DimasTech Bench Test/Table Easy V2.5 Review
Reviewed by: Psywar
Reviewed on: May 4, 2010
Extreme PC cooling use, such as LN2 and phase units, only account for a small segment of the market and in fact, outside of enthusiasts, many might not even know such products exist. Luckily, this has not stopped a handful of companies from pushing forward and creating products that fit into this niche. One such company is the Italian based DimasTech, which was established to help increase the performance potential of systems by releasing products that will efficiently cool even the most extreme overclocked components. Some of the products that DimasTech has release to aid the enthusiast community are water cooling parts, phase units and Dry Ice/LN2 pots. Even though the company offers many high performance cooling solutions, we are actually going to be looking at its DimasTech Bench Test/Table Easy version 2.5. This new tech station takes aspects of previous versions and combines them with features that were introduced into this new offering thanks to user feedback. This has created a bench table that is functional, sleek, can house multiple components and cooling solutions. All the initial details about this table seem very impressive, but one feature that makes it appear as if this is one tech station that could surpass many others is the creative steps taken to mount fans to important areas of the chassis to prevent overheating, which is not the case with many similar products. Too many tech stations come with fan brackets that are just not adequately setup to properly cool hot northbridge or MOSFET areas, so the fact that this one does not seem to have this limitation could really create some demand for it.
The DimasTech Bench Test/Table Easy v2.5 comes packaged in a large plain box that, other than the logo on the side, gives no indication as to what is housed inside. When you open the packaging you can see that DimasTech included all necessary precautions to protect the case from damage during shipping. This has the case arriving in layers of Styrofoam in both vertical and horizontal positioning throughout the box with the case layered within it. This packaging worked well and prevented any damage to the chassis while in transit to us, which is quite a feat as it came directly from Italy.
As you can see, not only did DimasTech use styrofoam to surround the case, but it also included it within the chassis as well. Inside of these layers of protection you will find all of the necessary components needed to assemble the bench table. The majority of the accessories found in the styrofoam are actual modular bays and brackets that are added to the case for expansion. These expansion bays consist of ODD and HDD brackets, fan brackets and a PSU bracket that are all mounted using the included thumb screws, or thumb nuts. On top of these you get ten motherboard stand offs, foam spacer, four rubber feet, single USB slot and a power/reset buttons with cables.
Before we can start to install the components on the case we must first assemble it part by part.
The DismasTech bench table comes as a solid glossy black table that is made from 1.5mm thick SECC steel with two installation areas. These areas consist of the top where the motherboard is secured and the bottom, which is where the hard drives, optical drives and power supply are installed. The motherboard installation area consists of finely threaded screw holes that support the motherboard stand-offs, cable management areas, four water cooling tube access holes and areas for the fan brackets to be installed. The bottom layer where the expansion bays are placed comes with holes throughout it so you can choose the best location for installation of the modular bays. These bays are secured by running a screw in though the bottom of the panel that is secured by the use of a thumb-nut at the top. Turning the case around you see a few different access areas that will allow for each component to be easy to get to and an area that will support either three 120mm case fans or up to a triple 120mm fan radiator for water cooling.
To set up the case I am going to follow the installation manual and show my progress step by step. The first area that is dealt with is the motherboard stand-offs. These are simply screwed into the top panel and can be placed in many different combinations that can support a wide variety of motherboards. The support ranges from ATX, full ATX, microATX, XL-ATX and Mini ATX, making this a case that can support just about any setup you could possibly consider. The included stand-offs are rather long and due to their height will hold the motherboard almost a ful inch off of the chassis. After the stand-offs are secured in place I moved on to the power and reset buttons. To secure these to the case you simply place them though the pre-drilled holes on the front of the case and then secure them using a nut that screws onto the back side. Directly beside the reset button is an access area to install the single USB port, which is secured by screws on each side.
Next up is installation of the VGA support bracket. This is secured by running two screws from under the top panel into the bracket and securing it using thumb-nuts. The screw holes that are used to secure it to the chassis are actually rectangular, allowing the bracket to slide about an inch and a half along the back of the case into a location that can support your specific motherboard's expansion needs. Now that we have most of the top panel setup we can start to install the expansion bays and the first step in this process is to remove the bottom tray from the case.
The bottom tray is held into place by six thumb scews that can be easily removed to allow the panel to slide in and out of the chassis. To secure the modular bays and PSU bracket to the panel you use the same method that was utilized for the VGA bracket on the top panel. It is up to you as to where you want to install each specific bay since there are multiple holes throughout that will allow you to pick the best location for your specific needs. Securing the bays and PSU bracket to the panel is very easy and once completed you can easily slide it back into the case.
