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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [07.21.04]
Manufactured by: Apex Technology

Price on NewEgg: $55
(includes 400W PSU)

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Exciting Stuff Huh?

Moving around the back we see the typical vanilla fare with one small exception. 

If you look closely at the exhaust panel you'll see there are mounting holes for both an 80mm and a 92mm exhaust fan. The case itself comes equipped with a single 80mm exhaust, but the option to move up to 92mm is nice (although by the looks of it, much of the airflow would be impeded anyway). A standard 120mm would have been even nicer, and the fact that it looks like there is room for one only hurts more.

Cracking it Open

After unscrewing a couple thumbscrews and removing the side panel we see a pretty basic interior layout with a single strange exception.

As you can see there are four 5.25 inch tool-less drive bays, plus two 3.5 inch non tool-less bays as well as two additional 3.5 inch bays at the very bottom of the case. 

These two drive cages are located directly in front of the two 80mm front intake fans which would allow any hard drives located within them to be kept cool.

A good idea perhaps but the cages themselves are attached to the inside of the case using a single Phillips screw which is a minor annoyance. A larger annoyance is that the first cage has to be removed in order to access the second cage. Once the cages are removed the drive itself just clips in easily, but installing two drives in this setup took me almost as much time as it would have to install a complete tool-less case setup.

As noted above, the other two regular drive cages require screws to keep the drives in place as with any Vanilla case, however the 5.25 inch bays use quite an original tool less retention design.

Instead of drive rails, the case includes a package full of flat-topped screws. These are screwed into the your 5.25 inch device and then slid down the square drive grooves before clicking into place.

To release the drives you simply push up on the black plastic retention bracket. In terms of time this method probably took a little longer than the standard drive rail as each individual screw had to be screwed in. If anything it's nice to see a different approach though.

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