A Cagey Affair
A panel on each side of the Agusta’s lower compartment opens to reveal six trays, each supporting 2.5” and 3.5” drives. There is no backplane in this design, so centering of the 2.5” drives within each tray is acceptable.
Handles on each of the Agusta’s side panels fold onto the back of the case, though card connectors and external liquid cooling lines could block them. Three ingress/egress holes support abrasion-free cable and hose routing, and a second set of fans in the drive compartment supplements the 120 mm fan in the top compartment.
Agusta Cable Management
Though the Agusta has all of the necessary holes to route cables behind the motherboard tray, the space between the tray and side panel is too narrow to hold them. Builders must instead follow a meandering path within the C-shaped protruding section of the side panel to find space for thick cables, and then tie them to appropriate points on the tray.
The Agusta’s top and front panels are not designed for easy removal, as the design instead favors replacing large fans from inside the case. When you build up a machine inside the case, though, components block access to the requisite screws. Furthermore, the face panel must still be unscrewed to access the little 80 mm lower-compartment intake fan.
Though two top-panel fans are included, the Agusta lacks room above the motherboard to place a radiator upon them.
Though many users prefer the speed of SSDs, it's still almost mandatory to mix solid-state and mechanical storage, even in a high-end build. That means you're going to end up with one or more warmer-running disk drives. Raidmax attempts to optimize drive cooling by using twice as many exhaust fans as intakes in this compartment, relying on side-panel vents to cool the Agusta’s lower compartment. These particular fans can also be replaced without disassembling the PC.
SilverStone Kublai Series KL04
Currently available in the basic black KL04B and windowed KL04B-W, SilverStone’s KL04 presents a smooth and simplified design lacking so much as a vent in the front panel. Molded-in grain provides a simulated brushed-aluminum finish on the plastic front, while ports have been moved to the top of this 19.3” mid-tower.
SilverStone knew that USB 3.0 would soon take precedence when designing its KL04, placing two of these ports on its top panel. Both ports face forward for easier reach under a desk, surrounding a pair of likewise-angled headset jacks.
Inside The KL04
The KL04 opens up to reveal eight expansion slots, an eight-bay removable 3.5” drive cage, and a six-bay 2.5” mini drive cage behind it. The eighth slot of the back panel allows double-slot graphics cards to be mounted in a motherboard’s bottom slot, as required for three-way configurations on some motherboards.
Enhanced Drive Support
The KL04’s removable 3.5” drive cage supports hard drives using only three screws. The shorter side of this design provides added expansion card clearance—up to 17.3”—where you find empty bays. Removing the cage altogether allows cards up to 18.1” to be installed, while occupied drive bays provide only 12.5” of card clearance.
A 2.5” mini drive cage attached to the bottom of the KL04 can be relocated onto the removable 3.5” drive cage, and the base of the 3.5” cage holds one additional 3.5” drive.
Behind The KL04
SilverStone moves the intake panel of its KL04 to the case’s right side, cleaning up the face design. With shades of Antec’s old Sonata IV, the side-panel intake also reduces noise pollution from internal components.
The rear panel is far less exotic, with indications of cost cutting manifesting as knock-outs for liquid cooler pass-through lines and a flimsy metal cover over an outward-bent card holder tab.