Now that all the installation brackets and bays are in place there are only the optional fan brackets left. These are also secured with the use of screws and thumb-nuts and like the VGA bracket can be slid across a portion of the top panel, allowing you to place the fans in the most optimal location. As you can see in the last image, Dimastech has really induced all necessary components to properly keep all areas of the motherboard cool. This includes four 120mm fan brackets, with one having a long flexible base that will allow it to be adjusted to different locations throughout the top panel. Altogether this case can hold up to seven 120mm case fans, greatly increasing the ability to cool each area of the motherboard and reducing temperatures, which will increase the overclocking potential of your components.
Now that we have the case fully assembled, it is time to start the installation of the hardware. First up is the motherboard, which is placed directly on the stand-offs and secured in place using the included thumb screws. This was extremely easy to install with the use of the thumb screws and easy access, later substitutions will be very convenient as well. With the motherboard stand-offs holding the motherboard an inch off the base and the VGA bracket installed it is very easy to add even large dual slot graphics cards. Also, one interesting feature is that for extreme cooling you can use a layer of Neoprene on the top panel in place of the stand-offs and that the thumb-screws can still be used to secure the motherboard to it. This makes this tech station capable of not just air and water cooling, but also more extreme methods such as LN2 and dry ice.
To install the PSU, optical drives and hard drives you will need to remove the bottom panel and secure each device into the proper location on the panel using thumb-screws. The bay that houses the hard drives can hold up to four 3.5" drives in place and are situated with the drive facing toward the back of the case, this will make sure no cables are routed out the front making for a nice clean look. The ODD bay can hold up to three 5.25" drives and hold them in where the front of the drive is facing out the front of the case. Installing the power supply requires the same thumb-screws and the bracket holds the PSU on its side with the cables going into the chassis. The location of the power supply puts the power cables in good positioning to reach all the components within or on the tech station, without having to stretch them or buy cable extensions. One thing to note is that before placing the power supply onto the bracket you should first place the included foam pad. Using the pad between the PSU and bracket will reduce most of the vibration and noise created by the power supply.
After you have connected the power cables to the bays on the panel you can slide it back into the chassis and connect the bottom components to the motherboard. The 24-pin and 8-pin (if required by your motherboard) power cables run though the cable management holes closest to their destination on the top panel and into the connectors on the motherboard. From here you can add on the final components such as the graphics card or any other expansion you might use. Again, with the location of the power supply, cable length was not an issue and all cables, including dual PCI-E cables, easily extended to the area they need to reach.
The last touch I added before starting the system was attaching the flex-fan to the chassis to aid in cooling of the northbridge. This fan bracket can be placed on either side of the top panel and with its ability to bend in any direction you can place it just about any location needed for optimal cooling. Well, that's about it and the DismasTech Bench Test/Table Easy v2.5 is all set up and ready to go. Once all components were installed the case looked very sleek and with the cables being routed under the bottom panel and though the cable management holes cable cutter was not an issue.
Now that we have everything setup we can test the cooling performance of the DimasTech Easy bench table.
455mm depth x 440mm width x 210mm height (height considering the pins and do not consider the spacers supporting motherboard, 25mm)
Bench made from sheet metal 1,5 mm,
CNC laser cutting,
Powder or Enamel, basic phosphatic
Totally "Made in Italy"
Marked "Made in Italy" on the back of the Bench/Test Table
Compatible with ATX and Full ATX motherboard and Micro ATX, XL-ATX, Mini ATX
Installation of up to 3 devices 5.25 inches
Installation of up to 3 hard drives (3.5 inch) 4 or more floppy disks with no floppy drive,
Support for sockets with fan ventilation area 120x120,
Support for ventilation area opposite 120x120 video card fan
Latest keys wired for power and reset switches, (n ° 2)
Holes on the front and back of the motherboard to allow the passage of cables and pipes for watercooling downstairs
PSU supports positioned on the front or back of the Bench/Test Table
Compatibility with power supplies up to 22cm in length,
Lateral support for the installation of all types of radiators on the market (HwLab, Thermochill, TFC, Etc)
Rear space for installation of a compact liquid cooling system,
Thumb Screws step M3 and 6-32 (American pitch UNC)
Support for 120x120 mm fan for cooling systems in SLI/Crossfire
Rubber feet * Ram fan support 120x120 mm
Lower drawer with sliding tracks and fixation with screws knurled side
Placement supported devices on slots
Personalization side of the body with the basic version of the Bench/Test Table
Adjustable positioning device support
Supports for adjustable radiator over the back of the Bench/Test Table
Screws also knurled nuts
Total elimination of the use of instrumentation outside the Bench/Test Table
Fully compatible for mounting versions of media and Bench/Test Table Hard V1.0 and V2.0
Full compatibility with the new Bench/Test Table Hard V2.5
Prepared for 4 passes for watercooling pipes or fittings on the back of the motherboard
- Possibility assembly front USB port (DimasTech USB Cable is available as an accessory - see section Accessories)
Information courtesy of DimasTech @: http://www.dimastech.it/EN/c/bench-test-table-easy-v25-metallic-grey/
The open design of the DimasTech Bench Test/Table Easy V2.5 is very different in comparison to a more conventional chassis. This makes a direct comparison a little difficult, but I still want to see if this table performs better or worse than a more conventional style case. Other than just standard cases I will also be comparing it to the open air Banchetto 101 tech station, which I was lucky enough to review earlier this month. Comparing it to both open and closed air offerings should give us a good idea of the benefits or drawbacks of the open design. To test the cooling performance I will let the system idle for up to 30 minutes and check the temperatures with HWMonitor and then do the same after 30 minutes of demanding use. This will give us an accurate reading of both idle and load temperatures. The DimasTech tech station does come with support for multiple case fans on both the top and both layers, but there are no actual fans included with it. Since there are none included I will be testing the case in two ways. I will first test the system without the use of any case fans, such as the case would comes out of the box and then I will test again using the optional fans.
- CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955
- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H
- Memory: Mushkin Blackline 996782 PC3 12800 2x2GB
- GPU: NVIDIA GTX260 Core 216
- Power Supply: Corsair HX520W
- Hard Drive: Seagate 750GB 7200.11
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate
- Case: DimasTech Bench Test/Table Easy V2.5
Testing the DimasTech table without the use of case fans resulted in each component being hotter than that of the standard case, which all come with fans included. However, once the optional fans were added the system's temperatures were reduced down to a level that was similar to both the NZXT EVO and CM 690 II.
The Bench Test/Table Easy v2.5 is the first product I have used from DimasTech, but after having it in use for some time now I have to say that I am very impressed with what this company has to offer. The first thing that caught my eye about the case was the use of solid SECC steel throughout the entire chassis making it very durable, and strong enough to support even the heaviest of components or cooling solutions. This will reduce the hardware and cooling limitations found on a traditional style case, which can be lacking in room. Some options you have are to fit up to a triple fan 120mm radiator directly on the side of the chassis for a killer water cooling setup, or thanks to the strong and large top panel even more extreme cooling can be used, such as LN2 or dry ice. With all cooling methods available you can really pick and choose how you want this case to work for you, whether that be a water-cooling loop that still allows for easy hardware substitutions or a weekend overclocking project involving dry ice. Beyond the cooling though, you are also not limited when it comes to choosing what components to use, as the top panel supports motherboards as small as MicroATX all the way up to the much large XL-ATX and all in between. From these features you can easily see how this product is perfectly situated for the enthusiasts of the world, but the case also manages to incorporate features that in my opinion would make this tech station appeal to, maybe not the mainstream, but certainly more than just the high-end crowd. One such feature that can expand its appeal is the ease of use. I do have to say that the initial install will take longer than some other similar products, thanks to it coming with assembly required, but once it is fully setup it is very easy to install, remove or replace all components. This was true for the motherboard, which sits on the top panel giving it easy access as well as the parts that are housed underneath on a removable bottom tray. Other such beneficial features include four fan brackets that aid in cooling the hardware that sits on the top panel, an included front USB port and the cable management access areas, which reduces cable clutter throughout the chassis.
With all that this tech station has going for it, there is one major issue. This is actually not with the case itself, but rather a geographical one. As of this review, DimasTech does not have a U.S. distributor, so if you want to buy this product you will have to get it directly from DismaTech's website and pay the high shipping cost of a large package from Europe to North America. This is disappointing mainly because as far as tech stations go this one offers more features than others and at a fair price of around $160 USD. Add to this though the cost of overseas shipping and now it falls into the price range of some of the more expensive tech stations on the market. Of course, there were issues other than just high shipping fees as well. One such issue was that one of the screw holes for the motherboard stand-offs on the top panel was not threaded properly, making requiring a good amount of force to get the stand-off fully in. I actually had to use a wrench to screw it past a certain point and during the process the stand-off broke in the hole. After it broke, part of the screw was still in the hole, but with only a small portion of it sticking out on either side it was quite the task to get out. After it was removed, I was able to get a stand-off fully in place, but it would have been nice if everything would have worked as it should. Also, in my opinion, it would be a breath of fresh air to see a tech station actually include some case fans, but since there are not many out there that do you really can't hold that against DimasTech.
This is, without a doubt, a great product that comes with only a few setbacks and if DimasTech found a way get it to our side of the world without the high shipping I bet they would find some demand for it. However, if you are already in Europe or willing to pay the shipping and are looking for a great tech station, this one comes at a very reasonable price and could easily fit your needs no matter how extreme they are.
- Great price for a Tech Station
- Support for extreme cooling options from water to LN2
- Supports triple 120mm fan radiator
- Very durable
- Cable management
- Included fan brackets for additional cooling
- Easy access to components for fast substitutions
- Plenty of room for expansion
- Front USB cable included
- Supports many motherboard types
- Must be ordered directly from DimasTech in Italy
- Shipping from Italy to U.S. is very expensive
- One pre-drilled motherboard stand-off hole was not threaded properly
- Included stand-offs are weak
- No fans included