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In Win X-Frame 2.0 Limited Edition Open Air Case Review

In Win's X-Frame 2.0 Limited Edition Open Air chassis is mighty impressive, but sadly for most, so is its incredible price tag.

Published Tue, Apr 18 2017 8:43 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:58 PM CST
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: IN WIN

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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For those of you who may not recall, way back in the middle of 2012, we were introduced to an open-air chassis that was one of the best test benches made at that time. The concept was simple. Offer users one of the beefiest open air cases available, do it with tons of style, grace, and flair, and on top of everything else, make it as user-friendly as it can be. In Win did more than succeed in that quest, as we saw the X-Frame open air chassis just about everywhere. It did not matter if we were speaking of hardcore benching folks, displays at CES or Computex, if there were an instance where accessibility and a full view of hardware were needed, nearly everyone was showing it on this chassis.

Now that five years have passed, In Win thought it was high time to revisit this simple yet very effective chassis, but this time from a whole other perspective. Even when it comes down to aesthetics, nearly everything about this chassis has been changed for the reboot. While there are hints to the bloodline in which this new open air chassis originates, In Win took every opportunity to improve upon the original. It is larger, it is heavier, it is beefier, it is sexier, and with a new twist to the presentation, it is even sturdier than the older X-Frame. As if that were not enough to grab your interests, this time around, there are color options, there is water cooling support, a plethora of new features that the X-Frame never had room to offer.

In Win is about to turn the world on its side, as they introduce the newest chassis to hit our labs, the X-Frame 2.0 Limited Edition Open Air Chassis, which also coincides with their 30th anniversary. As our teaser caption and image on our Facebook page alluded to, you will need to have quite a bit of cash on hand to obtain this new offering, but there is quite a bit going on with this chassis to invoke a premium price tag.

At this time, we suggest you sit back, get comfortable, and enjoy the presentation. Even if this chassis may not fit your needs or your budget, you will be impressed, to say the least. It will even draw those using a tried and true older bench table out of the dark, and envy what could be possible with an upgrade in what may be the best open air chassis you have ever seen made to date.

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From the chart above which was provided by In Win, we see the name of this chassis is the X-Frame 2.0, and it can be purchased in three color choices. In Win has decided to give customers the choice of red and black, blue and white, or green and black, which happens to be the one we have today. This is an open-air chassis, made of aluminum, and in the images to the right, we get a sense of the shape, design, and layout. These images are also a location where dimensions are shown with the chassis presented in its horizontal orientation. We say that because the X-Frame 2.0 is supported from the bottom as the images show, but can also be supported from the bottom, allowing the chassis to stand vertically as well.

The X-Frame 2.0 allows for a Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, and even E-ATX motherboards, as long as they are no bigger than 12" by 13" in size. The rear of the chassis has an expansion card bracket, there are no covers, but there is a total of eight slots available. Video card length is restricted to 385mm, but with removable bays causing said restriction, this number can be increased if needed. CPU cooler clearance is unlimited, as the chassis has no panel to go on over it, and the motherboard is set low enough on the tray that conflicts for even the largest of coolers will not happen.

The front I/O panel delivers a power and reset button, LED indicators for the system power and HDD activity, as well as offering three USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 3.1 Type-C port, as well as jacks for HD Audio. There is a built-in rack for cooling in the 2.0 as well, unlike the original version. On one end of the X-Frame 2.0, one can place three 120mm fans to blast air over the motherboard and into the video card coolers. This area can also be used to support AIOs or custom water cooling, with limited restrictions on thickness for the 360mm radiator size as its maximum.

The last things to know about the X-Frame are as follows. Dimensionally this chassis is 640mm from end to end, it is 483mm front side to side, and stands 330mm tall being supported by the stand. Lastly, consider the weight at 34.1 pounds, as it will only get weightier as you add gear onto it.

One major component has been left out of the specifications though. Along with the chassis, In Win provides it with a Signature Series SI1065W PSU. This is a 92% efficient PSU, which is modular, and is built to color match the chassis with a proved bracket, and LEDs inside of it. It has been many years since we have seen a PSU that is internally lit and comes with a Window to see inside of it, In Win shows that they are spicing up every bit of this chassis design.

Here comes the toughest pill to swallow about this chassis; the price. Keep in mind that this is a unique chassis, which it is made of thick sections of aluminum, some extruded and some cast. Also remember, the X-Frame 2.0 is a Limited Edition, and while the total number at this time is unknown, the trend in the past has been 500 pieces. There will not be many on the market, and this will be something everyone you know will be envious of.

