Cubitek XL Tank Review

Compxpert - 2011-07-27 18:47:07 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: Compxpert   
Reviewed on: August 14, 2011
Price: $189.99

Introduction:

Let's face it, graphics cards these days are getting longer and longer. With current AMD and NVIDIA offerings, some users will need to consider a new case or get creative in order to install their new card. It's always prudent in a new build to consider a case that supports both current and future graphics cards, as well as any other hardware you may need. That's where Cubitek comes in with the XL-Tank case. Not only does the it support larger graphics cards, but longer PSU's up to 220mm in length and CPU heatsinks up to 190mm in height as well. Of course the XL-Tank has much more to offer than just these few features, but you'll have to read on if your keen on finding out.

Closer Look:

As one might expect, the front of the XL-Tank box features a picture of a tank. However, unlike a tank this case is all aluminum. Here on the left side of the box details we have multi-language specifications on the case. The back uncovers many other handy features, such as the removable hard drive bay. The right side of the box details some specific features of the case, like the previously mentioned larger graphics card, PSU, and CPU heatsink support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once open, we are greeted by the top panel of the XL-Tank. The whole case is packaged in with the usual plastic wrapping and Styrofoam.

 

 

So far the XL-Tank is shaping up to be a great case, however this is only just the tip of the ice berg. Let's continue on with a closer look at the case.

Closer Look:

Sadly, there isn't a side panel window with this case or even an option for side ventilation. As previously stated, this case is completely aluminum, no plastic, and the result is a very nice polished black aluminum exterior. As you can see from the front, the case has the ability to support any 3.5" external devices, as well as up to four 5.25" devices. The right side panel isn't much different from the left this time around. But beware, the side panels are not reversible so you cannot turn the left one upside down and put it on the right instead. The top panel doesn't disappoint either sporting two 140mm red LED fans.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bottom of the case has a hole for your PSU fan and is capable of using an included fan filter should you choose to mount your PSU fan side down. The feet on this case are really nice, consisting of large round circles clad with rubber on the bottom, so you can be sure this case won't be slipping away. Here we also have the top panel power and reset switches, as well as the I/O connections that consist of two USB ports, headset, MIC, and eSATA. Both USB ports are also USB 3.0 capable, should your motherboard offer support.

 

 

 

So far this case is shaping up to be something awesome just with this one look at the outside, but isn't it really what's on the inside that counts?

Closer Look:

At first glance of the inside, the most prominent object is probably the large bar stuffed into the middle of the case. This bar is meant to provide added support for large graphics cards, but can be easily removed as well. On the front of the case, we find a rather large, but nice 230mm red LED fan. Just in front of the fan is the fan filter which is secured to the case with a black aluminum bracket. The bracket is easily removed by sliding it up and removing it from the case and is just as easily replaced when the reverse is done. Looking behind the left side panel of the case, there appears to be an adequate amount of space to run wires behind the motherboard, as well as plenty of holes to pull wire through. Bringing up the rear, literally, you can see the back of the case. The back features watercooling support and a removable PSU bracket to allow you to install your PSU however you wish. Unlike your usual case, the fan in the rear is not 120mm but 140mm in size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving on, we have the hard disk drive bay, which is removable to allow easier installation. Off to the left side of the drive bay are a thumb screw and two allen head screws. Once loosened, the piece of metal behind slides to the left, aloowing the hard drives to be installed. A total of four 5.25" bays are available with this case and a 3.5" bay converter is also provided, which not only allows a single external 3.5" device to be installed, but also has support for 2.5" drives such as SSDs or laptop hard drives. Since this case supports XL-ATX it also sports up to eight rear expansion devices so even if you don't need the XL-ATX support you gain the ability to use up to three dual slot video cards for tri-SLI or triple CrossFireX support. Of course no case would truly be complete if it didn't include a provision in the motherboard tray for ease in removing heatsink or waterblock backplates.

