Any time we look at a more budget oriented case, we have to go through a mental reset. Realizing that not every case will have the same features or materials used based on the target sale price. When you get to the lowest cost, such as the Cylon, it makes you temper your expectations.
In our thermal testing, I must say that I was more than a bit surprised. While the Cylon may not be the most spectacular or highly featured case on the market it did a passable job keeping our test system cool even with its single exhaust fan. It was a bit warmer than some of the higher-end cases we have seen but for a case in this price point is was in no way horrid, and even rather respectable. I imagine if you threw a few bucks into even basic extra case fans, you could achieve even better potential results with still a really solid value.
The Cylon impressed us. It's not even close to the best case we ever tested, but at this price point, it is hard to beat, although some competitors can readily give it a good fight or even beat it. The ability to mount a 240mm radiator also if it is on a less secure mounting point such as the 5.25" plate it still is possible. Inclusion of a transparent side panel and ARGB on the front is cool as well. A PSU shroud even if not the best-looking one we have seen, these are all places where other cases in this price point may not deliver.
Now we come to what do we think the Aerocool Cylon lost some steam. Firstly, this is a give or take for some, but their website was contradicting itself on specs vs. infographics having different limitations listed can confuse consumers and cause someone to choose another product.
The next and probably most significant issue is that instead of a cheaper 3mm tempered glass panel, Aerocool chose an acrylic panel, which unfortunately even with a light duster and soft swipes still managed to make hundreds of micro scratches on the surface. I guess the other part which I know can be done but not sure on cost impact would be to add a three-pin lead from the front panel lighting so that a motherboard or other RGB controller could sync to the case as that would make it far more cohesive with the installation.
Lastly, we come to the price. At $46.99, you cannot get much lower, and I have heard the term 'below 50 bucks you are lucky if it shows up square,' and that's not too far from the truth. The Aerocool Cylon showed up and did its job admirably in my opinion but now its time to look at what can we compare it to and does it stack up?
Well, the initial discussion of price on the first page said a lot, and when digging, I found several contenders that take some of the wind out of the Cylons sails. Firstly a case many might recognize, the Cooler Master MasterBox ML510L which comes in a few bucks shy of the Cylon and has some refreshing styling along with a solid overall build appearance. Next would be one that I am not so familiar with, and that is the ABKO NCORE which comes in at a relatively similar price point and offers a tempered glass side panel omitting the scratching issue I mentioned previously.
I guess what it comes down to is that Aerocool made an interesting low-cost entry with the Cylon and if the styling appeals to you, by all means, jump on board and start your build. Just be sure to look around as the low-cost sector is an exciting place with plenty of unique and feature-laden cases waiting to be discovered, and the Aerocool Cylon does well to join these ranks.
The Bottom Line
The Aerocool Cylon shows up at the sub $50 value market. Packing some interesting features and RGB, it somewhat misses the mark in regards to quality and features compared to competitive options in the space.
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