We are aware of the MSRP, as it can be seen on site with the chassis, and it appears that, the only e-commerce location currently to have stock of this, has it listed at $1200. They do sweeten the deal with a current offer of a $100 Newegg Gift Card, but at the same time, that price does not include shipping. You are asked for an additional $21.99 to get this chassis to your door. While this is three times the price of the original, it feels like three times the case as well. As of now, we are still undecided on the value, but know full and well that by the end of this, we will have made up our mind.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications


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The box is large and is done in shades of red and sections of black. The backdrop is an idea of the chassis as if you were looking at one of the longer sides. In the free space above it, we find the In Win name, and the large red X and white Frame, along with the orange oval denoting its 2.0 status.

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Moving to the next panel, we find the textured look to the background and a ghosted image of the chassis name to the right. Laid over that we see a sticker next to the green and black version, there is a sticker for warehouse usage, and then the specifications running across the bottom.

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This panel of the box is identical to what we had seen on the front of the packaging. The only difference here is that DHL put a hole in the box in its trip here, and patched it regardless of how obvious.

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The last of the exterior panels has the company name at the top, as well of indications of its fragility and which end should be up. The lower section covers six reasons why this chassis is the right one for you, and also is the first indication we see about the included power supply.

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Inside of the box, the chassis and components are packaged snug into sections of dense foam. The bottom layer is the chassis with foam on either end. Moving up there is a layer of foam where the PSU and cables reside, the stand, and more foam to lock the stand down. The hardware is located in the plain brown box, and there is a VIP card located just to the left side of the chassis stand. Even with a foot-sized hole in the box, our In Win X-Frame 2.0 is found to be in superb condition.

In Win X-Frame 2.0 Limited Edition Open Air Chassis

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With the conventional orientation being viewed at this time, we find lime green at either end, and also find an optical bay cage, a 3.5" drive bay, both with lime green latches, and the front I/O panel hanging from under the motherboard tray.

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The front I/O panel offers a tiny reset button and them the HDD Activity LED. Next, we run into a group for USB connectivity, where we find the single USB 3.1 Type-C port followed by three USB 3.0 ports. Further to the right we then run into the 3.5mm jacks for the headphones and microphone, before we locate the backlit power button.

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What we will call the bottom of the chassis, this is where the cooling support bracket is located. The bracket allows the option for three 120mm fans or use of up to a 360mm radiator, and it can be removed with just two screws. Below the motherboard tray, we can see one of the two cups used to support the chassis on its base.

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Just to the right side and below the socket which accepts the stands are lock mechanisms. The larger handle on the left is used to allow the bearing all the way into the cup under the motherboard tray, while the smaller tab on the right is used in the same fashion for the cup in view. Once the bearing on the stand is set, you also need these handles to unlock the stand from the chassis.

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From behind the chassis, we see the GPU support bracket and its eight slots, matching in color to the ends of the X-Frame 2.0, and it is removable. Below the motherboard tray, we find two additional locations for drives, with a 2.5" bay in the center, and a 3.5" drive bay to the right.

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What is technically the top of the chassis if used in the vertical orientation, we see the thick motherboard tray, we can see the side of the PSU support system, and we also see the wires attached to the front I/O panel. For now, the wires are tied together and are shipped like this to prevent damage to them from the heavy chassis.

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The motherboard tray is a solid cast slab of aluminum, drilled to accommodate Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX, and E-ATX motherboards. There are two long rectangular holes on the right and a smaller square near the bottom, which is how the wires pass to the motherboard. On the right side of the tray, we see another two cages for 2.5" drives, and they use metal tabs to lock into position. The lower bracket can be used for two more 2.5" drives, but is also intended to be used to support pumps and reservoirs. We also admire the In Win names on each of the lime green support bars.

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Very near where the PSU needs to be inserted into the motherboard tray, we have found the chassis plaque. The plaque has the In Win name present, but the X-Frame 2.0 takes up most of the space. We also see it is a Limited Edition, but sadly there is no numbering system to denote which chassis of the run you have.

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The large angled area at the top of the motherboard tray is used to support the SI1065W PSU that comes in the box. The notch at the back accepts a pin in the PSU support frame, and the threaded holes on the right edge also help to lock the PSU into the chassis more securely. The design is set up to have the modular connections on the left side, and you connect the PSU cable on the right side.

