Cooler Master ITower930 Review - Using the iTower930
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After using the chassis for a few weeks, I noticed a few design flaws. They're nothing truly major, but can quickly become a nuisance. First off is the front I/O ports. It's great to have all of these ports on the front of the chassis. But the down side is that with any component plugged in, you cannot fully open the door of the chassis. So if you plan to insert a CD or have your CD tray eject after burning, you better not have any devices plugged into the front of your case. And if you attempt to open the chassis, you can easily break a flash drive in half. It would have been great to have the I/O panel swing open with the door.
The other down side of the case is the side panel. Although the duct works great for stock coolers, there really is no way to mount a dedicated fan to the side panel. Not that it is necessary, but some aftermarket coolers cannot use the duct in place, and can still be aided by a side panel fan.
Using the hot swap is great. I've had friends come over and simply admire my ability to remove 400 GB of data without removing any screws. The drives have almost no play in them, and when you remove or insert the drive, the handle has to be pulled first; this prevents misalignment cause by quickly inserting the drives. Pushing the handle back in slowly connects the hard drive's power and data ports to the board inside, preventing damage and prolonging the reliability, a great design feature.
I've had the iTower930 chassis for a few months now, and I can certainly say I've fallen in love with it. Despite it being heavy, and having a few quirks, there is nothing better than having a friend come over wanting some information off of your drive, and at a flick of your finger removing 400 GB of data without pulling your computer out of its resting place.
The great styling of the all aluminum front certainly makes it stand out from most cases, and its thermodynamics are beneficial to most users, which is great. Although those who go overkill may have to improvise for additional cooling, when all thumbscrews are back in place, they still have the great styling of the iTower930, and have I mentioned the hot swappable drives? The only down side I can think of for this is that not all chassis have hot swappable drives. More boards are offering eSATA ports, so now all you have to find is power for the drive and you're good to go.
Pros & Cons
Excellent functionality of hot swappable drives.
Excellent thermodynamics for most common configurations.
Secure tool less design, with components firmly held in place.
All aluminum front door, with easy access hot swap door, and aluminum front bezel.
Competitively priced at $150, an excellent price for an excellent server. chassis.
Heavy chassis; I wouldn't take this thing to a LAN party any time soon!
Front door interferes with front I/O ports; they must be removed to fully open the door.
Side duct and power supply bay may cause compatibility issues.
No external power connectors for hot swappable drive, or additional sliders provided for multiple drives.
No internal hard drive space. What if you want RAIDed internal drives, and hot swappable additional storage drives?
Bright LEDs can be annoying late at night. Don't put at eye level. They will project across a small room.
No keyed locks; anyone can rip off a hard drive, or open up the chassis.
The iTower930 is a great chassis solution for any users looking to set up a home server, or a massive media PC loaded with drives. It offers great features for the majority of the users in its market. Although a few design flaws hold it back, it still is one beautiful chassis, and I don't think I would ever get rid of it. Cooler Master certainly has an amazing product on their hands. Anyone in the market should definitely check out the iTower930.
DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.
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