Case

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We chose the Xion Predator Mid Tower Gaming Case, it was actually James’ choice, I was leaning towards the Cooler Master HAF Mid Tower. He thought the Xion was more cool, I thought the HAF was cooler, he won after the reviews I read were positive, (and the price was better)

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   Overall impression of this case was pretty good, clean, reasonably safe as far as sharp edges. I don’t think any case should be expected to be completely smooth with all the sheet metal used, there is bound to be some sharp areas, due to the material used. This case had far less than average. Nice Finish, and nice layout, with the center drive mounts sideways to leave room for a large video card. The power supply mounts to the bottom, there are 4 - 5.25 bays at the top; 2 removable tracks for 3.5 drives at the bottom, that remove out the front through a door. There are sideways mounts for 2 more 3.5 drives, as well as 4 mounts for 2.5 drives above those, also sideways, accessed by removing the side door.

 

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   We had 5 SATA drives to mount, and I started by mounting 2 in the removable bays at the bottom of the case. Then I was contemplating the small circuit board, that the drives plug into as they are inserted into the bays. I didn’t like the split on the power cable connection, and decided to negate the removable feature. We removed the circuit board but still used the mounts, with the snap latches, (which are nice) But there was the added benefit of having room to mount another drive below those two. That maxed out the number of 3.5 drive spaces in the case. Of coarse you could use adapter mounts, and put some in the 5.25 bays, but we only have one of them left. The mounts for the 2.5 drives would be great for laptop drives or SSD drives, but we had none of these, I could have gotten 4 - 500 gig laptop drives, but wasn’t thinking that way. We put in 4 - 500 gig 3.5 SATA 3 (6Gb/s) Seagate drives and 1 - 2Tb SATA 3 Seagate drive.

 

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There are a lot of grommets for cable management which came in handy, even though we didn’t seem to do real great at making it extremely tidy. There was a lot of cables to deal with, and it got a bit messy.

 

 

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   The door at the bottom is very stiff and feels like it may break if your not careful, so I reach in to try to support it when I open it. We mounted a DVD burner and a Blu-Ray burner in the center 2 of the top bays, with a card reader planned for the top bay. The plastic fasteners work fine, but they are only on one side, which makes it impossible to align the drives perfectly. So one side ends up not flush with the face. It was close enough, just not perfect. The biggest gripe I had with the case was that there was no adapter for a 3.5 floppy in the front of the case, minor detail at that, which we solved with an old floppy drive mount that we painted black for the 17 in 1 card reader.

 

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   The knockouts for the cards are pop outs, and are very close to the motherboard once it’s mounted, so if you know which ones to remove, do it now, to reduce the chance of damaging the MB later. Or optionally remove them all, and put in the screw on ones, everyone has a pile of those laying around from years of computer mods... don’t they? They are the std ones used for eons on AT cases. There are 2 grommets for liquid cooling lines, we didn’t need them.

 

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   All the drives and the card reader installed, with cables.

 

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Motherboard installed, with mounts for the Antec Kuhler 620 already installed. The rear fan is removed, and I mounted the Rad to it.

 

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   This is how close the knockouts come to the MB.

 

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This is the top without the plastic cover, 2 screws in the back and it slides off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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