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2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Bezel, Bezel... Match My Case!

Before we get further into this case review, it is time for me to step onto my bully pulpit and grind about something that drives me (and a lot of readers) nuts: mismatched bezels. Why is it so difficult to match the paint on the bezel to its case? We don't know, but unless you have a beige/off-white case, you could become a victim of "bezel mismatch."

Bezel mismatch comes in all sizes and designs, and the solutions employed to resolve this problem boggle the mind. In most instances, users frequently opt for black bezel drives/devices that match or at least are complimentary with their chosen case design. This is great, if you have a case that goes well with a black bezel drive/device, but many times even these black bezel drives/devices don't match the color and finish of the case. In fact, sometimes the black colors do not coordinate and create an even more mismatched look that detracts from the appearance of your case.

For many users, the solution for mismatched colors begins with a can of spray paint and often ends in less than satisfactory results. Some cases offer doors that cover up these bezels by hiding them from view; others address this by building bezels into their cases that allow the user to place their optical and floppy drives behind these bezels to hide the mismatched colors of the drive with the bezel on the front of the case. Success with this option has been mixed, due to the fact that these "universal" type bezels do not fit the different types of optical and floppy drives that are produced by the number of different manufacturers. In fact, you may lose key features, such as the visibility of the 'busy' light on the drive, or access to the headphone jack on the front of the drive.

Cooler Master offers the AFP-U01 and AFP-U02, which offer the user the ability to match their optical drives with their case front bezel. Cooler Master's fine crafted alloy bezels attach to the bezel of the optical drive with two-sided tape provided by 3M.