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Building With The DRN-STN

AIO DRN-STN Review: A Gaming All-In-One With A 120 Hz Display
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Perhaps the most glaring of the DRN-STN’s shortcomings is a scarcity of 2.5” bays. The bottom panel can hold a drive, but some motherboard and power supply cable packs don’t have the necessary straight-ended connectors. Additional holes on the drive cage might have supported 2.5” drives, except that a lip on the bottom and a raised center on top prevent them from being mounted on either side. And the 3.5” drive rails don’t even support most 2.5” adapter trays, since their pins are spaced to fit only the outer holes of 3.5” drives.

All of that means there will be builders who have to buy different cables to fit a single SSD, and installing a second SSD means buying a longer adapter.

The DRN-STN also includes a screw-free add-in card bracket, though it doesn't work with many enthusiast-oriented graphics cards. That might have been an issue for a chassis purportedly aimed at gamers, except that the slot brackets also support screws. Problem averted!

The DRN-STN’s internal ATX chassis includes thumb screws only for the outer side panel. The inner side panel is removable with a screwdriver, and we wondered why the company didn't have more interest in providing greater access to the cable stowage area between the motherboard tray and side panel. The tray has a cable access hole; why wouldn’t we be encouraged to use it?

We had to go through several steps before that hole was useable with our eight-pin EPS12V cable. First, since the case’s access hole and our motherboard's connector are extra-close to a fan, the cooler had to be temporarily removed. Next, since the hole is narrow, we had to split our eight-pin power lead in two and slip each half through the hole sideways. Our apologies to anyone who doesn’t have a 4+4-pin cable.

If you can, on the other hand, take advantage of the case’s access holes, you'll be pleased to find space for nearly every cable, with tie-off points that could have further cleaned-up this already-organized installation.

With roughly 6.25” of cooler clearance, our 6.2”-tall Coolink Corator DS barely fits within the inner chassis’ steel panel. Remove the steel panel and you’ll get a fraction of an inch of extra space, with the visual benefit of full internal views. Or, remove the plastic window to make the inner panel’s fan mounts operational. Or, remove both to annoy the LAN partier sitting behind your PC with the din of two Radeon R9 290Xes cranking away in CrossFire. 

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  • 15 Hide
    Crashman , February 17, 2014 12:15 AM
    Quote:
    What does this retro looking gaming box have over an established gaming notebook say an Alienware or Asus? Thanks for the choice though.
    Up to 20x the graphics power and 2x the CPU performance? I guess it depends on what you plan to do with all that extra space.

    I also didn't get a chance to note in the article that "Full Sized" power supply means PS/2 form factor (and extended versions thereof). ATX power standard does not include a form factor, because form factors designate "form". This is, in spite of what Yahoo Answers might tell you. So "Full ATX" is a misnomer concerning power supplies.

Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    Crashman , February 17, 2014 12:15 AM
    Quote:
    What does this retro looking gaming box have over an established gaming notebook say an Alienware or Asus? Thanks for the choice though.
    Up to 20x the graphics power and 2x the CPU performance? I guess it depends on what you plan to do with all that extra space.

    I also didn't get a chance to note in the article that "Full Sized" power supply means PS/2 form factor (and extended versions thereof). ATX power standard does not include a form factor, because form factors designate "form". This is, in spite of what Yahoo Answers might tell you. So "Full ATX" is a misnomer concerning power supplies.

