Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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HKC 003

Now let’s take a look at a product from HKC but you can actually meet it under another name, e.g. Morex Cubid 3388. Frankly speaking, we didn’t take the trouble of finding out which version is the original one. Perhaps the real manufacturer is some obscure third party, which is often the case with China-made products. If you place a large enough order at a factory, they will make you a computer case with any marking you want.

The unknown manufacturer must be given credit for producing a really nice-looking system case despite all its simplicity. Well, if you prefer high-tech design with a lot of polished aluminum, you may not like this model, yet its cute front is going to fit any other home interior perfectly. Even the commonplace vent holes are shaped not as a dull square but as a wavy pattern resembling the logo of one well-known operating system.

Alas, the front panel made from glossy black plastic with a cute pattern is somewhat spoiled by the unconcealed I/O connectors. The chrome strip around the Power button is rather inappropriate, too.

The front connectors (two USB ports and two audio sockets) are placed in a recession in the bottom right of the panel. Above them there is a large Power button surrounded with two LED indicators. There is no Reset button again.

The back panel is quite a boring view. The only thing that may catch the eye is the three characteristically shaped depressions that are obviously meant for COM ports (legacy ports if you can’t recall them). This interface is still employed in some industrial equipment but it’s hard to imagine this cute system case somewhere in a manufacturing facility. This must be just a relic of old times.

Although the system case has no fans, it seems to have some sort of air circulation inside thanks to the small 60mm fan located on the side panel of its 150W power supply MGP MX-150. This bundled power supply offers a standard selection of cables:

  • One mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (32 cm long)
  • One CPU cable with a 4-pin connector (32 cm)
  • One cable with two SATA power connectors (32+14 cm)
  • One cable with one SATA power connector, one PATA power connector and one floppy-drive plug (32+14+14 cm)

You can see a large interior when you remove the top frame (which you will use to fasten your drives). We guess a microATX mainboard would fit in here if the chassis were just a little longer. The chassis is made from steel which is a mere 0.5 millimeters thick. This doesn’t affect the rigidity of the case much, especially as it has a desktop orientation, but you can feel the thinness of the metal when you take the top panel into your hands.

As we’ve said above, optical and hard drives are fastened to a detachable frame which also helps make the chassis stiffer. First we attach one 2.5-inch hard disk drive to the bottom of the frame. And then a slim optical drive goes on top of it.

When discussing the first product in this review, we mentioned the mini variety of a SATA power connector which is used by slim optical drives. The Antec system offers such a connector with its bundled power supply whereas HKC includes a special adapter into the box for that purpose.

Quite impressively, there is a lot of free space next to the mainboard. Yes, there are an HDD and an optical drive above, yet this space is still not utilized properly. It might be used for a whole array of 2.5-inch hard disk drives, for example!

Laying out the cables in this chassis was not very easy. Although there is quite a lot of room, the cables have to be hidden somewhere below the massive frame which gets in the way.

If you prefer a faster CPU, you can take a broad cooler for it, but its height is limited to only 55 millimeters in this system case.

 
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