Project: Spork aka the bargin-bucket-build
I've made a couple of post on this already
So here's a condensed version, a friend of mine wanted a new pc he asked me if I'd help him spec one (dell or simular) so I offered to help him build one instead.
Unfortunately the recession has hit and the original budget is gone and what the new one will be is still up in the air.
However it's going to be low, so wave bye bye to the nice high end cases.
Now he did say and was looking at an alienware system because he likes the case and I found a el-cheapo alienware look-a-like on ebuyer for £20
So while I'm still waiting to hear back from him on final totals I said to heck with it I'll buy the case and mod it, it can be a birthday pressent
Well it arrived today and here it is (please excuse any panel gaps, my doing as I'd taken all the screws out already )
I've thumbnailed all pics to keep the size sane
Inital impression, black and shiny!
There were no instructions in the box, how much do you need for a case?*see below
What I did spy was a small box tied inside (opps! no pic's of this box but you all know what a small cardboard box looks like?)
So I tried to open the case to get at it, two things struck me at once
yep one of the cheap plastice thumb screws is missing a chunk, no biggy as I'd replace them with decent metal ones anyway
Also the corner of the side panel wasn't in correctly
*Now in attempting to get the side panel off I did find some instructions would be of been handy.
Because it took me a while to figure out you have to unscrew the plastic side bits, there's 3 screws on the side and a fourth at the front (which you can see in the first pic and took me a while to find)
Once I had the side panel off I found the reason it wasn't on correctly
Yep a rivet is not in correctly and the frame has been bent slightly I assume when they tried to put the case panel on, great quality control there
I also found this
While the panels are thin steel (as expected from an El-Cheapo case) I wasn't expecting the insides to be painted too, a nice surprise the top panel is also black on the inside too.
The top plastic detail and front panel are also screwed on, which was nice as I was expecting easy to damage plastic clips.
And here she is stripped down
Nice to see the front bays are not covered by "snap" out plates but unfortunately the rear IO plate and card slots are.
I don't like "snap" out plates much as they never snap out correctly, then tend to be more "twist, bend and rip" out plates, even on more expensive cases with thicker steel.
The resault of removeing them tends to be a few sharp jagged points to catch unwary hands and worst situation distorting the drive bay frame.
Also you may of noticed from the pics as I did from the case that most of the edges are rolled and the ones that aren't don't feel anyware as near as sharp as I expected.
However on closer inspection
Not all the rolling is well executed
And most of the tapped screw holes have nasty burrs
Inspecting the plastic parts I found that they are not painted on the inside and are Beige, good job they are painted shiny black where it matters.
The plastic it self is fairly ridged, not massively thick but hard.
I also found someone had been a bit over enthusiastic with the old glue gun when putting in the case LEDs
Inside the cardboard box which was tied inside the case I found the normal bag of screws and 4 of the most ugly case feet it's been my displeasure to see
The case has places for 1x 120mm rear fan (it came with an 80mm fna looking very lost and out of place behind that big grill) and 2x 80mm fans at the front, led to glow out of the open front.
As cheap cases go it's not that bad, a reasonable size for a mid tower, looks very nice from the outside and better internal edges than I was expecting.
The weakpoints are the thin steel and plastic with large gaps behind it make the whole thing very hollow sounding, worse still are the bad lapses in quality control that let the duff rivet and glued up power switch connector get past.
My next stage my be a while, as now I've got the case I can take a good look at what is possible in the way of modding it to improve the air flow and overall looks/feel.