Articles: Cooling

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The bottom of the chassis is an ATX case for the computer system components. 5.25” and 3.5” devices are fastened in their bays with ordinary screws, without any removable baskets. There are five landing places for hard disk drives. The ChillControl unit, the electronic brain of the VapoChill, nestles nearby – you access it from the left part of the case. At the bottom of the front panel there are spots for two 80mm fans or one 120mm blower. Besides their main function – blowing cold air into the system – these fans will help in cooling your hard disk drives.

The mounting tray for the mainboard is inserted into the groves of the chassis at the back and is screwed up at the front. To detach the tray, you have to remove the left panel of the case. Instead of the traditional screw fastening, the mainboard is attached to the tray with plastic clips that facilitate its installation.

The back panel looks somewhat weird. Yes, the PSU is installed vertically, like in mini-towers of those old days when the ATX form-factor had just appeared. Back then, it was difficult to cool and assemble the system. In this case, it’s not that bad. First, the case is wider than usual and there is enough space above the mainboard. Second, the processor is cooled by the evaporator and needs no additional air cooling at all. Third, a number of modern PSUs use two- or three-fan systems. The internal fan thus performs the role of a blower in the system, removing hot air from the North Bridge area, memory chips and the backside of the graphics card.

The chassis is intended for installation of ATX and Extended ATX mainboards (although I can hardly think of a server with such cooling). It is equipped with seven slots for expansion cards. All seven brackets come fastened with screws. There are three vent grids nearby, 50x50mm big. If you feel like doing this, you can install three small fans there, although the efficiency of this solution will be close to nothing.

The case stands on four rubber legs to prevent vibration. You actually feel this vibration much more than with an ordinary case, because of the working compressor.

The overall impression from the case is like it’s done for ages – the manufacturer was not stingy about metal. However, the ease of use doesn’t quite match the status of the VapoChill (although there are no serious issues about it). This case is analogous to entry-level models in its functionality, save for the removed mainboard plate. We might expect something more from a case for a high-end system.

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