Up until I was contacted from Sentey about the opportunity to review this chassis, I had never heard of the Sentey brand. In their defense, they are a newcomer to the market in the US, but after taking the Paraguayans, the Chileans and Brazilians by storm, Sentey is continuing the march north, and bringing their products to the US market. They have bold plans for innovative designs and a ten year plan to keep impressing along the line until a point where they can re-engineer the wheel, and deliver newer and even more unique products as time goes on. With plans such as this, not only do they want to change our perception of the new guy on the market, but offer solid, very functional products to enjoy as we sit next to our favorite computer.
Now, Sentey has been in the game long enough to amass a collection of offerings to the retail market. These include 9 series and 2 series cards from NVIDIA, power supplies with silver and gold 80+ ratings, fans, and six categories of cases. Helping them along with designs and needs of the end users, Sentey has put in a lot of face time at trade shows and LAN events and took a lot of what the users wanted to the drawing board and try to offer the best of all worlds with their designs and implementation of things like modular cables in their PSU lineup, and all the things you are about to see with their chassis submission to our labs.
Today we are going to be having a look at the GS-6400 Arvina, which is one of three cases in the Extreme Division group of their cases. You will find the Arvina is available in red with a black mesh front panel, all black, or the black and metallic blue version we are going to see here; while the other four groups of cases offer their own personality and little touches that set the Sentey line from all the others. Many of the cases are made for either HTPC or media centers; the Extreme division is everything you think of when you think "gamer" chassis. Let's see if the Sentey GS-6400 Arvina can impress this gamer/enthusiast.
Specifications, Availability and PricingSpecifications, Availability and Pricing
The bulk of the GS-6400 Arvina is made from 1mm thick, black painted steel. The outside however has an appealing shape and distinct body lines. It is made mostly of plastic, and in this version that plastic is painted a very slick metallic blue. On the front you will find a card reader capable of handling many media types built into the front plastic bezel. Under the card reader, you run across two 5.25" bays with a stealth covers that drop out of the way as the drawer pushes them open. Another three 5.25" devices can be placed under the top two, but lack the same covers. The whole of the center area is covered in black steel mesh, and under the bay covers there is a large area backed by a 140mm blue LED fan to act as the main intake. The top of the chassis holds the front I/O panel under a plastic cover that slide open for access. Behind this you will find a black steel mesh area, but this time it is backed by two 120mm blue LED fans. The door of the chassis is painted black, but uses a metallic blue cover for a vented area on the panel. Not attached to the door, but still backing this vent is a pair of 80mm blue LED fans.
Sentey calls this a High Tower, and judging by the dimensions and the room on the interior, I would call this a tall mid tower. On the inside you will find room for a m-ATX, ATX, or E-ATX motherboard in the all black interior. On the sides of the optical drives there is a tool-less lock on one side of all five bays. Positioned 90° from the optical drives, you will find room for up to five 3.5" dives. These bays utilize a tool-less tray that is spring loaded in the rack, and works with a simple latch on the front of the trays. The motherboard tray offers wire management and access to the CPU with a spacing of 19.5mm to hide wires. In the rear of the chassis you will find a 120mm blue LED fan exhausting the case. Just below you will find seven expansion slots, and again Sentey uses tool-lees clips here too.
Right now the Arvina GS-6400 is available in black at Newegg.com for $139.99. It seems if you want the red or blue and black version, for now you need to shop elsewhere. Google brought up that I could get the red or the blue, but both were only available right now through Amazon.com. Through Amazon you can also choose free shipping if you go the super saver route. While this method of shipping is a bit slow, the $129 price tag makes it worth the wait. If you go with the Newegg link, the total is going to be much closer to the $160 mark once you get the shipping included. With all the incorporated tool-lees features, terrific looks and coloring, and a shape that doesn't follow the typical mold, let's get a look at the Arvina GS-6400 up close and see is Sentey can take the US by storm.
Sentey ships the Arvina GS-6400 in a black box with a large image of the case in the middle, backed by a purple and blue lighting.
Two different views of the case and eight images of features take up the bulk of this panel. At the bottom in two languages, Sentey also added a bullet point listing of those features.
This side is very plain and doesn't have much to offer other than the naming and a cool looking lighting effect.
An image of the Arvina all lit up tops this panel. Under this image you can find a basic specifications list for the chassis.
