I know when we took a look at the ARES from Galaxis a lot of the finer details such as pricing and availability were sketchy at best. Today I have more information about the chassis in the Galaxis lineup, and I am pleased to bring you yet another mid tower chassis from Galaxis. Looking at the ARES, I saw some things that were right as rain for the design, but I also found a couple of finer points that make the case a little tough to use, depending on hardware. But all in all, it was still a decent case for the price.
Tool-less devices are always handy, and almost all cases are moving to this type of setup. Then there is the bright flood of LED lighting that encompasses the interior of the chassis as well as adding a glow to the room. These LEDs are built into a few fans around the chassis, but the 180mm fan on the door provides most of the visible coloring. Those ideas weren't lost in the latest design either.
Today we are taking a close look at the Atlus from Galaxis. Now, this is sort of the "little brother" to the ARES, but don't let that fool you. I based that comment on pricing alone. While the ARES has its own look, the Atlus provides a less flashy exterior, but keeps most components of the ARES; just this time, ever so slightly different. I say we dive right into the specifications, get the pricing and availability out of the way, so we can get a better look at the Atlus from Galaxis.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Much like the ARES, the Atlus is built mainly of a SECC steel body and door panels. The front bezel of the chassis is where most of the changes took place. Instead of the protruding, shiny black plastic, the Atlus has a more subdued, steel mesh on the top two-thirds of the bezel. The lower third is used to house a 120mm fan with an Optimus Prime looking face guard covering the intake. Both sides of this intake, along with the steel mesh panels are backed with a thin layer of foam acting as a dust filter. With the front bezel being very easy to remove, cleaning the filters is very easy.
Internally there are bays for up to four external 5.25" devices, room for an external floppy drive, and room for up to four 3.5" devices below to finish off the drive bays. The motherboard tray is laid out well, and even offers a rather large CPU access hole in hopes to allow for cooler removal or cleaning without having to remove the motherboard. There are no wire management holes, and this chassis is not designed to pass wires behind the tray. This may make wiring the chassis a little bit tougher. Cooling the components, the Atlus ships with a 120mm in the front, a 120mm in the top, a 120mm in the rear, and a 180mm fan in the door, all of which contain blue LED lighting, and the chassis still offers up room for two more optional 120mm fans to be placed inside if desired. Around the door fan you will find the same window that the ARES has, but aside from being a black chassis, that is the only obvious style cue shared between the two.
At the time I wrote up the ARES chassis, I wasn't too sure on pricing, but now I know that chassis was released with a MSRP of $69.99. I was also told that both chassis' should be listed on Amazon currently, and one should be able to go and get one now if desired. The only issue with that is that I hand scanned over 630 mid tower cases at Amazon, and there is nothing from Galaxis on the list. Moving on, at the time I got the information on pricing from Galaxis I was told the Atlus, when it is available, will retail for $10 less than is brother, bringing the Atlus in at a MSRP of $59.99. Truly a budget priced case! - It's too bad that Google or Amazon both come up empty in the searches I have done, because it looks like Galaxis has done very well with these designs.
Helping to keep the cost to the customer down, Galaxis again delivers the chassis in a basic brown cardboard box. They do add black and blue screenings to give you a colourful presentation. The panel keeps things simple and offers the naming along with an outlined drawing of the Atlus chassis. While the box does specify certain processor types, it will handle those as well as any of the previous sockets.
The side continues the black and blue waves at the bottom under a list of four features. Socket types, the 180mm fan, room for up to four 120mm fans, and the fact that it will keep a stock system at less than 39 degrees under loaded conditions, round out the list.
Reusing the same screens saves money. Following that concept, the rear of the packaging mimics the front.
The last external panel hosts the packaging information above two model numbers. These model numbers denote the red fan or blue fan edition of the chassis. As you can see, the BL or blue edition is the one we received to show you.
Using the tried and true methods of packaging, Galaxis keeps it simple and surrounds the Atlus in a plastic liner with Styrofoam end caps to keep the chassis safe in transit.
This little box contains all the hardware for the Atlus and you will find it snugly tucked away in the foam covering the top of the chassis. I just happened to see it as I removed the foam. There is little additional weight in the included components inside the box, so it could easily be overlooked.
