The MetalFish PC chassis and aquarium hybrid has been tested by a Japanese tech site. PC Watch’s Satoshi Hinuma felt an uncomfortable mix of inner healing and PC component / fish anxiety, from the finished build. Additionally, the chassis and fish tank hybrid had to face further natural challenges in Japan, where earthquakes and tremors are a somewhat common occurrence.
Back in August, we first reported on the MetalFish Y2 Fish Tank Chassis. In case the name hasn’t already given it away, this was a hybrid Micro-ATX PC chassis and fish tank. Readers had concerns for both the PC components beneath the fish tank and for the fate of the fish being warmed up in the aquarium. So, it is interesting to consider the first professional test results from the MetalFish chassis, with the added concerns of unpredictable earthquakes.
Firstly, it's obvious that the PC section of the Y2 Fish Tank Chassis isn’t very large (about 12 liters), but the PC build didn’t look overly complicated or restricted when using compact and SFF-friendly components. There is even a PCIe riser cable included so you can fit a modestly sized graphics card beneath your aquarium. When the PC is fully built, owners still have pretty easy access to the PC components, as it is possible to slide out the motherboard and components tray once a few screws are undone.
With the PC build layer complete, the reviewer started on the aquarium section. We’ve summed up the major concerns and worrisome observations from this part of the build process, below:
- The acrylic top panel had cracks through the screw holes.
- There is a choice between fish tank insulation or more appealing RGB LED views.
- Fish tank top LED brightness was quite high and not adjustable – it is not integrated into the PC’s RGB LED controls.
- Airflow perforations in the PC case intensified the worry of spills and splashes from the aquarium above.
- The glass water tank weighed 12 kg (26.5 lbs), add in the recommended 10-12 liters of water and you have a fragile box weighing in at about 24 kg (53 lbs), making moving or repositioning the PC very precarious.
- Earthquake region locality amplified water spill worries -- even light tremors could cause spillage.
Some Tom’s Hardware readers were apprehensive about a PC under stress, perhaps gaming or processing video for several hours, heating up the fish in the tank above. PC Watch checked what might happen with some thermal readings.
MetalFish supplies a white heat insulator sheet to sit between the acrylic panel topped PC and the aquarium section. However, this seriously dims the LED lighting ribbons that would otherwise shine upwards through the water. During tests, it was observed that the upper (aquarium) compartment of the Y2 Fish Tank Chassis rose 1.4 degrees Celsius (from 25 to 26.4) after 30 minutes under load, without the insulation sheet in place. This test appears to have been done without water in the tank, but is still worrisome if you are working on the PC for hours at a time.
Video closed captions with English translation are available
In its conclusion, PC Watch doesn’t recommend this hybrid case be used with the aquarium section full of marine life, with the leakage, spills and earthquake concerns high on the negatives. Instead, it is suggested the top tank be used for a small garden / terrarium.