Sunbeam Automaton Reviewgotdamojo06 - March 18, 2009
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When it comes down to the installation of your three different drive types, 5.25" external, 3.5" external, and 3.5" internal, it is almost like its back to the basics. They are going to be held down by using the old fashioned screw method, rather than the tool-less methods found in many cases these days. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, as using screws can be somewhat more reliable and secure. For the 5.25" external drive bays, there are five slots that you can install drives into. There are metal stoppers at the end of four of the drive bay slots that will need to be removed in order to slide drives in. This is pretty much the exact same setup for the internal and external 3.5" drive bays, as the drives will be secured by using four screws in each of the four corners of the drive.
Everyone knows that when you install a new video card or any other type of expansion card, you are going to need to have its ports visible through the back side of the case so you can plug your monitor or other devices into. Well the expansion slots on the Automaton case use the same style as the drive bay installation; they need a screw to hold the bracket in place along with a screwdriver to tighten them down. There is no sign of any tool-less installation features on this case, which again is not necssarily a bad thing.
There are only three fans that come pre-installed on the Sunbeam Automaton case; one located in the front of the case to draw cool air from the outside, one located below the PSU to help draw warm air out of the case, and one that is located on the side of the case to suck fresh air in. You may switch any of the fans to have them blow whichever way you would like, however they are setup the way that just about everyone would agree works best.
All the fans that are included with the Automaton case measure in at 120mm. They are all the same fan, except the one on the side is clear (instead of black) and has blue LEDs.
The front IO panel that is located atop of the Sunbeam Automaton case is designed to flow very well with the case and match the color scheme as well. There are not many things on it, but you get just enough to get you by. There are headphone and microphone ports, a volume control that you can use when you have your headphones plugged in, two USB 2.0 ports, and a single 1394 port.
The actual task of making everything fit inside the Sunbeam Automaton case was very difficult. This is due to the oversized CPU cooler that I decided to use (Cooler Master V10) along with the extremely long GPU (the Nvidia GTX 260). I was actually surprised that I was able to fit everything in there, but it did take some time, bending fingers the wrong way and using screwdrivers to make sure that the connections were plugged in all the way. It would have probably been a little bit easier if the PSU was mounted at the bottom, but with the hardware that I used, there was no way that you were going to be able to get some good wire management inside such a small case either way.
Now that we know exactly what this case looks like, it is time to see how impressive its specifications are.