Aspire Turbo Gamer ATXA2ESW Aluminum Case Review

Bosco - 2007-01-29 14:24:50 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: Bosco   
Reviewed on: November 6, 2002
GF City Computers
Price: $150 USD

Introduction

If you go to LAN parties alot then you'll know the importance of having a computer that can be brought over to another area without too much difficulty. A heavy computer is very difficult to carry to someone's house to LAN, and it only invites back problems later on. Moreover, not every gamer has the intention of building muscle mass by carrying a 50 pound completely metallic server case every time s/he wants to pop a few rounds of lead with the other gamers. Because of this, having a computer that is easy to carry around is essential.

A light case isn't just all that. It also needs to have enough room for all of the components that the user will install. Installation must be simple, and after installation, maintenance has to be a simple job, not having to remove both side panels and then going at it with a screwdriver. For the gamer, it's gotta be less time trying to fix something, and more time to have fun. Today I'm going to see how well the Aspire Turbo Gamer ATXA2ESW Aluminum Case stands up to these requirements.

Many of you have heard of this case before, and in fact, Dave reviewed one of these cases a while back. I won't be reinventing the wheel, but I'll provide another viewpoint as to why this product is an excellent candidate next time you are on the lookout for a new case.

Closer Look

Features

  • Light Weight Heavy Duty Aluminum Case
  • Slide Handle
  • Large Window on Side Panel
  • Lockable Front and Side Panels
  • Four 5.25" Sliding Drive Bays
  • Six 3.5" Drive Bays in 2 Detachable Housings (3 each)
  • Two 80mm Rear Exhaust Fans
  • Two Extra Slots for 80mm Intake Fans
  • Being an aluminum case, it is extremely light, even when loaded with the basic components for hardcore gaming. If for some odd reason you do find the case to be too light, then this case might not be for you. Alternatively, if you're stuck with this case, then tape a lump of coal to the floor of it. Not only will it make it heavier but it will also lower its center of gravity, strengthening its balance! =)

    The case comes as a stand-alone unit, with no power supply, despite what the box says. It's certainly a money saver on Aspire's part so they don't have to make different box designs just for this difference.

    The unit stands tall, at 21 inches. The black colour makes it look very sleek, and I think the silver one would've had the same effect too. The front panel as well as the side panel are lockable, but by no means does it make the case a safe! Anyone who is dedicated enough can break open the panels and get access to the stuff inside. I see it more as a protection from little kids who like to push buttons and/or those who love ripping apart electified cables.

    Unlike the older versions of this case, this one comes with front USB, although I'm not sure why they included only 2 ports when there is room for 4. As far as I know, this is the only difference with this version and the one that Dave reviewed. having USB ports in the front serves as another convenient option, because now you won't have to crawl to the back of the case just to get your joystick, camera, or some other peripheral installed.

    The window is wrapped in cellophane for protection, and from the picture you can tell that there is alot of room, which justifies the lack of a removable motherboard tray. There should be more than enough room for you to get everything installed. If you don't, then maybe you're installing things in the wrong order. If you're using rounded cables, save them for last. They tend to take up the most space during the final moments of installation. If you don't have rounded cables, like me, then do something creative with the ribbon cables!

    The back of the case stands tall. However, one thing that still bothered me is that if your power supply has a second fan on the bottom, then you cannot install the PS from the outside, unless you remove the fan grille first. What a pain. I ended up installing from the inside, which is not a problem, which is also not a problem, because there is alot of room above the motherboard area for you to slide your power supply in or out, making a power supply swap a very simple task.

    Another shot of the inside, this time with the side panel removed.

    The front has two more case fan brackets that will allow you to add more fans to your system. I personally recommend that you have at least 1 intake fan, that way your exhaust fans do not have to fight a vacuum inside your case.

    Closer Look (Cont.)

    Your 3.5" bays are detachable, and one of them contains the second fan bracket. If you install a fan here it will bring in fresh, cool air right to your hard drives. Detachable drive bays really make the installation that much easier because now you won't have to remove the other side panel, nor will you be trying to reach for screws at the bottom of your case if you accidently drop one.

    The case comes with two exhaust fans. The fans themselves are very quiet, but the large amount of air that they pull through will be a strong source of noise.

    The 5.25" drives are installed by using the included sliding drive rails. This makes it extremely easy to attach and remove devices without having to unscrew the drive first. Another convenient option.

    Black faceplates would be nice here... and also a black cabinet monitor, and a black keyboard, and a black mouse, and a black printer, and a black table, and...

    Here's all the goodies, transfered from my old case. Again, there's alot of room here, especially for the heatsink and for the intake fan on the power supply. Apart from that, I think it looks good. The motherboard tray doesn't slide out, but there's more than enough room for you to work around in that case. It is so roomy in there!

    Finished! A little messy at the top, but some organization should take care of that very nicely. That small army-looking thing to the right is my old case, with some individuals "mistakened" for a tank from Iraq. Hmm... actually, I'd love to see a camoflage pattern on these cases as another colour choice. I think that would be awesome.

    Here's a closeup from another angle. All I need are some lights, then I can show everyone the l337 contents of my case through the big window!

    Conclusion

    I really like this case! It's much better than my old one, that's for sure. It's light, very roomy, front USB, and there's that big window! It has everything that I wanted in a case... at least for now. The only sharp edges that I have found are from the bay shields. When you remove them, be very careful of the tabs that you break off. I've found that the tabs become extremely sharp, and do not break off with the shield. If you're really paranoid about that you can get some sandpaper and burr off the sharp edges. The price is a bit on the high side, but you are paying for a really good case that can last you for a long time.

    Now all I need are some cold cathodes...

    Pros

  • It's light!!
  • Easy-to-remove side panel
  • Lots of room to work with
  • Structured airflow design
  • Front USB
  • Cons

  • Price is a bit high
  • Sharp tabs left from bay shields
  • Only 2 front USB ports
  • Big window likes to attract dust and can be easily scratched