The front of the Khaos tells us right up front that this is no ordinary enclosure. Instead of the plastic bezel that is becoming more common all the time, the front side of this box is all about metal. The entire build was made with sheet aluminum, but don't let that fool you. The aluminum used throughout this construction is 2mm - 3mm in thickness giving the Khaos a very solid base. On top of this, the joints in this enclosure are welded instead of riveted making it even sturdier.
Also of note is that this thing is BIG! It measures in at roughly 225mm x 615mm x 600mm, which equates to 9" x 24" x 23.5". Compare this to what is commonplace and you will note a very large difference in overall size. This behemoth also weighs in at nearly 16Kg, which works out to roughly 35 pounds. Even with the aluminum construction, this thing is big and heavy... period.
The top portion of the front bezel is given over to optical drive bays. In the default configuration, the Khaos is designed to hold up to five optical drives with the top two having what is referred to as "Stealth Drive Covers". What this means is that a standard CD or DVD drive can be installed behind this "Stealth" cover and the hinged flap allows the drive tray to be ejected. I have found from experience that these covers are generally not very compatible with trays from units like the older TDK optical devices, which do not use an industry standard tray cover, but most drives will work with no issues.
For those who just can't manage with ONLY 5 drive bays, you can start removing hard drive carriages (we'll cover those in more detail on the next page) for up to eleven 5.25" drive bays. This far exceeds the flexibility of most other enclosures on the market, even the full tower models.
Located on the top of the box you will find the main power button, reset button and the front I/O ports. The I/O ports lie hidden under a small latched cover plate, but include the ports we generally have come to expect and also includes a nice addition, an eSATA port. Those with a sharp eye will notice that there are also a pair of LED lights next to the power and reset buttons. These are the power and HDD activity lights, and while some may wonder about the positioning, it really shouldn't be too big a surprise. Given the very large size of the Khaos, it is unlikely that you will be setting this thing under your desk. More likely will be having it sitting next to your desk, making the top mounted lights easier to see.
From this angle you get to see the unique look of the Khaos. As the old TV shows advise, "Do not attempt to adjust your picture" (yes, I know that I am dating myself here). The photograph is not altered, the side panels are truly curved to give a unique exterior look. While the side panels are not windowed, there is a strip that runs across that has a mesh material instead of a solid facing, which allows lighting effects to be seen. You will not have to worry about airflow from here, however, since there is also a plastic covering that covers the entire mesh area. This gives you the look of an open side panel without having an adverse effect on your cooling plans.
The back of the enclosure has a pretty basic layout to accommodate industry standard components, but even here we see a little innovation at work. The first difference you may have already noted is the metal handle that hangs from the top of the box. As noted earlier, this monster is HEAVY, so in order to allow you to move this hoss around without giving yourself a hernia, you can simply tilt the enclosure to the front and move it around. This is accomplished by means of a set of small wheels that are mounted under the front bezel area of the case.
The other main difference between this enclosure and the rest of the guys on the block is support for dual power supplies. A single standard PSU will fit easily in one of the slots provided and if you really need that extra kick, the panel covering the other port can be removed and a second power supply installed. The bottom panel under the PSU bay is also vented to allow for some airflow for the installed component(s).
Included with this product you also get an adapter just in case you decide you need two power supplies. This adapter allows for both 24-pin couplers to be attached to it, then it connects to your motherboard. This allows the two units to communicate enough where they can work in tandem and not have to be booted individually.
Our final stop on our tour of the exterior is the bottom. This is not generally an area that I tout too much, but I mentioned earlier that the entire unit can be tipped forward and moved around. The wheels you see above have a single axle and are set up to allow you to turn it to get it wherever it needs to go. Under the back edge are a pair of rubberized studs that will keep the case firmly in place when it isn't being moved... like the 50 pounds or so of this beast isn't going to be enough.
Page 2 of 4
Further Reading: Read and find more Cases, Cooling & PSU content at our Cases, Cooling & PSU reviews, guides and articles index page.
Do you get our RSS feed? Get It!