GameTiger Triple Case Roundup ReviewWaco - November 1, 2012
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Slipping the Mage Mi-3 out of its box was actually a bit of a challenge. The foam end caps are very tight on the case itself and the whole assembly fits snuggly into the box. After a bit of tugging and a little swearing the case popped free. The case comes wrapped in a plastic bag to avoid damage from moisture and dust on its way to you and the end caps themselves are quite sturdy. Even the most determined delivery man would have trouble damaging this case without resorting to stabbing through the box. My first thought after pulling the case out of the packaging was that it must either be made of aluminum or very thin steel; this is no heavyweight and it's obvious at first touch. Let's hope that its thin sheet steel doesn't make it too flimsy for real use.
The sides of the Mage Mi-3 are quite plain with the exception of the left side panel. There are mounting holes for dual 120mm cooling fans but given how narrow this case is you won't be using them unless you have a relatively short CPU cooler. The side panels are otherwise featureless and flat with nary a bump to ease wire management. They are thankfully held on with thumb screws versus the usual Phillips-head case screws typically seen on a case of this price range. The front panel is entirely covered with mesh and 5.25" bay covers (also made of mesh). The top of the case continues the same mesh theme. Overall the look is very classy and simple, which is something I tend to prefer on my personal machines. Style-wise this case may not scream "fast" or "wild" but it looks fully capable of keeping your components cool without grating on your eyes.
The front panel wraps around to the top I/O plate. This plate has no writing on it whatsoever but if you've ever touched a computer before the buttons and ports are pretty self-explanatory. Three USB 2.0 ports, headphone/microphone ports, and a reset and power button grace the aluminum I/O plate. A small silver and black GameTiger logo highlights the front of the case and it matches well with the overall look of understated class. Overall I don't see a $59 price on this case yet. The exterior, at least in terms of looks and overall finish, appears to be much higher-end than the price would suggest.
Behind the top I/O panel is a continuation of the same mesh that garners the front panel. The fit and finish here is quite good and the mesh itself is surprisingly sturdy. At the rear of the case the mesh wraps around nicely to form a rounded edge for a more seamless look. This kind of attention to detail makes me smile as sometimes even large companies miss out on tying a whole design together with little things like this. Moving further around to the rear of the case you can see the rear 120mm red cooling fan poking out through the fan grill along with the rear water cooling tube cutouts. There is an unexplained hole below the 120mm fan opening that is mentioned nowhere in the manual or the product description. Perhaps this rear panel is used on other cases with a USB 3.0 pass-through?
The bottom of the case reveals a set of four plastic feet. They can be positioned in one of 16 discrete positions with a simple twist of the wrist and stay in place firmly enough that they shouldn't move of their own accord. On a case this narrow it is nice to see such feet since they will add a certain measure of stability to the overall build that would otherwise be missing. The bottom of the case also boasts mounting locations for dual 120mm fans although the second mounting location will be blocked by your PSU. Still – you can mount a 120mm intake fan at the bottom of the case as long as your power supply is not overly long.
Overall I'm impressed with the initial appearance along with the fit and finish of this eminently affordable case. Move on to the next page to see if the insides can live up to the level of quality that the exterior implies!