Sentey Burton Reviewairman - February 16, 2011
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Opening up the case shows a brilliant contrast between the painted black interior and the red plastics used on the hard drive trays, 5.25" device clips, and the hold-down clips for the expansion slots. Overall, I give the paint quality on the Burton a 10 out of 10. Not one piece of the case is left unpainted, and it is a high quality, durable finish all the way around. The first thing I noticed after the red accents was the near lack of wires for all the fans. It turns out that each of them are already wired up to the front fan controller and cleanly routed around the lip of the case, almost completely out of sight. Great thinking on Sentey's part! The two 80mm fans in the plastic housing can be easily unclipped from the right side and swings outward on hinges from the rear of the case. These will be great for cooling video cards and other components, such as the northbridge on the motherboard. If it gets in the way or isn't preferred by the user, it easily pops out from the hinges. The rear of the case gives a better look at the motherboard tray, with a total of six wiring pass-through holes, which are becoming very popular, and for good reasons! These, along with the built-in wire ties, will be great for securing the wiring out of sight and giving the case a very clean, finished look. The CPU retention bracket hole is certainly big enough to give me access to the mounting holes needed for most heatsinks, and since I've run into a lot of clearance issues on other cases, this is a nice relief to see.
The inside of the case is wide open. By this I mean that considering all the perforations for the grilles and other areas, along with the wiring holes on the motherboard tray, with both side panels off it has a bit of what I'll call "transparency" to it. It leaves the inside of the case with a very spacious feeling and I like it a lot. Turning upwards to the fans shows the three exhausts in the rear of the case — one for the rear and two for the top. These will be pumping out hot air that rises from the base and from the heatsink. The wire routing for the fans can be more clearly seen here. Panning over to the front shows the large amount of wires snaked from the top I/O panel of the case, which is no surprise considering all the components it controls. Turning downwards shows more of the openness and the hard drive "boxes" and 5.25" device "locks", as they are individually labeled. The tab above the hard drive boxes can be activated and the entire hard drive cage can be removed, hard drive "boxes" and all — another nice feature.
The wiring harness from the front includes a molex connector to power the fans and another for the external hard drive ports, headers for the power/reset buttons and lights, audio input and output, two SATA signal connectors, and two dual-USB connectors and a single USB connector for the card reader in the front. Since most motherboards still only have two onboard USB connectors, most users will have to sacrifice two front USB ports if they want to use the integrated card reader. Not a huge deal, but it still has the chance to prevent full, simultaneous usability of all features.
When I first flipped out the side fans, I realized there wasn't a hardwired connection going to it. I noticed that instead of having wires run to it, it is powered by a set of copper contacts that power the fans only when the assembly is attached and closed. This reminds me of a design used in several Alienware cases, and really adds a lot of convenience without the need for wires or unplugging anything if it needs to be removed, as well as the safety of it shutting off when flipped outwards. I'd like to see this more often, even for fans that are attached to the side panels and optional lighting! It would not be difficult at all to put contacts like this on the side panels, making them completely modular. I'll keep my fingers crossed!
The hard drive containers seem to be a well thought-out design and very easy to use. Each of the five boxes have a switch on the front that, when activated, releases the clip on the inside, which allows a spring to push the box out. Each of them are formed from aluminum sheet metal and have raised perforations along the bottom, holding the hard drive in place with plastic tabs that fit into the normal mounting holes. The cage that holds all the hard drive boxes can also be removed by releasing the clip at the top of it. While removing this doesn't have a lot of common uses, it gives the 5% of users the ability to remove it when needed, and affects the other 95% by no means — thanks to a nice bit of thinking from Sentey on the idea!
I wanted to provide a close look at the drive boxes and the cage by itself to clear up any hazy bits about them. On the right side of each hard drive box, the two pieces of plastic holding the securing pins that go into the hard drives are hinged and can be flipped outwards. This is there so that a hard drive can be put into position first, then these two pins can be closed down into the hard drive. Once inside the hard drive cage, these pieces of plastic cannot release the hard drive, as there isn't any clearance for them to pop out. Looking at the bottom side of the hard drive box shows a set of four slotted holes amongst the larger perforations for cooling. These four slotted holes are for mounting SSDs (Solid State Drives) and other 2.5" drives into these boxes as well. With them being more common, this doesn't surprise me much at all!
The cage itself is rather simple and I don't really have much to say about it! There are tracks along the top and the bottom that the cage itself slides into and is secured side-to-side inside of the case. It is kept from sliding out by two small tabs at the top of the cage on the middle tab. Pressing down on this middle tab moves these smaller tabs out of the way and releases the cage. I'm not sure what the four small holes on the back are for, as they aren't threaded nor are there holes on the inside of the case where this area will be in contact with when it's in place. They might have been tooling locations for its production or part of another manufacturing process.
The removable side intake fans are housed in a plastic enclosure that, like I said before, has hinges on the left side where it can pivot out of the way when the user needs to do so for access to certain parts of the case. The two contacts are located on the inside of the hinged area, and the location can be traced by following the wires from each of the fans. There is a locking tab on the right side of the enclosure that clips into what I'll call a "Push in-release, Push again-attach" mechanism. I didn't realize this at first and was easily able to unfasten it without pushing it in, but that was because I disregarded the letters "PUSH" written on it.
The inside of the side panels are also painted the same as the rest of the case. It feels and looks to me like a high gloss powder coating, which is very durable, but fingerprints very badly! Luckily, Sentey included a fine-thread cloth to take care of them. I wish the perforations for the intake fans were expanded some, as they themselves are only about as tall as the 80mm fans and only as wide as they are positioned in the fan enclosure. We'll see how this might affect the performance of the case once we get to the testing portion, which is right around the corner.
I was very excited about getting the computer components switched over to the Burton. The wire management possibilities provide a great start and that is one of my favorite things to do. There were a total of nine included motherboard standoffs, which were just enough to secure each mounting hole in an ATX motherboard. I did find that these standoffs used the finer thread screws (like ones for optical drives), which threw me off when I initially tried to fasten the board down with the normal, more coarse threaded screws that I've used in many other cases. Anyways, as I expected, I was able to do quite a significant bit of wire management and made the inside of the case look very clean! Of course, assembly did take a little bit longer than usual, but I was able to take advantage of the included wire management features to their full potential. I am very pleased with the way that it turned out.
Powered on with the side panel off, the case looks awesome. It is well lit and is very clean on the outside. I'm really wishing now, after all the work I did on the wire management, that Sentey put a window in the Burton!