DarkFlash DLX22 Review: Lots of Room to Improve

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DarkFlash DLX22
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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We are using the following system for our case test bed:

We always appreciate when a case has a central motherboard standoff that anchors the board during installation, and this was here too. However, the rightmost three standoffs required for ATX motherboards weren’t installed from the factory.

This is an inconvenience at worst. Or it usually is that. This time things were exacerbated by the fact that the right-middle standoff wouldn’t bite into the (lack of) thread in the motherboard tray, no matter the angle or pressure we applied. So, we skipped this standoff entirely, meaning we would have to be extra-careful when installing the 24-pin ATX power connector, so as to not bend the motherboard too much.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

To install the graphics card, first, the anti-sag bracket had to be removed, which we did by removing four thumbscrews. We then installed the 2070 Super Founder’s Edition graphics card and replaced the anti-sag bracket, adjusting all of its screws to get it to seat right.

It’s also worth noting here that the bracket partially  covers the rear fan, and while we don’t think this will impact temperatures too much, do ensure that if you want to use this bracket, your GPU has a spot big enough for the lower part of the bracket to grab onto. In our case, it was the ring around the FE fan holding the GPU up, preventing the fan from running into the bracket. But if you want to use this bracket, make sure there is a spot where you can actually place the peg holding up your GPU where it won’t come in contact with a moving fan (or close to it, as we’ll detail in a bit)

Of course, you can also choose to remove the GPU bracket altogether if it doesn’t work with your setup, but if you do that, you might as well opt for another case altogether as the rest of this chassis isn’t very appealing.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

At least our huge Corsair HX750i power supply slotted into place with ease.

Cable Management

The chassis also has no grommets or internal shroud to hide cable clutter, leading to a somewhat messy end result, even if you work tidy. And the power supply blocked not one, but two of the cutouts in the PSU shroud – so we had to route stuff the long way along the bottom of the motherboard.

On the cable management front, we’re happy to report that the DLX22 comes with three Velcro straps to help you out, but you’ll need to spend a lot of time on your cables. There is little space behind the motherboard tray – 2.2 cm, which isn’t the worst we’ve seen but we did need to tidy things up more that we would like to get the magnetically-closing side panel to stay shut. Make sure your power supply has flat cables, like ours does.

While cabling things up, I also ran into an LED plug, which leads to the LED button at the top I/O – which seems completely redundant. Motherboards don’t use this, so where am I supposed to even plug it in? Calling the cable management system adequate would be too much of a compliment.

During installation, we also proceeded immediately to installing the fans, as the case doesn’t come with any. We quickly found that you cannot actually install a 140 mm fan in the rear, because the screws attaching the hinge for the swiveling glass side panel block its installation. Note also that if you want to install a radiator or fans in the side intake, you won’t be able to do that in combination with long graphics cards. It would work barely with our 2070 Super Founder’s Edition, but today’s huge 3080’s wouldn’t fit, and the front intake is too restricted for good thermals, so you’re stuck making a tradeoff either way you go.

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Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • kyzarvs
    Under "Manufacturing Issues Galore" You've repeated the first paragraph as the fifth paragraph. Proof reading issues galore... ;o)
  • abryant
    Fixed. Thanks!
  • CmdrSloth
    I find it very strange that the decision was made to review this case instead of the DarkFlash V22, which is actually a really unique case with some interesting features that can only be found on a handful of cases.

    Why in the world is the PC hardware review community at large (I haven't seen a single channel that pulls more then a handful of views on their videos review it) ignoring this case?