Kingwin KT-424-BK-WM Mid Tower Aluminum Case Review

Admin - 2007-04-02 22:03:44 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: March 8, 2004
Kingwin
Price: $110 USD
It's been a few months since we've taken a look at a case around here, and it's been even longer since we've seen anything from Kingwin. Today we get to kill two birds with one stone with a review of the Kingwin KT-424-BK-WM Case. The Kingwin KT-424-BK-WM is all black and made from all aluminum. It features a clear acrylic glass window, front media ports, 3x case fans, slide out motherboard tray, and a rather unique anti-shock absorber system for hard drives. Can the KT-424-BK-WM give the Lian Li PC-60 a run for it's money? Let's find out!

Features

Specifications

  Model: KT-424-BK-WM
  Tower size: Mid tower
  Dimension: 20” D x 8 1/8” W x 17 1/4” H (500mm D x 208mm W x 440mm H)
 

Drive bays:
- Front accessible:
- Internal:

10 total
4 x 5.25”, 2 x 3.5”
4 x 3.5”
  Expansion slot: 7
  Panel features: 2 x USB
1 x Firewire
1 x Power Button
1 x Reset Button
1 x Power LED
1 x HDD Activity LED
  Power Supply: None
  Material: Aluminum alloy
  Case Fans: 3
  Case Fan Bearing Type: Sleve
  Case Fan Size: 80x80x25 mm
  Case Fan Speed: 2500 RPM
  Case Fan Noise: 25 dB(A)
  Case Fan Air Flow: 32.4 CFM
  Main Board Size: 13” x 11 1/4”
  Main Board Type: Baby AT, Micro ATX, ATX
  Window: 1 Side clear acrylic window
  Unit weight: 20 lbs

Whats Included




A Closer Look

When I first unpacked the KT-424-BK-WM Case out of the box, I thought I was looking at a Lian Li case.


The majority case is made out of black, brushed aluminum, and absolutely looks great. On the top of the front bezel is a plastic checkered strip. Look failure to anyone? It is extreamly similar to the strip found on Lian Li cases. I hate the look of that plastic strip on my Lian Li case, and to be honest I still don't care much for it, even on a black case. - The 2nd image below shows the Lian Li strip from my PC-70 (top strip) and the strip from the Kingwin case (bottom strip).

The plastic strips on the top and bottom of the front bezel (the one on the bottom is sold black, BTW) are held on with silver screws. While it's no big deal, black painted screws would have looked much better here.

Moving to the front bezel itself, we have a very nice and clean look here. Below the two 3.25” drive bays is a section of black perforated (a.k.a. mesh) aluminum. As you probably guessed, the mesh area is where the front fans are located.

Located beside the mesh and behind a clear plastic door are two USB ports and one fire wire port. Handy for pen drives and digital cameras. :)


Directly above the USB and fire wire ports, and beside the 3.25” drive bays we find the power and reset buttons, along with the power and HDD activity LEDs.


The front bezel itself is held on the the rest of the case via four plastic clips located in each corner.


Removing the front bezel reveals a filter for the fans, as well as a fan speed controller. Both are very nice features to have in any case.




The left side of the case has a pre-modded window in it, which is beveled and gives it a nice look.

 

Rather than using rivets to attach the window like some companies do, Kingwin has the window mounted using a hex screw and bolt. This not only looks nice, but is great in that it gives you the ability to easily remove the window should you ever want or need to. The back of the case isn't exactly anything special. One fan hole, seven PCI slots, the motherboard I/O panel plate, a PSU hole, and two extra holes. - The extra holes are designed to allow you to pass a cable through the case to the outside without having to cut a hole yourself, or use a PCI slot. - If you are going to use the extra “cable pass holes”, you'll need a screw driver, they're not tool-less. :(



 

I have mixed feelings on the “cable pass holes”. While it's helpful and doesn't look bad, it does cause a lot of wasted space on each side of the rear fan. Had the “cable pass holes” not been where they are, the fan could have been moved closer to the PCI slots, which would have given enough room for another fan. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have two rear fans that the “cable pass holes”. Looks to me like there would be enough room above the PCI slots for the holes.


