PC Case Roundup: Spring 2008

IN-WIN Metal Suit GD “Conqueror”

IN-WIN METAL SUIT GD “CONQUEROR” SPECIFICATIONS
Case Type Size WxHxD Weight Cooling 5.25” Bays 3.5” Bays I/O panel Noise Approx. Price
IN WIN Metal Suit GD Conqueror ATX mid tower 233 x 437 x 543 mm 24 lbs 2x 120mm, 2x 80mm 4 2 ext. 5 int. 4x USB, 1x 1394, HD or AC97 Audio (on side) 43 db $120

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Specifications

Purely from a raw specifications standpoint, the IN-WIN Metal Suit GD is fairly typical among our roundup units. It’s averaged sized for a mid-tower, has an average weight, and comes equipped with an average number of case fans in this segment: two 120mm fans and two 80mm fans.

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The I/O panel on the side of the case sports a high number of USB inputs, 4 to be exact; all other cases in the roundup except the Cosmos S have only two USB inputs. The Metal Suit GD also has a Firewire input and the usual audio jacks.

Unique Features

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Other than being designed to resemble a robot from the Japanese anime cartoon “Mobile Suit Gundam”, the Metal Suit GD’s most unique feature is its “Turbo Cooling System”. This is a fancy name for a duct on the side of the case designed to supply the video card with fresh, cool air via two 80mm fans dedicated to this purpose. It looks like the duct also helps cool the hard drive bay.

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The case is engineered to be used with a minimum of tools, with tool-less hard and optical drive mounting clips, as well as a unique tool-less expansion card retaining mechanism.

Appearance, Fit & Finish

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The outward appearance of the Metal Suit GD is obviously designed to evoke images of the giant robots in the popular Japanese anime “Mobile Suit Gundam” series. Of course, the robotic head depicted on the box of the case doesn’t appear to be an actual robot from the series, obviously due to fears of copyright infringement. I’m not a hardcore Gundam fan, mind you, although I tried to find a similar Gundam head on the Internet and couldn’t. Gundam fans, if I’m wrong about this and it’s an actual Gundam robot depiction, let us know with your comments below. In any case, the styling is attractive, I imagine particularly so if you’re a fan of this type of entertainment.

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The colors chosen for the case interior – green on black – are very sharp, but the funny part is that these colors can’t be seen outside the case!

IN-WIN is no newcomer to PC cases, and the fit and finish of the Metal Suit GD is solid and has a good feel to it. Even though there is a lot of plastic in use for ducting and tool-less accessories, these are well made and fit together well.

User Experience

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The Metal Suit GD was easy enough to set up, and a nice case to work with. The tool-less features were well thought out: the sides of the case came off without screws, utilizing two simple plastic clips; the tool-less drive clips were integrated into a part of the case itself; and the tool-less expansion card retaining clips were easy to use, and didn’t get in the way as they do in a lot of designs we’ve seen. The hard drive bay even angled out for easy access, and to allow easy removal of the front intake fan.

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As far as setting up and working with the hardware, the Metal Suit GD is well thought out — and it shows. The “Turbo Cooling System” was a little irritating during motherboard installation, because it had to be held out of the way, but it wasn’t a big problem.

The Metal Suit GD was one of the louder cases we reviewed, tying the Raidmax Iceberg and coming close to the Sigma Unicorn, according to our decibel meter. This might be something you can live with if you appreciate the extra cooling for your video card, if you have a single slot card that expels its heated air inside the case. If you have a dual-slot card that expels air outside the case, you might be better off turning the two 80mm fans in the VGA duct off, for quieter operation.

