Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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The quick fastening mechanisms are not perfect, but efficient enough.

 

To install a device into an open bay, you use tack-like fasteners. You pull the tacks out, align your device with them and press on the tack to fix your device in place. The fastening is quite secure but not as secure as with screws. You can shift the device in its bay by inserting the tacks into another pair of sockets.

5.25-inch devices are fastened with two tacks whereas the single open 3.5-inch bay has only one such tack.

 

The expansion-slot brackets are fastened with a single plastic bar with two locks. This fastening is secure and more reliable than that of the above-discussed Ascot. You can also use conventional screws (but InWin has saved on them as the top three brackets are only held in place with the plastic bar). You don’t have to take off the fastening bar because it has openings for screw heads. I guess the bar alone is quite enough, though (the fastening seems loose with the thin expansion-slot brackets but is tighter with the thicker metal of expansion cards’ mounting brackets).

Now what about the HDD rack? Like in the above-discussed Ascot, there are five guides for both 3.5- and 2.5-inch HDDs. As opposed to the 6ZRX, the guides are put on HDDs and lack vibration-absorbing elements.

HDD bays are positioned with rather large gaps and there are very large vent holes in the sides of the rack. This should ensure efficient cooling from the front fan.

 

The four bottom bays are already equipped with SATA cables (both data and power), so you only have to connect them to the PSU’s two SATA power connectors and to the mainboard’s onboard SATA headers. The mounting holes for 2.5-inch disks are positioned in such a way as to align the disk’s connectors with the bay’s ones.

This solution prevents you from using legacy PATA disks anywhere save for the topmost bay, which lacks any cooling, being higher than the front fan.

Well, I don’t think that the manufacturer thought about PATA disks at all. The lack of hot-plugging for the top bay must be due to cost-cutting reasons rather than to ensure PATA compatibility.

The mainboard’s mounting bracket has a cutout for the CPU cooler’s back-plate of a rather modest size. It may turn out to be too small for some mainboards.

The cable compartment isn’t deep but that’s not a problem. HDDs are connected in a special way in this system case, so their cables do not get in the way whereas the other cables don’t need much space.

The default ventilation system of the IW-PE689 consists of a single exhaust fan on the back panel.

This Y.S. Tech fan has a classic 7-blade design and a rated speed of 1300 RPM. It rotated at 750 RPM when I selected the mainboard’s Silent mode.

The fan was audible at its full speed but very quiet in the Silent mode.

The fan’s grid has an original pattern, but it can hardly improve anything in terms of air flow.

 

You can additionally install a 92 or 100mm fan to the front panel (into a removable metallic frame with a square grid). Two 120mm fans can be put on the side panel.

The side panel’s vent grid is designed in such a way that the fan’s mounting holes are not conspicuous as in other system cases. They are fitted into the geometrical pattern, being but barely larger than the other openings.

 

The IW-PE689 is easy to assemble and looks very neat, which is not often to be seen with system cases of this class.

The IW-PE689 comes with a bundled power supply Power Man IP-S500AQ3-0 that has a wattage rating of 500 watts (up to 480 watts on the three +12V output lines). The PSU worked without problems during my tests but was rather loud (louder than the Ascot’s PSU which itself was far from quiet). The PSU’s fan was noisy even in idle mode. But when under load, the PSU’s case remained cold, which indicates a suboptimal algorithm of fan speed regulation.

The PSU has the following cables and connectors:

  • One mainboard cable with a 24-pin connector (45 cm)
  • One CPU cable with a 4+4-pin connector (35 cm)
  • One graphics card cable with a 6+2-pin connector (37 cm)
  • Two cables with three SATA power connectors on each (40+10+10 cm)
  • One cable with one SATA, two PATA and one floppy-drive plug (27+10+15+15 cm)

The InWin’s PSU is inferior to the Ascot’s in cable length and in the number of graphics card connectors, but the shorter cables are even handier since both system cases have a top PSU bay. You don’t need a 60cm CPU power cable if there is only 20 centimeters from the PSU to the appropriate connector.

The assembled computer looks quite impressive for a rather inexpensive system case.

Highs:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Roomy interior
  • Internal 3.5-inch bays are compatible with 2.5-inch disks
  • Four disk bays with hot plugging feature
  • Dedicated compartment for cables
  • Rather high-wattage bundled PSU with a sufficient number of connectors

Lows:

  • Too few I/O ports, and the USB ports are located inconveniently
  • Front fan is not preinstalled
  • Top disk bay is not cooled by the front fan
  • No dust filters
  • Scanty accessories
 
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