The Lazy Days of Summer Case Review

Kingwin KT-424-BK-WM, Continued

The black KT-424 that we received for evaluation pays homage to several other designs we have seen. The KT-424 does not break new ground, but it does try to do things differently to attract potential buyers.

The inside of the KT-424 is very nice. We would have preferred that Kingwin add a second 80 mm fan to the rear of the case, which would improve the airflow in this case.

The construction of this case is first rate; it is all aluminum and very light. With the case empty, it is relatively easy to handle. The edges inside the case are nicely rolled. However, several of the edges, especially the vertically rolled edges on the 5-" and 3-" bays, were slightly sharp. They weren't sharp enough to cause a cut, but they have serious skin scrape potential. The case exhibited some bend and a small amount of twist, considerably less than the KT-11 Series case that we reviewed above. Overall, the inside of the case has a polished aluminum finish that will nicely reflect cold cathode lighting, if it is installed.

The KT-424 features a slide-out, removable motherboard tray for easy installation. The inside of the case is roomy; with a full system configuration, it might get crowded rather quickly, however. Another nice feature of the 424 Series is that it provides the ability to hide cables behind the bays, which will make the cabling installation look considerably better. If the cabling is done properly, it is conceivable that very little of it will be seen save the normal power connectors. The 424 Series cases also offer a channel located in the case top, an ideal hiding place for cold cathode lights in the front of the case. This is a feature we have used previously in other Kingwin cases, and we like it. We still wonder why other case manufacturers have not adopted this approach of leaving more space available in the top of the case for lighting installation. The KT-424 has a beautiful, aluminum, matte jet black finish with an attractive, shiny black, carbon fiber looking accent that runs across the top bezel.

The case includes a 4" x 5" grill in its front for air intake, which is protected by a removable and washable filter. After looking at the grill size and the density of the filter material, this case is an obvious candidate for two 80 mm, lighted fans to replace the typical, nonlighted, 80 mm fans included with the case. The KT-424 has three total fans: two in the front for air intake and one in the rear for air exhaust. These three fans provide adequate airflow through the case; however, the case may not be suitable for overclockers due to its lack of additional fans. During our testing, we found the airflow to be good and above average. The front two fans offer a hidden fan speed control that is located inside the case. The fan speed control is accessed by removing the front bezel from the chassis and turning the knob, which offers an adjustable range of settings. It is possible to dial in your fan speed to tone down the noise. This is a good feature; however, it should be used with some caution since insufficient airflow could cause the system to overheat. Most fan bus devices that are being released now have a display that allows the user to monitor both fan speed and temperature to provide a more exact reading of the inside temperature and fan RPMs.