Moving to the right side of the case, we have... a side of the case. ;) Only reason I make mention of this is I'd like to point out that both sides of the case have no indentions to help with sliding out the sides. I found both sides to be extremely tight (which is good), but still a bit harder than should be to remove.


Flipping the case, we can see the nice soft plastic feet.

Now that we've seen the outside, it's time to take a look at the innards.

Running from the front panel, we have all sorts of wires. These connectors are for the USB and fire wire ports, the switches, LEDs, and the power connector supplies power to the two front fans.


Speaking of fans, the three fans included with the case are Kingwin 80mm Sleeve Bearing fans.

 

Due to the placement of the fans and the drive bays, and the fact that the drive bays are riveted in and cannot be removed, removing the two front fans is almost impossible. Not to say that it can't be done..

A Closer Look

Speaking of removing the fans, they are attached by plastic anchors. For those that don't know what I'm talking about, they look like this:


The plastic slides seen on four (well, three in my case) of the 5.25” drive bays, and two of the 3.5” drive bays are used as tool-less mounting devices. As you probably notice, one of my drive bays does not have the plastic slide on it. Which bring up something else, with all of the extra parts included, how come an extra slide wasn't thrown in? And how would someone go about getting a replacement? Also, are the cases not inspected before they are shipped out? - I've sent an email to Kingwin support about this, but have yet to receive a reply. I'll let you know what they say if they do reply.


The remaining four 3.5” drive bays have rubber silencers to help reduce hard disk vibration thus keeping the noise down. While I love the rubber silencers, in a case that features “Complete tool-less design”, one would expect the entire case to be.. completely tool-less. Well, this simply isn't the case (pardon the pun).


Because of the plastic rails, you'll need longer screws on the left side of the bay, hence the reason that we were give “L” screws and “R” screws. ;) Though using screws in the 5.25” drive bay is optional, since they are tool-less, that is unless you are like me and didn't get all your parts. Here's how much of a difference there is between the three types of drive bay screws.

(R)5.25" - (L)5.25" - HDD

I did have some concerns that the placement of the speaker would be in the way of the lowest drive bay, however I'm happy to say that you can indeed fit four drives in lower rack. What you wont be able to do is remove the speaker from the case.

 

As you've seen in the images, the inside of the case has rolled edges, which is to help keep your hands, fingers, and whatever other body parts you stick in the case cut free. Despite the rolled edges, I did manage to cut myself while working inside the case. Nothing bad, but it does prove that somewhere in the case is a sharp edge. My best guess is that it happened while I was trying to remove the front fans.


One of the things I loved the most about this case was is the sliding motherboard plate. The lack of a sliding plate is one of my biggest complaints against most cases, especially my Lian Li PC-70. Since this is a small case, you'll be glad to have the slide out motherboard plate when you start adding things inside the case. It tends to get a bit cluttered in there.


One problem with a number of cases that include a sliding motherboard plate is that you have to disconnect the wires that go to the front of the case. Kingwin's case includes a quick disconnect for those wires, so you don't have to disconnect and reconnect the wires every time you slide the motherboard out. - It is also much easier to connect the front panel wires to the motherboard with it outside of the case than to try and mess with it all inside the case.

Keep in mind, that you will still have to disconnect the IDE/SATA/FDD cables as well as any power connectors or fans that are plugged into the motherboard.

Dispite some parts of the case failing the “tool-less” claim, there use of thumbscrews over a majority of the case is extreamly nice. 22 total thumbscrews were used on drive bay covers, PCI slots,the side panels, and the slide out plate.

 

Conclusion

As I've pointed out throughout the review, I had a few issues with the case and it's design. Despite my issues with this case, it's quality, style, and good looks make this a great case. At about $100 USD, the Kingwin case is right there with the Lian Li PC-60.

Right now when people ask for case recommendations, Lian Li is the brand suggested by many. If Kingwin would take what they have with this case, and improve on it, I have no doubt that they could surpass Lian Li as one of the most popular (and stylish) case manufacturers.

 

Pros

 

Cons