Any time you have an enthusiast rig, you will generate an abundance of heat. By means of a simple thermal probe I measured the temperatures within the system and compared them to a known performer, a Lian-Li PC60 that has been modified to produce a total airflow of over 250CFM.
Without going into a huge amount of detail (we're talking about degrees after all), the end result was an increase in temperature of 2C at idle and a rise of 4-5C during load. So while there is an increase in temperature, the difference isn't going to be too drastic overall. It should also be noted that testing of temperatures was done with only the four 80mm fans in use. In the event you do not use the bottom drive bays, you can still add a 92mm fan for increased airflow.
When I made the claim of features at the beginning of this piece, I really wasn't prepared for the amount this case provided. There are truly a huge amount of capabilities that are generally reserved for the truly expensive enclosures, not on one that comes in at anything remotely resembling an affordable price tag.
Oh, and that price tag? How does US$65 without fans or PSU sound? This is a very affordable case with some concepts you won't find on any other case in its price bracket. Removable motherboard tray, true tool-free design, reasonable cooling capabilities, active cooling on vital component areas, room for up to six optical devices, the list goes on. You truly get more than what you pay for with this one.
But this doesn't mean there is no room for improvement. Even at bargain basement prices, fans would be a nice touch to the package. Not necessarily lighted fans, but at least enough to provide a reasonable amount of airflow from a factory condition. Also, a full compliment of rails for the system doesn't seem to be too much to ask for. The tool-free concept is the best I've seen so far, so it would seem a waste to make tools a mandatory need for larger systems. And finally, the aluminum used for this construction is thinner than many other models available on the retail market. This is understandable, though, since it becomes an easy way to keep costs low so they can sell at a low price. Even with the thinner material, there was no evidence of structural weakness.
Bottom line...If you're wanting an aluminum enclosure that won't make you look like a total newb at your next LAN event, or even if you just want to make your home system more stylish, there are several options. If you want all this plus expensive features AND an affordable price, the number of choices become few. At the top of that small list I would place SilverStone. With a tool-free design and features you don't normally see on lower-priced enclosures, you just can't go wrong!
Very reasonably priced
True tool-free design
Removable motherboard tray
Rail system for drive installation
Plenty of drive bays
Includes no fans
Needs more rails
Rating - 9/10 and TweakTown's Best Features Award!
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