2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Aspire: X-Alien, Continued

The X-Alien features the use of rails for the drive 5-¼" drive bays. Aspire has an interesting innovative idea of storing the drive bay rails inside of the removable 5-¼" drive bezels. In addition, Aspire has taken the step of making these rails UV reactive, as well, so you can see them through the drive bay. In addition, the fan holders in the rear of the case are translucent UV reactive. This is a cool idea and something that would be a great fit for UV reactive motherboards, such as the DFI LAN party series.

The cooling on the X-Alien is nice, as well. The case features two 80mm UV reactive lighted fans behind the front intake grill, an 80mm UV reactive lighted fan in the side panel window, two 80mm UV reactive fans in the rear of the system as well as another 80mm fan in the top. This cooling setup worked quite well and provides efficient cooling throughout the case. Because of the number of fans, this system might tend to be noisier, but it would work very well for the overclocker.

Here, you can see both the front-mounted port design as well as the rail storage that is hidden behind the bezels in the X-Alien.

The X-Alien features two front-mounted USB 2.0 ports, 1394/Firewire port, headphone jack and MIC jack. The headphone and MIC jacks provided use cables that plug into the back of the case via cables that are routed outside of the case using a hole that is in one of the slot covers. This is not the ideal setup, as most motherboards, like our Abit NF7-S, have very good audio on the motherboard with supported internal connections on the motherboard. Luckily for the X-Alien owner, the USB and 1394/Firewire connections do not follow this situation and provide direct connections to the motherboard.

With the X-Alien there is a lot to like. Aspire has done a good job of blending the best of the X-Superalien into a more affordable package with the X-Alien. While our biggest problem with this case was the front audio cables having to be routed out to the rear of the case, the rest of the case is quite adequate. We did encounter some difficulty with the fit of the door; thus, we recommend that you check the door fit on the case, if possible. If you like the style of the X-Alien, you can't really complain about the quality of this product. We recommend the X-Alien for purchase as it is a competitive package with a lot of flair at a reasonable price point. The variety of available colors is an added bonus.