How We Reviewed... What We Reviewed
The tremendous feedback on our last case review helped us establish a firm procedure for this case review. We were able to collect 24 cases for this review. Cases included in this review are from GMC, Coolermaster, ACTS-Tek, Athenatech, Lian Li, Chenbro, Chenming, Chieftec, InWin, Compucase, Enermax, Kingwin, Case Arts, and Thermaltake. Unfortunately, several cases arrived in a damaged state and/or too late to make the final cut off date for this review. These cases will be featured in our next case review.
Some companies chose to submit more than one model, while others submitted only one. As with the last review, we limited the maximum number of models from each company to four. (We didn’t include Flex ATX or Micro ATX cases in this number, since they were more `bonus review’ cases than anything else !) In the instances where a company submitted basically the same case, but with a different color or a different front bezel, we counted these models as one case and only reviewed one of them.
During our review process, for standardization we build the same computer with the same setup. We use the same cables and the same power supply. Why is this ? We believe that it is important to test the `real world’ functionality of each case in a `real world’ standard setup scenario in order to yield more accurate and precise data. Based on your feedback, we know that you want information and insight from us that will help you make an informed buying decision.
In our sample testing configuration, we used an Abit KD7-E with an AMD 2800 XP, Western Digital 120 GB JB Series Hard Drive, 12X Asus DVD, 24X Plextor CDRW, ATI Radeon 9700, Creative Sound Blaster Live, 3Com 3C905C-TX-M NIC, Antec TruePower 430 Watt Power Supply, and standard cabling to build this system. As we have explained in past reviews, due to the increased popularity of rounded cabling we used both rounded floppy and IDE cables during our testing. Each system was pushed for at least a 4-hour period, running 3DMark 2001SE in a loop to make sure that the system and the case were up to proper temperature. All of the cases were able to pass this test, but we did maximize the number of fans, adding 80mm Antec fans to the cases that did not include a sufficient number of fans with the shipped package. In instances where we needed to use a Micro ATX board or Flex ATX board, we substituted one.