Sentey Burton Review

airman - 2011-02-05 21:14:23 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: airman   
Reviewed on: February 16, 2011
Price: $109.99

Introduction:

Flying in under my radar from South America is a company under the name of Sentey. I have never seen any of its products or even heard of the company. It seems that Sentey has a large presence in South America, as it has many press articles from countries such as Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and others. Sentey has products on its website that range from cases and power supplies to even video cards. However, the video cards listed are several generations old, such as the 9000 series and 200 series from NVIDIA. Case fans are also listed on the Sentey website. Sentey cases and other products are available at many well-known stores on the Internet, such as Newegg, Directron, and Amazon. A very wide range of cases are available, over 35 and counting, plus another 10 power supplies. I am somewhat surprised that such a seemingly prolific company has existed without me knowing about it at all, though some manufacturers keep its own news and presence in its country of residence.

On my review agenda for this article is the Sentey Burton, from Sentey's "Extreme Division." Sentey's Extreme Division includes the Burton as well as several other cases — Arvina, Optimus, Centinela, Renegade, and Vulcano. These cases are designed with the gamer in mind, providing large internal volume and great cooling power to be expected. Each of these cases have an average of five fans, which may not sound like a lot, but its their placement that makes them important. Having never seen this company, I don't know where to set my expectations, but I will say that the outlook is good, which is only a 5% chance of what my magic eight ball might say! The Sentey Burton is a large mid-tower that is available in black, blue, and red. The base color is always black, but the available colors are the accents on the case. This review will consist of a full evaluation of the Sentey Burton, including the unboxing, an up close look at its features, and extensive testing and comparison to other recent cases on the market.

 

Closer Look:

The Sentey Burton is packaged in a black box with the three available models pictured on the front, with the red model highlighted in the foreground. I thought that this was the color I was going to get, but it turned out otherwise. The right side of the box displays a lot of the components of the case, as well as certain features that the case offers. The rear of the box is mostly plain with the Sentey logo above where it says "Burton - Extreme Division". The left side of the case again shows the three different colors available and the general specifications of the series, such as its weight, materials, motherboard compatibility, I/O ports, and the available fans. The Burton contains a total of six included fans from the factory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentey packaged the Burton like most other cases, but with one noticeable exception — no plastic wrapping was used on the case, but rather a black, papery fabric. This seems more environmentally friendly, though styrofoam is still used to secure the case in place. Nothing wrong with that, though. Packaged with the case is a toolbox, a 3.5" media CD (no information written on it), a user's manual, SATA power and signal extenders (I'll share the use for them on pages 2 and 3), and a cleaning cloth. The cleaning cloth was a great idea from Sentey, as the high gloss paint job fingerprints very easily!

 

 

As seen below, I received the black model. It has a very sleek look, but not eye-popping colors that are more preference-oriented, which I like. I prefer this one the most over the other cases, as the colored mesh looks kind of cheap. It will be seen later in the review exactly how reflective the paint job on this case is, but it's already clear from the reflection of my "photo studio" surroundings in the side panel.

Closer Look:

From the front, the Burton has a sleek look, with integrated drive-concealers (a first for a case that I've owned). This is a feature mostly found on pre-built machines, such as those from HP or Dell, which is good to have since the color of your drive doesn't matter. They also keep the front of the case looking exactly how Sentey intended it to, regardless of which drives, if any, are used. The plastic on the front definitely fingerprints easily, as seen. Each drive bay cover has a mesh stripe through it, which wraps around from the sides of the case. The bottom drive cover has the Sentey logo on it, which is a good focal point of the case. Beneath the drive covers is the front mesh grille for the 120mm fan, with ducting surrounding it. The side left side panel has a plastic add-on piece with vents also around a mesh area in the center, which surrounds the handle that releases the side panel. I like having the handles on the side panels, as it gives it a modular look and adds depth. Both side panels are secured with two thumbscrews, but they aren't entirely needed except for the added security.

Looking at the rear of the case shows the seven expansion slots, the 120mm fan, water cooling grommets, and the dual-purpose power supply bracket. Dual purpose here, by my definition, means that the power supply can be turned facing up or down, depending on the user's preference and potential wiring management and cooling advantages from one way or another. A fan grille can be seen on the bottom underneath where the power supply will be located, though I'll provide a closer look at that next. The right side panel also has a handle just like that of the left panel, but does not have the mesh or the vent surrounding it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As seen through the opening in the PSU bracket, the Burton has fan grilles on the bottom that allow air to reach the power supply intake if the fan is pointed downwards. This helps very much over cases that do not have this feature (though rare), because if the power supply is pointed downwards the intake track can be suffocated severely causing high temperatures in the power supply — obviously not good. These grilles also have a fine mesh cover to prevent the case getting too much dust into it, but mainly for the sake of the power supply. The top of the case has a similar look as the front, with the mesh covering two fans this time and the glossy plastic sunk in around it. This is also where the I/O ports (covered by a sliding door) and power/reset buttons are located. There are also four other buttons that I'll explain next.

