Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance ReviewGeekspeak411 - December 3, 2008
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It seems like the engineers at Tagan had the right idea when they were designing the El Diablo Advance. Unfortunately, like most of the lower end cases out there it just suffered from a bad execution. Some of the features simply feel half-baked but I am happy that at least one vendor is listening to consumer complaints and trying to remedy them. For instance, when I was installing the components of the test system I noticed something missing that I have encountered on just about every other case I have used, the razor sharp edges that make installing a computer a mini war taking place on your fingertips. As I realized this I looked at all of the edges on the case and could not find a single one that wasn't either folded back on itself, making the case more durable and less likely to bend, or sanded down to a gradual curve. I also liked the E-SATA port on the I/O panel, if you look at external hard drive testing results between USB connections and E-SATA speeds it is just amazing how large the speed increase is. Tagan even included an SATA cord preinstalled to connect the header to an open motherboard SATA port, making the speed boost a matter of using the hard drive's E-SATA cord to connect it to the computer rather than filling up another valuable USB port.
Still, there are those couple necessities though that the El Diablo Advance falls short on keeping it out of the silver/gold range. Such things like the two walls behind the big intake fan on the front and the useless standoff index that just makes you wonder why. Then there is the frustrating design in how Tagan expects you to take off and put on the side panels, which is made even more difficult because the huge 330mm fan was placed so that it rubs right up onto the power supply support bar. I'm not saying that the case is bad and I don't at all mean to beat down on the El Diablo Advance as I really do like the lighting that was built into the case and the fact that the paint job doesn't show fingerprints at all, which is a common problem with the polished cases. The tool-less drive bays also worked seamlessly and even with the underpowered fans the temperatures were still a few degrees lower than the m998. All in all, I think the El Diablo Advance is the perfect case for people trying to find a way into the enthusiast community without breaking the bank. It keeps the installation pretty simple as cases should and provides the ventilation that the more powerful systems today need. The looks come pre-installed and the panel removal won't even matter to the user if they are only going to be inside the case once or twice to upgrade a component or two. Extreme enthusiasts with all of the top of the line parts may find the blocked airflow less appealing. But even so, the El Diablo pulled out lower temperatures in every test save one. But for people just wanting a low maintenance looker that they can take to LAN parties no problem, then the El Diablo should be near the top of the list.
- Overall looks
- HUGE fans that are very quiet
- Tool-Less installation
- Built in thermometer
- Side panel removal
- Front and side fans not very effective
- Walls behind front fan
- Clumsy standoff installation
- No extra wire management room
- Pre-installed wire management too long/short