The Galaxis Atlus Mid Tower Case
The Atlus does take some of its lines and basic concepts from the ARES, but gone is all of that shiny black plastic. Instead the Atlus is finished in a textured black this time, reducing fingerprints and it matches the paint on the steel much better. At the top there is the front I/O which curves around into the front bezel and seamlessly opens up to allow four 5.25" drives and a floppy drive to be installed through the bezel. The bottom uses the side vents, next to the large chunk of plastic, to allow cold air into the front of the chassis.
The front I/O has also changed. There is connectivity for two USB 2.0 devices, 3.5mm jacks for front panel audio, a large square power button, little reset button, and this time a fan controller as well.
Looking at the Atlus from the side, it looks a lot like the ARES, minus the large fan cover on the top of the ARES. They both use the same side panel which contains a one piece window segmented with the plastic fan shroud. Behind the steel mesh of the door, Galaxis houses a thirteen blade, blue LED, 180mm fan.
The rear of the Atlus is laid out with the rear I/O and 120mm fan at the top. In the middle you will find two grommets for water cooling, seven expansion slots, and a large ventilated area. Unlike the ARES being vented with square holes, the Atlus gets round holes for venting that matches the design in the front steel mesh. At the bottom you will find room for a standard PS/2 power supply with ventilation inside, so the power supply can be installed fan down. The right side of the chassis is just plain black, not even a finger dent in the door panel to be seen.
Looking inside the door panel, you can see that Galaxis uses rolled edges to strengthen the smaller chassis as well as its door panels. These doors are a bit snugger fitting than those of the ARES, and these actually took a bit of work to remove. Hanging in the panel you will find not only the window screwed into place, but you also can see the 180mm fan a lot better, as well as the 4-pin Molex connection needed to power this fan.
Inside the Galaxis Atlus Mid Tower Case
With the door removed we are greeted with a similar flash of red down the drive assembly from the red twist locks of the tool-less clips. Securely strapped to the drive bays you will find all of the wiring from the front I/O and fan controller. In the main area you will find the instruction sheet floating around along with a pair of power leads for the top and rear 120mm fans. Don't forget, the hardware isn't inside this chassis, you must find it in the Styrofoam cap.
The drive bays consist of room for four 5.25" devices followed by room for a 3.5" device, all to be able to be used externally. The following four bays use a combination of adapter trays and the tool-less locks to store up to four hard drives. These trays must be loaded from the inside, so keep that in mind for the build process.
The motherboard tray comes with a rather large CPU cooler access hole at the top. While it doesn't line up exactly with every board, it does give you a good chance that it will line up with yours. Six risers come pre-installed into the tray, and with a few extra in the hardware box, getting an m-ATX or ATX motherboard in here is no problem. Also note that the area just right of the motherboard tray is solid steel. There will be no hiding wires next to the drive bays inside this chassis.
I may be a bit too picky, but I found the fans position, as mounted from the factory, makes wire management a bit tougher, even though there is little to accommodate management at all in the Atlus. Moving past that, we run into the seven expansion slots; these are covered with removable panels, but once removed, they are not replaceable. To secure a card, included screws must be used.
The front I/O wiring consisting of the USB, audio, and power and LED wires are all long enough to reach any motherboard connections, and still leave enough length to sort of coerce them into a clean looking grouping. The fan wiring however is another story. The wires are long enough to make connections, but not long enough to not have to see most of them through the windowed side panel.
In the top of the Atlus, Galaxis ships a single 120mm fan, but as you can see, there is room for a second fan to be added. While the placement of the fans will certainly draw out most of the heated air very quickly, the position of the top to the tray makes these fans become an issue with tower cooler installation.
The Atlus is supported with four plastic feet with rubber anti-skid pads. Just under the power supply is a ventilated area to allow the PSU to breathe cooler fresh air from underneath the chassis. Right next to this, as long as the power supply isn't too long, there is room for an additional 120mm fan here as well.
Behind the motherboard tray there isn't too much to see. The room is very limited from the tray to the rear door, but as I mentioned, this design doesn't give you any way to get wiring hidden here anyways. I do like that I see a full setup of the tool-less clips on both sides of the bays.
One major change that I really liked in the Atlus over the ARES, and that is the fact that the Atlus front bezel has no wiring attached to it. This not only makes getting to the filters much easier, it outright makes it simple since there isn't any unwiring to do once you pack everything cleanly inside.
