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Pros: • Easily fits a full sized graphics card
• Lots of configurations for fans (5x120 mm, 2x80 mm)
• Fits all kinds of motherboard formats
• Stock fans are silent on low to mid rpms
• Adjustable brightness activity / power led
• Lots of headroom for a CPU cooler *see other thoughts*
• Padded feet reduce vibration / noise
• Comes with removable / cleanable fan filters on everything but the 2 x 80mm exhaust slots that have good porosity for airflow, but tight enough to catch most dust
• Removable HDD tray
• Cover is easily removed and replaced, comes with a pad for sound dampening
• "Hidden" optical bays keep the aesthetic look of the front panel
Cons: • Not very much in the way of cable management. With a full ATX Mobo there's a two inch gap between the edge of the board and the fans where the bulk of my cables are run, but no tie downs to use.
• Screws on cover aren't thumb screws (easily replaced)
• No easy access cutout to the back of the motherboard for mounting a CPU cooler
• Minor bubbling of paint on sides of case - not perceptible from more than a couple of feet.
Other Thoughts: This case is quite roomy, especially for an HTPC build. Our build was a couch-gaming / HTPC rig (see specs below). So with a dedicated GPU it adds to the number of cables floating about.
Unfortunately there's not much in the way of cable management features in this case and the bulk of the cables pass between the bottom mounted fans (up to 3x120mm) and the components, blocking air flow.
In future iterations of the design it would be useful to have the bottom of the case drop down behind the bottom mounted fans (under the mobo) which would allow for a bottom panel and access behind the mobo for cable management and a cutout for easier CPU cooler install while still having the excellent bottom mounted fans. This is why there's one egg off. We only have a single SSD and a blue ray drive in there, I couldn't imagine the tangled array you'd have if you used more drives.
Otherwise the case is excellent, it looks great, it's sizable and has good customization for air flow. I ended up reversing the 120 mm intake fan at the back right hand side to an exhaust and have 3x120 mm intakes on the bottom to avoid using noisier 80 mm exhaust fans. Seems to be keeping things reasonably cool so far.
At the end of the day, if you're going for something like we did, where you're throwing in a dedicated GPU and other larger components this is a great case that will fit it all. Note though that you should do your measurements first! This case is (as noted in the description) large. From the outer edge of the front foot pad to the back one is 13" (33.02 cm) so make sure you've the room for it.
Display Name: John C.
Date Joined: 02/02/14
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