For the longest time, as I see people asking for recommendations for a new chassis, I kept seeing the name CaseLabs being added to lists. At first I wasn't so sure about this company or what they had to offer. I am used to seeing chassis much like this concept, but they were from the likes of Danger Den, and while cool and fun to build, those cases always left me wanting in room, compatibility with my loop components, and most importantly, I didn't like the acrylic dust attracting materials for a chassis. You could have always gone to the likes of MountainMods, but from what I hear, the components are flimsy, and for the cost, customers are sometimes left with remorse for paying so much to be disappointed. That being said, there was room to improve on both ideas, and hopefully someone could deliver customers what they have been looking for this whole time.
This is where CaseLabs stepped in. They have some basic ideas that make them stand out, like being comprised of aluminum to reduce the weight and afford a material that will help remove heat from inside the chassis, as well as going the extra step to powder coat all of the parts to weather the stresses of component installation. CaseLabs offers a few sizes of cases from tech stations all the way on up to a dual system chassis. In with all of the chassis form factors, you can buy the basic design with a good layout, and then customize these cases to fit your specific coloration want, what is included in the front I/O, how many fan holes are in certain panels, and they add a full line of parts and accessories to not only repair things you may break after years of use, but you can also change parts you have to have a contrast of colors later down the line.
That brings us to why we are here today. CaseLabs has sent along the Merlin SM8 chassis for us to have a look at. On top of that, they also sent along some extra parts, slightly customized my chassis, and with all of these additions, we are almost to the SM8-X Extreme Edition offering of this chassis. So not only do you get to look at one of the most well designed water cooling capable chassis I have yet to see, you are going to see soon enough, that even with dual loops and an ATX motherboard, the Merlin SM8 will take anything you can throw at it and still be able to sleep a baby comfortably on the inside.
There is a lot to go over, and quite a few options to discuss, but however long this review is, the enthusiast in you will not be able to stop looking at and appreciating what you are about to see.