Chieftec BL-01B Case Reviewgotdamojo06 - August 17, 2009
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The front of the case is has one of the features that is going to catch your eye the first time that you see the case, regardless of what you are expecting; the front IO panel and optical drive is located along the bottom edge of the front. Right to the left of the IO panel, you are going to see that there are a few slits in the plastic covering that is going to allow air to freely move in and out of the case. When you look above the IO panel, you are going to see that the case falls back quite a distance and has a wall that goes up, located on this wall is a track where you are able to insert the monitor mount and adjust the position of the mount. The back of the case is very simplistic, there are no fans, which is not what I was expecting to see on the removable panel to access the "guts" of your computer. There is a bulge that protrudes from the panel, there are air vents along the edges of the bulge that is also going to allow more air to freely flow in and out of the case, giving it the ability to "breathe" and help cool the components inside. When you take a look at the case from the side view, this is where you are going to see the biggest surprise. There is one fan located at the top of the case, it is positioned to blow the warm air that is collecting at the top most corner of the case right out, making the average temperature inside cooler. At the bottom of this side, there is another air vent that is going to allow the air to flow in and out of the case. If you eventually wanted to go into water cooling inside of this case, this side looks like it would be able to hold a 3.120mm radiator with a radbox installed around the 120mm fan hole. The other side of the case is where Chieftec has placed the rear IO panel and the outlets for all of your expansion cards. At the bottom of the case is where the PSU is going to be installed, with the removal of the black plate that is covering the hole. To the left of the rear IO panel, is another "breathable" spot in the case allowing air to freely flow in and out. When the case is empty sitting as you see it here, it is surprisingly lightweight, I would have expected it to weigh a little more than it does to help keep the monitor on there but it should be sturdy enough.
Taking a closer look at the side panel of the Chieftec BL-01B case, you are able to see exactly what the "bulge" was intended to do. Not only is it placed at the top of the case where the temperatures are going to be warmer to help reduce the heat, it was designed to stick out if you had a tall cooler installed on one of your video cards or any other type of expansion card you may have placed in one of your slots. The outside of the "bulge" also has two indents on either side that will allow you to stick the ends of your fingers in to get a better grip on it so you can pull it off easier as well as put it back in place. The inside of the panel was not painted the same black color as the exterior, which is very common on all cases.
Now that we have the side panel removed, we are able to see exactly how the inside of the case has been set up. The top section, right behind where the monitor is going to be mounted is where the motherboard gets mounted. All of the front IO panel wires have been run up towards the motherboard tray already which is going to help make it a little easier to keep the inside of the case clean. The 120mm fan has been positioned at the top across from the motherboard tray, to help reduce the amount of heat that is going to build up around the components on the motherboard and anything else you may have installed on your motherboard such as a video card or a sound card. Towards the bottom on the left side is where you are going to be able to mount up to two 2.5" drives. These are completly internal, meaning you cannot install a floppy drive here. Right below that is where the optical drive is going to be installed, and Chieftec has included a cover for the optical drive so that it does match the rest of the case. Next to the optical drive mounts is where the PSU is going to be installed. It does look like quite a tight fit, but I am excited to start getting everything in there to see what she looks like full.
There are two clear plastic bags that were sitting at the bottom of the case when I took the back panel off. These two bags are where you are going to find all of the accessories that are included with the Chieftec BL-01B case. The first bag is where you are going to find the Chieftec user manual - it has the same line drawing that the front and back of the packaging had printed on it. Packed inside of that same bag, you are going to see two velcro wire ties that are going to allow you to tie up any cables that you do not want to move around. Chieftec suggests that you use them for the monitor's cables to make the outside of the case look nicer, while I plan on using them inside of the case to help keep the wires from blocking any airflow happening inside the case. The second bag is a bag of screws that are going to allow you to install the hard drive, optical drive, as well as the motherboard including the stands. There is also a little speaker for the motherboard included in this bag, but while most cases have them already installed somewhere inside the case, Chieftec has given you the option if you wanted to install the speaker or not.
Now that we know what the basic layout of the Chieftec BL-01B case is, I think it is about time to take a closer look at the components that make the BL-01B properly function.