Sentey ships the Arvina in a black cloth bag, so with the shiny finish of the case, if there is any vibration, the cloth should allow for an extra layer to buffer the finish of the chassis. In the front and the rear of the chassis, high density foam centers the case and helped deliver a perfect chassis to my door.
The Sentey Arvina GS-6400 High Tower ChassisThe Sentey Arvina GS-6400 High Tower Chassis
Once I unpacked the Arvina I was greeted with sharp lines running up the front and onto the top of the chassis is trimmed in this metallic blue along with the vent cover on the door. The door panel and front and top mesh are all black. The combination of plastic components and the similar colors makes this a one off case that would be attractive in any setting.
The top of the chassis holds a card reader for easy access to upload images from cameras or drop tunes on a SD card. Five 5.25" bays take up the top half of the mesh front, two of which flip down when the tray opens, the latter three don't. Under the Sentey logo in the bottom 5.25" drive bay, a 140 mm blue LED fan backs the bottom half and supplies air to the case.
Getting a bit closer you can actually see the various sized slots for the card reader and the slots are labeled to be more specific. On top there is a large power button followed up bay four fan switches, all of which have blue LED illumination when powered.
Behind the power switches there is a clear plastic cover that slides back to expose the top I/O. In here you will find the reset button, e-SATA, USB 2.0 and audio and MIC connections. Further back is a long stretch of black steel mesh. Under this section you will find two 120mm blue LED fans exhausting air through this section.
As you can tell by the reflection of the tripod in the image, this exterior finish is very shiny. Both the black on the panel and all the blue plastic has an almost mirror like appearance. The large raised section on this door is to allow ventilation to the GPU as well as offering a place to put the door release. The pattern cut away in the cover is also backed by two 80mm blue LED fans and this area does glow when powered on.
The rear of the chassis offers water cooling access via the holes at the top above the 120mm blue LED exhaust fan. Moving down you then run into the seven expansion slots with ventilated covers and red plastic used as the tool-less mounting for the expansion cards. The PSU, of course, mounts in the bottom of the Arvina.
The opposing door panel is also black, but only offers a small latch at the back in blue for this side. Also something to note is how well these door panels line up against the plastic components, making for a very professional looking chassis.
Under the Arvina there are six rubber pads that keep this large plastic bottom panel from sliding on a desktop or floor. The bulk of the bottom is ventilated, and also contains a dust filter. In order to remove this filter, the bottom panel must be unscrewed from the inside and he whole of the bottom panel removed.
Inside The Sentey Arvina GS-6400 High Tower ChassisInside The Sentey Arvina GS-6400 High Tower Chassis
Removing the door panel, you can now see the ventilated area behind the plastic covering. This allows for the two 80mm fan you will soon see in the case to be able to draw fresh air in for the GPU.
Looking into the Arvina, most notable is the fan panel that clips in on the right and hinges and gets powered from the left side. The optical drives can be held in on this side with the tool-less clips on this side, or backed with screws on the opposing side. The hard drives get installed into one of the trays in the bottom of the assembly.
Not only will the whole hard drive assembly pull right out once you release the big red tab on top of it, but each individual tray pops out with a push to the side of the red buttons on the front. Now you can either set in a 3.5" drive and use the tool-lees clips on the side of the trays, or grab a couple of the screws and screw a 2.5" drive to the floor of the tray.
With the fan assembly removed and the extra goodies set aside for now, you can get a good idea of the motherboard tray layout. A large CPU access hole along with six wire management holes make the Arvina very user friendly and should make for a clean build once things are wired up.
From the inside, you can see that Sentey uses plastic clips for the expansion cards a lot like what others have used as well. While they do work for a stationary case, if you plan to travel I suggest backing the clip up with a screw.
The wiring from the front I/O and memory card reader comes all bundled together and offers all the connection you will need to make the front I/O function. What I did find, is that the wiring is very short, and in my build, I wasn't able to use the front audio connection as it didn't reach the header on the board. The rest of the cabling is long enough to get the job done.
Under the top Sentey sends two 120mm fans mounted here. First thing you may notice is the large spacing between the fans, this pretty much kills any ideas of an internally mounted radiator , if you do plan to water cool in this chassis.
