In Win IronClad Review

Compxpert - 2010-04-06 10:08:44 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: Compxpert   
Reviewed on: May 3, 2010
Price: $109.99

Introduction:

How solid do you think your case is? Hardware has some strenuous demands these days. It seems like Video Cards and CPUs just get hotter don't they? What you need most is, obviously, a case with good airflow and ample fans to keep your setup cool. It's also great when you get a lot of good features for the price. In Win has a contender with a good number of fans. The IronClad comes with a total of four fans, with space to accommodate additional fans.  For instance, the side panel alone can have up to six 120mm fans.  Hopefully, this translates to good cooling potential!  Of course it has plenty of other features to mention, but let's save those for later on in the review.

Closer Look:

Starting with what I assume is the back of the box, we have a well imposed picture of our case from the front.  From judging the case from its picture and the size of the box, I can tell that it is already an impressive one. Moving on to the one side of the box, we have a table of specifications for the case. On the reverse side of the box, we have the In Win company logo above the IronClad logo centered on the box. Finally, moving onto the last side of the box, we have a list of features.

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

We know everything is included right off the bat, as it's already at the top along with the case.  This is essentially the instruction manual and bag of hardware. Once out of the box, we find we see the case sandwiched between two pieces of foam and wrapped in a plastic bag for protection during shipment, which can be quite harsh on a case if things aren't packed correctly.

 

 

So just what is under the bag? Well, let's take it off on the next page.

Closer Look:

So, what's under the bag?  The first impression is a lot.  I can tell this case has some potential, just by looking at the side panel. No, I'm not just talking about the large 220mm fan.  I'm also speaking of the little black rubber holes around it, which hold screws for up to six 120mm fans. That is quite a capability not seen on many cases. On the top of the case, we have one 120mm exhaust fan and what appears to be front panel connections on the top panel.  There is room enough up here for a dual 120mm radiator, should water cooling be considered. The front, especially from this angle, looks imposing. With connections that usually are on the front panel on top, we leave the front to only sport external 5.25" and 3.5" bays. Here, we have a closer look at what is on the top. We have a Power LED, HDD activity indicator LED, Power and Reset switches, and a variety of connections. Dual e-SATA is something I can't say I've seen in any setup for front panel connections. Also not commonly there is the IEEE 1394A port. Four USB connections are available.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving on to the back, we can see we have eight expansion slots available instead of the usual seven seen in most setups. We also are shown our other fan. There is nothing much to see on the next side of the case, really. However, we do have nice feet, which can be turned and moved to point outward. The big fan on the side also has a switch with it which turns the fans blue LEDs on or off.

 

 

 

What is particularly interesting about the back of the case, besides having eight expansion slots? The water cooling capable holes. Included here are four holes fitted with grommets.

 

If it has this much outside, imagine what is on the inside.

Closer Look:

Moving on to the inside, we find more features. The inside itself is pretty large - you probably do not need too worry about your graphics card of choice having size issues. Speaking of graphics cards, we have a tool-less solution to lock in not only them, but other expansions cards as well. You must have also noticed the foam inside the case. It would seem that In Win has decided to add in some foam to absorb sound. On the bottom of every case I've seen lately, there has been no shortage of PSU fan filters. Here we have one that can be removed without having to remove the PSU.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

One feature that I can't say I've ever seen a case without - a hole in the board tray for rear bracket access. This helps alleviate the need to remove the motherboard when changing out heatsinks or removing waterblocks. Also on the motherboard tray, we have a pin listing for different ATX board types so you can put your standoffs in the right place. The package couldn't be complete without the tool-less solutions. In Win provides a tray for convenient storage of your unused tool-less parts. Additionally pictured is the adapter and bay which accommodates a 2.5" drive.  Next, we move on to the hard drive area. By the looks of things, we can mount six hard drives here.

 

 

 

Here we have our external 5.25" bays, one of which comes filled with an external 3.5" adapter. There isn't much to see or do on the back of the case. The only thing is the heatsink hole. The side isn't very deep so only thin wires can be run behind this panel.  Although the fans are 120mm, not much can be said about these since In Win has not included any specifications for the fans besides size.

 

 

 

The 220mm fan also lacks a listed specification. I can't really tell much about it other than it being a DC brushless fan.  Pictured here, a 2.5" drive caddy which allows you to mount a 2.5" drive. Also pictured outside the case is the means for converting a 5.25" bay into a 3.5" bay. Finally, we have a picture of the side panel door which also features the sound proofing foam.

