External Design

Usually, we begin our look at the external design of the case at the front bezel, since that is usually what we notice first. With the GB2, however, we noticed two handles at the top of the case before anything else. The handles are placed at the front and back of the chassis and are reminiscent of those on Apple's G5 cases.




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While we're at the top of the chassis, we noticed a square shaped vent for a 92mm fan that can be mounted to exhaust air. We will talk more about that in the Cooling section.

Moving back to the front of the GB2, we see a well-designed bezel with clean, straight and rounded edges. At the top, we see on the right are the HDD activity LED, the reset button, and the large square-shaped power button, which has the Power LED integrated into it. The large size of the power button makes it easy to press while the reset button's small size keeps unwanted reboots from happening. The reset button is a bit too small, though, for even an averaged sized finger to press.




Click to enlarge.


Next, we see four 5-1/4" drive bay covers and two 3-1/2" drive bay covers. Each can be easily taken off by removing two screws for each cover.




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At the bottom of the chassis, we notice the auxiliary ports, which include a FireWire port, two USB ports, and the standard audio input/output ports. Each is labeled clearly with the standardized icons.




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Pulling on the front bezel from the left side, we were able to open the bezel door. By doing this, we can now remove the drive bay covers by undoing the screws on each side. From the picture, we see a clear plastic molding that holds the HDD LED, reset and power buttons in place along with the aluminum grill and auxiliary ports at the bottom of the bezel.




Click to enlarge.


Index External Design (cont'd)
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  • unclebud - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    i saw it for $69.95 w/o ps @ mom and pop shop Reply
  • Bladen - Saturday, January 01, 2005 - link

    Get your black (or silver) at Newegg for $209

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?desc...
    Reply
  • arthas76 - Wednesday, December 22, 2004 - link

    is this case even for available yet? microcenter has the silver version at a huge cost. i want the black! Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Friday, December 17, 2004 - link

    Hey Lonewolf15, I would be interested in your cooling information, I"m always up for a good time with my drill :P

    I tried to PM you cut your account does not accept PM's right now. So if you check this thread again, PM me or use my public email at dave@dcliquidators.com Thanks!
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Thursday, December 16, 2004 - link

    #35, if you want a guide on doing a blowhole for your P160 to give it the additional cooling the Chembro has, PM me in the forums, I did this and it keeps temps down even further.

    #32, the part of your post I thought was "full of it was this:
    "Just face it, you guys will never be satisfied with any case as long as you get it for free."

    I was trying to point out how untrue this is; it was a blanket statement. Lots of us are enthusiasts and willing to pony up some cash. Even those of us who aren't can acknowledge when something is worth the price paid, even if we as individuals wouldn't pay it. I think very few of us are "I want it, and I want it FREE" types; we're willing to pay money for something provided that something is reliable, has the features we want, and we aren't being gouged on it.
    Reply
  • jwix - Thursday, December 16, 2004 - link

    I have to agree with #22. 62 decibals is borderline cacophony, yet the article seems to have played down this aspect of case performance. I also agree with #18's line of thinking.....the noise problem is significant enough to warrant further investigation of the problem. Would switching out fans make a difference? Is the noise associated with case resonance?

    More than any other review site, we rely on Anandtech's thorough objective analysis and sherlockian investigative prowess to help us decide which hardware to purchase with our hard earned dollars.

    On a positive note, it's great to see an attractive, high end case finally being reviewed. How about a comparison review on silent cases next?
    Reply
  • qdemn7 - Thursday, December 16, 2004 - link

    I've been lurking over at Teacm Chenbro Forums anxiously waiting for the GBII. I drove over to the Microcenter is Dallas 2 weeks ago, they have the Silver case only in stock and yes it's $260.

    It's a gorgeous case, no doubt about it, but I'm not going to pay $260 for it now. I'll wait after the first until the price drops some.

    I took the case apart and examined it closely.

    Things that really impressed me were:

    The attention to detail, all the extra features are fantastic.
    I especially like the fan cages, the ICM, the drive levers and the HD cage.
    Believe it or not, I really liked the handles. They made it easy to move the case around.
    One especially nice touch is that the side window is actually relatively easy to remove from the side panel itself.
    This way if you ever scratch or break the window, you can just replace that instead of the whole panel.
    I would also be nice for removing it if you wanted to cut a blowhole in the window.
    The fixed inserts in the mobo tray are a real plus, unlike say a Lian Li where they use those dreadful spring inserts.

