Overall, Ultra has come up with a very nice enclosure. The heavier aluminum used in the construction, the impressive feature list and the attention to detail with the interior paint and reflective motherboard tray and back panel shows that these folks have some ideas for enthusiasts. We often tend to be picky buyers and this product aims at addressing those concerns right from the beginning.
The addition of Ultra Power Bar was also a stroke of inspiration that I found to be very good. Any time you can reduce the obstruction of the airflow, you make the overall cooling effort that much more effective. The idea is simple, but the end result was very positive. A pair of X2900 boards creates a lot of heat, especially when gaming. Being able to keep the system functional without any extra fans was impressive.
I also liked the light/dark theme of this case. In its base configuration there are no included lighting effects, so your own imagination will be the only limiting factor. The interior paint also keeps your lighting effects operating in their intended manner. Often times we have to make some adjustments because the off-silver coloring of the interior aluminum gives a color result that was not what we had intended. This won't be an issue with the Ultra m998. The addition of a removable motherboard tray is also a very nice feature. You just can't beat the ease of a new installation when you can take out a tray and get most of your primary components installed right in front of you on your work desk.
Of course, this isn't a perfect case. Even though the cooling was effective, some folks are still going to want to add more fans. There are no mounts set up for this so you will need to get ready to mod the case to make this happen. I was also a bit disappointed with the lack of filtration on the side panel vents. As noted previously, ANY opening that has the potential of allowing air to enter the case needs to be filtered. Dust has always been one of the biggest component killers since enthusiasts began tinkering, so missing this point was a bit unexpected.
As far as cost is concerned, the MSRP for the Ultra m998 is listed at $199.99US, but a bit of searching online will yield you prices closer to the $160 range or so. While not a budget case, the features are noteworthy enough to make this price point pretty close to where it needs to be. You will be getting a whole lot more with this enclosure than many others on the market today.
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