Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Up to this point in our reviewing career, we had never heard of the company called mean:IT, but they made contact with us to have one of their cases looked at. Upon inspection of their webpage, we found that this company may or may not be the originator of this design, but being honest, we have seen a chassis very similar to the one you are about to see here today. We are unsure in Anidees was first to market with this chassis, or if mean:IT was first, but we can say that both companies are getting their cases from the same manufacturer, and changing the fine details ever so slightly to stand out as to which is which.
With that said, we are going to be re-examining what was originally shown to you as the Anidees AI Crystal chassis here today. At the same time, we do feel that mean:IT has changed enough things to make it worth the effort of a re-examination. In the 5PM Series of cases from mean:IT, there are five iterations, mainly due to the fan options available. In this series of cases, we are offered the LUM Red and LUM Blue, which alludes to the color of the fans used, and that all of the fans are illuminated. The second series is the ARC Red and ARC Blue cases, where just the outer ring of the fans is what is illuminated. Lastly, there is the 5PM Black, which uses fans with no illumination.
The 5PM series of cases are built with tempered glass on three sides, an internal layout which is wide open to take full advantage of airflow, much like we have seen before. What separates the two cases beyond names and branding applied to the chassis, is that the former solution came with side vents on the front bezel, while the 5PM has them around the edge of the glass. One other thing that mean:IT offers over the original us a built-in PWM or DC fan controller hub. Shockingly, even though mean:IT seems to offer the better package deal right now, it costs less than the Anidees solutions too. If we haven't grabbed your attention so far, stick with it, as the mean:IT 5PM ARC Blue chassis we have been shipped is worthy of your attention if looking for a solid mid-tower chassis.
Within the chart we borrowed from mean:IT, things start off with addressing that this is a mid-tower chassis and it is 216mm wide, 487mm tall, 480mm deep, and weighs in at eleven kilograms when empty. The materials used in this design are steel for the bulk of the chassis, ABS plastic for covers, feet, and a few internal components, and tempered glass used on the front and both sides. The 5PM cases will house ATX< E-ATX, Micro-ATX, or a Mini-ITX motherboard, and takes a PS/2 PSU in the bottom of it. Maximums offered in space are nice, where we get 435mm for video cards, 175mm for CPU coolers, and up to 330mm of room for the PSU. There are seven expansion slots in the back, while internally we are given two trays in a cage for 3.5" and 2.5" drives, the cage can be removed to use the single 3.5" drive location on the floor, and behind the motherboard tray are three trays designed to house only 2.5" drives. As for the front I/O panel. It offers a pair of USB 2.0 ports, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, HD Audio jacks, a fan controller, and a power and reset button. The last bit seen on the left is that there is also a mounting plate for pumps, which accepts AQ, D5, and DDC pumps.
The fan controller has three speeds, power off, low speed, and high speed or auto if using the PWM functionality of the controller. The controller is used to supply the four 120mm fans supplied in the chassis with power. Three of the 120mm fans come in the front, but there is room for three 140mm fans there too. The fourth 120mm ARC fan is installed into the back of the chassis, or it too can be changed out for a 140mm fan. The top of the chassis is similar to the front, where we can use three 120mm fans, but this time only two 140mm fans will fit. We do notice that all of the specifications charts state the fans are ARC Red fans, but this is not the case, ours are as blue as they can get. The front of the chassis can house 240 and 280mm radiators in the front with 60mm thickness, but if you desire a 360mm radiator, it can be no thicker than 55mm. The top can also hold a 280mm or 360mm radiator, but the recommended thickness there is 30mm. The back can also house a radiator, and there isn't a restriction on thickness. The last thing to note is that the 5PM ARC Blue chassis, the four fans, and the fan hub are all covered under warranty for a total of two years.
We took a look back at the Anidees solution and found that right now, it will cost you $139.99 for a version of the AI Crystal with similar specifications. However, mean:IT delivers a bit more than the first version we looked at, and as we look to Newegg for the price, we see that it is priced at just $119.99 at this time. The MSRP is the same, and this is too late in the game for an introductory sale, so if you like either of the cases, our money will go to the one with better value. That means that the mean:IT 5PM ARC Blue Mid-Tower chassis not only brings more to the table, but it does also so with less cost involved, and anyone who isn't a fan of saving money has more dollars than sense.
Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IX Code Z270 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 7700K (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: NZXT Kraken X62 (buy from Amazon)
- Memory: Team T-Force Night Hawk RGB TF1D48G3000HC16CBK
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (buy from Amazon)
- Storage: Samsung XP941 256GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: SilverStone SST-ST85F-G (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
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