Chieftec AEGIS Full Tower Review
Reviewed by: Propane
Reviewed on: February 1, 2009
A lot of times, the case for a computer is a secondary thought. However, the case, in addition to looking cool, can provide several other benefits, like noise reduction and cooling. By the same token, however, a case may not have any of these benefits, or even worse. Every component in a computer generates heat, including the major contributors like the CPU, GPU, and hard drives. The size of the case is also something that should be taken into consideration, as the more expansion cards you have and the more hard drives you have, the larger a case you will need.
This case, the AEGIS, is made by Chieftec, a company that prides themselves on "always bettering themselves." This case is the full tower version of the AEGIS, meaning it has more drive bays and more expansion slots than the typical mid tower case. While the mid tower didn't get a great review, hopefully the full tower performs better.
The box housing the Chieftec AEGIS has a ton of information packed all over it, front and back. Also there are two giant pictures of the case, in both the silver color and black color. As with the mid tower, along the bottom of the box, in large bold lettering, it states "IN THIS CASE YOU CAN TRUST."
The case, which is covered in a protective plastic bag as well as foam, gave me some trouble when I was trying to get it out. I finally got it and got the protective packaging off. The case that Chieftec sent me was the black version. This version of the AEGIS has mesh-covered openings on the side and front that allow both light and air to pass through. The unfortunate thing about letting air through, however, is that the dust comes with it. Of course, this is the same with all other cases. The other side of the case has three places to mount fans, but tragically no fans are included with the case; you will need to make that purchase for increased cooling performance.
The front of the case has two doors that open separately from each other and are split by the IO panel, which is available regardless of the doors' positions. The back of the case is pretty standard, with expansion slots along the bottom, the opening for the motherboard IO above it, and room for the power supply towards the top. There is also room for a 120mm fan, if you choose to place one there.
Front panel connectivity is pretty much standard fare nowadays and the AEGIS is no exception, featuring two USB 2.0 ports, a single 1394 Firewire port and jacks for a microphone and set of headphones if you choose to hook them up. The front LEDs include one for power and one for HDD activity. The power switch and reset switch are located on the left side of the panel.
The top of the case is very standard with nothing out of the normal; just a flat surface. The bottom is also pretty standard, but this case comes with four feet that can be rotated out for added stability.
The outside of the case has a pretty solid feel to it, but the inside is the most important aspect of a case. This case doesn't have a lot of flashy features, but sometimes all you want is a simple solution. As with most cases, you can see the plate where the motherboard will be installed very easily. Chieftec has made sure that just about all form factors are covered with the amount of holes in the motherboard tray.
There are also plenty of drive bays and they are all screwless. Instead of having threaded screws, the brackets use a knurled finish to keep the brackets securely on the drives before you install them into the drive bays. Whatever works, right?
In addition to having screwless drive bays, the AEGIS also as a screwless expansion bay. This allows you to just place the cards in and then push down the metal bracket that is over the slots, securing your cards in place. With this in mind, unfortunately this system did not work with my two-slot video card. However, there are screw holes so you can secure your cards the traditional way as well.
4x5.25" + 1x3.5" FDD + 6x3.5" HDD Installed
Black (Silver available)
- 12 drive bays for maximum upgradability
- Front-mounted ports for easy multimedia connections
- Fits motherboards up to extended ATX (EATX) 12"x13" maximum
- Spring added to hold HDD/FDD for anti-vibration support
- Patented rails for easy and stable HDD installation
- Cooling capacity protects your valuable components
- The front panel with mesh design to ensure better airflow
- Sliding side panel opening with handle for easy maintenance
- Screwless card clip for easy PCI card installation
- Chassis feet can be changed to wheels by two screws
- Accommodate max 10pcs CD into front panel space
- Optional side panel with either mesh or transparent window
All information courtesy of Chieftec @ http://www.chieftec.com/CX-05B-B.html
If you are going to spend your hard-earned money on a computer and a case, you probably want to know that what you are getting is a good buy and that it will keep your other (hopefully) good buys safe and cool. To figure out how well this case performs, I will install my OCC standard test system into it and then measure the temperatures of several components. This should give me a good idea of how well the air flow in the case is. I will use a combination of HDTune, SpeedFan, and CoreTemp to read the sensors and compare the temperatures to the AEGIS Mid Tower and Cooler Master Cosmos.
- Processor: Intel Q9450 Core 2 Quad 333x8
- Motherboard: Gigabyte X48-DQ6
- Memory: Mushkin XP2 Redline 8000 2 x 2GB 5-5-5-12
- Video Card(s): MSI 9800GT
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800 watt Modular power supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 750GB SATA
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate
- Cooler Master Cosmos
- Chieftec AEGIS Mid Tower
As you can see in the above charts, the AEGIS Full Tower is warmer than the Cosmos, but a little cooler than the AEGIS Mid Tower. However, there is the ability to add several fans to the AEGIS, which would probably help bring down temperatures further. As it stands, these are pretty warm temperatures, but that is somewhat expected with the lack of airflow.
Pretty much all cases out there have at least one up side to them; they hold all your components. Luckily, the Chieftec AEGIS does that well. While it does add several additional perks, like the ability to easily swap hard drives and expansion cards with the screwless design, or the ability to hold CDs or DVDs on the front of the chassis behind one of the swing-open doors, it is definitely not a case I would mark as an enthusiast case, at least not as delivered. The lack of pre-installed fans and the lack of several features seen on other cases, such as bottom-mounted PSU slots or removable motherboard trays, really leaves this case in the workstation or entry-level market. Another market this case might fit into, however, is the extreme modding market. Since the case ships close to bare bones, it would be easier to make this case into what you want it to be (if you have the time required to undertake such a task). Another downside to the case is that sound from all the devices were easily heard (the seeking of the hard drives, for example), but if you add additional fans, these sounds should be much less pronounced and the cooling would improve drastically. The AEGIS Full Tower would be an excellent choice for someone looking to spice up their desk area or someone who wants to do some full-out modding, but for overclockers, plan on adding some fans to your build budget to get the most from this case.
- Lots of drive bays
- Lots of empty fan slots
- Screwless design
- Passive cooling
- No fans included
- Screwless design for expansion cards might not work with some cards