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PC Case Roundup: Spring 2008

IN-WIN Metal Suit GD “Conqueror”

CaseTypeSize WxHxDWeightCooling5.25” Bays3.5” BaysI/O panelNoiseApprox. Price
IN WIN Metal Suit GD ConquerorATX mid tower233 x 437 x 543 mm24 lbs2x 120mm, 2x 80mm42 ext. 5 int.4x USB, 1x 1394, HD or AC97 Audio (on side)43 db$120

Specifications

Purely from a raw specifications standpoint, the IN-WIN Metal Suit GD is fairly typical among our roundup units. It’s averaged sized for a mid-tower, has an average weight, and comes equipped with an average number of case fans in this segment: two 120mm fans and two 80mm fans.

The I/O panel on the side of the case sports a high number of USB inputs, 4 to be exact; all other cases in the roundup except the Cosmos S have only two USB inputs. The Metal Suit GD also has a Firewire input and the usual audio jacks.

Unique Features

Other than being designed to resemble a robot from the Japanese anime cartoon “Mobile Suit Gundam”, the Metal Suit GD’s most unique feature is its “Turbo Cooling System”. This is a fancy name for a duct on the side of the case designed to supply the video card with fresh, cool air via two 80mm fans dedicated to this purpose. It looks like the duct also helps cool the hard drive bay.

The case is engineered to be used with a minimum of tools, with tool-less hard and optical drive mounting clips, as well as a unique tool-less expansion card retaining mechanism.

Appearance, Fit & Finish

The outward appearance of the Metal Suit GD is obviously designed to evoke images of the giant robots in the popular Japanese anime “Mobile Suit Gundam” series. Of course, the robotic head depicted on the box of the case doesn’t appear to be an actual robot from the series, obviously due to fears of copyright infringement. I’m not a hardcore Gundam fan, mind you, although I tried to find a similar Gundam head on the Internet and couldn’t. Gundam fans, if I’m wrong about this and it’s an actual Gundam robot depiction, let us know with your comments below. In any case, the styling is attractive, I imagine particularly so if you’re a fan of this type of entertainment.

The colors chosen for the case interior – green on black – are very sharp, but the funny part is that these colors can’t be seen outside the case!

IN-WIN is no newcomer to PC cases, and the fit and finish of the Metal Suit GD is solid and has a good feel to it. Even though there is a lot of plastic in use for ducting and tool-less accessories, these are well made and fit together well.

User Experience

The Metal Suit GD was easy enough to set up, and a nice case to work with. The tool-less features were well thought out: the sides of the case came off without screws, utilizing two simple plastic clips; the tool-less drive clips were integrated into a part of the case itself; and the tool-less expansion card retaining clips were easy to use, and didn’t get in the way as they do in a lot of designs we’ve seen. The hard drive bay even angled out for easy access, and to allow easy removal of the front intake fan.

As far as setting up and working with the hardware, the Metal Suit GD is well thought out — and it shows. The “Turbo Cooling System” was a little irritating during motherboard installation, because it had to be held out of the way, but it wasn’t a big problem.

The Metal Suit GD was one of the louder cases we reviewed, tying the Raidmax Iceberg and coming close to the Sigma Unicorn, according to our decibel meter. This might be something you can live with if you appreciate the extra cooling for your video card, if you have a single slot card that expels its heated air inside the case. If you have a dual-slot card that expels air outside the case, you might be better off turning the two 80mm fans in the VGA duct off, for quieter operation.

  • geotech
    Nothing on the Thermaltake Armor?
    One of the best case designs and plenty of room and features.
    Reply
  • bf2gameplaya
    Every one of those cases is butt ugly, unwieldy and depressing.
    Reply
  • Gravemind123
    Nothing from Lian-Li, Thermaltake or Antec? In that price range you could review a nice case from any of those companies.
    Reply
  • Yep is a very poor roundup allright !
    Where is Antec Nine Hundred or the new Twelve Hundred and the excelent P182 ???
    The Cosmos S seems to be out of place here.... its in another league: Armor+, Silverstone TJ07B, Stacker
    Reply
  • otheos
    Simple is an uknown word in the aesthetics of the east.
    Reply
  • scherfistv
    Lazy review, the guys from TOM's couldn't find more attractive PC Cases? It's all made in "China"-like?
    Reply
  • TiberiumSoldier
    poor Roundup.. no Enermax Chakra/uber Chakra no EZCool .....
    Reply
  • SinisterCanuck
    All mid tower cases... not one Full Tower! I haven't purchased a mid tower case in nearly 8 years for any of my builds because they are too crammed for my liking. As stated by other commenters, where's the Thermaltake Armor? Where's the Antec Twelve Hundred? etc. These were nice looking cases, but they are all middle of the road as far as I am concerned. You need to do a cases revisited or an enthusiast case round up! ...please do that
    Reply
  • I have my doubts about your praise on 3R System case. I have similar model. Exactly the same inside structure but without the remote control, display and with different front side.

    First of all, it's not that well-built. Sides bend and that inside metal (Al?) is really soft. And if you want to remove the front there are like 6 almost unreachable screws to be unscrewed which is pain in the a**.

    Fans are really quiet though.
    Reply
  • only Cosmos S look good to me.
    Reply