    The negatives:

    The price obviously, the case is not worth $260, $200 OK, but not $260.
    I'm sorry to say IMO the case side panels are flimsy.
    The case is simply not as heavily constructed as the old Coolermaster ATC cases were. Those cases felt like a brick.
    The case is not as flimsy as an Antec Super Lanboy or Antec P160, but it's not excusable in a case at this price point.
    To really make this case feel solid I would advise using the AcoustiPack Case insulation.
    The mobo tray simply doesn't slide in and out as easily as it should, it's a very tight fit.

    Alll in all, I am still planning to buy the case when the price drops.
    If you want one of most beautiful silver cases on the market, and you're willing to spend nearly $300 for the case and another $100 for the AcoustiPack, then go fo it.

    I can't comment on the fans since there was not a PS available to test them, but really fans are no problem. I've got some 120mm Stealths already.

    I know I don't post here much, but some of you people really astound me. You would be willing to pay $$$$ for the guts of a system (say an NForce 4 SLI), but when it comes to the thing you will be looking at the most, you want to suddenly become cheapskates. You want to settle for some $100 POS that includes a PS. You're worse than bunch of old women complaining about the price of groceries.
    Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - link

    OK on a serious note, I went to Micro Center today to check one of these bad boys out. I walked in with the money to purchase it as well if I so chose. (Cost $259.99 here locally + tax). I walked out of Micro center with an Antec 160 case, Extra 120mm fan and matching internal card reader for around $180 - $100 less than I would have sppent on just the case. It looks nice, but feature wise the Antec stood out to me. This antec is still the most expensive case I have ever purchased. If the Chenbro were priced more reasonably then I would have gone for it. So this is a personal experience, I went in looking to buy this case, but came out with another setup. Also it looks better on the web than it does in real life. oh well. Reply
  • RuStYwAvE - Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - link

    #33, what part of the statement or premise did you think was full of it.

    What seems fair to you might not seems fair to others. If you just take a look at the reviews/ratings from Newegg and add up all the Antec SLK 350 Models and the Lanboy (not super) cases (which is around the same price range) vs the P160 Models (with no power supply) or any $120 and up cases the ratio is at least 10 to 1, let alone Cheap cases vs 125 dollar cases. Also, for anything that is rare it is most likely going to cost you "a arm and a leg", for example a lamborghini vs dodge viper. I don't know alot about cars, but comparing the specs the dodge viper has the advantage in many categories, like price, horse power/torque, mileage, and curb weight, etc. The Chenbro case will must likely be a rare case, since no one will be getting it. Braggin rights are more likely given to people who have rare or custom built cases. Even though most people can't tell the difference between cases that have similar features where the price isn't a factor, they will notice a rare, different/unique/custom, or a heavily modded case. Also, you listed alot of specs which are standard features in must cases like side window (the window is platic for goodness sake), low-noise fan, front USB/audio/firewire (firewire is rarely use and your motherboards has to support it to begin with, usb 2.0 is more widely used), temperature sensors (unpractical, the sensor on the motherboard counts more than any other sensor), thumbscrews, and dual slide-off sides. The removable motherboard tray will be probably only be used once or maybe twice every two to three years depending how much you upgrade, by then you would probably get a new case anyways. The vibration-dampening mounts are unnecessary, how much vibration does a liquid bearing hard drive give anyways or even a mechanical bearing for that fact? The P160 case simply does not justify the 50 dollars markup, then again it is your money.
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - link

    #32, your post is full of it.

    Plenty of us have spent $100-150 for a case. I don't think this is a small sum. However, $240 for a case is another matter entirely.
    The Antec P160 aluminum case I bought came with side window, removable hard drive racks with vibration-dampening mounts, two low-noise 120mm fans, front USB/Firewire/audio and dual temperature sensors, thumbscrews for the slot covers, dual slide-off sides, and a removable motherboard tray. Currently that case is available for $120-130; from NewEgg you get free shipping on it. Antec considers it their top-of-the-line case. I was willing to pay this price which I considered fair.
    Contrast this with the Chenbro, whose features are fairly similar, but costs $100+ more. We're not asking for a great case for free; we're asking that Chenbro charge a competetive price. Heck, I'd have considered $180 including shipping a fair price; $240 is downright ridiculous. If others have the same features (i.e., Antec, Silverstone) for far less, why is expecting Chenbro to have a price similar to theirs unreasonable?
    Reply

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