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Testing Procedure

15 Case Power Tower Round-Up
By

The overall score is made up of the following rating criteria:

  • Construction of case, exterior, side panels and front door
  • Edges and corners, risk of injury when opening the case and installing hardware
  • Installation of the motherboard, expansion cards and various power supplies
  • Wiring for front ports, drives, motherboards
  • Expandability and installation of hard drives and 5.25" drives and fan-speed controller

Our Testing Hardware

To make our scores as realistic as possible, we installed various hardware components in each midi tower. The foundation for the PC was an IC7-MAX3 motherboard from Abit. We then mounted an AGP graphics board from MSI and - case permitting - a 4-channel controller from Advansys. While it isn't the most bleeding-edge board, we were more interested in trying to install a PCI long card. The hard drives were chosen from a number of 40 GB models from various manufacturers. Our 5.25" drive was a 16x DVD drive from MSI. We used an ultra-short Superflower Fan Master for our fan-speed controller because we knew that it couldn't be installed on every midi case.

IC7MAX3 from Abit is the foundation for the PC.

Not exactly MSI's flagship model anymore: we were more interested in installing the AGP card.

The 4-channel controller was developed in the 90s as a PCI long card.

We wanted to mount four hard drives in every case.

The Superflower fan-speed controller showed whether the cases could accommodate short 5.25" devices.

The new Targan PSU TG380-U01 has a rat's nest of long cabling.

The Levicom PSU is ½" deeper, and a good example of oversized power supplies for our midi tower round-up.

The new golden Enermax power supply uses a short 40 cm cable that is also very rigid.
Summary
  1. Cucumber Salad Or Band-Aid?
  2. Ouch! The Pain Of Razor-Sharp Edges
  3. The Cases: Up Close And Personal
  4. Simple Motherboard Installation
  5. Hard-Drive Trays
  6. Fresh Air With 120 mm Fans
  7. Rails For 5.25" Drives
  8. Perfect Construction
  9. Casetek C1020: Enter The Dragon
  10. Easy Installation Of Motherboards, Graphic Boards And Hard Drives
  11. The Hazards Of Installing 5.25" Drives
  12. Pros
  13. Chieftec BX-01: Plenty Of Room For Hard Drives
  14. A Glimpse Inside The Case
  15. 90-Degree Carriage Rotation Simplifies Hard-Drive Installation
  16. Safe Installation Of 5.25" Drives
  17. Pros
  18. Coolermaster Wavemaster: All Metal With Sharp Edges
  19. Coolermaster Wavemaster, Continued
  20. Installing The Motherboard Outside
  21. Hard Drives Screwed Directly On The Case
  22. Pros
  23. Inter-Tech Sportcar Design: Typical Engine Sound With 6 Fans
  24. Roomy Interior
  25. Up To 11 Drives Fit In The Case
  26. Razor-Sharp Edges And Corners
  27. Pros
  28. InWin IW-J568G: With Fan Speed Controller And Card Reader
  29. Motherboard Installation A Hassle
  30. Old-Fashioned Card Holders
  31. Waste Of Space
  32. Pros
  33. Lian Li PC-V1000: Innovative Interior
  34. Ingenious Innards
  35. The PSU Down Under
  36. Room Enough For Six Hard Drives
  37. Screws Into Threads Not Into The Case
  38. Front Bevel Included
  39. Gotcha: Two Minor Weaknesses
  40. Pros
  41. NZXT Guardian: Zylon From Battlestar Galactica
  42. No Sharp Edges Inside
  43. Complicated Rail System For Drives
  44. No Dust Filters Inside The Case
  45. Revoltec Midi Tower: Chieftec With A New Design
  46. Traditional Hardware Installation
  47. Rails For 5.25" Drives
  48. Special Carriages For Hard Drives
  49. Pros
  50. Silverstone Temjin SST-TJ02: Struggle With Drive Rails
  51. Rails Secure Drives Firmly
  52. Pros
  53. Silverstone Temjin SST-TJ03S: Pricy XXL Format
  54. Spacious Interior
  55. Screws And Expansion Cards
  56. Complicated Front-Port Cabling
  57. Superflower X-Mask SF-462: Spider Design
  58. Roomy Interior For Many Hard Drives
  59. Card Installation With Brute Force
  60. Are These Designers Crazy?
  61. Thermaltake XaserV V5000A: Full Metal Jacket
  62. Problems With Graphics-Card Installation
  63. Pros
  64. Yeong Yang YY-5603: No Major Flaws
  65. Tidy Accessories
  66. Anti-Vibration Rails For Drives
  67. Break-Away Face Plates
  68. Jet-Computer Last Samurai: Shades Of Darth Vader
  69. Testing Procedure
  70. Ratings
  71. Features Chart
  72. Features, Continued
  73. Features, Continued
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    dovah-chan , June 24, 2014 8:55 AM
    after over 10 years this is the first comment on this article