 

 

Providing a close-up of the top I/O panel and door also reveals a built-in memory card reader, which is also a first! The four silver buttons on the outside are labeled F1-F4. These control the power to each set of fans, side, rear, top, and front. The speeds aren't variable, but it's still a convenient feature. The reset button is the pill-shaped one on the left, and the power button is the larger one on the right, surrounded by a plastic circle that illuminates blue as the power LED, and flashes red for HDD activity. Underneath the door are all the I/O ports. These include four USB ports (only 2.0), audio jacks, an eSATA port, and again, a new discovery for me in cases I've worked with — there is a standard SATA power and signal port, for which the included extension cables are used. It's a neat idea, similar to the built-in docks I've seen on other cases, but this seems a little more practical for me, as I could hook up any SATA device externally for quick diagnostics or even an "external" hard drive without the need for an enclosure. I guess it might only get used by a small percentage of owners, but it's still pretty neat and I definitely would use it.

 

 

Before moving onto the inside of the case, I wanted to give a quick look at the external handles on the side panel and the vent surrounding the one on the left panel. The mechanism is simply squeezed towards the back of the case, which will release a tab on the inside that holds the panel in place. The mesh and venting surrounding the handle on the left panel supplies air to the fans located on the inside of the case pointed towards the video card, which will be displayed on the next page. There's not really much else to say about these handles, but since they're unique, I wanted to provide a close look at them.

 

 

Removing the front bezel was a little difficult due to the tight fit of the clips holding it on, but I was able to get it with a little bit of prying. There are six (three on each side) that need to be squeezed to release the bezel. Of course, all six don't need to be squeezed at the same time; one of them can be squeezed and pushed out at a time, but you must keep tension on the others by starting at a corner and getting a finger or two underneath it. The five drive bay slots can be made out in the steel cut-out, and the bottom one shows that it has an inner cut-out of a 3.5" device — though the 5.25" slot cover does not. This particular stamping is probably from another model, from which they could have adopted some of the add-ons and "makeup".

 

 

With the outside of the case examined, let's move on to the inside of it!

Closer Look:

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!

Specifications:

Dimensions
21.65in (L) x 8.43in (W) x 20.47in (H)
550mm (L) x 214mm (W) x 520mm (H)
Weight
27.5lb / 12.5kg
Material
1.0mm SECC
Drive bays
5x internal 3.5"
5x external 5.25"
Cooling system
2x top 120mm blue LED fans
1x rear 120mm blue LED fan
1x front 120mm blue LED fan
2x side 80mm blue LED fans
Water cooling support
Rear water cooling grommets
Expansion Slots
7
Motherboard compatibility
E-ATX, microATX, Standard ATX
Front ports
4x USB 2.0
1x eSATA
1x standard SATA signal and power
1x multi-card reader
ACE7 and HDA Compatible Audio (in/out)
Warranty
1 year limited
Included power supply
No

 

Features:

 

Information provided courtesy of Sentey @ http://www.sentey.com

Testing:

To test the Sentey Buron, temperatures will be recorded for the CPU, GPU, chipset, hard drives, and the overall system temperature during load and idle phases. Load will be simulated by Prime95 small FFTs and HD Tune for one hour, with maximum temperatures recorded by RealTemp. The GPU load will be the maximum value recorded by Catalyst Control Center after five loops of 3DMark06’s Canyon Flight test. For the idle temperature readings, I allowed each setup to remain idle of for one hour. Each case is tested as is from the factory, including the fan configuration. As stated earlier, the fan configuration for the Burton is 1x120mm front intake, 2x80mm side intake, 1x120mm rear exhaust, and 2x120mm top exhaust.

Testing Setup:

Comparison Cases:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, overall the case doesn't perform too terribly for a mid tower case. The hard drive temperatures were almost the highest of all the comparisons, but the hard drive cases themselves are much more enclosed and for the most part, sealed off. This certainly had something to do with the high hard drive temperatures. Every other temperature fell pretty much in the middle, with the exception of the chipset temperature, which was slightly behind the Thermaltake A90. I'll share the rest of my thoughts on the next page in the conclusion.

Conclusion:

First off, I want to say that the Sentey Burton is probably one of the neatest cases on the inside that I have ever worked with. The paint quality is phenomenal, there are awesome wire management capabilities, and the lighting is just right. I do wish there was a side panel window to show off the great looking insides though! Sentey in fact offers cases with side panel windows, but the majority of the other models in the "Extreme Division" have side panels very much like, if not identical, to the Burton. The red, black, and silver interior is a good look and I like it a lot. The case is nearly silent, but pays a little bit of a price due to the lack of airflow that the low-RPM fans can produce.

As seen in the results, the CPU and GPU temperatures, both idle and load, were fairly average compared to the rest of the cases. On the other side, the chipset temperatures stood closely within first place, most likely due to the direct airflow provided from the two 80mm fans on the side. The case certainly shouldn't overheat if used properly, but the fans still lack a little bit of power. The great wiring setup already in place from the factory is very convenient, but I would have liked to see some higher powered fans with the ability to control their speeds. The wiring is already there, all Sentey would need to do is replace the toggle switches with speed knobs! A downside to this pre-wiring is that changing the fans to new ones wouldn't be very simple and probably not worth the effort to most enthusiasts. The hard drive cages do a great job at concealing the hard drives and offer a great place to stick excess wires and cables, but the performance hit from them being enclosed also shows in the results.

Overall, I'd like to give Sentey a thumbs-up for this case. It is good looking, has an awesome paint job, has great wire management offerings, and performs decently. For the price, I would like to see more fan options and maybe hard drive cages that offer more cross flow from the front intake fan rather than being completely closed off. Also, it'd be great to be able to show off the great looking insides with a side panel window. If Sentey turns out to offer a case with the aforementioned characteristics, I'll bump up an extra thumb to make it two!

 

Pros:

 

Cons: