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2003 Winter Case Review Part 2: The ATX Avalanche

Inwin X Series IW-X710, Continued

The IW-X710 from Inwin is a far more aggressive design than we have seen from Inwin previously. The IW-X710 offers an interesting look when compared to other units. Inwin calls the IW-X710 a "server chassis in a full tower configuration." We agree that while it is suited for server applications, its no-nonsense styling and extremely good cooling potential will appeal to enthusiasts with large hard drive requirements, as well. Unfortunately, the IW-X710 weighs nearly 29 pounds, which makes lugging this beast around difficult. Still, it is a case with more potential and better styling than we have seen from Inwin in some time.

A look at the inside of the IW-X710.

The construction of the IW-X710 is quite good. It is constructed from an entirely hard tooled design with a variety of rounded and folded edges. While most of the edges we encountered were exceptionally smooth, there a couple toward the top and in more conspicuous areas that were semi-sharp. Inwin has always had a high build quality, and the IW-X710 is no exception. This is evidenced by the included T strut support that runs ¾ of the length of the case to provide additional structural rigidity. While the case itself is constructed of steel, it exhibited an ever so slight twist and very little bend. We consider the build quality of the IW-X710 to be far above average, however.

The interior of the IW-X710 is among the most spacious of the cases that we tested in this review. Some of this is due to the obvious full tower configuration of the IW-X710, while some it due simply to the fact that it can support an extended ATX form factor that is found in some server motherboards. Due to the increased space, our regular ATX motherboard fit into the IW-X710 case with ease, and it was almost an absolute joy to build.

The cooling of the IW-X710 is handled by a 120mm fan in the rear of the case. While it is possible to add an additional 80mm fan in the front of the case, our shipping configuration did not include one. However, we added this fan during our testing procedures. After adding this fan the results were quite good, which comes as no surprise since the IW-X710 passes all of the latest Intel server case guidelines. The IW-X710 is also aided by the large ventilation holes cut into the side panel. If a user so desired, it might be possible to even add another fan on the side panel. The only complaint we have is that the IW-X710 exhibited a bit more case noise than we would have liked; but we were able to track the source of this down to the cooling fan on the CPU, which apparently seemed to create a semi-echo effect within the chassis, thus the additional noise. Still, we were most satisfied with the cooling results of the IW-X710.