wholeheartedly recommend this case to anyone looking for something new. This may be one of the best cases you’ll ever own.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: