Date: March 16th, 2007
Article by: Mike Carter (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Ultra
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PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
Before I installed any parts in the eTorque, I subjected it to the dreaded “TN Reviewer Squat”. If a case can hold up 200 pounds of editor flab, it gets extra marks. While certainly not a beefy case, the eTorque showed only a mild bit of flex: not much, but more than I'd like. A cross brace of some sort would help with this.
Installing the motherboard was relatively painless, even though there is no removable tray. There are no sharp edges to contend with, standoffs aligned properly, and all screws threaded without incident. This may not seem like a big deal, but if you've ever had the misfortune of dealing with a cheap knock-off case, this is an important fact.
The PSU also fit perfectly, and the small half-shelf supports the PSU over its length. The only issue I have with the shelf is that it will not allow you to replace your PSU without removing the top optical drive and cabling for your floppy- there's just not enough room to slide the PSU back far enough to remove it otherwise.
Drives installed easily, using the included plastic rails. Installing optical drives requires removing the front bezel, which is easily done. Simply pull out on the bottom, and the bezel pops right off. There isn't much space behind the door, though, so fan controllers with protruding knobs may force you to leave the door at least partially open.
Installing HDDs is equally painless- simply attach the rails, and slide into place.
Expansion cards are likewise tool-free, with a unique system I've never seen before. The retaining clips rotate outwards 90 degrees, and slide upwards to allow card installation. To hold the card in place, slide the clip back down and rotate back into the locked position. I really like this setup, the clips seem very solid and less prone to unlatching, like vertically-opening systems.
Even the fan mounts are tool-free. There is space for two 120mm fans, one front and one rear; both locations use a clip-in mount for the fan of your choice. Unfortunately, Ultra chose not to include any fans, which takes the case down a few notches. Given that Ultra produces and sells case fans, I would like to see at least an exhaust fan included. Fortunately for me, the fan clips are removable, as the only fan I had available is an Arctic Cooling unit that uses a non-standard shock mount.
Once everything is installed and locked down, it's time to give the case a thorough temperature testing. Given that I had only one fan installed, cooling was equal to similar cases, registering 34c at idle, and 45c at full load, which isn't too shabby.