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74 comments
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    Top Comments
  • Gravemind123
    Nothing from Lian-Li, Thermaltake or Antec? In that price range you could review a nice case from any of those companies.
    15
  • Anonymous
    Yep is a very poor roundup allright !
    Where is Antec Nine Hundred or the new Twelve Hundred and the excelent P182 ???
    The Cosmos S seems to be out of place here.... its in another league: Armor+, Silverstone TJ07B, Stacker
    10
  • Other Comments
  • geotech
    Nothing on the Thermaltake Armor?
    One of the best case designs and plenty of room and features.
    1
  • bf2gameplaya
    Every one of those cases is butt ugly, unwieldy and depressing.
    -4
  • Gravemind123
    Nothing from Lian-Li, Thermaltake or Antec? In that price range you could review a nice case from any of those companies.
    15
  • Anonymous
    Yep is a very poor roundup allright !
    Where is Antec Nine Hundred or the new Twelve Hundred and the excelent P182 ???
    The Cosmos S seems to be out of place here.... its in another league: Armor+, Silverstone TJ07B, Stacker
    10
  • otheos
    Simple is an uknown word in the aesthetics of the east.
    3
  • scherfistv
    Lazy review, the guys from TOM's couldn't find more attractive PC Cases? It's all made in "China"-like?
    -3
  • TiberiumSoldier
    poor Roundup.. no Enermax Chakra/uber Chakra no EZCool .....
    -2
  • SinisterCanuck
    All mid tower cases... not one Full Tower! I haven't purchased a mid tower case in nearly 8 years for any of my builds because they are too crammed for my liking. As stated by other commenters, where's the Thermaltake Armor? Where's the Antec Twelve Hundred? etc. These were nice looking cases, but they are all middle of the road as far as I am concerned. You need to do a cases revisited or an enthusiast case round up! ...please do that
    1
  • Anonymous
    I have my doubts about your praise on 3R System case. I have similar model. Exactly the same inside structure but without the remote control, display and with different front side.

    First of all, it's not that well-built. Sides bend and that inside metal (Al?) is really soft. And if you want to remove the front there are like 6 almost unreachable screws to be unscrewed which is pain in the a**.

    Fans are really quiet though.
    1
  • Anonymous
    only Cosmos S look good to me.
    -1
  • ilovebarny
    well its not bad information but they really could have done a better job picking out cases to review.
    2
  • Dogsnake
    Funny how you keep referring to the Antec case(s)but do not include one in the review. Why buy an imitator when you can get the real thing?
    1
  • HyperBladeST
    No need to add the good old 900 and P182. We all know they're good and it's not a coincidence that the NZXT and the Raidmax looks so much like the 900 ;)

    As for the 1200 : it's a bigger 900 so there's nothing much to say about it.

    But yeah it would have been more appropriate to use case from all company to make a round-up.
    1
  • spaztic7
    It would be really cool if for another roundup they did all of the Maximum PC cases that won a "Kick Ass Award". Yeah you may be using info from a competitor, but it would make for one really interesting read to see who would be the best of the best!
    0
  • retratserif
    I have the Cosmos S, its the best water cooling case out there next to the Mozart. You can easily get 2-3 Radiators in and installed with no mods what so ever. Plus the heat sensitive power button is very impressive. It may not get you laid, but it sure will fit into any modern or high tech lifestyle. The Nine Hundred is quite old in comparison to these cases. I have not seen a new stacker... I think the Cosmos is closest thing to them.

    I was skeptical of the Cosmos s at first. But after everything went in without a hitch, I had to really appreciate the work that had gone into this case. The thing I like the most is the rails. Its not that easy to move a 60+ lb case with 2 rads and at least a liter of water.

    Good job guys. I enjoyed the round up. I would like to see a more practical round up in the future for more budget PC's. To see more cases that have good practical usage and lower prices. They should all have 2 120mm fans minimum though. 40$-100$ cases.
    0
  • Kurse
    No Antec 900 or P182? Certainly two of the best cases on the market.
    0
  • Lumberboy
    Why do people love the Thermaltake Armour cases so much? It was the hottest case I ever owned. When I switched to my CM 690 my cpu temps dropped 10 degrees.
    1
  • MU_Engineer
    I also find it funny that the Antec Nine Hundred was mentioned about five times (and the NXZT Tempest is a clone of it) but was not in the review. How about a Nine Hundred vs. Clones comparison?
    1
  • byebye
    not toward this but everyone needs to start measuring the distance between the processor and the wall. because i want a IFX-14
    0
  • xsamitt
    We really need a list of full tower cases.........High end if you wish............Pretty Please.

    Most of the cases you picked out I wouldn't consider at all.Mid tower is not where things are going....Some cases have 10 Expansion slots.......I belive we need a review thats with the current trend...as we live in the now ...not the past.
    0