In and Around the In-Win GT1

I don't want to start the review on such a down note because it's important that In-Win get a fair shake, but the styling on the GT1 is...problematic. The inspiration from racing cars isn't awful, but a case is not a car (or a box of ammunition for that matter), and unfortunately the GT1 turns into the kind of ostentatious case design that even old stalwarts like Thermaltake are starting to move away from. This isn't the ugliest case I've ever tested (that's a dubious distinction reserved for the Cougar Challenger), but with limited exception I think most of you will agree the GT1 isn't going to win any beauty contests.

The front of the GT1 features the I/O cluster at the top, above three 5.25" drive bays with mesh covers, and then an unusual mesh intake design on the front. The odd-colored honeycomb is meant for user customization; you can add or remove the red rings as you see fit. Unfortunately the lights that surround the I/O at the top are blue LEDs; dim ones, but those lights are also intended to be connected to the IDE activity lead and I can see them getting disconnected in a hurry.

In-Win continues the auto and honeycomb motif on the top of the enclosure. There's an indented SATA hotswap bay that sits behind the power button, reset button, and fan control. The fan control is a single switch that shifts between "Silence" and "Turbo" modes, and as you'll see later, it's more than a little bit clunky.  There's a massive window with an In-Win logo on the side panel, but both panels are extruded. I appreciate the symmetry, at least; extruding the panel behind the motherboard tray improves space for cable management at least.

Remove the thumbscrews from the two side panels and pop them off (they use the dreaded notched mounting system) and you can get to the meat of the GT1. There are a few interesting things going on in here. First is that the mounting stand-offs are extruded from the motherboard tray, which will make mounting our test board much easier. Second, the cabling channel is surprisingly narrow, as are the routing holes, and this does cause some problems down the road. Third, the case's existing wiring routes fan lines beneath the motherboard. I don't think this is a particularly bad idea, it's just unique. Fourth, there could've been support for seven drive trays in the cages, but In-Win only includes six, and opts not to notch the set of rails below the top two trays.

Gallery: In-Win GT1

The reality is that some of the design choices in the GT1 are really smart, and others are baffling. Features have basically been left on the table for reasons I can't understand (but are likely related to cost.) There's space for a seventh drive sled in the case, but they simply don't include it. They could've gone with two USB 3.0 ports and just forgone USB 2.0 entirely, but they didn't. When we get to cabling, you'll see how they cut corners on the fan controller, too.

Introducing the In-Win GT1 Assembling the In-Win GT1
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  • Flunk - Friday, March 08, 2013 - link

    Last time I put together a computer I bought a Lian-Li PC9-F for $89. That case looks great (to me) and is light, well built and well designed. Considering that you can now get a case that is roughly as good as a premium $300 case from 10 or so years ago for a fraction of the price really drives down the prices on lower end cases.

    A case like this looks positively overpriced by comparison. This thing shouts out "cheap" from the rooftops and it's $69. Maybe in 2002 that would have been a good deal, but not today.

    There are a lot of better cases out there in the same price bracket.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - link

    Please point a few out, thanks. Reply
  • sulu1977 - Friday, March 08, 2013 - link

    Why is USB 3.0 connectivity even an issue for a case? It's just a blank, empty case for heaven's sake. A USB port could be USB 1, 2 or 3 depending what wires you connect to it from the motherboard. So of you attach cables from USB 3 headers to all the ports then all the ports should be USB 3. Or am I missing something? Reply
  • smitty123 - Saturday, March 09, 2013 - link

    "So of you attach cables from USB 3 headers to all the ports then all the ports should be USB 3. Or am I missing something?"
    obviously you are missing something,

    you need the latest ports so they'll have the necessary metal connections. USB 3.0 has more connectors in it to transfer faster.

    They are backwards compatible because it was designed that way, but not forward compatible, unless you can see in the future? heck the weather guy can hardly tell what's gonna look like tomorrow lol

    So no, you can't have just usb 1 or 2 ports anymore and make them usb 3, they just don't have the connections.

    i'd go with 4 USB3.0 ports at the front. you can't have just 2 ports side by side, the Gen 3 keys are too wide.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, March 09, 2013 - link

    Also, each motherboard header is for a pair of ports. So when the case only has one port attached to a line, but uses one of the motherboard headers, you've basically given up a port because the case designer was a cheapskate. Reply
  • lwatcdr - Saturday, March 09, 2013 - link

    I was going to say that they should got 2 3.0 and 2 2.0 USB ports because we all know that there will be some motherboard that will not wake from sleep when you wiggle a mouse or hit a key on a 3.0 port. Except that why would you plug your mouse or keyboard into the front ports. Yea your right 4 3.0 ports is the way to go.
    I just do not get the one 3.0 port, it seems like the worst solution. If there where none then you could just get a 3.0 card reader/ 3.0 ports that fit into a drive bay. With one 3.0 port you give up one of the 3.0 ports on the header.
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - link

    Because the eggheads pretend they have multiple usb3 devices they need to connect al at once - it brags proud monied mega geek to whine about it.
    Plus, once the ponce reviewer spews his crap, the lemmings repeat like parrots - you know how when you teach something to mthe rubes about you, several week sor monts later they repeat it to you excitedly as if they just thought it up...
    At least the parrots read that part, and squealed out the agreeing whine.
    Reply
  • Sleepingforest - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - link

    So, you're saying that there's no way I'd want to, say, back up my computer to a USB 3.0 external hard drive, use USB 3.0's higher voltage to charger my phone, and upload my camera's contents at the same time? Because those are all concievably concurrent needs.

    In fact, I could say you are elitist for thinking we need any front panel USB at all--a single back panel USB 1.0 was enough fifteen years ago. Why not today?
    Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 14, 2013 - link

    You're backup should be plugged into the back, readily available, so you aren't moving it and destroying it.
    Your cellphone has a charger, and it's slow off a computer, and you have no outlet that isn't overloaded right there?
    Your camera - not likely you have a usb 3.0 cable for your camera, you idiot.
    Three strikes you're out...
    You were saying... ? " Yes, I agree with you Cerise, you have a brain, a very big one and you think it through instead of being a dummy with a big mouth and far too willing to use it."
    Oh, that's what you were saying. Good little boy, good boy.
    Reply
  • Sleepingforest - Friday, March 15, 2013 - link

    No, the backup shouldn't always be plugged in, otherwise whatever damage happens to the computer (fire, flood, virus, and so on) won't happen to the backup drive. If you get a good external drive, moving it while it's off has no consequences--you know, the thing people do with laptops? There are cameras with USB 3.0 because it's faster, as seen here: http://usbtips.com/nikon-d800-dslr-launches-with-s... I happen to use my phone even when I sit at a computer, so it's helpful to charge it while it's next to me.

    So no, you look like the idiot here. You have a narrowly focused world view that can't comprehend usage scenarios beyond your own, you don't think through anything you say, and most of what you say is insults anyway.
    Reply

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