GameTiger Triple Case Roundup ReviewWaco - November 1, 2012
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Opening up the Tiger As-19 for the first time revealed something I didn't expect. There is a large red plastic partition mounted between the CPU portion of the case and the expansion card area. Presumably this is designed to keep the heat from GPUs away from the CPU but I have the feeling most tower-style coolers will interfere with the installation of this partition. Otherwise the interior layout is quite clean with a large CPU back plate cutout in the motherboard tray, tool-less clips for both the 5.25" and 3.5" bays, and tool-less clips for the PCIe expansion slots. I'm wary of the design on these clips as dual-slot video cards tend to interfere with their operation but they are incredibly convenient when they do work.
Moving in closer you can get a better look at the CPU / GPU area partition. As I said before this will likely conflict with many larger CPU coolers but on a stock system or one with a low-profile heatsink it may very well work to reduce CPU temperatures slightly at the expense of elevated GPU temperatures. The rear 120mm exhaust fan is also decked out in red garb as is pretty much every piece of plastic on the case internals. Installing top exhaust fans on this case also requires a bit of skill but at least it is doable with some dexterous hands. The tool-less clips for the rear expansion slots are easy to operate and lock in place firmly with single-slot cards. Dual slot cards are more of a challenge but I'll go into more detail on that in a bit.
The front 5.25" and 3.5" tool-less clips are, in a word, awesome. They are spring-loaded and operate with a simple push of the lever to raise/lower the internal pins. Once again we see these locking mechanisms on both sides of the 5.25" and 3.5" bays, which is always a welcome feature missing even on some of the more expensive cases I've seen. Nobody likes wobbly Blu-Ray drives and having to use a screw on one side defeats the whole point of the tool-less mechanisms in the first place. Well done GameTiger! Even though there is no provision for mounting fans at the bottom of the case there is a large mesh filter to keep dust and anything else that may be floating around on your floor out of your PSU and the bottom of the case. Those that prefer a negatively pressurized case (more exhaust than intake) will appreciate this as it will keep the internals of the case much more clean in the long run.
Spinning around to the rear of the case the welcome addition of reverse-side tool-less clips make their appearance. Another welcome addition: a cable cover that hides all internal cables included by default. This is small enough that it will only hold the included cables with perhaps the addition of a few more small cables, but it creates a very clean rear panel. The front intake fan is pre-wired to the fan controller and there are cables included to attach two more 3-pin fans if you choose to do so. The rear fan is, unfortunately, wired up to a standard Molex plug so you won't be able to control it via the fan controller. There isn't much room on the backside here for wire management so I have the feeling the area next to the 3.5" bays will end up full of cables. This isn't a deal breaker as this is a fairly narrow case and I'd rather have more clearance for CPU coolers than have room for wire management but be restricted on cooler choice.
The included accessory pack for the Tiger As-19 is quite spartan in comparison with the Mage Mi-3, but because the Tiger doesn't require any adapters to mount hard drives this is somewhat expected. Once again there is no provision to install a 2.5" drive anywhere in the chassis without modification or hackery. This is a bit disappointing but those with SSDs have only recently begun to get native mounts even in high-end cases. Simple gravity, a piece of foam tape, or a single screw in one of the drive bays will have to suffice for 2.5" drive mounting.
Building in the Tiger As-19 presented similar difficulties as the Mage Mi-3. It is a bit cramped but the area behind the 3.5" bays does offer a nice pocket for hiding excess cables. The CPU/GPU partition had to be left out as it did indeed push up against the CPU cooler more than I was comfortable with. As you can see the tool-less clips on the rear expansion slots don't lock completely into place when using a dual-slot GPU like the XFX 7970. Any card with a shroud that touches the rear mounting plate will likely face the same issue. The GPU is still held quite firmly in place but since the clips are not locked into place a hard bump could dislodge them and allow your expensive card to be damaged. Other than that the build went without issue and ended up fairly clean considering the lack of cable management options. The "claws" on the front of the case do indeed light up in brilliant blue when powered and they completely drown out the 120mm fan with red LEDs behind them. HDD access glows with a muted red along the top edge of the front panel. The fan controller does allow you to toggle the connected fans off entirely if you choose to do so. Overall the looks aren't to my tastes but everything is well thought-out here.