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Foxconn RS-338(L)

Based on the same platform as the Foxconn RS-224, this model only differs in some minor nuances.

 

Most of them are about the exterior design. The Foxconn RS-338(L) looks better than the RS-224 but there is no functional difference between them.

The front-panel connectors include headphone and microphone sockets and a pair of USB ports. This computer case offers two external bays (for one 3.5-inch and one 5.25-inch device).

The Power and Reset buttons are both on the shorter side of the case. There is a disk activity indicator with red LED in between them.

Like the earlier-tested RS-224, the RS-338(L) is meant to stand upright. However, the included supports (which are the same as you get together with an RS-224) do not hold tight. They can easily slip off if you lift the case up or unclasp if you accidentally push on its side.

The back view allows us to see the difference in size from the above-discussed Antec. The Foxconn is taller (when standing upright) by the width of the PSU which is located in its conventional place near the back panel. The Foxconn is also considerably broader.

As opposed to the Foxconn RS-224, the RS-338(L) model supports only one low-profile expansion card. The back-panel expansion-slot bracket is not reusable, unfortunately.

The accessories have got scantier since our tests of the RS-224. The RS-338(L) is only shipped with supports for vertical installation, a mains cord, and some fasteners. There is no corner adapter for optical drive connectors, like the one we saw with RS-224, and no user manual among the accessories.

The steel cover of this computer case is as thin (0.5 mm) as the rest of its panels. It is the thinnest metal among the four products in this review.

  

The interior is roomier compared to the Antec ISK 310-150, and the assembly process is the same as with the Foxconn RS-224 with all its highs and lows.

The mounting frame allows installing a desktop optical drive into a 5.25-inch bay and a card-reader into an open 3.5-inch bay. Like with the RS-224, the open 3.5-inch bay can take in a 3.5-inch HDD but it is impossible plug the cables in due to the lack of space between the bay and the PSU.

There’s another PSU-related limitation here. It concerns the height of the expansion card’s components. The small heatsink on our passively cooled Radeon HD 6450 is the maximum as it is pressed against the PSU next to the latter’s fan.

On one hand, it is good since the passive cooling system of our graphics card is in fact transformed into active, but expansion cards with tall components just won’t fit into the limited space.

  

The mainboard’s component layout is different compared to our previous test, so the ventilation is overall better. The CPU cooler is right in the center of the interior, between the expansion card, back panel, optical drive and side fan, and with a large gap from each of these components. This allows installing a cooling system which is much larger than our boxed Intel cooler both in breadth and height. And you won’t have problems connecting the front-panel I/O ports because the cables are long enough to be routed around the CPU cooler’s heatsink.

There were, however, limitations due to the mainboard’s component layout. The tall heatsinks on the memory modules prevented us from installing an optical drive. Well, we don’t think that overclocker-friendly modules with such heatsink are appropriate for compact mini-ITX systems anyway.

The buttons and indicators of this computer case are connected via a cable with a single header. It was compatible with our mainboard, so every indicator and button functioned as it was supposed to, but you may have problems with mainboards that have nonstandard wiring.

The optical drive bay has a front cover, so the discrepancy between the matte surface of the drive’s front and the glossy panels of the computer case won’t show up. There is no decorative cover for the open 3.5-inch bay, though.

The Foxconn RS-338(L) is cooled by a single exhaust 80x80x25mm fan. Its low power requirements (0.1 amperes) suggest a low level of noise. Indeed, its speed is not higher than 1500 RPM. Fans of this form-factor don’t produce any acoustic discomfort ay such speeds.

 

The working Foxconn RS-338(L) is quite a view. Its black front is enlivened by the blue line of the Power indicator. The Power and Reset buttons are blue, too. We can only complain about the glossy plastic collecting fingerprints just too easily, but that’s the unavoidable downside of the beautiful exterior.

Highs:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Efficient ventilation
  • Quiet
  • Has one bay for an external 3.5-inch device
  • Cute exterior design
  • Affordable pricing

Lows:

  • Thin metal of the chassis
  • Incompatible with 2.5-inch HDDs and only has one bay for an internal HDD
  • PSU’s fan may prevent you from installing expansion cards with large cooling systems
  • Single-use expansion-slot bracket
 
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