Aerocool Acryclear II, Continued
One of the hottest features of the Acryclear II is the optional AeroPower II 430-Watt power supply that came with our test case. This power supply features a titanium coated surface which looks very sharp through the acrylic windows, a very innovative addition to the case! We were impressed with the quality of the titanium surface, too. This power supply will be tested in our next power supply review, and we look forward to seeing how it stacks up against other power supplies.
The biggest disappointment with this case is that Aerocool elected not to include any front mounted connections for USB/ Audio/ 1394. While some might believe that this isn't necessary, over the last two years these connection capabilities have become almost a requirement. This omission not only lowered the Acryclear II's final score, but considering the omission, we are confused as to who they are trying to sell this case to. Due to the beauty of the case design and the acrylic clear panels, the target market for this case is surely gamers and enthusiasts; but most of these users regularly require the missing ports to plug in their USB mouse and their headset/ microphone combo into the audio jacks to use "Teamspeak" while gaming. We hope that Aerocool will address this glaring omission in the next version of the Acryclear case. (Editor's Note - Upon discussion with the folks at Aerocool, they indicated to us that they are going to modify the front panel to include a front-mounted port offering. We have no additional details beyond this last minute information from the Aerocool team. If this is an important feature to you, we suggest you ask if this change has been made before you purchase this case.)
The cooling performance of the Acryclear II case was very good. With room for a total of five 80 mm fans, the Acryclear II had no problems venting the heat out of the case. A cause for concern here, however is that there is no filtering for the fans. With large grills installed without a filter, this case will quickly grow a lot of "dust bunnies" inside. Given that the case is clear, it won't be that attractive when the dust begins to collect inside. Cleaning dust out of the case could also be a headache if you have to remove the panels from the case to reach the dirty areas. There is also the potential problem of "little kid fingers" getting caught in these fan openings. Aerocool needs to revisit the fan design here; it would be fairly simple to design some transparent, UV-reactive, tight mesh fan grills to install on the case to remedy the dust problem and take care of safety concerns as well.
The uniqueness of the case from a case modding perspective is exciting. With UV-reactive fans, UV-reactive motherboards, UV-reactive cabling, and of course UV lighting, the Acryclear II can give the buyer the ability to create a very special looking case. As with all acrylic cases, scratching and marring of the case are potential problems. The good news is that acrylic is durable stuff, and if you follow the correct assembly and care procedures, you can minimize potential problems in this area.
Aerocool has obviously spent a lot of time developing the Acryclear II and the high quality of design and engineering are apparent, literally. If you like the acrylic case concept and can live without front mounted ports, this is a case you should consider.