Accessories and Documentation
Inside the lower five drive bays you will see one of these adapters. Simply screw in your 3.5" device into the tray with screws from the hardware kit. Then take the 5.25" tray and slide it back into the bays from the inside, and either use just the tool-less clips, or replace the four screws sitting in this image that the trays are all shipped with.
In the little white box I found in the Styrofoam, I found this selection of hardware. Galaxis sends five wire management ties, a motherboard speaker, four extra risers, a selection of screws for the expansion slots and power supply, and another assortment of screws for mounting drives and the motherboard.
The instruction sheet is a single page, printed on both sides. This side gives you a wiring pin-out, an included parts checklist, and an expanded drawing of the Atlus chassis. The opposing side gets into more detail of how to use the drive trays and installing devices. Even though the instructions are short and sweet, they do the job, and will get you past any issue you run across in the build.
The Build and Finished Product
With a mostly stock configuration, i was able to install my components with relative ease. Two things to note here however! One thing is to make sure to install all of your hard drives first. I used a m-ATX motherboard which still gives me access to the lower slots, but a full ATX will block easy installation of all the bays. Second is the fact that the drives sit too far into the chassis. I installed one at the end of my VGA, and I had to remove the clips and allow the drive to slide forward more to be able to use this bay. Aside from that, the only issue I have is that the wiring had nowhere to go, but to be run out n the open, across the middle of everything. With a window on the chassis I would have liked a way to hide these wires.
With the panel back in place it does make some of the mess inside disappear, but the Molex connections at the bottom of the chassis are staring me right in the face. If it was me, I would rather no window be used and that they just placed the 180mm fan in the door.
The back fills out nicely with all the black components going well with the black exterior.
With everything in place I spun the case around to look at how well the holes lined up. For my DFI board, the access hole is too low to get to the top two holes in the motherboard. With full ATX motherboards, the sockets are usually a bit lower and this should not be so much of an issue.
From the front, when powered up, there is the glow from the rear 120 coming through the unused optical drive bays. At the bottom, the sides and underneath all glow with the flood of blue LED lighting from the 120mm fan just behind the bezel.
From the side, the most obvious is the glow produced from the 180mm fan in the door. In addition to this, the top 120mm fan also lights up the interior from the top, casting a peaceful, cool, blue lighting throughout the case and your room.
I think I may have been a little hyper critical on the Atlus. I see many, many designs and concepts, and the more I see, the more I want in every case. The reality of it is simple, though. This case has everything needed to look good, function well, and it still gives the user a more custom case feel from the outside. The interior is very Spartan, and while I would have liked to see some changes in order to offer this chassis up at a budget friendly price, concessions have to be made, and in this case the wire management is what got lost in the design. For the pricing of the chassis I have seen much worse cross my desk, and this chassis offers great ventilation, options for more cooling, and even has dust filters on the front intake. All in all Galaxis did a good job with delivering a good case at a good price.
I wasn't the biggest fan of the styling of the ARES, but I know there are those out there that fell in love with the design. I find that the Atlus, while being the cheaper of the two, offers a better external design package, and the Atlus will have an easier time of finding a home, based on the cleaner design in my opinion. Is this a case to compete with the CM690 II? - Not really, and it's a shame there is only a few dollars difference, because that negates a lot of what Galaxis has done in the Atlus. I give Galaxis credit where it is due, and to level the field, companies like Cooler Master have had years to iron out kinks, lower production costs, and develop a case that took buyers by storm. Give Galaxis some time, and I think they have the potential to offer up similar options to the aforementioned competition, and with pricing similar to them as well.
With this being only the second chassis I have seen from Galaxis, I can't wait until they can grab a bigger share of the market. This will allow them to not only lower the already low price point of $59.99 that they are asking for the Atlus, but with time, hopefully they can find ways to incorporate more and more options inside the chassis as they go along. Either way, I ended up liking the Atlus, and for the price, I can only say; if you are on a super tight budget, grab the Galaxis. If you are in need of USB 3.0, or wire management is a must, you may want to keep looking, but to house a rig with stock or smaller aftermarket cooling, the Galaxis has a good candidate in the Atlus mid tower chassis.
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