Tagan A+ CS-Monolize Reviewccokeman - July 9, 2008
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Upon opening the Monolith, the first thing you notice is the large plastic storage bin in the hard drive rack. This is used to store all of the tool less drive rails and assorted spare parts. With this storage bin removed, you have access to all 13 drive bays. Available are five external 5.25 inch, two external 3.5 inch and six internal 3.5 inch bays, all of which feature a tool less mounting system. The tool less drive mounting rails are included for all three drive types, optical, floppy and hard drive, respectively.
Behind the front bezel there is a spot for a 120mm fan (not included). This fan can be locked in place with the supplied cage assembly, which like the drive bays, is designed to offer tool free installation of a fan.
While there are only two additional positions for fans to be used, one behind the front bezel and one at the rear of the Monolith, the fans would seem to be needed only for exhausting the airflow from the Monolith based on the amount of air forced into the case by the two massive 250mm fans. The method used to retain the expansion cards mounted in the motherboard is designed to be tool free as well. The mechanism lifts up to add or remove the expansion cards and then locks securely into place to hold the cards securely in the motherboard. Removal of the drive bay covers is just a matter of pushing the side of the cover and lifting the cover free from the chassis. This design was much simpler to remove than many others on the market.
The wiring included with the Monolith is pretty much standard fare. The power switch, reset switch, power LED and HDD LED are all present. One thing not normally seen is a speaker mounted to a short pigtail harness that is put straight onto the speaker front panel connection. The front panel USB, Firewire, speaker and microphone harnesses all make an appearance as well. One additional power connection is included in the front bezel wiring, the power supply for the A+ logo on the front door of the Monolith.
The last big item are the fans on the Monolith. There are two 250mm fans, each can be independently controlled using the appropriate controls on the side panel. I was unsuccessful in finding any specifications other than the basics. The fans, even at full speed, are dead silent. In fact, now my video card is the loudest piece of hardware in the case. Each of the fans have a total of five LEDs arranged around the center hub for that wonderful blue glow.