 

 

 

Like the side panel door with the fan, the other one also sports sound proofing foam. Moving on, we have a look at our tool-less solution holder, which helps you stow away the tool-less solutions you aren't using. Finally, we have our top panel connections, which include the leads to connect everything that is up top.

 

 

 

Lastly, we move on to the front panel, which is easily removed to gain access to move and remove drives. Behind each unused bezel on the front is a filtering material. Whatever slots that aren't being taken up by optical drives or whatever else are still keeping dust out. Moving on, we have our bag of hardware as well as our manual. Last but not least, we have the fully assembled masterpiece. There wasn't  much of anywhere to hide most of the wires, so I tucked them in under the harddrive. There was a small amount of room to tuck in some of the front panel wires, to make things a bit neater.  After placing my setup into this case, it appears to have been dwarfed, which says a lot about the space you have to work with. I also had a challenge when installing the motherboard. I found I was unable to install the top fan in the push-pull configuration because there wasn't enough accommodation for it, with the other top 120mm fan there. I also had an Issue with closing my side panel door, which I could not do.  The 220mm fan caught on the bottom of the 120mm fan on the heatsink. This case probably wasn't designed around working too well with Thors hammer was it. A TRUE is slightly thinner but I still probably would have had issues, I think.

 

 

While not everything can be perfect, let's see how well the case stacks up to the competition? Read on!

Specifications:

Case Size:
Full Tower Chassis
External Drive Bay:
5.25” x 5
3.5” x 1 (Converted from one 5.25” drive bay)
Power Supply:
ATX 12V
PS 2 or EPS Power
Internal Drive Bay:
3.5” x 6
2.5” x 1
Thermal Solution:
Front: 12cm Fan x 1
Rear: 12cm Fan x 1
Top: 12cm Fan x 1 (Maximum Supports 12cm Fan x 2)
Side: 22cm LED Fan with switch x 1 (Maximum Supports 12cm Fan x 6)
I/O Expansion Slots:
PCI-E/PCI/AGP Slot x 8
M/B Form Factor:
ATX
MicroATX
E-ATX(12” x 13”)
Dimension(HxWxD):
550x225x566mm (21.7"x8.9"x22.3")
Safety:
CE and FCC Class B Requirement
RoHS
Top I/O Ports:
eSATA x 2
USB2.0 x 4
IEE1394A(FIREWIRE)
HD/AC’97 Audio
Material:
1.0~0.8mm SECC Steel

 

Features:

 

 

All information courtesy of InWin @ http://www.inwin-style.com/website/pd/pd_detail.php?iw_lanid=0&iw_name_id=443

Testing:

Testing is another great way to show how the product performs. For testing, I apply load on the test system and record the temperature on four areas, which are CPU, GPU, Chipset, and HDD. I measure the same four temperatures at idle, as well. For all tests, excluding the CPU, I use hwmonitor for temperatures and, for CPU, I use RealTemp. For the CPU and Chipset, I put load on they system using Prime 95  in blend mode. After an hour, I record the temperature of the CPU. For the GPU, I use Folding@Home to stress for an hour and then record the temperatures. HDD temps were raised using HDTune to stress the harddrive. For all idle testing, I simply allowed the computer to idle for an hour to bring it to a stable temperature.

 

Testing System:

 

Comparison Cases:

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The IronClad performed pretty well in all tests, but seemingly lost out in the CPU tests. This perhaps is because I couldn't mount the top fan on the heatsink like in the other cases. It seems that the 220cm fan was beneficial to the case as it lowered chipset temps.

Conclusion:

The IronClad performs well against the competition. This case doesn't just look nice, it also has several useful features built-in. Water cooling capability is a nice feature to see come to a case. In Win also puts in solid, tool-less solutions, which are available to the HDD, ODD, and the expansion devices. Speaking of the expansion devices, it supports eight - so you folks with Gigabyte boards can use that last PCI-E slot on your board for a dual-slot video card. There were some other staples I do like to see in cases available, such as the heatsink backplate hole in the motherboard tray and the fact the case with painted inside and out. I did have my share of issues with the case, as I was unable to mount a second fan on my push-pull configuration heatsink.  I really did appreciate the 220mm fan, but it also didn't get along with my setup as it prevented me from closing the side panel when it came in contact with the only fan left on my heatsink. Wire management was also limited, as there was no space to put wires in this case. I was able to tuck some wires to make my setup neater, but it's very limited. Despite the flaws, this case makes quite a killing for the price.  It is nice to see so many features packed into a full tower for under $110 (the current Newegg price is at $109.99). This case is one of the first I've seen to have dual e-SATA as part of its external I/O connections and also one of the few to feature IEEE 1394A.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: