Articles: Cases/PSU

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Now we have reached the most exciting feature of this system case. Its side panels cannot be removed. Instead, they are flipped down on both sides. There are handles on these panels you could see in the photos above. You just pull the handle up and the whole side panel flips down. This gives you no special comfort with the left panel, though. When working with the components, the panel proves to be between you and the system case. It is good that it can be opened by more than 90 degrees, so you can lay the case on its side (or put it down at the edge of a desk) and open the panel fully.

What is impressive, the right panel can be opened in the same way, leaving the system case with its PSU and back-panel fan only. Thus, it becomes far more convenient to install the mainboard in comparison with standard system cases.

The chassis itself is original and high quality. Every edge is finished properly, and the whole arrangement is very rigid.

The brackets of expansion slots in the back panel spoil the impression from the case somewhat. I don’t mind the screw-based fastening of expansion cards (it is an old but reliable method), but I don’t like that the brackets have to be torn off.

Now let’s check out the fan on the right panel. It represents an original and interesting solution. By the way, every fan in this system case has a 4-pin power connector of the Molex variety (like the power connector of PATA drives).

Well, the efficiency of this fan is questionable due to its location. In fact, it only cools the top cage for 3.5-inch devices into which you can install external drives (card-reader or floppy drive) which don’t require much cooling anyway, and one hard disk drive. This fan can also improve the cooling of the mainboard by intensifying the airflow around it. You’ll see in the Tests section if this fan is any good at all.

The metallic crossbar in the left part of the case not only makes the latter more rigid (the chassis itself is less rigid than usual due to the original design, so this crossbar is quite a necessary element) but also serves as a seat for an 80mm fan and as a support for expansion and graphics cards. This support is implemented in a very simple way: the bar has three retractable shanks with soft pads at the ends. So after you install your cards, you can just set the crossbar and take out the necessary shanks, pressing them against the butt-ends of the cards. That’s not much of a support, yet it may come in handy anyway.

Now I’ll tell you about the installation of hard and optical drives into this case. Devices in the 5.25-inch bays and in the top cage for 3.5-inch drives are fastened with screw-less retainers that resemble those of the above-discussed Gigabyte case. That’s why I won’t discuss them in detail here.

The retainers are actually the same. Each of them two juts replacing ordinary screws and a turning central part that is responsible for applying and removing the retainer.

In the front bottom part of the case there is a traditional cage for HDDs. This cage is secured in place with a thumbscrew and a retainer. But what is the blue thing beneath it for?

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