Date Joined: 05/13/01
Pros: Small "pocket" size, easy drive installation and attractive looks.
Haven't used it for too long yet, but USB 3.0 speeds are as advertised so far (I'm using it on a 512GB Mushkin Reactor that used to be my boot drive).
Feels pretty solid once the drive is installed, doesn't flex or twist.
Installation *really* could not be simpler - it took me like 30 seconds to take it out of the box, remove the cover, stick on the foam pad(s), slide the drive into the case / connector and replace the top cover. :D
Cons: It's all plastic (and very shiny) so don't expect ruggedized-style impact or drop resistance.
You'll want to cut the included stick-on foam pad in half and apply it to *both* sides of the case to properly isolate most 2.5" SSDs.
Overall Review: If you need a lightweight, attractive case for portable external use, this works well.
Pros: I've been buying these in various lengths from 6" to 18" for a few years now, and they perform well with minimal impact on case airflow and quality sleeving that's moded in so it won't fray or loosen over time.
If you poke around here at the 'Egg, StarTech makes them with various angled and straight SATA connector combinations - you'll never need to "tweak" a cable into place.
Cons: None, really. They lock into the SATA sockets well and just do their thing from then on. :)
Overall Review: Recommended for: HTPC, SFF and mITX builds, "stealth" cable layouts, cramped spaces in general. (They'll work in a standard ATX case as well, of course. :D)
Pros: Attractive styling, compact size, decent cable management. The hard drive cages work well. <br>I purchased this case to down-size from a Thermaltake V21 that turned out to be larger than I wanted. I've owned a good amount of Corsair gear over the years: RAM, power supplies, the K70 I'm typing this on and more, but I'd never tried one of their cases.<br>Based on this experience, I won't make that mistake again.
Cons: Oh man, where do I start? The plastic exterior has a *very* delicate matte finish and will show every accidental mark, so be very careful during assembly. You cannot buff this out.<br>Ditto for the black finish on the metal frame: this is the same cheap, thin plastic coating you find on old beige boxes, just in black. Plan to spend a lot of time covering up chips and scratches with a black Sharpie. <br>I already knew this, but the case is simply too short for a standard height video card with an upward facing PCI-E power plug-- the other reviewers aren't kidding about this, and it will distort the windowed panel unless you are merciless about bending the cable.<br>The captive thumbscrews that hold the top and bottom panels and HD cage are not well designed and poorly threaded; the normal ones for the side panels work a bit better.<br>Cable routing options are decent, but you'll want to plan carefully to fit everything and avoid tangles.<br>The quality of the three included fans is pretty bad. I'm only using two, but I can't get them to match speeds using the same temp. reference and voltage settings--they're not even close! Corsair would do better to drop one fan and use two better quality intake fans up front.<br>Finally--and this made me actually angry: the case uses a retainer clip for add-in cards, but it doesn't clamp nearly tight enough. Your video and other cards will wobble even when the clamp is latched. And what's worse-- the holes that you'd *think* would allow you to add screws to hold things tight *AREN'T EVEN THREADED* so you can't even fix the problem.
Edit: 01/31. I wanted to add that the 3.5" drive cage has pretty lousy ventilation; my 2TB WD Black drive is averaging 120 degrees (F) at idle, while the rest of the components are fine temp-wise.
Overall Review: I feel I'm being generous giving this case three stars. It was more expensive than the case I replaced, and worse quality to boot. Unless you really need the smaller size, I'd tell you to buy the Thermatake V21. It's a much more pleasurable case to work in.
Pros: Very compact, stylish, transfer speed is good on a SS port. Has a lanyard slot if you need it. LED is small and not obnoxiously bright. Cover fits snug and won't fall off in a pocket. Case seems solid; the plastic doesn't flex if you squeeze or twist it.
Cons: No major cons, unless you need Memory Stick or CF slots.
Overall Review: At this price it's a "no-brainer" purchase. I'd recommend it to anybody who needs a solid, speedy card reader for their tool kit!
Pros: I usually buy supplies from another maker whose name starts with "C," but for a recent mATX build I picked up this G2 based on JonnyGuru's review and the fully modular cable design. EVGA has really done a great job with the G2 series; mine was well-packed with a good manual and plenty of cable options.
As with any great power supply, I've been able to simply forget about it post installation and testing. It just lives in my case providing solid, stable current to my PC every day while making no noise I can detect above the quiet 'whoosh' of my case fans.
Build quality looks great, it's not too large for it's rated power output, voltages are spot on and squeaky clean, and it has the kind of long-term warranty that tells you EVGA is confident in the unit's build quality and design.
Cons: Not many, and all minor:
The CPU Aux Power cable has a daisy-chained 4+4 pin adapter that it doesn't need and that adds to cable clutter.
It *is* a little bigger (longer) than some supplies so you'll want to check your case specs if you're going small.
