Compact, cheap, clever design, classy looks
Crowded case, absolutely no guidance for complex features, goofy name
I bought this case strictly because of two things: 1.) looks, and 2.) price. I was pleasantly surprised and happy at the clever design touches, such as the slide-out (2 screws) MoBo "tray." The price wasn't bad, either, when the case is compared to other cube-format cases. I bought ... Read full review
I bought this case strictly because of two things: 1.) looks, and 2.) price. I was pleasantly surprised and happy at the clever design touches, such as the slide-out (2 screws) MoBo "tray." The price wasn't bad, either, when the case is compared to other cube-format cases. I bought mine from a small local company run by enthusiastic bit-heads for under $90, plus tax. I'm sure you can beat that by a good bit, if you do some judicious e-shopping.
Be sure your mainboard will fit; Micro-ATX and Baby ATX only. There ain't no room in the inn for more than those. I was OK with my new Micro-ATX board and initial setup went smoothly.
I wasn't so happy with the noise-level of the case (52db with just the P/S and case-fan going) and the fact that there is NOT ONE WORD of documentation included with this complex case!
A word of caution here; if you're not very familiar with computer mainboard installation, cable-routing, and the like, don't even THINK of using this case; a small mid-Tower like the "SuperCases" TM-series would be much simpler to work with, if not quite as stylish.
It would help if the case fan was a standard 3-pin type instead of the ungainly kloodge-up that powers it from the drive power plugs. I'm going to swap the factory fan for one that can be controlled by the motherboard.
Construction seems sturdy, and well thought-out. There's room for two CD/DVD drives and one 3.5" floppy or equivalent as well as two HDD mounts. There's one SATA power cord and the main power plug is 20/24-pin selectable, with a separate 4-prong 12V plug, too. Even the guts look good ... the power supply is midnight black and the leads are beautifully sleeved in black/red.
There are two USB 2.0 ports, a single FireWire (1394) port, a headphone jack and a microphone jack on the front of the case. The headphone jack does NOT shut off the main speakers when a plug is inserted ... (a big minus if you like to jam late at night when the folks are abed). All those front-panel goodies use nicely pre-wired cables that come with the case, and those cables worked just fine with my ASUS A8N MoBo. Although they're not covered with a snap-down panel some cases do, the exposed front-panel connections are not obtrusive in the attractive matte-black center panel.
The front panel features a display showing (alleged) CPU and HDD temperatures in degrees C only; degrees F not available. The figures are totally unreliable as there is no documentation on how and where the probes for these readouts can safely be placed. Even placed in the hottest place I could find on the HDD, the actual temperature of the drive was mis-represented by about 9 degrees Centrigrade below actual temps ... a considerable error.
The front panel features a snazzy handle which snaps down and becomes a "sort-of louver" when not being used to schlepp the cube to the next LAN party. Although the handle feels light enough to be flimsy, it's apparently much tougher than it looks; mine has held up nicely.
Most of the X-Qpack series come with three windows ... top and sides of the case ... to show off the innards of the system. I opted for the sturdier solid-side (aluminum) case. My assembly methods are too messy.
In summary: If you like the classy looks of a cube-styled case, or if you like the idea of toting this thing to a LAN party by its clever handle, and if you've built, oh, say, a dozen systems in various types of cases before, then give it a go, mate.
Oh, and it helps if you're not a hemophiliac, too; those tight quarters and sharp edges are murder.