2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Inwin IW-S564G-ATX, Continued

In what might be best described as a cost effective "middle of the road" solution, Inwin offers their IW-S654G. It is obvious, upon taking a look at the opening picture of this review, that Inwin is trying to improve its curb appeal by taking a few styling cues from its competitors; but after a look at the inside of this case, it seems that it is 'old school' Inwin all over again.

After our initial examination of this case, it is clear that Inwin is targeting the OEM/White box market with this case. It is also clear that at least in this case they continue to go with what works, with only a splash of what is new in the form of a USB 2.0 Multi-Format Flash Card Reader that is included with the case.

A look inside the IW-S654G reveals that it is "old school" Inwin all over again.

As with Inwin products of the past, the quality of the IW-S654G is high. Clearly hard tooled, this case is rock solid with only the slightest hint of bend and a little twist. We would guess that from the look of the inside of the IW-S654G the interior of the case is made from a variety of older dies, so this case doesn't feature much that is new, other than the molds for the plastic bezel parts. The design is still timeless and works well for today's systems, as well as older ones. While the interior is bit cramped, it has sufficient room to work inside.

The configuration of the case lacks additional internal hard drive support beyond the removable two-drive cage. With many users now moving to three-drive configurations (1 boot drive + 2 drives for their RAID stripe set), it is difficult to see expansion potential of this case beyond the novice PC user.

The cooler is strictly 'old school,' as well, with a single 80mm fan in the rear and an optional place to install an 80mm fan in the front. With both fans installed, and with the included side panel-mounted thermal air guide in use, the IW-S654G was able to pass our cooling tests with no problem; but this case had among the highest temperatures of the cases in this review. It passed, but this is not a case for a fully loaded system or for the overclocker crowd.