Date: November 8th, 2010
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Xigmatek
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH (cont'd)
…after tripping a catch at the rear, the mesh top panel can be removed to reveal the 170mm top exhaust fan. This is one of Xigmatek's signature transparent orange blade fans with clear/white LED lighting that are quite striking when illuminated. But there's more than meets the eye in here, and watercooling enthusiasts are going to be very pleased.
Two small plastic brackets allow the user to mount a dual 120mm or 140mm radiator up here (maximum radiator size is 320 X 160 X 46 mm,) and the 170mm fan can also be replaced with a pair of 120 or 140mm fans. A rectangular opening at the front of the radiator recess gives tubing access to the interior of the chassis. It's features like this that really set the Utgard apart from other cases in its class. And, we're not done yet.
The front I/O panel is very full-featured and Xigmatek thoughtfully provides a small tray area just above the panel to hold the user's connected devices. Moving from left to right, the black mirror finished panel sports power and HDD activity LEDs above a black power button, audio jacks and four USB 2.0 beneath the dual eSATA ports. At the far right, a two-channel fan speed controller will, with the included adapters, support up to a total of six fans. While two eSATA ports seems a bit over the top, the fan speed controller is a very welcome addition here and I personally find four front panel USBs very attractive. Conspicuously absent is a reset button.
Moving around to the rear of the chassis, we can see that the side panels are secured with four thumbscrews, and the left side panel features an X-shaped raised mesh panel that sports rubber fan mounts for up to four 120mm fans or a single 200/220mm fan. The backplane of the Utgard mounts the PSU at the bottom of the chassis with an anti-vibration pad. Seven expansion bays feature vented, replaceable covers flanked by two of the four tubing access holes. The other two access holes are located above the 120mm exhaust fan, but users should remember that Xigmatek only supplies two grommets before they start breaking out the block-offs. Looking closely at the top of the rear panel, you can see the catch that releases the top mesh panel, while a small lip at the bottom of the panel…
…allows the fine dust filter for the power supply intake fan to be easily removed and serviced. If you've read many of my case reviews, you know how much I dislike these filters when employed in most cases. Almost without exception, they are difficult, if not impossible to remove without disassembling something or turning the case over. The simple fact of the matter is that if servicing the filter isn't easily done, it doesn't get done at all, leading to a power supply that becomes starved for airflow. Big props to Xigmatek for this design and I also like the foot design, which gives the filter room to breathe. The vented area on the bottom of the case allows the user to place a 140mm intake fan on the floor of the case via an included clip, but the fan is not included.