  • -5 Hide
    Xsolarise , February 17, 2014 12:53 AM
    This is just a stupid and ugly..
  • 0 Hide
    bloody llama , February 17, 2014 12:57 AM
    The internal case appears to be made by NZXT. The 3.5" rails and the PCI toolless latch are exactly the same as my NZXT case from 2005.
  • 1 Hide
    Crashman , February 17, 2014 1:05 AM
    Quote:
    The internal case appears to be made by NZXT. The 3.5" rails and the PCI toolless latch are exactly the same as my NZXT case from 2005.
    NZXT doesn't manufacture its own cases though, or at least it didn't in 2005 :) 
  • 4 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , February 17, 2014 2:14 AM
    I'd give it 2 foldout screens for eyefinity.
  • 1 Hide
    Marcopolo123 , February 17, 2014 2:18 AM
    reminds me of fallout
  • 0 Hide
    Nossy , February 17, 2014 6:10 AM
    wow,..$700 for a case, and people are complaining about a $700 video card? WTF are people smoking these days?
  • 0 Hide
    Au_equus , February 17, 2014 6:28 AM
    Is it oversimplification to say that the system looks like a monitor and a case held together by a shroud? I agree with Trutherizer, especially at that price, but, to go a little bit further, it needs a docking station for a keyboard and mouse.
  • 0 Hide
    huilun02 , February 17, 2014 6:29 AM
    Because hauling what seems to be a CRT monitor makes you a more popular guy.
  • -2 Hide
    eriko , February 17, 2014 6:53 AM
    Quote:What does this retro looking gaming box have over an established gaming notebook say an Alienware or Asus? Thanks for the choice though.Up to 20x the graphics power and 2x the CPU performance? I guess it depends on what you plan to do with all that extra space.I also didn't get a chance to note in the article that "Full Sized" power supply means PS/2 form factor (and extended versions thereof). ATX power standard does not include a form factor, because form factors designate "form". This is, in spite of what Yahoo Answers might tell you. So "Full ATX" is a misnomer concerning power supplies.> I seriously doubt 20x graphics and 2x cpu power.I saw no 3dMark11 numbers, just that they were intending to test it.My M18xR2, can get 11,500 3DMark11.I have dual RAID 250GB Evo's, i7 Extreme @ 4.6GHz, 16GB RAM CAS9 @25,500GB/s throughput, and I too can upgrade my GPUs also, unlike some laptops.32lbs?Mine is 11.8lbs. Good luck with your carry-on at the check-in desk.
  • 0 Hide
    rolli59 , February 17, 2014 7:17 AM
    I really do not see this selling well or have a market segment.
  • 0 Hide
    mikeangs2004 , February 17, 2014 7:30 AM
    Is a built-in TV tuner necessary? The other PCI-E slots could be for SB-ZxR.
  • 3 Hide
    Xavier Corraya , February 17, 2014 8:00 AM
    Honestly I liked the design!
  • 3 Hide
    razzb3d , February 17, 2014 8:01 AM
    Quote:
    What does this retro looking gaming box have over an established gaming notebook say an Alienware or Asus? Thanks for the choice though.
    The fact that you can stick desktop parts in it, and build a high end PC at half the price of an alienware or asus gaming notebook? Use your brain for a second... the best alienware notebook comes with an 18" screen, one or two GTX 780m cards (witch are about half the power of a desktop GTX 780) and are NOT easily upgradeable. Notebook graphics and CPUs are 2-4 times more expensive then desktop counterparts, and half the performance. Also, I personally find laptop gaming very uncomfortable. Screens are too small, keyboard is too close to the screen, screen is too low, I have to keep looking down witch is very uncomfortable after a few hours... I've been waiting for something like this for a while now. Sure, they could have made it smaller... a micro-ATX or even micro-ITX mainboard would have been enough... a built in closed loop water cooling system for the CPU, and a PCI-E riser for the GPU would have made it a lot more compact.
  • 2 Hide
    razzb3d , February 17, 2014 8:07 AM
    I also love the retro military/industrial design. I just wish some manufacturer would come up with a standardized AIO enclosure with a 24 or 27" screen, small form factor mainboard, closed loop watercooler for the CPU, GPU mountable next to the maiboard using a riser card, and a battery that would provide about 1 hour of usage in windows desktop for a 300-450w cfg. Basically, I want a laptop with no keyboard or touchpad that I can upgrade using widely available desktop parts... The only portability I need is the ability to carry the thing with me and easily set it up at a hotel or a friends house, without the hassle of carrying two separate units (display and computer) + cables...
  • -1 Hide
    CaptainTom , February 17, 2014 10:01 AM
    Make it half as thick and WAYYYYY more attractive, and I could see this being an awesome option...
  • -3 Hide
    coolitic , February 17, 2014 11:03 AM
    I thought they stopped making such low color panels.
  • -1 Hide
    chargeit , February 17, 2014 11:19 AM
    Yea, no thanks. Thing looks like it belongs in some bad 1990's sci-fi movie.
  • 1 Hide
    Christopher Shaffer , February 17, 2014 11:41 AM
    Same panel as the VG248QE? So it can use a G-Sync module, then. Which would be great if I wanted flawless gaming in what looks like a giant Panasonic Toughbook. This would be great for gaming in the back of a HUM-V.
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