Enlight EN-7308 microATX Mini Towerby Mike Andrawes on April 16, 1999 12:18 AM EST
- Posted in
The theme of cost savings continues as Enlight has strayed from their typical screwless cases to a pretty standard screw based design. Enlight's regular ATX and even AT cases, for the most part, feature a screwless case design that allows access without a screwdriver at all. The EN-7308 is a more standard four screws on the back of the case. Then, the three sided cover slides to the back and up for removal. The front panel is held in place by three tabs on each side and two screws at the top. At this point, complete access to the inside of the case is available.
Installing a 5.25" device is simple enough - just slide it in from the front of the case and screw it in from the side. It is not as convenient as the rail system Enlight generally uses in their larger cases, but it is not that bad. The two 3.5" bays are contained in a metal frame rotates out at the touch of a button (as shown at right), allowing easy installation of 3.5" devices outside of the case. The removal of this small frame also affords easy access to motherboard components.
Again, unlike most larger Enlight cases, the motherboard tray is non-removable in the EN-7308. Fortunately, the motherboard area is easy to access with nothing obstructing it. Unfortunately, Enlight has also chosen to permanently affix the motherboard stand-offs to the motherboard tray. This could be a major pain if any motherboards are released that do not use the same mounting holes, but a quick look around showed that current motherboards will work fine.
MicroATX uses the same I/O shields that regular ATX cases use and the pretty standard double decker configuration ATX I/O shield is included with the case. Since it is a standard cut out, any motherboard with a different port configuration should include an I/O shield that should fit fine.
Cooling is not a prime concern with microATX systems, because again, high powered heat producing devices are generally not used. As such, the only cooling in the EN-7308 is an exhaust fan in the power supply. There are no mounts for additional fans. The front of the case has enough open area to allow more than sufficient air flow through the case though for the majority of systems out there. Crazy overclockers and users with 10,000 RPM hard drives probably need not apply - microATX is simply not intended to be the arena for such endeavors.
Fortunately, Enlight has not cut down on their quality in order to save a few bucks. All edges are carefully rounded so there is virtually no risk of cutting yourself while working on this case. The sheet metal is thick and does not flex easily. The plastic used in the bezel is solid and will not break easily.
It must also be noted here that the power supply is not the standard SFX power supply form factor that most microATX cases uses, but it is not a regular ATX power supply form factor either. Instead, it appears to be a half sized ATX power supply that Enlight has dubbed PS/3. Who knows if this is or ever will be a standard. This only becomes an issue if the power supply ever fails and needs to be replaced. A nice touch by Enlight is the inclusion of a physical power switch on the back of the power supply that can be used when ATX soft power is not responding.