2003 Winter Case Review Part 1: MicroATX Case Madness

Yeong Yang - Casper YY-A204, Continued

The YY-A204 is designed primarily to be used in a tower configuration, but Yeong Yang has supplied additional rubber standoffs that allow the case to be flipped on its side and utilized in a desktop configuration.

A look at the inside of the YY-A204. Once again, Yeong Yang shows off their excellent construction qualities that give them an edge over many other case manufacturers.

The internal construction of the YY-A204 is quite good. Built utilizing a hard tooled design, this case exhibited no bend or twist to the case itself. The bezel is made from plastic, yet is appeared to be quite durable. To avoid having an odd 'look' to the front of the case, and in order for Yeong Yang to take advantage of their rounded front bezel design, the floppy drive is hidden behind the front bezel and activated with a single push switch. Our test Mitsumi floppy drive did fit well into this configuration; however, those who opt not to use a 3.5" floppy drive are going to be left out in the cold due to the front bezel molding of the YY-A204 that only supports the use of a floppy drive in the external 3.5" drive bay. What is even more distressing is that if you opt not to utilize the floppy bay and install a second hard disk this bay instead, there is no way to seal off this bay to make it inaccessible to the thus mounted 3.5" internal device.

The YY-A204 features an innovative cooling solution when compared to the other cases reviewed in our MicroATX case review, due to the fact that Yeong Yang has elected to utilize a thermal guide design that is mounted in the side panel to allow the exhaust and intake of cool air from the heat sink/fan combination that is located on top of the CPU. The choice to use this solution came as a surprise, due to the fact that none of the other cases that we tested included the use of a thermal guide solution. Only Chenbro came close with its use of grill material over the "Hornet Eyes" on the side panel of their Hornet case.

Due to the cramped quarters inside of the YY-A204 you might encounter some frustration, as we did, getting everything properly installed. Once all of the components are installed and lined up, then you will have to worry about getting the thermal guide to line up with your CPU in order to take advantage of this feature. Depending on the placement of your CPU on your chosen Micro/ATX motherboard, you may or may not encounter problems getting it to line up with the air guide. The air guide can be removed; however, since it bolts directly to the side panel of the YY-A204, if you elect not to use the air guide on the side panel then the case is cooled only by two 60mm fans located in the rear of the case.

In our test configuration, the performance of the YY-A204 when compared with the other MicroATX case solutions that we tested scored considerably better thermally. We attribute this to Yeong Yang's use of the air guide, which indeed does seem to greatly reduce the ambient temperature within the case.

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