Overall Review: I'm really quite happy with this supply, and I'll be keeping an eye on EVGA's supplies for my next build for sure. :D
Pros: Fast, good sized cache, solidly built, five year warranty.
Cons: None to speak of.
Overall Review: This is the twelfth or thirteenth WD Black drive that I've purchased, and they've all been great drives.
Even the single 640GB I got like five years ago that was DOA out of the box was promptly and cheerfully replaced, and is still in use today!
Pros: It looked good on the website, and the price was right.
Cons: Mine was severely warped right out of the box, and the general fit & finish is pretty lousy. The "drawer" doesn't pull out easily, and is open at the back(!?)
I probably should have RMA'ed it but I didn't even want a replacement.
Overall Review: Buy the Allsop one, it doesn't have a drawer but it's better made.
Pros: This review will be somewhat of a comparison: I purchased the V21 first, but it was a little too big for my needs so I decided to try the Carbide Air 240 to go a bit smaller.
*Build Quality: the V21 gets 4 stars; It's almost all metal and very solid once assembled, with few sharp edges and the fit is (mostly) fine. I did have to tweak the slot covers so they wouldn't rattle, and the front's metal grille wasn't perfectly bent to fit the panel (fixable) and the radiator rails have to be removed from the side you're using the windowed panel on. The Air 240 gets fewer points here; it has a lot of plastic and overall 'feels' cheaper (see my review for details).
*Versatility: Five stars plus! The V21 is extremely configurable. ThermalTake should really make more of this feature in their ads. The front I/O and button module can go on any of the four 'sides,' the side panels are completely interchangeable, and the whole case can be rotated however you like (yes, even upside down), and most of the internals (drive caddies, fan mounts etc.) can be adjusted or relocated as needed. There's a *ton* of space behind the front panel for radiators, fans, cables or whatever you want to stuff in there. :) The Air 240 is less flexible, though more compact.
*Value: Five stars again. Given the price, I recommend this case highly!
Cons: Minor stuff, mostly: The biggest is the finicky power supply retainer clip, which fits *really* tight and is a pita to install. The 200MM front fan isn't PWM, which would be nice. The rear slot covers rattle quite a lot unless you bend the bottom tabs a bit. The "instructions" are atrociously tiny and vague (took me ten minutes to figure out how to remove the radiator rails!). The SSD / 2.5mm caddies are ingenious, but plastic. There aren't a lot of slots to route cables through, but given the vast space between the mobo and front panel it's not a big deal. Oh, the magnet that holds the logo on is comically weak - you can knock it off with a single finger. :)
Finally (and the only reason I'm switching to the Air 240): it's not much smaller than a mid-tower ATX case.
Overall Review: Note to Thermaltake: You should make an even smaller version of this case!
Seriously, I would even pay a little more for a "V11" that was around four inches shallower and an inch less tall and wide. :D
Pros: I picked up one of these for a microATX build about a month ago, partly because I had fond memories of buying Mushkin SDRAM back in the 90s, and because the I/O specs and MLC flash were the best bang for the buck at the time. I've been very happy with the performance so far, and at 512 GB you'll get almost 480 available after the format. At the current sale price, it's a no-brainer!
Cons: None to speak of. The plastic case seems a little flimsy, but all the SSDs I've used with plastic cases are like that.
Overall Review: The Samsung EVO is faster, but I'm not sure about the 3D flash, and since it's only 500 GB you'll only have ~465 GB after formatting.
Pros: It's very simple to assemble and set up, and the one thing I didn't notice from the pics - it's tiny! Not much larger than a 3.5" drive by itself. Though the ends are plastic, the 'sleeve' is metal, and the mount points for the drive are as well. I'm running an old 1 TB WD Black drive in it and speeds are solid and consistent. Temps are OK so far, which I'm watching (see cons).
Cons: There are a couple of cons with an enclosure this inexpensive, though: the case doesn't have much support for the drive so you won't want to use it as a portable unless you add some extra pads inside (I did); and it also doesn't have *any* ventilation, so I wouldn't put a hot-running drive in it for long term use.
Overall Review: Still, I got two of these for the price of one in a recent Flash Sale, so I can't complain. :D
Pros: Assembles easily; immediately recognized by XP Pro; fan is very quiet (was worried about this); drive installed without fuss, the captive rear screws are a nice touch; simple power supply (no odd proprietary plugs, etc.); adjustable power connector (seems solid). All in all I'm pleased with it!
Cons: It's a bit cheesy looking but it sits behind my monitor, so I don't care! :D Not the highest-quality construction (the plastic end-cap is the only thing holding the front plate in place); the power LED wasn't properly installed into its clip (easy fix, tho).
Overall Review: You could actually run it without the case at all - the entire guts are all on one plastic "sled" held in by the captive screws. Just stick some rubber feet on the bottom and you'd have a 'swappable' USB setup! (Note: don't do this without powering it down; I don't think the chipset supports hot-swapping! ;D).