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Closer Look at GMC R4 Bulldozer

Some time ago we tested three system cases from GMC and were quite pleased with them. The AVC-K2 was optimized for a home multimedia computer while the R2 Toast and the R3 Corona featured a nonstandard compact layout. The R4 Bulldozer builds upon the previous models of the R series. It uses the same chassis but with considerable differences.

 

The main difference is in the exterior design, especially the front panel. New system case models from many makers often prove to be but variations of previous ones with changes in color, buttons and decorative elements. But here, the whole front panel has been revised completely. I guess the only thing the Bulldozer has in common with the previous models of the R series is the surprisingly short length of the case thanks to the vertical positioning of optical and hard drives. The optical drive bay is integrated perfectly into the case.

I wouldn’t say that the appearance of this case resembles a bulldozer. A bulldozer is supposed to be massive while the system case provokes associations with loading or harvesting machinery. Anyway, the plastic girders, aggressive-looking vent holes and two miniature connecting rods produce a most remarkable exterior. This system case won’t be appropriate on an office desk (unless at the office of a seller of some kind of machinery) but kids are going to be all enthusiastic about it. If your kid can already understand that this system case should not be hit or tested for reliability in some other way, a home PC assembled in it would make an excellent gift.

I’ve got a black version of the case but it also comes in red, green, orange and white color schemes, so you can choose what suits your taste best. All of them, perhaps excepting white, look stylish and aggressive.

It is instantly clear that not only the appearance but also the ventilation of the case has changed dramatically. The R2 and R3 models had only one 80mm fan at the back panel but the R4 Bulldozer has a 92mm fan on the front panel behind a plastic grid. It looks like there is a fan behind the grid in the side panel, too.

Indeed, there is an 80mm fan on the side panel, installed opposite the CPU. It is connected to a miniature controller which is hidden under a plastic decorative panel and has an external thermal sensor. The bottom part of the side panel has perforation for fresh air to get to the graphics card.

The sensor’s temperature reading is shown on the small indicator you can find on the side panel. There are also two LEDs and a fan control button nearby.

At the bottom of the front panel you will find I/O connectors: two USB ports (placed wide apart so that you could easily plug two devices in simultaneously), two audio connectors, and Power and Reset buttons. The Reset button is smaller and thus unlikely to be pressed by mistake, but I guess it might be hidden even more so that you needed a pen or something to press it.

There is a small display here showing the reading of one more thermal sensor. So, if you want to keep track of the temperature at two points of your computer, and you don’t want to read data from integrated thermal sensors for some reason, you will appreciate this feature. Besides, the shining red numbers enliven the computer’s appearance somewhat.

 

The chassis betrays its ancestry from the other sides: like in the earlier models, there are two seats for 80mm fans at the back panel and perforation next to the expansion-slot brackets.

There is still a block of vent holes in the right panel of the case, opposite the HDD cage.

 
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