Inside the Aerocool Cylon Mid-Tower Chassis
The front panel pops off rather quickly with a tug. It is secured by plastic clips which retain it with a press fit. There is a single, dual lead wire which tethers the front panel to the Cylon. That wire connects power to the small ARGB control for the front panel adjustable illumination. The front panel is all plastic, and the internal mounting of the fans does not have any dust filtration, so something to consider if you are concerned about debris ingress is you may want to pick up some aftermarket dust filters to cover this large opening.
One more thing to note here is the breakaway 5.25" cover which offers an opening you would generally have in place for a DVD/CB/Blu Ray player or even card reader or fan control in front. As we see there are not bays in the front panel which is further evidence of what I had mentioned earlier in regards to reuse of the same base chassis or tooling to meet the needs for a value based chassis.
The Cylon is a relatively blank slate for being such a diminutive chassis. We can observe straight off the bat that the metal quality if pretty thin as evidenced by the multiple light reflections from our photo lights and the metal having slight warms causing dark and light spot variations just going across an area you expect to be flat. This is not inherently surprising on its own as for a chassis in this price range it is not likely to have super thick steel as that would raise the cost substantially.
There is a PSU shroud in place with an opening where you can showcase your PSU, and it's not an option, it's just there. The PSU shroud ends with enough room to fit a fan in the front, unfortunately not far enough away to fit a radiator and fan. There should be no significant issues with GPU or Motherboard fitment, although I am a little concerned about the CPU backplate cutout as the angled look appears to come across where most mainstream backplates will reside. We will revisit this when the build is complete.
As we look at the back end of the front panel area, I am struggling to locate the 140mm fan mounting that Aerocool mentioned on their spec sheet. The website lists varying information from pictorial representations which shows 120mm only, but the spec list shows 140mm possible, which is leaving me scratching my head a bit here. While the box also only shows 120mm.
I can indeed confirm that there is a spot for a single 120mm radiator in the front which matches the specs which list this as an option. While it may be possible to use the slots in the top 5.25" bay cutout plate to mount the top-most section of an AIO, I'm not sure I would feel very comfortable recommending that as that plate is only held on by a breakaway tab of metal that is made to twist off rather easily.
Here at the top side, we see the only area changed is the top fan port, which we removed the filter. Being magnetic it was easy and showed a 120mm sized hole which can be used to install a fan to draw heat out of the top rear.
The motherboard tray comes fitted with the four main standoffs which an mITX board would use. The others can be installed as needed for your board type. There are multiple cable pass-throughs which none of them are grommeted. The larger vertical holes will be covered by any board larger than an mITX model, which means our mATX test bench will cover these as you will likely see in our build pictures.
The Cylon does have a PSU shroud, which is helpful at this price point but not unheard of. The shroud has mounting for dual 120mm fans and even cable management tie down points at each leading edge. There is also double cable pass through which will help for front panel connections and management of GPU or other needed cabling.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Aerocool Cylon Mid-Tower Chassis]
- Page 4 [Inside the Aerocool Cylon Mid-Tower Chassis]
- Page 5 [Inside the Aerocool Cylon Mid-Tower Chassis Continued]
- Page 6 [Hardware & Documentation]
- Page 7 [Case Build & Finished Product]
- Page 8 [Final Thoughts]