Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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I must confess it wasn’t very easy to assemble my test PC configuration in the Ascot 6ZRX.

 

The front panel is fastened in a very original way. There is a couple of ordinary plastic prongs at its top but the middle and bottom points of fastening are designed as metallic “flowers” with four “petals” each.

It is possible, but not easy, to remove the decorative faceplates out of the front panel without taking the latter off. You have to push them into the chassis and can cut your fingers on the sharp edges of the top opening which has no faceplate.

Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend you to take the front panel off even though this is required by the user manual. It takes a strong effort to force the steel “petals” out of their sockets, so the front panel goes off with a jerk that can easily break the top plastic locks. And when you put the front panel back in its place, it doesn’t press tight against the chassis anymore.

  

The quick fastening system for the 5.25- and 3.5-inch bays doesn’t look secure at first sight: a device is fixed from one side with only two prongs. However, my 5.25-inch optical drive seemed to sit quite snugly in there. The prongs fixed its front part whereas the rear part of the drive was held with the plastic swinging bar.

As for the open 3.5-inch bays that can be used for internal devices, their fastening is awful. The extended prongs prove to be too short to fix a device properly. Moreover, an HDD installed into one of these bays won’t be cooled adequately since the front-panel fan is located lower and can only cool the main HDD rack.

The fasteners of the main HDD rack are much better. These are plastic guides that feature vibration-absorbing pads and are compatible with 2.5-inch devices.

 

You often have to pull a guide over your drive with many solutions of this kind, but Ascot’s is a composite design: you first put your HDD down on a guide and then fix it from the sides with pronged plastic pieces.

 

The HDD bays are rather too close to each other, which may have a negative effect on their cooling.

  

The expansion-slot fasteners are downright bad. The locks themselves can easily fall out if you give the case a strong shake, so you can’t rely on them when it comes to holding your expansion cards. You may want to replace them with good old screws right away.

The 6ZRX is cooled with two 12cm fans from Young Lin Tech which rotate at about 1300 RPM (about 950 RPM when I chose Silent mode on my mainboard). There are seats for three more 120mm fans: two on the side panel and one at the top.

The efficiency of the top fan would be questionable, though. In a system case with a bottom PSU compartment, the top fan is usually placed above the CPU socket and helps take the heat off the CPU, but the Ascot 6ZRX has a top PSU compartment, so the top fan is closer to the front panel where there is no so much heat.

  

The front fan is installed in a frame you can easily take off by unfastening one thumbscrew. Behind it you will see rather large vent holes in the HDD rack.

There are no dust filters in this system case. Although the foam-rubber sheet in between the front panel and the front fan makes it difficult for dust to come in, this protection can’t match a normal filter.

The Ascot 6ZRX comes with a Cougar 620AR power supply that has a wattage rating of 620 watts (up to 576 watts on the three +12V output lines). I had no problems with the PSU during my tests. It wasn’t very hot but its fan was rather noisy (noisier than the system fans). With punched-out vent holes instead of an aerodynamic grid and a high rotation speed, the fan just couldn’t be expected to be quiet.

The PSU has the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (48 cm long)
  • CPU cable with a 4+4-pin connector (60 cm)
  • One cable with two 6+2-pin graphics card connectors (40+10 cm)
  • One cable with two 6-pin graphics card connectors (40+10 cm)
  • Two cables with three SATA power connectors on each (45+15+15 cm)
  • One cable with three PATA power connectors and one floppy-drive plug on each (45+15+15+15 cm)

 

We’ve got a sufficient number of connectors and cables here, and the cables are long. However, in this particular system case, the cables are rather too long and produce a mess inside since there is no dedicated compartment to tuck them into.

The assembled system looks nice and is quite easy to use but the assembly process itself is far from user-friendly.

Highs:

  • Internal 3.5-inch bays support 2.5-inch devices
  • Handy panel with I/O connectors and buttons
  • USB 3.0
  • Rather high-quality, even though somewhat noisy, bundled PSU

Lows:

  • Not easy to assemble a computer in
  • Poor screw-less fastening mechanism
  • No compartment to hide cables in and no cooler cutout in the mainboard’s mounting plate
  • No dust filters
 
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