 

 

 

Included with the case are a good number of accessories that include a PSU fan filter, extra leads for the included fans to allow easier install for cable management purposes, and the usual assortment of screws. Also included is a USB type A to internal USB header, allowing you to connect the top panel USB to your motherboards internal USB connection. Of course a manual is provided with the case which contains detailed diagrams of how everything should be installed. Next up we have a closer each of the included fans, which consist of the front 230mm, rear 140mm and top 140mm fans. Last but not least we have our internal connections which include USB 3.0, HD Audio, eSATA, the power and reset switches, and the HDD activity indicator LED.

 

 

 

The top panel is easily removed and is only held in with four screws. Each side panel has a handle on the back to make it easy to remove the side panel and each panel only fits on one side of the case. The front panel is very easy to remove also, requiring little effort to pry it from the front of the case.

 

 

 

Last but not least we have our finished product. All installation went smooth as can be, without any hang ups anywhere in the process. Wire managment was made considerably easy with the large amount of holes provided in the motherboard tray. As for the hard disk drives the bay was easily removed only needing the top and bottom thumb screw to be removed. Once out the hard drives were quite easy to install and with the provided hardware they slid in a lock into place with the metal bar off to the left of the hard disk drive cage.

 

At last we have everything installed in the case. With this many fans the case should perform wonderfully in testing, especially since none of the included fans are under 140mm in size.

Specifications:

Model  Name
XL Tank
Model  Number
CB-TKI-B410
Drive Bay
External: 5.25” x 4 ( one 5.25” to 3.5” converter included )
Size
230 x 490 x 525mm ( W, H, D )
Material
Anodized 5052 aluminum
M/B Type
XL-ATX, CEB, ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
PCI slots
8
Front I/O
USB 3.0 x 2 / E-SATA / HD+AC-97 audio
PCI Space
Maximum Graphics Card length: 310mm
CPU Cooler Height
Maximum CPU Cooler height: 190mm
PSU Space
Maximum PSU length: 220mm
Fan
Front: 230mm fan x 1
Rear: 140mm fan x 1
Top: 140mm fan x 2
Side Panel
Aluminum
Internal Finishing
Aluminum

Features:

All information courtesy of Cubitek @ http://www.cubitek.com/products/chassis/xl-tank/features.html

Testing:

I run the case through the usual gauntlet of tests consisting of both idle and load testing on the four major heat producing components. These components are of course the CPU, GPU, Chipset, and Hard Disk drive. For idle testing I simply allow the computer to idle for a whole hour, then I record the current temperature of each of the four components using both RealTemp and HwMonitor. Load testing is very similar to idle in every aspect, except instead of allowing the computer to idle for a whole hour I apply load to each specific component for an hour and record the respective temperature afterward. In terms of temperature in both idle and load, lower is always better.

 

Testing System:

 

Comparison Cases:


 

   

   

   

   

 

Seemingly, the XL-Tank just couldn't outrun the Level 10 GT, coming in second in four out of eight tests. However, it remains quite close to it in every test only losing by a mere one or two degrees Celsius.

Conclusion:

The Cubitek XL-Tank shaped up to be quite an excellent case. Overall, the case did not disappoint and honestly I couldn't find a single flaw with it. The case performed quite well given the fact it ships with the number of fans it has. It also features the fast and quite new USB 3.0, should you have a capable motherboard. Upgrade ability also isn't an issue on the XL-Tank, with support for graphics cards up to 310mm and heatsinks 190mm in height, you should never run into a situation where the case will not work with your hardware. With the ability to house XL-ATX this case supports just about anything that is big. It also includes other neat features such as a removable hard disk drive bay and even offers support for up to six hard disk drives. Wire management with the XL-Tank is exceptional, given the mind numbing amount of holes in the motherboard tray to fish wires through. This offering from Cubitek has it all with great features and good looks to back them up, so you have to wonder just what kind of price tag is attached. It might surprise you, but the case only retails at a cool $189.99, which given its construction and what it includes certainly doesn't break the bank. So if you are looking for a case that simply just has it all, then look no further than the Cubitek XL-Tank.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: