2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Fong Kai FK-333ATX, Continued

The cooling of the FK-333 is handled by a 92mm intake fan that is behind an attractive silver grilled front bezel. The intake is unobstructed and flows cleanly through the 120mm fan located in the rear of the case. Amazingly, the FK-333 produced some of the best cooling numbers seen in this review. We partially attribute this to the unobstructed airflow intake in the front of the chassis. One word of note about the front intake is that there is no filter behind this grill, and the hole sizes in the grill are somewhat large. This 92mm fan will move a significant amount of CFMs, while at the same time, as a down side, will also suck in a tremendous quantity of dust.

A look at the front mounted ports on the FK-333. Notice the detailed icons that are used to label each port.

Beyond the optional AGP retention clip the only other special feature of note is the two front-mounted, USB 2.0 ports, the 1394/Firewire port and the MIC and headphone jacks. These jacks are front-mounted below the front intake grill. A flip-down door that is adequately constructed covers these ports. A nice feature of these ports are the large icons that identify each port. While most expert users already know which port is which, novice users will appreciate the port labeling. However, this case is not really targeted at novice users, thus expert users may not care about the port labeling. Manufacturers who are building more consumer oriented cases, however, could take a cue from Fong Kai and attempt to incorporate this port labeling into products of their own.

The Fong Kai FK-333 is an excellent case. For workstation and small server applications, you really cannot go wrong with this case. Even more interesting is the low price of $129.00 US, and that includes a 320 Watt power supply. Those considering building a high-end digital video station, for example, might be excellent candidates for the FK-333. This case is not designed for the typical PC enthusiast; however, many high-end enthusiasts will find much to like about this case. While it is on the heavy side weight wise and rather bulky, the FK-333 offers a level of quality and innovation that has not been seen from other case manufacturers. It would be very interesting to see what type of case Fong Kai could develop if all of its efforts and technology from designs such as the FK-333 were solely pinpointed toward the development of an enthusiast case.