As mentioned in the beginning of this article, we have focused on reviewing this case as an option for high-end workstations and servers. This case will definitely meet the demands for such a setup -- it has plenty of space, is very accessible, is easy to work with, and has a lot of nice features. You can place fans strategically to cool off your hot harddrives and other hot hardware, like the processor and graphic card. The case can accomodate motherboards(ATX only) as big as 12"x13", and thus a dual Intel Xeon or AMD MP setup should not represent any problems at all. In that case we will, however, recommend changing the power supply to an Enermax 431W or equivalent, depending on your needs.
Fig. 6 The case with all hardware mounted.
As with everything else you have been using for a while, you discover flaws with the product. With the Chieftec servertower I found very few, or actually only two, none of them critical in any way. The first issue is the fact that the motherboard tray is not removable. With such a big case it's very nice to just screw out the motherboard tray and place it on your ESD proof desk, mount the hardware, and then just slide it back into the case. With the Chieftec case I had to put it flat on the desk while mounting the hardware. Secondly, and I find this rather odd considering it's supposed to be a fileserver case according to Chieftec's homepage, there are no dust filters. With up to six 80mm and 90mm blowing and sucking air, there is bound to be some dust drawn into the case. One easy remedy to this would be to simply put a piece of foam between the chassis and frontbezel.
Fig. 7 The case with the frontbezel off. Notice the thumb-screws for the floppy bracket.
All in all, we are very satisfied with this case, it's got about everything you will ever want for a high-end workstation or a server. Everything is well planned and designed, and despite its few flaws, here is our rating:
- Great design, exterior
- Great design, interior
- Easy to work with, accessible
- Virtually tool free
- No removable motherboard tray
- No dust filter
Finally I would like to remind you of Part II coming up as soon as we get the remaining gear from DangerDen. In Part II we will take a closer look at how this case works for overclockers and casemodders.
Big thanks to Microplex for providing us with the case and Stealth for providing us with the fans.