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2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Casetek LAN PARTY Dreamer: CK1021, Continued

One thing that is certain about the CK-1021 is that the inside of this case is quite roomy. The ability to support a full ATX-sized motherboard provides plenty of inside room. Behind the 3.5" bays there is some space to hide unwieldy or unsightly cabling, and this is a significant design plus.

The cooling potential of the CK-1021 is quite good due to Casetek's use of 92mm fans in the rear of the chassis, as well as the side panel. However, we encountered some issues with turbulence with both of the 92mm fans installed on the side panel adapter. With both of these fans installed, the airflow from front to back is somewhat disrupted. However, once the side panel fan adapter was removed and the case is operated with the single 80mm fan in the front, the 92mm fan in the rear and the single 80mm fan in the top, cooling was quite adequate and the CK-1021 performed well. We were puzzled by Casetek's choice of an 80mm fan in the front of the case rather than a 92mm fan in the front of the case, as well as utilizing a 92mm fan setup in the front of the rear; Casetek could have cut down on the noise that the 80mm fan in the front creates. To Casetek's credit, however, they have provided washable air filters for the majority of the fans in this case. Still, we were put off by the fact that Casetek did not include these fans with our test case. We could not actually ascertain if the fans for the CK-1021 are or are not included. It appears that the addition of fans to the case is a 'build time' decision that is made by the party placing the case order with Casetek. Another thing that should be noted is that 92mm fans can be more difficult to find for replacement purposes, as the market continues to stress the use of 80mm fans that are commonly found in most configurations.

A look at the top-mounted port design of the CK-1021.

The CK-1021 features a top-mounted port design with dual USB 2.0, 1394/Firewire and MIC and headphone jack on the top of the case. The ports are concealed by a pop-up door, which we found to be fairly sturdy in its design and difficult to break, even with our continued pushing and prodding of it. While the door is held in place by two plastic clips, we felt its construction was adequate for the design. The CK-1021 features an external lock as well as chassis intrusion detection. While many users often ignore this feature, it is a nicely included extra.