Joined on 03/10/02
Pros: This thing is SHARP. Has the look and feel of a high-end AV component. Superior build quality, with a nice finish inside and out. Design that crams a full ATX board, up to 4 3.5 drives, and a slimline optical drive into box that is the right depth for your component stack. Modular setup (removable HDD cages and center mounting rail) makes most parts of assembly a breeze.
Cons: Slimine optical drive mount is extremely finicky and needs vertical play to allow for height adjustment, as the short side mount was too low and made the drive scrape the opening. This single component took longer to mount than all other components combined. Included mounting screws were too long, jammed my drive. It took a lot of tweaking to get my ODD level and at the correct height. Due to the issue with the too-long mounting screws, I eventually just left the short side unattached, which is fine for my purposes. If you intend to play DVDs or Blu Ray disks, I'd suggest choosing another case anyway... I don't think a slimline drive would be very good for that purpose. I am heartily sick of blinding blue LEDs. I'll eventually dissect my power button to figure out some way to partially block or dim the LED. Expensive. (Worth it, IMO, for something that won't look cheap or out of place in your stack of audio gear.)
Overall Review: Note to builders: Slimline optical drive CAN fit with some ATX length boards. The mobo I chose was 12"x7.6" and I had just under 1/4" between the back of the slimline optical drive and the back of the mobo. The slimline mount is tall enough that it MIGHT be possible to overlap, if necessary. Further note to builders: I didn't realize that a slimline SATA ODD doesn't use a standard SATA power connector, so had to wait a few extra days for an adapter to arrive. Case fans aren't "silent," just considerably better than the vacuum cleaner roar that so many PCs have. My finished build is slightly less loud than a current-gen game console but considerably louder than an iMac. As another reviewer noted, the Fractal Design logo looks obtrusive in pictures, but is subdued and tasteful in person.
Defective Design, Avoid
Pros: Saitek's shape and size is well suited to large hands.
Cons: Button presses/digital stick movements fail to register or get stuck, presumably due to radio problems. This occurs frequently and at close range, less than 10' from receiver to gamepad with a direct and clear line of sight. Malfunction is observable in the XP control panel/ game controllers/ properties. In particular: -A series of rapid button press/releases leaves a button stuck 'on' in the controller properties. State does not change until another input is made. -Button presses and digital stick movements intermittently do not register. These malfunctions were repeatable, occurring several times a minute during rapid inputs. Because I ordered two of these and observed the same problems in both, I am convinced that this is a design defect, not a an isolated instance of a product defect. I have RMAed mine for refund.
Overall Review: What a pity... I love the size, shape, and feel of the controls on Saitek's gamepads. If only their wireless functionality was somewhat close to acceptable, this would be a great product.