Extra Midtower Aluminum Case ReviewFormer staff writer - December 29, 2003
The case includes a chimney fan, and a window fan. My window fan didn't work. There's room for 5 more 80mm fans (2 on the back panel, one on the PCI panel, 2 in the front).
After a closer look, my opinion of this case slowly dropped. Its NOT an expensive case, and its not an expensive case for a reason. Originally I was going to put my own computer in this case to see how everything fit, but by the time came to put something inside, its going to be my little sister's computer, not mine. Sorry, I just don't trust it. This case is flimsy. The aluminum can't be any more then 1mm thick, and to tell you the truth, I can't tell if its aluminum or just REALLY thin steel. I'd have thought aluminum this thin was a LOT lighter. The design includes a LOT of...er...open space? Its not very solid feeling at all.
Alright, so the motherboard backing has a good deal of locations for standoffs, and thankfully, they are all in the right places/dimensions. However, the motherboard standoffs they decided to include with this case are plastic little things that are both a pain in the butt to install in the case, and a greater pain to install your motherboard securely upon. This is NOT something that you want to put a heavy motherboard/HSF combo on. The motherboard tray itself is surprisingly flexible. I truly think an SLK or Zalman 7000 would tear the motherboard tray clean out of the case.
Next up: the back panel. Now, I give this design credit for what its worth. However, it isn't worth much. The back I/O plate is flush with the back of the case. This means that the AGP/PCI slot screws used to hold the cards in is pushed out for the back of the case. This means installing an AGP/PCI card requires taking off the little 'case' hiding the screws, and then sticking it back on. As well, as soon as you remove a slot cover, it stays off. Short of soldering it back on, its off for good. Finally, the top slot cover has already been removed. For the motherboard I'm currently using in the setup, this means I'm stuck with an empty slot above my graphics card.