Deepcool Gamer Storm New Ark 90 Review: Design Favors Looks Over Function

Elegant. That's the first thing that comes to mind upon seeing Deepcool's New Ark 90 case. The next thing is probably 'fingerprint magnet,' but that's expected from any chassis with multiple tempered glass panels. The most unique aspect of this case chassis is its built-in 280mm all-in-one cooler. The downside is integrated cooling significantly increases the cost of an already expensive case and severely limits your cooling options when it's time to upgrade.

Specifications

TypeMid-Tower ATX
Motherboard SupportMini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX (E-ATX support up to 12 x 10.7 inches)
Dimensions (HxWxD)21.5 x 9.1 x 20.9 inches (545.5 x 232 x 530mm)
Space Above Motherboard3 inches (78mm)
Card LengthHorizontal: 12.2 inches (310mm), Vertical: 25.75 inches (400mm)
CPU Cooler Height7.4 inches (186mm)
Power Supply FormatStandard ATX PS2-style PSU
Weight31.8 lbs (14.4kg)
External Bays
Internal Bays3x 3.5 inches
3x 2.5 inches (+ 3 convertible for a total of 6)
Card Slots8 + 2 vertical
Ports/Jacks2x USB 3.0, 1x USB, 1x audio jack, 1x mic jack, 1x fan speed switch
OtherIntegrated 280mm all-in-one cooling
Front Fans✗ (Up to 3x 120mm)
Rear Fans1x 140mm
Top Fans✗ (Up to 3x 120mm)
Bottom Fans
Side Fans3x 140mm on all-in-one cooler
Dampening
Warranty3 year, limited


The chassis' built-in all-in-one cooler means you are giving up your choice of CPU cooler. Less obvious is that because the cooler is integrated into the chassis, you can't easily swap out the all-in-one cooler for a different brand / style without possessing above average modding skills and a significant amount of effort. Put it this way: if the cooler fails for any reason, it is almost easier to swap out the entire case than to put in a new cooler.

Exterior

There are tempered glass panels on the top, front and side of the New Ark 90. Constructed of steel painted black inside and out, it measures 530 x 232 x 545mm (L x W x H) and weighs in at a rather hefty 31.6lbs. Overall, this is a very attractive case.

The top of the chassis is divided into two sections with a half-inch wide metal mesh area for ventilation between the two sections. The tempered glass panel covers roughly three-quarters the width of the top of the case. The remaining quarter is made of steel and is home to a pair of USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, an HDD LED, an LED controller button and power and reset buttons. Directly below the top panel are mounting locations for three 120mm fans.

The front of the chassis mimics the look of the top panel with a tempered glass panel on one side and a metal panel on the other. Nestled into the half-inch ventilation channel separating the two panels is an RGB-lit vertical tube that spans from the top to the bottom of the front of the case. This tube also acts as a flow indicator.

The full-coverage tempered glass side panel is darkly tinted and held in place by rubber-coated locating pins and thumbscrews. The opposite side panel is stamped steel and features ventilation holes that cover an 18 x 6-inch area at the panel's leading edge. Oddly, this chassis is designed in such a way that these large vent holes actually exhaust hot air from inside the case. We will talk about that later in this review.

In the rear, you'll find an opening for a bottom-mounted PSU, seven expansion card slots, a standard motherboard I/O area and an exhaust fan mounting location equipped with a 140mm fan.

On the bottom are two 6-inch plastic mesh filters. One is removable from the front, the other from the rear. The four square, rubber-coated feet elevate the case approximately 0.25 inch.

The fan filtration system is almost non-existent. The entire front and top and side of this chassis is unfiltered. In fact, the two bottom filters are the only ones. Considering that the rear filter covering the PSU measures just 6-inches-long, servicing it shouldn't be an issue. But the overall lack of filters is unacceptable in a $300 chassis. The vent holes in the steel side panel directly behind the integrated all-in-one cooler also lack any form of filtration.

There seems to be a some serious oversights in regards to this case's ventilation system. The fans mounted to the all-in-one cooler force the warm air inside of the chassis through the radiator before exiting the case through the vent holes in the side panel. If you flip the fans to draw cool air in, you lose the majority of the fans’ RGB lighting effects.

Ideally, it would have been best to have the all-in-one cooler fans pulling colder outside air into the chassis where it can be vented out the rear. Adding insult to injury, these issues could have been avoided simply by installing the integrated cooler in the fan mounting locations in the front of the chassis. 

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  • martinbayfranz
    I would never buy rubbish named like this...