Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
When it comes to cases, there are a few ways to go when looking for a chassis, beyond the size of it. You can opt to go with an open-air chassis, which is more for testing and benching, but many do like their parts to be put on display out in the open. There are always the standard tower cases out there as a choice too, and no matter the styling or the features, they are by far the most used option. There are horizontal setups to pick through like those used for HTPC solutions and the like, but we do see that gamers and modders tend to like these cases too. Then, there are cube cases. Usually squat in nature, some with horizontal motherboard trays, some hung vertically, but mainly, the goal is to provide a ton of air, cleanliness, and in our opinion, a better way of maximizing the space.
Anidees, in particular, has already released a cube chassis in their lineup, and the AI7 must have brought them some success. We say this because they are revisiting the chassis for the second time, but this time rethinking much of what goes into the aesthetics and features. Following the trend, Anidees is bringing forward a tempered glass version, where things have been relocated, or added in to increase the bang for the buck of this latest case.
We are speaking of the Anidees AI Crystal Cube Lite Dual Chamber Chassis. The new look of the case is sleek, mysterious, and clean, as it sits there like a chunk of volcanic glass or Onyx. Anidees adds in things like a fan control switch, a five-fan hub connected to the switch, and an additional option for fan mounting. Competing for head to head against other similar cases we have loved in the past, let us see just how well Anidees and the AI Crystal Cube Lite Dual Chamber Chassis can hold their ground in a battle of specifications, features, and aesthetics.
The Anidees AI Crystal Cube Lite is a chassis made mostly of steel, which is painted black inside and out. To accent this chassis, Anidees uses three large tempered glass panels, which are 5mm thick, and are tinted, to add a hint of mystery as to what is inside. Dimensionally, the case is 402mm from the front to the back, it is 311mm wide, and from the top to the bottom it is 404mm. The wider width is due to the dual chambered design, which keeps the motherboard, RAM, cooling, and the video cards on one side of the motherboard tray, while the other side is used for storage, power, and is deep enough to hide a pump and reservoir there too. All told, with the Crystal Cube fresh out of the box, it weighs in at nearly twenty pounds. Since we are discussing the outside of the Crystal Cube, we may as well cover the inclusion of two USB 3.0 ports, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, HD Audio, and fan controller switch in the front I/O panel.
Inside of the Crystal Cube, you will find that Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX and even E-ATX motherboards will fit inside of it, and even though there are two internal 5.25" bays, neither of them are accessible from the outside of the case. Between the two-bay cage hanging on the back of the motherboard tray, and another location on the floor of the chassis, one could install up to three 3.5" drives. As for 2.5" drives, you can use the HDD cage for two of them, and near the front of the Crystal Cube, on the motherboard tray, there are three additional locations there. There is also an option on the floor of the chassis, which brings the total to six. There are seven expansion slots in the back of the case, and on either side of the motherboard tray, near the front of the case, are locations with universal mounting for pumps and reservoirs.
The cooling system is controlled by the fan switch in the front I/O and the five fan controller board placed behind the motherboard tray. The switch has three positions. The first is "H," and it delivers 12V to all connected fans. The second stop on the switch is "S," and it delivers no voltage to the fans. The last option is the "L" where 5V of power is sent to the fan hub. Fan locations are as follows. The front of the case, by default, will house a pair of 140mm fans on one-half, and a trio of 80mm fans on the other. However, there is a fan mounting plate that will attach to the front of the Crystal Cube which offers four 120mm fan mounting locations. The rear of the case will hold a 120mm fan, one is installed there, and on the other half, there is room for another 80mm fan. The top of the case will hold four 140mm or 120mm fans, and the floor of it can house another 120mm fan if needed.
Maximum compatibility is something to consider as well. For video cards, there is 335mm of room for them, but if you use fans in the front of the case, that shortens it to 310mm, and if you planned on a radiator there, you can subtract its thickness for the 310mm of room left. CPU cooler height is not much of an issue at all with 168mm of room for tower coolers. As to where to place the radiators, the chart ends by showing us one can go in the front, there is room at the top too, and you can always use the rear if more radiators are needed.
From what can be gathered from emails and press releases, we do know what Anidees plans to charge for the Crystal Cube, and that is $149.99. Considering what this case packs inside, and the appeal and trendiness of the design outside, we can easily see that price being paid by anyone who falls in love with this chassis. However, on this side of the pond, it appears that this chassis is not yet listed for sale. That fact makes it tough on you the reader because if you feel this chassis is perfect for your next build, it appears you will have to sit and wait a while yet to get one.
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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