Xclio A380 Color Plus Reviewairman - March 16, 2010
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Once inside the case, the plain, unpainted interior kind of disappointed me. For the price, a good looking paint job inside and out is usually expected, but some manufacturers sometimes choose not to do this. Luckily though, the copper hard drive trays drew my eyes away from this fact. I figured they made the hard drive trays like this to help with the heat transfer, and it was neat to see them use copper to do this. There is a spoiler though, after picking one up, I quickly decided that they couldn't be solid copper due to how light they were. I scratched the surface of one, and found that it looks to be just aluminum underneath. Not terrible, but a little bit of a letdown. Anyways, once entering the case I was attracted to the amount of room inside. Two structural rails run from the front to the rear at the top, to add extra stiffness.
A small disappointment with this case is that there no rear access hole for the heatsink mounting holes. This means that if a user wishes to change out one heatsink for another, if either of them use a bolt-on method, the motherboard will have to be removed for this to be done. This isn't a problem for most people, but can make installing a newly purchased a little more of a hassle. Moving on, a large amount of cables hang from the top of the case that handles the front USB, audio, and eSATA, as well as the power/reset buttons, and informational LEDs. The wiring placement is a little awkward, having it located a little closer to the drive trays would have made it a little easier to hide by tucking them behind the optical drives. There isn't much extra length to hide them, though.
The seven PCI brackets are held in by thumbscrews, which technically makes the expansion slots tool-less. I prefer screws to the flimsy plastic clips that don't work at all with modern video cards that have the full-size heatsinks. The expansion slot covers are replaceable, so if the user ever wishes to put them back, this can be done. The rear 120mm fan uses a regular 4-pin Molex connection and does not have the color change feature like the other fans do. This fan, similar to the top fans, is configured as exhaust as packaged. As stated earlier, the top and front fans are already wired into the front fan controller.
The A380 Color Plus has five optical drive bays that use the tool-less rails. These work by placing one on either side of the optical drive, and sliding them into the bay until it clicks in. Removal is done by squeezing the exposed tabs inward and pulling the drive outward. The tool-less system works well and keeps the drives snugly in place. The case also has room for six hard drives and comes with six metal trays for the drives to sit in. As I mentioned earlier, these trays look like they're copper - but they are not. I would imagine that they still help dissipate heat more than not having one of these trays would though. These trays are a little difficult to get around the hard drives, but not terribly difficult. This is due to the one-piece design, and it kind of has to be stretched over the hard drive. The trays are removed in the same way that any other tool-less drive would be, by squeezing the tabs inward and pulling them outwards.
One of the cable connections in the case is the header for the fan on the side panel to plug into. It is a small, 4-pin connector that looks arbitrary to this case, or at least Xclio's 256 color fans. It clipped in with no problem. Other connections on the case include the two USB headers, two audio headers, the eSATA connector, and the power and reset buttons plus the HDD activity light. The first picture below is the fan header, and the next is several of the headers included.
I removed the rear 120mm fan to show one by itself. The rear fan pictured here uses a standard 4-pin Molex connector, powered by 12V. The stickers on the front and back of the fans in the case are the same, and none of them show any information such as the voltage or current draw for the fans. I have been able to leave the fan controller at 100% on each fan without any problems with noise; the supplied fans are relatively quiet. The only one that produces enough sound to barely hear is the side fan when it is at 100%.
Now that I've torn down and evaluated the physical parts of this case, the temperature testing is coming up on page five. The next page lists the technical specifications and features as provided by the manufacturer.