Starting at the beginning of this review, when I tried to take the chassis out of the bag, and the sharp corners on the front bezel tried stabbing me in the palm, it sort of widened my eyes to be on the lookout for anything odd with this chassis. That being said, for most of the early steps, I really did like the aesthetics of the chassis - the splashes of red to make this the Devil Red Edition. But it wasn't very long before I started to see things that just shouldn't happen in a chassis offered in 2013 - we are well past the days of flimsy boxes with little thought and effort.
As I got to the inside, I saw the rainbow of wiring from the front I/O, and the fact that it is attached to a panel and not the case makes things later down the line a real pain in the you know where. The last thing that took it over the top for me is that everywhere it speaks of this sturdy construction and the thickness of the steel, yet when I tried putting the left side back on the case, I had it sitting wrong to access the thumbscrews. At this point I picked up the chassis and watched the door panel shift out of place some 15 degrees, and it eventually made the side panel fall off completely.
There are some good points about the Xpredator X3; it isn't all doom and gloom. The looks and aggressive styling is something I think a lot of potential buyers will like, and having the fan controllers and the 2.5" HDD dock are steps in the right direction, for sure. Offering the chassis in the Devil Red Edition as well as the White Edition will sell to more users than just the plain black version would like when the X1 was shipped. Internally there is enough room to get an ATX motherboard and a few cards in there as well, but for the water coolers out there, you are going to be hard pressed to do things on the inside with this design. You know, the more I think about this chassis, maybe it is a bit more doom and gloom than I had thought when I started this page. It seems even when I find a good point to bring up, there is always a bad one to combat it on the pro's versus con's list.
Even when it came down to the pricing, I really thought to myself, wow that seems pretty reasonable for what this chassis is said to offer. I know I am a bit spoiled when it comes to chassis design in what I have seen, but the Aerocool Xpredator X3, even if near $115, really isn't worth the money. Low CFM fans providing little airflow depending more on convective properties to keep things cool may be great for your ears, but not good on your components. Adding fans to this design is a must, and with that in mind, why not just step it up a bit initially and buy one of the other many better solutions on the market today?
Sorry Aerocool, but at best this chassis needs some work just to meet your claims on the box, let alone live up to what I see day to day.
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