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iStarUSA D-213-MATX Black Aluminum / Steel 2U Rackmount microATX Server Chassis 1 External 5.25
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Tight case, but a real space-saver in server racks 08/09/2016

This review is from: iStarUSA D-213-MATX Black Aluminum / Steel 2U Rackmount microATX Server Chassis 1 External 5.25" Drive Bays

Pros: Many reviewers identified the lack of space in this case. Agreed, but this makes for a very compact and space-saving case in a server rack, which uses only 2U of space. The case is solidly built, has a modern look, comes with sufficient mounting materials. If you want to house a small-business, medium-sized server (for example, LAMP & OwnCloud) without too much processing requirements, this is the case for you.

Cons: The tight interior is definitely a con, but this is known and therefore does not warrant knocking off an egg. A 9.5" micro-ATX just barely fits, and 3.5 " hard disks would extend over the top of the motherboard edge, partially covering some connectors (SATA, power). Also, cable routing is a nightmare, and a modular PSU is recommended.

Airflow is not optimal. Space for two 80mm fans is provided, and two fans should be used to move enough air. Slimline fans, if possible. The PSU draws air through the top cover, which means (1) that the top cover must have enough clearance and (2) the PSU fan does not contribute to the air flow inside the case. Moreover, if a HDD is mounted in the 5.25" bay, it receives no airflow. Air flow is probably the single biggest challenge with this case.

Clearly, a half-height graphics card is needed (or even better, a graphics card built into the motherboard).

Two minor improvements suggested: Provide mounting holes for 2.5" SSD, and use less bright LEDs.

Other Thoughts: To help the decision whether this case is useful in a specific case, let me try to review what fits inside the case. As mentioned, the ideal motherboard would be a micro-ATX with built-in VGA. There are two 3.5" internal bays that could hold 2 disks each, if the lower disk would not collide with the motherboard space. SSDs are not a problem -- a whole stack of SSDs fit nicely. In addition, there is a two-position 5.25" bay, which can hold one HDD and one external optical drive. Therefore, we can accommodate:

* Three, 3.5" HDDs and one 5.25" optical drive (DVD or so), drive underneath the optical drive receives no airflow
* Two, 3.5" HDDs and one 5.25" optical drive, both HDDs receive airflow from the front 80mm fans, and space underneath the optical drive can be used to stow away extra power cables
* Four, 3.5" HDDs, no optical drive (and cooling becomes a challenge!)
* Perhaps six, 2.5" HDDs (SSDs) with optical drive, lower 5.25" bay not used (best thermal solution)

As for extension slots, 4 slots are available, out of them probably 3 usable (depends on motherboard). Any extension card needs to be half height.

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2 out of 5 eggs Through USB audio better than many reviews suggest 01/28/2016

This review is from: Klipsch KG-200 Pro Audio Wired Gaming Headset

Pros: Versatile headphone for PC and different game consoles -- comes with the necessary adapters. I won't repeat what most reviews already agree on: Instead, the most interesting feature for me is that it works out of the box in Linux. The Linux kernel recognizes it as a USB 1.1 audio streaming device and loads the USB audio subsystem. The headphone then immediately appears in the audio mixer panel. As a side plus, the switching noise, referred to in other reviews, is much less severe when the headphones are used as USB streaming device. In fact, it appears as if the sound quality is better when it is used in USB mode than in analog mode (even when an external USB power supply is used to reduce switching noise). In this respect, it is probably worth the money when on sale.

Cons: As other reviews mentioned, this headset is extremely sensitive to switching noise, and the fluctuations of the USB power lines cause high levels of noise -- this only when the USB power adapter is used with the analog 3.5mm jacks, though. The user manual recommends a separate power supply, and that helps, too. Two eggs off for a poorly designed analog amplifier stage.

The buttons on the side of the cup are widely useless. Try to find the right button without looking at them! Volume adjustment is slow. The chat and mic volume buttons don't seem to do anything (muting works, though). The LED indicator is useless for the same reason -- have a mirror so you can see the tiny LED on the side of the right cup? One more egg off for poorly designed pushbuttons.

Other Thoughts: I purchased this as an open-box item (oops -- Newegg does not allow reviews for open box items -- sorry 'bout that) -- the box looked untouched or at least carefully resealed. Everything was packed as if it was never opened; all parts were included. I was quite happy about this, although it seems that the price difference between open box and new item is dwindling.

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DEEPCOOL TESSERACT SW Mid Tower Computer Case with Side Window and 2 Blue LED Fans SGCC+PLASTIC+RUBBER COATING
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs One of the best low-cost cases I have seen 12/06/2015

This review is from: DEEPCOOL TESSERACT SW Mid Tower Computer Case with Side Window and 2 Blue LED Fans SGCC+PLASTIC+RUBBER COATING

Pros: Although the manufacturer cut some corners (see cons below), this is a surprisingly well-designed case. I got it on sale for 25 bucks, but Newegg seems to offer it at this price more often now. First of all, the case looks good, not at all cheap. I have the blue variant, and the blue-black case makes even the blue LED fans attractive, although I usually hate LED fans.

The side window ... encourages some clean cable routing. Fortunately, there are numerous loops and eyes, and ample space behind the motherboard to hide most of the cables -- very easy to make a build look very tidy. And... there are no sharp edges where one could get cut.

This case could easily qualify as high air-flow case with plenty of mesh all around. The two fans are relatively quiet and don't push a whole lot of air. Two top fans can be added if more air flow is needed, and they would also accommodate a 120cm or 240cm radiator (yes, openings for water tubes are provided). The acrylic side window also has provisions for two more fans. A protective mesh under the top fan grilles can be removed to increase convective air flow (see other thoughts). This case provides cooling options from low power and quiet to performance (and loud) -- but for the latter, additional fans are needed.

The top bays accommodate either three 5 1/4 drives or two plus one 3 1/2 drive (e.g., a memory card reader). Up to four 3.5" hard drives plus three 2.5" hard drives (SSD) can be mounted in the bays near the front intake fan -- more than enough. The tool-less design works, but leaves a bit of slack.

Sufficient hardware is provided, numerous extra screws, a few cable ties.

Cons: Of course, the manufacturer cut some corners. When open, the case is a bit soft and can twist a bit. The covers for the watercooling tubes tend to break off and fall out easily. The top optical drive bay is tight, and its front cover does not come off without destructive force. Better not count on having four optical drive bays.

The acrylic side window somehow appears cheap, in contrast to the rest of the case. Maybe this is caused by the laser-cut fan openings. Also, threads (e.g., for the side panels) tend to wear out and strip.

None of this is unexpected for a low-cost case, and none of this, in my opinion, warrants taking off an egg.

Other Thoughts: I used three of them to replace old cases with poor air flow, in which more modern systems started to choke on their waste heat. With the Tesseract, these problems vanished -- PWM-controlled CPU & GPU fans run slow because of the good air flow (thanks to the meshing). And boy do these computers look better now!

In a more extreme case, I built a watercooled fanless system around one of these cases. To improve convective flow, I removed the side window and replaced it by a plastic mesh; warm air escapes nicely through the top openings.

Recommendable? For a budget build, sure. If you get it on sale, definitely.

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MARK H.'s Profile

Display Name: MARK H.

Date Joined: 06/04/05

  • Reviews: 37
  • Helpfulness: 16
  • First Review: 09/21/11
  • Last Review: 08/09/16
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