Even More Features
- The Inside
The inside of the case was very neat and clean looking. The frame is very solidly constructed, and sturdy enough that I can sit on it without fear of damaging it (and I weigh in at about 220 pounds). The work area inside the case was also nicely laid out with all of the edges being rolled under. This makes it especially nice when you're working on the inside since you won't have to worry about getting cut on the sharp edges. All around the sides, along the drive bays, and on the back edges of the case, all edges were neatly rolled under.
One thing that I did not like was that there is not a removable motherboard tray. This is understandable in a full tower since there is ample room to work, but in a mid sized tower like this, it should be a standard feature. I'll get into the installation of the system later, but it was a test of fortitude to get the mainboard installed into this case.
The drive bays are plentiful in this unit. You have four 5.25" bays and all of them are accessible externally. Additionally, there are three 3.5" bays of which two are accessible from the outside. This gives you a lot of room to construct a monster of a system for your power hungry needs. And to make sure that everything maintains a neat look when you're finished, all of the external bays have cover plates on them. Just remove the ones that you need and leave the rest in place.
I have yet to figure out why there are two speakers, but they are pictured quite nicely above. About the only thing that I allow to use these things is the system when it initially boots. they're useful when listening to the beeps of an unstable system, but that's about all.
Other than that, it's a pretty basic layout. All the cables coming from the face of the case are plainly labeled so that you won't have any problems hooking them up to your motherboard and having all the lights and buttons work normally on the front of the unit.
- The Outside
The exterior of the case is pretty standard fare as far as design is concerned. No fancy engravings, molded plastics, or futuristic looks are going to get in the way. Just a solid and very functional unit that will not look out of place in your favorite nook.
But that doesn't mean that this little gem doesn't have any surprises. If you'll take a look at the back of the unit above, you'll notice that even though the case is currently empty, there is a connector installed in a slot. This connector allows you to access your basic sound, microphone, USB, and joystick from the front of the case. This can come in very handy, especially the USB port connectors. I use a USB mouse and also a USB Flash Card reader for my digital camera, and it's nice having them within easy reach for a change.
This is what the connector looks like when you get everything hooked up. it's just a matter of plugging in the cables to their appropriate slots so that it can transfer usage of these connectors to the front part of the system. They say to keep it as simple as possible, and this is exactly what Cooler Guys have done.
Below is a picture of exactly what you'll have access to from the front accessible panel:
let's see, two USB ports, microphone, line in, speakers, speaker volume, joystick/MIDI and PS2 style mouse connectors. Not too shabby for being within easy reach.
In keeping with today's expectations of easy access, the case has been fitted with thumbscrews for both side panels. This allows you to get into the internals without the need of any tools; not even a screwdriver. There is also a small plastic handle that makes it even easier to remove the main side panel. Just remove the two thumbscrews and pull back on the handle, and the panel is off the case entirely.
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