Date Joined: 12/04/02
Pros: - A massive amount of room to work in!
- The color scheme and overall look is very mature, would look fine in any office.
- Sound dampening is second to none in terms of quality and price.
- You can fit up to eleven* (11) 3.5" hard drives and four** (4) SSD's in the case!
- Extremely modular and configurable.
- All three of the fan filters (top, front, and bottom) can be removed without disassembling the entire case.
- Comes with three (3) 140mm quiet fans*** that are color matched.
- The top panel is removable with just a button press**** at the back-top of the case!
- Overall an outstanding value for the money.
Cons: - Bottom case feet are non-removable unless you drill out the rivets, and there are three (3) for each foot.
- The bottom rails for the air filter are non-removable because they are part of the case feet.
- Some air re-circulation in the front due to the fan mounting design (an 80mm open gap below the bottom front fan).
- The top removable panel does not seal the top of the case from spilled water getting in.
- The bottom three hard drive mounts cannot be double-secured due to the vanity panel blocking access from the other side.
- *You can only fit six (6) hard drives as the case ships, as (understandably) Fractal includes only six (6) trays for drives with the case.
- **This also applies to SSD's, there are mounting location for four (4) drives, but the case ships with only two (2) trays.
- ***The included fans are only 3-pin non-pwm fans.
- ****The panel pops up about one eight of an inch (1/8"), and is just about impossible to remove with your fingers. You will have to use a prying tool or open one side of the case and stick your hand in to lift up the panel.
Overall Review: Coming from a decade of using a certain Taiwanese manufacturer's all-aluminum computer cases, this was right up my alley. The look is very understated and has a matte sheen to it, even the front aluminum decor panel has a matte finish to it. The case is heavy compared to an aluminum case, but is far more durable as well. The optical drive mount will only secure the front-most mounting screws for your drive or bay device, as a result my Blu-ray drive sort of hangs in the back, but it's not noticeable from the front. To solve the front air recirculation I am fabricating a custom 80mm fan plate to mount underneath the front fan. Another method of solving this issue would be to use three (3) 120mm fans. However, be advised that with most fan designs two (2) 140mm fans put out the same air volume as three (3) 120mm fans. For extra parts you will currently have to contact Fractal directly, but there are rumors of a fractal online store opening up. Be sure to read the manual with the case, as it can be used in optional configurations that are not readily apparent upon first inspection. Overall this is still a five star case compared to what is out in the market today, but as with anything there is always room for improvement.