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Date: July 27th, 2006
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Sansun



My first impression was, obviously, the monstrous fan on the side. I was also impressed by the inclusion of not only the big fan, but also the two 80mm LED lit fans on the front, and a 120mm fan in the rear. It's not often that a case comes fully loaded with fans. The problem with the 250mm fan is that it's an exhaust fan, which defies all common sense. A side fan is intended to blow cool, outside air into your HSF, helping to cool your hard-working processor. Instead, this one does a great job of pulling cool air away from the HSF.

Before you get excited, let's take a look at those front fans. There are three massively major problems with these fans. The first, and most obvious, is their location. They're mounted in the case door! This means that not only do they have to force air through the mildly ventilated drive bay covers; they also blow directly into whatever components you have installed in the drive bays. I don't know about you, but blowing a high-speed, dust-blowing intake fan into my DVD burner is not my idea of a good design. This also means that if you open the case door while your rig is on, you have effectively removed all intake cooling until you close the door.

The next bit you might not have noticed: the front fans are not replaceable. Sure, you can remove the retaining covers to clean them, but if they stop working, you're out of luck. Since the wiring runs through the case door, you'd have to cut any wiring for a new fan, attempt to thread the wiring through the maze of the wiring channel, and re-crimp a new Molex connector to the ends. Far from user friendly.

The third problem is another, less-obvious issue. While the lower drive bay breakout covers have a grille pattern and mounting for a 120mm fan (which in itself is a bit odd, why would you want to mount a 120mm fan directly behind an 80mm?), the upper drive bay covers are solid. This means you have to remove ALL of them……and this is a bit of a struggle. How so? Sansun thoughtfully added tabs and screw holes so you could replace the breakout covers, if you so choose. Unfortunately, they neglected to add room in the case front to allow you to remove or replace them. This means that you have two choices: wiggle the covers back and forth a half-inch at a time, or remove the front of the case to break them out. Given that only one side of the case is removable, taking the case front off is risky. You can unhook one side easily, but then you're left to using brute force to remove the other side, praying that you don't break off the retaining tabs. I did a bit of cussing at that point.

That chore done, I figured the rest of the build would be a breeze. I figured wrong.

The first thing I installed was my 750 watt PSU. I quickly found another problem. The PSU only has a 1.5” gap between the back of the PSU and the HDD cage. This not only meant bending all of the power cables at an insane right angle, but also meant that running the cables would be a nightmare. Of the four PSU's I have, only the smallest Coolermaster fit comfortably. This is an important consideration. If you have one of the new generation of longer 750 to 1000 watt PSUs, they will not fit without seriously crimping the cables.

As far as running the PSU cabling in front of the HDD cage, forget it. The HDD's mount vertically, sitting almost flush against the bottom of the case. I stuck one in long enough to see if I could make the cabling fit, and it was a no-go. HDD taken back out, and set aside for future installation.

Now it's time to install the motherboard. Sansun, for some reason, installed six of the 10 standoffs for a standard ATX mobo, so I hunted around and found the remaining three. If you look closely, you'll see nine holes for ATX mobos, and three extra holes for MicroATX boards. This limits your choice of motherboards you can use. My Chaintech mobo has ten mounting holes. Having only nine standoffs means that the middle bottom of my board is unsupported, directly under the PCI slots. If you have a mobo with slightly different mounting locations, you're out of luck. This lack of locations for standoffs also goes against the claimed BTX support, as the few BTX mobos available have mounting holes in different locations than your standard ATX board.

Let's look into mounting some drives.

After my battle removing the drive bay breakout covers, I decided to mount my two 5.25” devices near the top, as I always do.

Wait. If I do that, then the top fan is blowing directly into my DVD burner. Ok, so I move it down, I have nine 5.25” bays to play with.

Ok, now go back to the photos of the front of the case, behind the door, and tell me what you see.

I'll save you some time. There are only EIGHT 5.25” bays. Not the nine specified on the website. The ninth bay is a 3.5” bay. And, if you happen to count the four bays (minimum) needed for the fans to blow through, that means you only have four usable bays.

That's not all, boys and girls. Remember where that HDD rack is? You got it…….you cannot install an optical drive or HDD caddy in the lower three bays. The drive extends an inch past the HDD cage. My CBox breakout box didn't even fit. So, you're now down to two usable 5.25” bays.

If you can get past that bit of ignorance, you can start installing drives. Give me credit here, I kept on going. I'm a glutton for punishment.



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