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Date: March 10, 2003
Article by: Burt Carver (Hardware Reviewer & Newsposter)
Product was donated by: ClearPC.ca
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PRODUCT OVERVIEW


The enclosure arrived free of any scratches and all the parts were in order. A quick inspection of the case showed excellent attention to detail, and the glue joints were all flush. This is not one of the 'flat pack' type cases that is shipped with its component acrylic pieces and 'you-build'; this is factory built and it shows. For one, the corners all all rounded, giving the case a much sleeker appearance then some of its boxier brethren.


cover


As the case is a Micro-ATX case, it only can use a micro ATX power supply. My recommendation is to source one out ahead of time. Many retailers do not stock these PSU's, but several are available online or can be brought in on special order. One thing that struck me about the case was it's size. The case is a micro ATX case, but that doesn't mean SFF (Small Form Factor). When placed beside a Mini-Tower, it stands about the same height. However, this is the only Micro-ATX acrylic case on the market to my knowledge.


Side view


Several images throughout the review were obtained from ClearPC. This is a nice side view courtesy of Frank @ ClearPC.


I should take a second to let everyone know that an acrylic case, while functionally is similar to a standard stamped metal case, its really not the same. Once you wrap your mind around that (especially those of you who, like me, work with computers a lot) it gets easier. Falling under this category of odd features of an acrylic case is the expansion slot opening(s). On a standard case, of course, you have the knockouts or the blanks that you knock out as necessary to install additional expansion cards. On the acrylic case, there is nothing. Nada. Zilch. It is a 'big empty'.


Expansion slot


See?


There is an ingenious way of permitting the fastening of any expansion cards you want to install, but if you have a board with little or no need for expansion, you have an extra-large air conditioning hole. While this may be good for the regular crowd, I wouldn't recommend throwing a bunch of hot devices in this case and trusting that air will move. Most times when cooling a hot apparatus people consider airflow in and airflow out. If you can control the avenue that the air takes you can determine what gets cooled and how much, within reason. If you have a massive hole in the back of the case, you may have to introduce more 'direct' cooling methods to the hot devices.


The product shipped from ClearPC included the front two case LED's that I thought I would comment on. The holes drilled for the installation of the lights are beautifully sized, and the LED's fit snugly in. If you never intend to touch the inside of your computer again, this is probably adequate. If you do plan on digging around, a little glue will go a long way to holding these LED's in place.


The switches shipped with the case are simple, plain jane red momentary switches. ClearPC does offer aluminum switches, but to keep the case affordable they opted to go with the barebones solution and let the end user decide what options he / she wanted to pay for. The switches worked well.


Momentary Switch


Here are the momentary switches as provided.


Fan


ClearPC decided to spice up the package I received by throwing in two LED fans c/w 3 - 4 pin adapters. Upon installing the fans, I noted that the screws the fans are shipped with are JUST barely long enough to grab the fan. The screws are designed for metal cases and do not allow for the added depth of the acrylic. I felt that with four screws in, the fan was adequately. I called ClearPC about the issue and they indicated that they were aware of the issue and they had special ordered longer screws to be shipped with future orders.


In the dark


Here we have the case beautifully illuminated with just two LED fans. Not too shabby.


 


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