MNPCTech SC135 Pre-Modded Case Review
Reviewed by: Admin
Reviewed on: April 13, 2004
Price: $159 USD
Today we will be looking at a case from MNPCTech, the SC135 (Stealth Cooled at 135cfm). Founded over three years ago MNPCTech is a custom mod shop offering many modding services and supplies. The SC135 is MNPCTech�s latest creation aimed at gamers and people who want the best possible case cooling. The SC135 has had a few key features pre-modded for the overall benefit of the case. These are common modifications, professionally done Lets take a closer look and see what all this case has to offer.
|Case Type||ATX Mid Tower|
|Board Compatibility||ATX / MicroATX / Intel P4|
|Power Supply||AGI 350W|
|Dimensions||18.5" H x 8.5" W x 18" L|
|Drive Bays||External 4 x 5.25", 2 x 3.5", Internal 5 x 3.5"|
|I/O Interface||USB 2.0, Firewire, Audio, Mic|
The case comes in all black, and is made of steel with a modified front grill (more on that later). At the bottom of the front panel you have 2xUSB ports, firewire, speaker, and microphone jacks. These can come in real handy setting up at a LAN.
From the back we can see another 120mm fan with grill, and your standard I/O port, seven PCI slots, and the installed PSU.
On the side of the case panel there is a 120mm case fan that blows air inside the case, directly over your video card. Instead of a cool looking laser cut fan grill covering the fan hole, MNPCTech opted to go with a plain chrome fan grill. MNPCTech did use rubber like washers between the screws of the fan grill and the case panel. This keeps noise down by absorbing the vibrations that the fan makes. MNPCTech finished the hole off by wrapping a rubber seal around the cut hole, which gives the fan hole a more complete look. The same attention to detail was taken on each hole punched out for the other two 120mm fans.
On the top of the case we can see the powder coated heavy duty recessed case handles. These handles are awesome! They're spring-loaded so they wont be flopping around and rattling while transporting the SC135. These handles make transporting the SC135 to LAN�s a breeze. Closer Look
About the only thing missing internally is a removable mobo tray, but there�s plenty of room to work with inside the case. The front USB and audio ports can be connected two different ways to the mother board. The only problem with two connection options will be wire management.
To install any optical drives you have to remove the front bezel. Luckily on the SC135 there are 2 push tabs on the bottom of the front bezel making for easy removal. Behind the bezel we see another 120mm fan.
The floppy and hard drive cages are removable giving you more room to work in the case. Also included are rubber grommets on the hard drive rack to reduce noise from vibration.
Inside the Case you will find all the mounting hardware needed for installation. The only problem I have with the included hardware as it only has rails to install two drives in the four 5.25� bays. Also there were only ten hard drive screws; if you needed all five 3.5� hard drives in the hard drive bay you would have to use two screws per drive. This is not MNPCTech fault as this is the hardware supplied with the stock case.
One of the first mods you will notice on the SC-135 is the front grill. The center of the stock plastic grill was removed and modders mesh was added. The mesh is shaped like a honey comb offering improved air flow.
You won�t have any worries about the handles coming off during transporting the SC135. To attach the handles MNPCTech used 10 machine screws. The handles are so strong you can hold the case with everything installed at a 90 degree angle. Closer Look
All the intake fans have fan filters to reduce the dust intake into the case. These are a great feature as I�m always cleaning the dust bunnies out of my other case. The front simply pops out for easy cleaning, but a screwdriver will be needed to clean the side panel�s filter.
The fans used on the SC135 are manufactured by Globe. These fans pump out 67CFM at 35dBA. Each fan connects via mother board fan heard or fan controller. There is also a thermistor to control fan speed as heat increase within the case, and to keep things quiet.
One problem I encountered on the exhaust fans; MNPCTech had to cut grooves out of the side panel for the over sized screws and rubber grommets. The cuts where pretty rough and could cause a nasty scratch. A few seconds with a rotary tool could have cleaned those rough edges up.
It was interesting to see the modder's name and date the mod was completed on the bottom. This really shows MNPCTech stands behind their workmanship.
The SC135 comes with a generic single fan 350W AGI PSU. One of the first things I noticed was how light the PSU was; we all know that a light weight PSU is often not a good sign. The PSU has a 20 pin ATX connector, 4 pin P4 connecter, as well as 5x large 4 pin (Hard Drive) connectors and 2x small 4 pin (Floppy Drive) connectors. After a week of testing the rails were solid with no major changes in voltage on any of the rails.
Here is everything installed. I�m glad to say I had no problems with the installation. The wires gave me a hard time getting the case looking half decent. There are a few problems with the case with everything installed. The two lower 5.25� bays can�t be used with optical drives as they will come in contact with the mother board, but the newer lite-on drives that are about an inch shorter should have no problems installing one in the two lower spots. Also users of larger video cards might have clearance issues using the upper slots of the drive cage. Conclusion
MNPCTech took a plain black case and added reduced air restriction, modded front grill, rubber silencers, fan filters, handles, and a 120mm AGP cooling fan, and made it one awesome case with plenty of modding potential. Cooling was excellent and the fans are pretty quiet. In my old case my system temp hovered around 27-29C with the SC135 the system temp is around 24-25C. The level craftsmanship and quality of the case really shows how much attention to detail MNPCTech takes making each case.
I figured up what it would cost to get a similar case, fans, modders mesh, handles, grills, rubber u strips and mounting hardware not including labor. The $199.00 price shipped with handles installed is a good deal. MNPCTech is also a custom modding shop. Anything from custom paint jobs wild or mild, custom one of a kind cases built to customers specs, and water jet service. I wouldn�t hesitate to recommend the SC-135 or any other of MNPCTech�s services. The SC135 is built to order so it could take up to two weeks before it ships.
- Front Grill
- No removable motherboard tray
- Not enough hardware