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  • GUYFIERI - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Whats wrong with the title? Reply
  • epoon2 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    it's all in the last page:

    given the price, there are other products which optimized for both noise & cooling
  • lever_age - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I wonder what that top middle fan mount does other than (1) ensure that a conspicuous meshed area has a fan behind it, (2) light up, and (3) steal air from the CPU cooler. Maybe it helps the graphics cards in some setups? Possibly? Or it's just the aesthetics and we-crammed-three-230mm-fans-in-a-case appeal. Reply
  • ShieTar - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Not sure which one of the two you think is the "middle" one, but either way it is an exhaust fan. To take air away from the CPU cooler after it has been pushed through there and heated up is exactly what it is there for. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I suspect it's the forward fan on the top (since there's a fair amount of case forward of it). As it is it's probably aimed toward maxing out total airflow.

    Having that much space to install fans OTOH does fit one major feature checkbox; it makes this one of the very few cases able to fit a 3x140mm radiator without being modded. The only others I know of are from MountainMods and CaseLabs; both of whose cases are significantly more expensive.
  • BMAN61 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    There are 2 other chassis with native support for a triple 140mm radiator; namely the NZXT Switch 810, and their other offering the Phantom 820.

    So no need to spend megabucks for a chassis from CaseLabs or Mountain Mods.
  • lever_age - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Sorry, I meant the 230mm top fan (the one halfway between the front and back of the case, not the one toward the rear that's above the motherboard).

    With a typical ATX layout with say two 120mm / 140mm fan positions on top, it sometimes doesn't help (sometimes even hurts) to have the second one, the one towards the middle of the case. If used as exhaust, it takes air away from the intake of a side-blowing tower CPU cooler as we have here. If used as intake right next to the other top fan (and exhaust), that creates turbulence and doesn't work too well unless you actually add ducting to the CPU cooler intake.

    Here, the position of the second top fan looks ridiculous because the two are so large. That said, because of the size of the case, distance to the CPU intake area is not that small. Having the mesh, cutout, and space for a 3x140mm radiator is nice, but that doesn't mean that putting a second fan there actually helps anything (other than arguably aesthetics and checkbox on the feature list, which would be my guess).

    Seems like it could be a situation where marketing trumps engineering, which is what I was getting at. We have airflow for the sake of airflow, rather than directing air to useful places.
  • RosewillEye - Thursday, May 30, 2013 - link

    One can never have too many fans. Reply
  • HobgoblinX - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    As usual, I really enjoy reading your reviews. Great detail. Great humor. I just have one question. Could you please re-test the Thor V2? You changed your test bed very shortly after reviewing the Thor V2, and it's a little frustrating to have a case referenced in numerous reviews that I cannot compare to the case under review because the Thor V2 has no compatible numbers. Reply
  • Ilias78 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    And as always, Dustin complains about cable management. Yet he does the worst cable management in the business - regardless the case or the review. Reply
  • marc1000 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I guess that's the reason he complains about the cable management issue. It's more of a "chicken and egg" problem lol !!! Reply
  • Jorus - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    Did you notice the lack of tie downs? This doesn't excuse the mess in the case but not much to work with under the motherboard for cable management. A shame. I really like the layout. Lack of toolless 3.5, lack of tie downs, small grommets and bad spacing as well, and having to remove front bezel to put in 5.25's. NZXT Phantom 630 or Enermax Fulmo GT is looking like better options for the price range. Reply
  • doubletake - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I feel AnandTech should sponsor Dustin with a personal trainer + intense workout regimen, so he can (hopefully) stop complaining about a case's weight, and the "difficulty" in mounting notched side panels. Apart from that, I enjoy the rest of the content in his reviews. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    You could always Kickstarter one. Reply
  • Ninhalem - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I can lift a decent amount of weight (usually lifting 50 to 60 lb gauges all day at work), and I can understand some of Dustin's issues. I don't want to have to lift my case all day long because 1) I'm afraid of dropping the sucker (weighs about 45 lbs) and destroying components, and 2) there are not a lot of decent hand holds on cases especially when you need to lift in a specific configuration (especially when you have a custom loop inside where items aren't always secured down).

