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In Win B2 Stealth Bomber Mid Tower Case (Page 3)

By Mike Wright | May 12, 2008 11:00 pm CDT
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: In Win


Once we get past that side panel the first thing we notice is what In Win refers to as a "VGA Turbo Cooling System", which is in essence a large wind tunnel complete with a pair of 80mm fans covering the bottom area of the side opening. These fans are positioned over the area of the graphics cards and will force cool air over these heat-producing components. The entire arm assembly hinges downward to the top of your work area (or floor) to allow enough space for system installation.

Before getting more involved with the wind tunnel device, I thought it important to take note of something; filtration. This is the interior of the primary side panel and there are two areas that allow incoming air to enter the enclosure, both of which are filtered. The top port has a sliding filter that can be removed for cleaning and the bottom port has a mesh material cover that can be snapped out for cleaning. It is good to see that In Win realizes the importance of trying to keep dirt and dust from getting inside our system.

The top port also has a telescoping funnel that can be extended downward and also moves side to side. This funnel will sit in the approximate area of your processor. For those utilizing larger aftermarket coolers, this can be removed so that it does not interfere with your processor cooler.

All right then, let's get back to business.

While the front bezel is made of plastic, the frame of this enclosure is made of steel. Overall measurements come in at 435mm x 235mm x 525mm, or roughly 17" x 9.5" x 21" for those who are metrically challenged.

Flipping the wind tunnel down gives a little better look at the fans used for cooling. These fans are each 80mm x 25mm and are labeled as ceramic fans. This means that you can attain decent fan speeds without excess noise. The fans are held in by plastic clips and are easily removed, so if you decide to run something a bit more potent, the mounts are set to allow use of any standard 80x25 fan.

As I noted above, this is basically a wind tunnel (yes, I know that the longer marketing name is more impressive, but I will stick with a more literal interpretation for the moment). Cool air is brought in from the side wing of the enclosure, and any misdirected air coming from the front will also follow this device and be added to the mix. It is a cooling device that some like and others do not, but I have found that it works reasonably well. You just have to be willing to rotate the assembly downward when you do a lot of internal maintenance or component replacement.

Ah, here is an interesting trick. The front-most 80mm fan can be rotated 90 degrees to allow for enhanced cooling of the hard drive bay. This is something that I have not seen before and is an intriguing idea. I would note, however, that if you decide to use it in this manner that you reverse the fan that rotates. While oriented for intake from the side panel, the rotation will cause this fan to blow air into your hard drive bay. Since there is fan already in place bring cool air from the front through the drive cage, allowing this fan to also blow inward from the opposite direction would totally ruin your system's airflow. Here is what it looks like in this inverted position.

One item of note: Those using long video cards or sound cards may have trouble using the fan in this flipped orientation. I will go into this in more detail when we install a system, but keep it in mind.

The optical drive bay is pretty standard fare and uses a tool free rail system to keep your drives in place. The plastic tray you see in the bottom bay can be removed simply by popping the front bezel and sliding it out. If you do not need the bottom bay, you can leave the rail tray in place and it will not obstruct airflow at all.

One item of note here; only the top two optical drive bays allow for use of the rail system. If you have more than two devices you will have to resort to the old fashioned way of mounting it, screws.

Directly below your optical drive bays you will find two externally accessible 3.5" bays, both of which allow use of the drive rail system. Like most system enclosures, if you have no need for external devices, you can fill these spaces with extra hard drives, but they will not be actively cooled in this location.

Following the drive tower to the base shows enough space for 4 hard drives. Again, the tool free rail system is used and drive installation is a breeze. Also of note is that this cage is actively cooled by another ceramic fan, this one measuring 120mm x 25mm. The bays are also oriented toward the side of the case to allow you easy access to your drives if necessary. This active cooling will allow your hard drives to run at speed with no fear of burning out, even the newer models with high spindle speeds.

We all know by now that I tend to be harsh on manufacturers who don't filter all incoming air ports, so rest assured that I checked into this as well. If you will look toward the front edge of the drive cage you will note a yellow tab. This is the lock that allows you to rotate the drive cage enough to let you get at the fan... and the filter.

Simply slide the fan assembly out and you can easily clean the filter element used here. There are a total of 3 intake fans used in the B2 Stealth Bomber and all are filtered. Well Done!

In Win has also decided to utilize a tool free mechanism for keeping those peripherals in place. Simply rotate the locking device away from the card being added, install the card, and rotate it back into place until you hear it click lightly into the locked position. As with most retention devices of this type, make sure you have the card properly lined up in the slot to avoid damaging the rotating clip. I have learned this the hard way in the past and always double check now. Feel free to learn from my mistakes.

Oh, and don't worry about the lack of blank plates for the empty slots. There are blanks that come with the screws and assorted hardware that is inside the case when you purchase it.

There comes a time when a product manufacturer finally gets it. My congratulations go out to the design team at In Win for figuring out that a majority of consumers (also known as customers) have little use for that locking hasp on the back of most cases. While minor in the overall scheme of things, this little tab has bloodied my knuckles more times than I can count. However, since some buyers will have a need for a method of locking the box, something has to be done to satisfy both user groups.

Above you can see the result of a little thought and ingenuity. That little hasp can now be rotated out of the way with no edges sticking out from either direction. Those who have a need for the ability to like the side panel can make use of it, while the rest of use can get that little bugger out of the way. Shown above is the tab in a position about halfway through its rotation cycle.

Now that we've gone into a rather in depth examination of this case, it is time to install a system and see how it handles the load.

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