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InWin D-Frame Limited Edition Open-Air Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Open Air Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Apr 1, 2013 10:50 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: InWin

Specifications, Availability and Pricing




Just like with a Ducati, the frame is all about essentials. Being inspired by a solid race team, when it comes to a track bike, there is so much exotic materials used to cut weight, it will make your head spin. The same principles are brought over to this open-air chassis. The main component of the D-Frame, or the backbone as I will call it, was once a solid 12mm thick piece of aluminum that has been milled to reduce the material, while still being very strong. It is then painted black and has its tallest surfaces brushed to expose the aluminum there. With a mix of large rubber washers, threaded rods, and centering hubs, you can attach the outer frame, which is a work of art. The four sub-frames that mount to the backbone is a mix of 11mm, 15mm, and 19mm outside diameter aluminum tubing. These various sizes make up the outside frame rails and the support structure using angles and serious welds at all of the connection points to keep the chassis rigid and solid. Once that is assembled, the outer frame components make it to the spray booth for a coat of red or orange paint.


Things added into the chassis after the main section is completed give this chassis a pretty comprehensive feature set. There are four aluminum fan frames that screw into the chassis to deliver some airflow into this chassis. There is one in the front and three along the bottom. The reason that they are at the bottom is because this chassis offers a 90 degree rotation of the motherboard, which leaves the rear of the motherboard at the top of the chassis. You also get an optical drive cage to install for a single drive, and next to it you screw in the front I/O panel that offers USB 3.0, HD audio jacks, as well as the power and reset buttons.


Along with a GPU support that offers eight slots that you have to install, there is also a three bay 3.5" hard drive rack with an identifying plaque on it to show you the number of chassis you have in the series of 500. There is the ability to add a pair of 2.5" drives as well, but those mount directly to the motherboard tray in the chassis. Then once you have it all built and ready to power things up, there is a tinted glass panel that goes over both the front and back to give you a true showcase feel for the D-Frame - and with a chassis like this, I think that was very intentional.


If you do find that you like the D-Frame and want to grab one, as it sits while I write this up, there is only one place to grab either version of this chassis. That is directly from InWin at the moment, and from what I can see, and they are $499. Keep in mind that when you grab them there, this does include the Commander III 800W PSU with the chassis. I was also told in e-mails that they have plans to for Newegg to carry them once they have more stock, but there it will be sold as the chassis only, and I believe the price was said to be $399 when that happens. While we are talking about some pretty serious money here, we are also discussing a piece of art, or the center piece to any office. The thing is, that in order to even get their first buyer, they need to have functionality for today's computers, and without that it is just a $400 paperweight.


So let's see for ourselves what InWin has put together, and if this is the next chassis you buy, if only to brag to your friends about it.

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