Pros: Modularity, features
Cons: quality issues, cable management
Overclock.net nation, I know I just made a case review yesterday, but I need to make a second one and there are quite a few more to come! I want to thank Be Quiet! for giving me the opportunity to review this case. The raves about this care are the modularity, so let's get to it!
Right away we can see this is a big case with the ability to house big hardware, but let's carry on.
Full colored box with basically all the content of the manual, huge foam sides and a black cloth bag which seems to become a standard on higher end cases. Judging by the condition of my box, it's made to withstand quite a bit because it wasn't the most well handed box I've gotten (not near the worst though) and everything is still easily readable. This is a box we'd come to expect on higher end boxes.
We can right away see the huge tempered glass panel along with 8 expansions slots. A rear fan option for two 120mm fans placed behind the storage racks. Four big case feet and elevating this case to give it an aggressive look while remaining sleek.
A slot for 120mm or 140mm fan, 8 expansion slots with vented covers and no slot for a PSU, but a plug for power and a switch, more on this later! Worry not!
Top of case
Holes for ventilation are found on the rear and on the sides in the form of grills. The top itself was warped a bit near the wireless charging pad. I was not expecting such a thin aluminium on such a high end case and I was not expecting it to be so warped.
The tempered glass is brown tinted, it reminds me of the tint used in Mercedes Benz and BMWs in the 90's. I wonder how it affects LED colors.
Front filter and features
Medium coarseness (is that even a word?) of the filters is somewhat the norm from what I've seen, possibly because they (case manufacturers) don't want cases that are too restrictive, which I think is fair. People should clean their cases regularly anyways. We can see above the front 5.25" bays the integrated fan controller and a button. That button serves the purpose of changing the LED colors to fixed presets. The 5.25" bay covers are not filtered thus allow dust to go into the case if the case has a negative pressure setup (you should always aim for slightly positive though, ask @doyll).
The magnets that hold the front panel are not strong enough for the case, everytime I moved the case for another angle the door opened and I think that it presents a risk from breaking it since it's made from aluminium covered plastic.
We can also see two Silent Wings 3, 140mm fans, which are PWM. These are not sleeved, but the retail versions of the fans are sleeved so if you buy more fans of the same type expect cables to not match if they're in sight.
The bottom filter pulls out from the front, this is a great addition that every bottom filtered case should have. (or from the side à la In Win 303)
Inside of the case
The inside reveals a big roomy area for building you monster PC. Individual storage racks is epic looking really it's like it's own feature instead of being part of the case like it looks like in most other cases. The bottom rear feature a PSU mount for it to be mounted internally, this is a great feature, but more on it later. We can find the third 140mm Silent Wings 3 PWM as rear exhaust on the case.
Fan/LED controller and internal plugs
The controller on the back of the case is for both LED and fans. It has four PWM headers and four 3-pin non-PWM headers along with two RGB LED headers, quite the assortment of ports! The I/O cables consists of SATA 3.0 29-pin, USB 2.0 9-pin, a PWM plug, power and reset buttons, HDD and power LED's, HD audio and a SATA power plug for the multi-purpose hub. These are all quite standard now-a-days.
The individual drive bays can hold each two 2.5" drives or one 3.5" drive. Each one of mounted on the panel with three thumb screws and has anti vibration mounts for the 3.5" drives. This makes for quite a bit of thumb screws!
The case itself can be disassembled in so many pieces, here's a quick list:
- Rear PSU plate with three spacers of which two are vented serving the purpose of placing the motherboard tray and expansion slots at the desired height.
- Top, front and bottom bezels. The bottom bezel can have the feet removed with just a big clip.
- 7 individual hard drive bays, 3.25" bays
- 5.25" drive bay
- Front I/O portion with wireless charging pad
- Motherboard tray
- Hard drive rack with 9 slot options which can all be used as wished with the removal of the 5.25" bay
Now, all of this is modular, but what would be the benefit if one cannot mount it multiple places? We'll, another feature for this case is that you can mount it in reverse ATX orientation. This means the 3.5" bays need to be in the opposite orientation too!
Pretty straight forward, the case (Pro model only) features two rigid 12" LED strips that connect to the rear multi-purpose hub.
I built a quick system into this for testing clearances and seeing what the reverse orientation looked like. I use a non-sleeved PSU to be able to see where cables are and check cable management.
The room for cable management isn't the best I've seen, you have room behind the PSU to store some cables, but overall the case could use more room behind the motherboard tray for more cables as my setup isn't very extensive. I had to bend the PSU bracket to get my PSU to fit inside. It's like they sized it for the PSU, but then added foam pads which make the fit extremely tight. Appart from these two things I couldn't properly hide the SATA 3 header cable because the port is sideways on the motherboard I used which makes the cable easily seen. With the PSU on the bottom and two spacers then the motherboard tray I had just enough clearance for the PSU in relation to the I/O ports on the motherboard. Very, very tight fit. The case includes two 12" LED strips, usually you would mount one on the bottom and one on the top for more even lighting, but the bottom doesn't really have room to install these strips so I had to install them in the front of the case, but most of the light is blocked by a 45mm radiator and its fan.
I like this case very much, but there are quite a few things I'd like changed for their next version of it along with a few quality issues I've found.
I give this case the following score
Aesthetics - 9/10
Features - 8/10
Costs - 7.5/10
Quality - 8/10
Total of 81.25%. This case is currently $249.99 on PcPartPicker. For a case made from steel and plastic with aluminium sheet metal to cover the plastic, I would expect a price more around the $199.99 mark for the PRO model and $159.99 for the non-PRO model.
My issues with this case:
- Quality issues with the top aluminium sheet being warped
- Magnets holding the front too weak
- Cable management room in the back should be wider
- Room for LED strips on the bottom
- Rearrangement of the PSU and it's spacing with a reverse orientation layout
- PSU bracket properly sized
- Back side panel should have the fans behind the motherboard and not behind the Storage
What Be Quiet! did with this case that I loved
- Modularity (it's so good I need to put it twice)
- Water cooling options
- Storage possibilities
- Included high end fans
- Multi-purpose hub
- Includes LEDs
- Includes wireless charging panel on top
- Has three high end fans, but unsleved like the retail versions.
Next up! Anidees AI Crystal Lite and the White edition for a dual review!