    As for the notched side panels, I usually don't have difficulty with those, but putting both the side panels on after a cleaning is just annoying. I don't like to be annoyed after spending 3 hours cleaning the inside. It is not hard implementing engineering changes to put swing doors on these cases especially if you are charging over $150 USD.
  • Observist - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Well, Dustin does say that 60 lbs is almost half his body weight, so he's not a big guy. If, like many computer enthusiasts, he were carrying around an extra 200 lbs at all times, lifting a 60 lb case wouldn't be such a big deal, but alas, you're giving him crap for being small. Reply
  • Th-z - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Suggestion: please include filter as a category in your spec table in your case reviews, Dustin. Maybe it's something you don't care so you never/rarely mention even for a case with dust filters in your reviews, but your readers may want to know. Nowadays I don't consider any case without intergrated, easy to remove filters, because even for case with filters, I also have to check the density of filters, and how many fan slots are covered (especially for the intakes). So at least some mentions of it would be appreciated, having some pictures taken would be even greater. Reply
  • Onus - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    While a good argument can be made that such shouldn't be necessary at this price point, adding a fan controller oneself and adding fan filters (e.g. nylon hosiery stretched on a frame) will address the noise and dust issues without doing any real harm to cooling performance. The fan controller is incidentally another excellent use for a 5-1/4" bay. Reply
  • freedom4556 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I don't understand the general disdain for 5.25" bays perpetrated in Anandtech case reviews. I can easily see someone wanting two optical drives for simultaneous rip/burn and a fan controller, and if that's a double height model then that's four bays right there. A case of this ridiculous magnitude should have had four bays as a minimum (which it does). How likely is needing 10 3.5" drives verses two opticals and a fan controller (or two, given how many fans this case supports)? Personally, I think that the suggestion that anyone buying a case this massive would want to whip out and use "an external enclosure and a USB cable" (pg 2) for installing stuff from DVD or watching a blu-ray is asinine, especially when the case comes with a hard drive dock (a more likely use for the "an external enclosure and a USB cable" scenario). Enough with the pie-in-the-sky 'everything's digital distribution and in the cloud' rhetoric already. It's just not true, and not all (even most?) of us have 100 mbps internet connections at our disposal. </soapbox> Reply
  • Grok42 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    I am the source of some of this so called general disdain on the case review comments. If you look back through my posts I never complain about them on large cases such as these. My chief complaint is the lack of choice. There are only two mITX cases sans an external drive bay and both of those are recently released. I built my Core i7 3770 / 16GB / Ti 560 gaming rig out of one of them the Lian Li QB25 so I put my $120 where my mouth is. I couldn't be happier with this setup and not once did I need to use an optical drive to install the system or the ~30 games I have on it.

    The fact is that the vast majority of computers don't have optical drives anymore. If you could phones and tablets as computers then the vast majority don't have any external storage including SD cards. Given that I like to be on the bleeding edge of computing and build custom computers why do I have to put up with cases full of legacy bays I don't need or want? Building custom computers is going to die if the industry clings to the past completely.

    As to you other straw man arguments. I long since ripped all my DVDs to my media server. I haven't bought a DVD in years. If you like renting them and buying them more power to you but you also have to admit there is a large portion of the population that doesn't do this anymore and it is only getting larger. 4 years ago all this might have been pie in the sky but today everyone has laptops and tablets without optical drives and are happy watching all their media via digital distribution. These aren't techs but grandmothers. Finally I certainly don't have a 100mbps internet connection. My parents have a 1.5mb and I have a 6mb connection. We commonly stream 3 videos on different TVs without issue and sometimes 4.
  • lwatcdr - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    You see I feel the opposite. I would like to see more cases with just optical drive bays. It is easy enough to put in adaptors for any drive you want. What I really want is an ITX or mATX case with just 4 optical bays. I can get two 2to3 hotswap bays and make a NAS then. I would take six bays as well as then I could use two 3x5 bays and build a 10 drive NAS. In a way I do agree that we need more extreme cases. I would like to see some with no optical bays, some with only optical bays, and some with a mix of bays. Reply
  • lwatcdr - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I do not think that the Blackhawk competes with the Phantom 630 but with the 820, the Switch 810, and other cases that support E-ATX and larger motherboards. The 630 is a great case but is a good bit smaller. If you want to do a build a really complex water cooler loop system, or run a quad SLI system then you need a case like the Blackhawk. The 630 is a great case but not really in the same class as the Blackhawk. The Switch is and frankly maybe the better case for a lot of builds.
    The one place that Blackhawk and it's twin the Xigmatek Elysium really shine is if you want a dual CPU workstation. They have the cutouts to support dual CPUs. That is also probably why they have such conservative looks. If you are going to build a dual 2011 system with a Quadro card and maybe a Tesla card or two then you really don't want it to look like a transformer. Lots of space and cooling for a really large system for a really low price.
  • SunLord - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I have this case which I'm setting up to run a water cooled Dual Opteron server. This case is perfect for crazy large water cooled builds. As you can easily run 1 200MM on top, 1 3x140mm on bottom, and 1 140mm radiator on the rear with little trouble. You also can in theory fit in a 2x140MM radiator on the side of the hard drive cage but it's a bit of a pain as the case isn't meant mount one there. You also have the option given all the hose holes to use external radiators. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Honestly, two big fans directing air through filtration from bottom to top is all you really need to properly cool a case. I still think that the modern redesign of the old layout has a long way to go. How these companies situation the goods inside the case could use some re-evaluation.

    It would be best served towards the front bottom of the case, below the drives for cable routing. The PSU needs to be a source of filtered cool air INTAKE. The out other intake needs to be filtered air through the bottom rear of the case flowing directly into the video card. If you want, an optional third intake can be window mounted with direct ducting to the CPU cooler.

    The top of the case needs one giant quiet fan in the middle to expel hot air. Hot air rises, so it will rise to the top naturally and be expelled from the case by the fan. Positive air pressure is not necessary as long as the rest of the case is sealed up and the only intake possible is through the filters.
  • lwatcdr - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    I think you underestimate the value of positive case pressure.
    1. It is pretty impractical to seal a case so it can only intake air from filtered sources. USB ports, side panels, and other ports and connections are almost never air tight.
    2. Higher air pressure means that you have denser air which means more mass to carry away the heat. Of course just to make life hard when you compress a fluid like air you heat it. Light positive pressure supplied from filtered intakes.
  • sulu1977 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    What I want to see is a case with a filter so that no dust or insects can get inside. Also most of USB ports should be at bottom of front panel, behind a simple hinged cover. Reply
  • Ammohunt - Thursday, April 04, 2013 - link

    I would like to see this case built with every fan position filled. Reply

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