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Enermax CS-528 & CS-718 Series Aluminum Cases Review (Page 4)

By Mike Wright on Jul 3, 2003 11:00 pm CDT
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Enermax

The Interior

Many of you will have noticed the similarities so far between these two cases. The reason is that they are essentially the same. The frames are identical and the only differences are the colors and the front bezel. This said, I have consolidated the interior discussion of the two enclosures to a single page (since they're the same anyway).

Starting high up inside the frame we see that we have the anticipated four bays for your optical devices. Keep in mind, however, that the CS-528 Series design has effectively cut you off from the bottom two unless you're still using those old 5.25" hard drives from yesteryear.

Placing the drives will require you to remove both side panels of the case, but there is nothing in the way of securing the drives in place. There are also small tabs that will hold your drive in place while installing it. This can come in handy when aligning the drives in the bays and then trying to get the screws in. It takes the place of that third hand you need to get it done.

Looking down from the optical bays shows a large tower design that handles all of your 3.5" drives. The top two bays are for the externally accessible units (top one bay on the CS-528) and the remaining bays can be filled with hard drives. There are mounts for a total of four hard drives so you'll be able to run that four disk RAID array if you're so inclined.

If you'll remember when I pointed out the pair of 80mm fan mounting holes on the back, you'll be happy to note that there is a matching pair of mounting holes up front to handle the intake chores. Not only will this make for a good airflow solution for the case, but the fans also blow directly over the hard drives. With modern drives getting faster all the time, they also get hotter. This will help make sure that everything stays nice and cool.

One thing that I noticed on the CS-718 case is the lack of venting on the front. With all the lighting effects installed, I guess there just wasn't enough room to allow for any sort of intake venting. We'll see later on what affect this had on overall case cooling when we monitor internal system temperatures.

Here is something that was a very pleasant surprise, a removable motherboard tray. I can think of any number of enclosures that are twice the price and don't have this feature! It is such a simple concept, but so many manufacturers don't make use of it. Too bad as it can make the assembly of your system so much easier. And of you happen to be one of those who are always taking things apart and rebuilding them (like me), then you'll learn to love the idea of being able to mount the board to the tray before putting it all together in the box. Very well done Enermax!

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