Pop off one of the side panels and you’ll immediately see the thought process that went into designing the Canyon. Divided into three sections, the chassis attempts to isolate the power supply, the motherboard, and storage. Cooling in the power supply chamber is limited to the PSU’s own fan. The main chamber has three 140 mm fans blowing through it. And the lowest chamber is cooled by one 140 mm blower and two 80 mm coolers.
Sitting in my Aeron at full height, I could rest an elbow on the top of the Canyon. So, the power and reset buttons located on top of the case are actually conveniently located, as is the little metal door hiding USB, FireWire, eSATA, and audio connectivity. Not conveniently located, however, is the case’s fan controller switch sitting behind the aluminum front panel and under the fan filter. Hopefully you aren’t going to be changing fan speeds very often.
Overall, the build quality of ABS’ Canyon is great. It’s a work of art, crafted from aluminum. My only complaint is that the acoustic material applied to the chassis doors was applied in such a way as to cause bubbling, similar to what you’d see from an inexpensive auto tint job.
After spending $600 on a chassis, you probably want to bask in the building process, which is good since, despite its size, the Canyon isn’t exactly an easy case to work inside.
The hard drive backplane idea is an interesting one, but it limits capacity to standard 3.5” SATA drives. I’ve already seen a handful of complaints about VelociRaptors not working, though I don’t have any here to verify. Our Seagate and Samsung drives slid right in, but you still wind up attaching power and data cables to the backplane.
As you can see, the power supply installs in the chamber above your motherboard. Though the Canyon is incredibly tall, it isn’t particularly deep. So, the 1 kW PC Power and Cooling PSU you’ll see in some of our other builds isn’t an option here—it runs right into the external drive bays. Even with Cooler Master’s smaller UCP 1100W installed, routing leads through the narrow gaps between each of the case’s levels is a task. Cable management is less an option here and more of a necessity.
Fortunately, massive dimensions work in the Canyon’s favor at least once. An eighth expansion slot and ample room at the bottom of the motherboard chamber mean a third double-wide graphics card will fit in our Asus Rampage II Extreme, hanging off the end of the board.
It’s also worth noting that this is another case just begging for a water cooling setup. There’s no reservoir fill hole like you’d find on the Cooler Master case, but there is plenty of room up top and four cutouts for hoses. More so than Cooler Master’s HAF, though, the ABS chassis is compartmentalized, sealed off, and insulated, suggesting that it’ll make a quieter candidate for air cooling.
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