Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Just about every case company out there is willing to make a chassis from aluminum, but to find ones who deliver such products that are not a simple cube form is rare. When this occurrence does happen, we would not expect Enermax to be the first company to pop into your head if asked about such cases, as it was not our go-to answer for such a query. However, Enermax is indeed now one of those companies, and with the chassis, they have brought to us now, we can see a new leaf has been turned.
This new chassis is not only made of aluminum, but it is also thick, which makes it structurally as sound as possible too. It also boasts a wing-shaped profile to improve airflow, and the entire chassis has been sandblasted and anodized to fight corrosion and fingerprints. Along with a unique style in this new case, Enermax has jumped on the glass trend as well, and offers a full-view side panel contained on this chassis. This new chassis is intended for compact space requirements and houses Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX motherboards, yet it is still modular and supportive of more than what you see at first glance.
At this time, we would like to introduce you to the Enermax Steelwing Premium Aluminum Micro-ATX case. While we may not have used the word steel in the name, as only the screws and odd bits are made of it, but the name is certainly catchy. The pitch of Enermax with this chassis is to provide an exquisite aluminum chassis with high levels of craftsmanship, it uses a panoramic view inside with the use of tempered glass, and adding in a patented circular type LED fan that can be seen through the front. In just one glance of the chassis, we can see a lot of aluminum and some high-end styling is being offered, but it will take a bit of digging into the chassis and usage to see how well Enermax has done with everything else.
Inside of the chart provided by Enermax, the first thing we notice is that this Steelwing comes with color options. There is the ECB2010R which is a red option, and we are given the choice of green as well with the ECB2010G model. Either of the cases is 387mm from front to back, they are 176mm wide, they will stand 300mm tall, and the only indication of weight is the fourteen pounds listed on the shipping label. As we mentioned earlier, the chassis is constructed of extruded aluminum parts, which are then sandblasted for a textured appearance, and then anodized silver or red in this chassis. Enermax also opted to use 3mm thick, tinted, tempered glass for the left side panel, and this is also where the Steelwing name is etched into it.
Inside of this Steelwing, you can choose to use either a Micro-ATX motherboard or a Mini-ITX motherboard to start the build. Connectivity from the chassis to the motherboard is simplified, as there is a single native USB 3.0 connection supporting two ports, HD Audio connectivity, and three small connections for lighting and power. For storage, there are a couple of options. There is a bracket inside of the front of the chassis, which currently supports a 120mm red LED fan, but that bracket is also used to allow for AIO support. In this context, it is also drilled out for a 3.5" drive to be mounted on it. The rear HDD bracket as they call it is found on the floor and is made to house a 3.5" drive and a 2.5" drive at the same time. The last thing shown about the Steelwing is that it has three expansion slots in the rear of the chassis, which means there are more options than just a single dual-slot video card too.
There are three restrictions to the Enermax Steelwing, which can easily be overcome. First of all, the PSU needed to power this case will have to be an SFX type, as there is not enough room for, nor are there mounting holes for a PS/2 ATX unit in this design. Since the front of the chassis is angled, this allows the Steelwing to have 290mm of space for video cards, but due to the location of the power supply, CPU cooler clearance is cut down to just 80mm.
Shopping around to locate both versions of the Enermax Steelwing, we find that a high-end design does come with a premium price tag, but we fully expected this as well. Our first stop was at Newegg.com, where we see both the ECB2010R and the ECB2010G listed with identical pricing, which is currently $161.54. We then looked at Amazon.com, and we find slightly better pricing, but both versions of the chassis do not share the same prices. The ECB2010R that we are showing you today is listed at $149.99, which is great, but the ECB2010G is listed at $155.39 at this time. Still, not bad, but we do not feel color should matter in such a design as to the cost to the customer. We will be holding the Enermax Steelwing to higher expectations due to what we read in the literature and because of the higher price point, yet feel that with what we have seen so far, they are on the right path with the Steelwing Premium Aluminum Micro-ATX chassis.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD4-B3
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2600K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH
- Video Card: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP. Extreme Edition (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: SuperSpeed 128GB SSD
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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