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Under the chassis, we find the same flat black paint applied to the underside of the motherboard tray, and many holes in various locations in which to attack the wire loops supplied in the hardware. Not only do we see a lot of natural aluminum from the locking mechanisms, but we can also see the optional cup for the stand, which allows the chassis to spin on a horizontal axis.

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The wires are quite long and will be of no concern when it comes to connection to any motherboard layout. The HDD LED, reset button, and individually marked power button, and power LED wires are all sleeved. The HD Audio and pair of native USB 3.0 connections are also black, and all will blend into the motherboard tray well.

Hardware & Documentation

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Found inside of the 3.5" bay nearest the front I/O panel. We unlocked the bay and slid out this tray. On it, there are eight screws for 3.5" drive installs and a set of twenty-eight screws for 2.5" drives. There are two PSU screws to use with the PSU bracket, a set of four ODD screws, and eight thumbscrews for the expansion slots. Nearest the bottom, we also find a set of twenty motherboard screws, a standoff socket in the middle, which helps to install the twenty brass standoffs. We also love that all of the main hardware is kept in one place, easily located later.

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What we have here is the stand for the chassis. The stand has four legs for superior stability, but each foot is also spring loaded to ensure the footing is proper on each leg, even if the surface used is a bit uneven. In the center is a steel shaft capped with what appears to be an axel bearing off of a car, which will provide smooth operation when it comes to needing to spin the chassis.

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In Win sends plastic loops to tend to the wires with. There are three loops which at 7/8" in diameter, and the other three are 5/8" in diameter, to be used where they fit best for the application. There are nine twist ties to help to manage wires which may not work well with the loop system, and In Win also supplies five zip ties to be used at your discretion. The one thing to keep in mind is to stay away from the cups and the locking systems.

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The user manual starts out as more of a product guide, showing off the chassis you just bought. There is a hardware list which describes what everything is intended to be used for, and some help as to fit, finish, and options this chassis brings forth. We are also sent a VIP members card to gain access to things the average customer cannot, and we are also given a cloth to clean things, but its main purpose is to clean the window on the side of the PSU.

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We also located this pair of black cloth bags, under the stand, but riding on top of the motherboard tray, with foam between them. Both bags sport the In Win name and logo, but the bag at the left contains the PSU cables, while the large bag on the right houses the PSU and bracket.

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The Si1065W PSU is modular as we can see from the left side of it. The longer side nearest in the image is a window ringed with a thin black border and mounted to the top of it; we can see a bracket mounted to it, which matches the color of the aluminum trim on the chassis. The "finger" at the far end may seem odd, but it is designed as a strain relief system for the PSU power cable.

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For those of you who have plans of grandeur and have loads of power draw to consider, we wanted to make sure we displayed the power outputs. There is 125A of power delivered across the three 12V rails, and plenty of power across the rest of them. While there is not an efficiency rating sticker on this unit, we can tell you that it is 92% efficient.

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While the power cable socket and standard PSU on and off switch are found on the far right edge of the ventilated end of the PSU, we wanted to show other things which are more interesting. This SI1065W PSU comes with green LEDS inside of it, and they are controlled by this switch at the top. There is also a 5V 3A USB port on the PSU, which allows for fast charging of mobile devices right from the PSU.

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All of the modular cables are black, and all but the 24-pin lead are made of flat cables. Across the top, we found the set of eight, 800mm PCI-e, 6+2-pin cables for powering video cards. We also find a pair of 600mm SATA cables with a single connection, then a 600mm plus 200mm SATA cable with two connections, and yet another which is 700mm to the first connection, and then an additional 150mm to the second one.

There are two 300mm 4+4-pin CPU cables. At the bottom, we see the 24-pin cable, which is round and sleeved, and two cables for Molex needs, which are 600mm to the first connection, and 100mm to each of the three additional connections to each lead. Off to the right, is the supplied power cable.

Case Build & Finished Product

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For this round of images, we opted for the vertical orientation to display the X-Frame 2.0, as it sits securely on the stand. Access to the I/O panel is great, and the drive bays on the leading edge make swapping them out easy as can be. We can see the ventilated end of the PSU at the top, we see the card, and can also see the radiator and tubing in full view.

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Working from the top down, we initially find the shiny, tinted window of the PSU in full view. The ATX motherboard fits with plenty of room for an E-ATX motherboard, and wires are easily passed through the management holes. While in use vertically, this is the view you will likely enjoy the most, where everything is clearly visible, and with open access to all of it.

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Most times, this is not the side of the chassis which you would choose to see, but the ability of the stand to allow the chassis to spin around does make switching cards and connecting them to devices much simpler to do. Don't forget, you also can access the additional drive bays from this side, and can easily add in or take out wires from the PSU at the top.