Behind the scenes there is room on the left, behind the drives, to stash any extra wiring. With 19.5mm to the door, behind the motherboard tray is a good place for wiring and allows for a very easy closure even over large groups of wires. Sentey also includes plastic wire management ties that are taped to the tray in strategic locations.
Be careful when you remove the front bezel. The card reader on the front is wired through the case. Make sure you loosen the end of the cable before you pull the bezel too far. Behind the bezel, the top two bay covers are spring loaded so that they open when the tray slides out of the drive. This allows for a very clean finished look when the optical drives are installed.
Accessories and DocumentationAccessories and Documentation
Inside of the white cardboard box I found the red SATA cable and the extension power cable along with warranty paperwork and an instruction/installation disc.
Also included is this handy accessory kit. Inside it contains an extra expansion slot cover, some push in fan clips for easily mounting a fan, a Phillip's screw driver, and a micro fiber cloth to remove the fingerprints that are bound to be left on the chassis. The bag on the right has screws for the drives, risers, and motherboard screws.
The included paperwork consists of a basic manual showing most of the basics needed to make your way through a build. Sentey also includes a product catalog so you don't miss out on what else Sentey has to offer.
The Build and Finished ProductThe Build and Finished Product
Installing a drive into the tray is really simple. Just release the two tabs on both sides and set the drive in. Then you just align the holes in the drive with the pins on the back of the tabs and press the tabs into the locked position. From here, all you have to do is slide the tray back into the rack until it clicks and locks into place.
The plan here was to try to use either the Vantage ALC or the H70 inside the case for this build. What I found was that it was too big for this case. While I could have rigged it into the optical drive bays, I was disappointed that the cooler wouldn't fit in any of the three obvious choices. The rest of the build went very well, and it does produce a clean looking finished product on the inside.
Behind the motherboard tray I was able to make some rather large groups of wires run right down the center and the panel went back on with very little effort. A modular power supply does definitely help in a chassis like this, but there are a couple places you can hide wires if they go unused in your setup.
Powered up, the entire case if filled with the glow of blue LEDs. From every angle of the chassis you can see this lighting. The lighting isn't really purple as this image seems to show, it's a side effect of the DSLR and a bit of over exposure.
Once the door panel goes back on the Arvina, the design and the venting that goes around it both glow with the LED lighting from the pair of 80mm fans.
From the front, not only the vented area at the bottom in front of the fan glows from the blue LEDs. With my build and only one optical drive installed, the top and rear fans make the top half show even more lighting. I would have thought that the "usual" blue LEDs has been a bit over done at this point. What I found is that it makes for a very attractive combination to the exterior coloring, and has me sold on the idea.
Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts
The Sentey Arvina GS-6400 has left me feeling good about what this chassis offers for the price segment. The Arvina steps all over a lot of exterior case designs in my opinion, and offers tool-lees features, wire management, along with other amenities we are used to being offered in today's cases. In a nut shell, you are going to receive a very shiny, attractive looking chassis; with the choice of all black, black and blue, or mostly red with black mesh panels. The lighting both inside and out is very complimentary, and with the blue version of the exterior I was sampled, the LED fans made for a very pleasing aesthetic choice.
I only ran into a couple of small issues, and for me it wasn't a deal breaker. I rarely use the front audio connections on most of my builds, but I would have liked enough wire to have the option. The second issue was the spacing and placement of the 120mm fans in the case. The two in the top are spaced too far apart to accept a double radiator, and both those two and the rear exhaust fan have clearance issues with any all in one water cooler that is so much the trend in today's cooling choices. With the minor issues aside, I still found the case pleasing to the eye, and with all the fans it offers a good amount of airflow inside the chassis. With four individual switches for the fans you can make it as cool inside or as silent as you need it to be. With all the fans powered up and running, the audible noise coming from the chassis is noticeable, but as soon as my GPU got a touch warm, I heard that fan over anything in the case.
Since they are a new arrival to the US market, availability is a little limited, and only a few e-tailers are showing stock. Both Newegg.com and Amazon.com are the two better choices to buy from. While Newegg does offer the trust factor, and you know there will be no "funny stuff", the offering that Amazon presents at $129.99 and free super saver shipping makes for the much better deal of the two. With everything offered inside and out of the Arvina GS-6400, you are definitely getting your money's worth in this purchase. You receive a very nice looking, unusually designed, tool-less chassis that is both super solid and will look good in any situation.
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