When all is said and done, the 3RSystem R240 Zion enclosure is a very workable case design. The overall structure is pretty standard fare but the front LCD display does make it stand apart from the crowd. This looks to be a good beginning for those looking to try their hand at a custom system.
As a side note regarding the LCD display, when I first received this unit for testing, the drivers only allowed for operating systems up to Windows XP. This has since been corrected and Vista drivers are available for those requiring them. These drivers are used for the USB interface used for monitoring system devices.
While there are a lot of cooling options, the default configuration includes only two 80mm fans; one on the side panel and one at the rear for exhaust. If you are inclined to add more on your own (highly recommended), you can add another 80mm fan at the rear and either a 120mm or another 80mm at the front. I had no overheating problems during stress testing with this enclosure, but more cooling is always better in the long run.
Expanding system components should give you no problems with four optical drive bays and a total of six HDD bays at your disposal. The expansion slots at the rear number seven and fit snugly into the realm of "industry standard". The motherboard tray is compatible with either ATX or MicroATX motherboards. There is no available kit to make it compatible with BTX standards, but since this seems to be a dead concept, this is not really an issue.
One of the big selling points of this enclosure is going to be cost. With a MSRP of only US$66, this makes an excellent choice for an entry level case. Granted, it is not the best on the market, but from a price versus performance viewpoint, it does well for itself. Add in the fresh look of the front display and you have got yourself a decent find on your hands.
Bottom line... If you are a budding enthusiast or are a value minded person and are looking for something that provides both serviceability and a unique look at a very reasonable price, the 3RSystem R240 may be just what the doctor ordered. If, on the other hand, you are an experienced builder or are looking for something a bit more high-end, you will be better served by looking elsewhere.
LCD display lets you stand apart from the crowd
Plenty of room for system upgrades
Side panel fan is filtered
No other fans are filtered
Only comes with two fans
Structure is not terribly sturdy
Rating - 8.5 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Best Value Award!
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