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Behind the motherboard tray, we found the provided hardware is sufficient to handle all of the chassis and PSU wires. A bit of planning is needed, but we were able to keep wires from causing issues with the stand in either orientation and also made certain nothing would lay on the desk if the stand were not in use. In other words, setting the chassis on the rubber pads found on the support rails at the top and bottom.

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With the system now powered on, there are three things to mention. The PSU at the top of the chassis is now displaying green LED light through the mesh at this end. We can also see the blue LED ring around the power button, but what we missed was the blinking of the amber LED backing the HDD activity light.

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Spinning the X-Frame 2.0 one more time, we can not only see the LEDs displayed through the tinted side of the PSU much better now, but we also see the LEDs on the AIO head unit as well as the video card. Too bad we do not have any LED DDR3 on hand, as it would go well with the rest of the view from this side of this open air chassis.

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For those who were wondering, this is what the X-Frame 2.0 looks like when the stand is used to support it in the horizontal. Keep in mind that the chassis can spin around 360 degrees in this orientation too, and for most users with a lot of desk space, this is likely the way the chassis would be used.

This is also a great candidate for extreme cooling too, as the pots can stay full, and when not extreme cooling, you can reorient the chassis to save room until the next bench session or Dewar refill.

Final Thoughts

There is much to love when it comes to the In Win X-Frame 2.0. It is an evolutionary jump ahead in every aspect when compared to the original, and in every way, form or function, the X-Frame 2.0 is superior. The thickness of the motherboard tray, the thickness of the aluminum supports at either end, the massive amounts of drive support, the color choices, the inclusion of an internally lit PSU to match the chassis, the list of exceptional finds in an open air chassis like this one seems to go on forever.

The hardware is all contained in a drive tray style system, which keeps the hardware tidy, but more importantly, it can stay with the chassis and be ready to be used at a moment's notice to add something new. The chassis has no fans supplied, so there is no noise associated with it. That is left to the consumer to deal with. Then, on top of everything else, this chassis is built with two orientations to be used, and in either orientation, the chassis will spin around 360 degrees to make life using this test bench so much easier day today. While green is not our first choice, we would have rather had the red and black, or even the blue and white version, yet at the same time, even though green, the X-Frame 2.0 is so awesome, the color seems to be irrelevant at this point.

Sadly though, we did find two small issues with the X-Frame, and considering the amount of money this chassis requires, it was gone over with the finest-toothed comb, as we expect perfection at this price point. The first thing we noticed and can be seen in the fourth image on page number two, there is a bit of paint missing here and there. While we noticed that the textured paint on some of the parts isn't as evenly coated on all parts as we would have liked, missing paint on the side of the optical drive bays is something tough to overlook.

The second thing we found to be a bit odd, is the thin rubber feet taped to the bottom of the frame. While there is a stand provided, so one does not have to ever support the chassis with the thin rubber pads, we do wish the X-Frame came with something better. While assembling the system, we did not have the chassis supported by the stand, and twisting it on the glass or a desktop will roll the feet at their edges. We were able to reattach them after noticing the issue, but something a bit more exotic, or at least sufficient to stay put is what we expected to see. Outside of these two minor issues, we feel that the X-Frame does deliver in its professional feel and build, the elegance and simplicity of this open air design, and is most certainly a chassis that will make you the envy of anyone who lays eyes upon it.

The one thing that is like a thorn in our side is the cost. There is no simplifying this, so we will just say it outright. The X-Frame 2.0 is exorbitantly expensive and will prohibit many from ever getting closer to it that what we saw in this review. At triple the cost of the original, it is hard to put the price of $1200 in a good light. It is feature rich for a chassis without panels, it is one of the best designs in cases we have ever seen, and the amount of work and high-end materials that go into its construction, paired with the fact of limited supply, and it does afford In Win some leeway to raise the price.

However, we feel that at $600 they would sell out on day one. At $800, we think there are still many out there willing to pay that premium, but at $1200, you have to be hardcore or one who has to have the best of what is available to even ponder this chassis to sit near you. As much as we love the In Win 2.0 Limited Edition Open Air Chassis, the price In Win decided to go with for it may leave them holding quite a bit of the stock.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

TweakTown award

The Bottom Line: In Win's X-Frame 2.0 is an amazing open air chassis that is full of features! The limited nature of it and superior materials and construction drive up the cost a lot, so this is something made for the elite and not the common users out there.

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Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

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