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COMPUTER CASES

Enermax CS-10181 Case Review
By: Jim Miller
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    2003-10-02

    Table of Contents:
  • Enermax CS-10181 Case Review
  • Front Bezel Door System
  • Installation
  • Finished Product

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    Enermax CS-10181 Case Review


    (Page 1 of 4 )

    There was a time not so long ago that the case your system resided in was an afterthought at best. People simply threw their motherboard into what they had and called it a system. In the past two years or so things have changed drastically in the PC chassis market. Gone are the row after row of plain beige colored cookie cutter boxes at LAN parties, in are funky colored, odd shaped, water cooled, lit up works of art we are now calling PC cases.

    Manufacturer:

     Enermax
    Product:Black CS-10181 Case

    Price:

    USD$99 ($125 as reviewed)

    Availability:

    NOW

    Reviewed By:

    Jim "Justi" Miller

    Review Date:

    July 2003

    Enermax CS-10181 Case Review (Black)

     

     

     

    INTRODUCTION:

    There was a time not so long ago that the case your system resided in was an afterthought at best. People simply threw their motherboard into what they had and called it a system. In the past two years or so things have changed drastically in the PC chassis market. Gone are the row after row of plain beige colored cookie cutter boxes at LAN parties, in are funky colored, odd shaped, water cooled, lit up works of art we are now calling PC cases.

    With case mods quickly becoming all the rage, it didn't take long for manufacturers to catch on and begin selling pre-modded cases. At first there were just small companies, individuals really, offering blowholes, windows, and the like, it quickly transformed into bigger and bigger companies releasing modified cases from the factory. Enter Enermax. Enermax is a company that specialized in quality power supplies. Ask yourself who, other than the server crowd, needs to have high quality power supplies? You guessed it, the PC enthusiasts trying to power those lit cases! So it made sense for Enermax to be selling the cases that their power supplies were going to sit in! Today we're going to review a case by Enermax that is targeted at the same enthusiasts market that is buying up all of their 400+ watt PSU's.

     

     

     

    ABOUT THE CASE:

    In a lot of ways this case is like the 710 series of cases from Enermax. From the drive door to the fan mounting to the internal layout (for the most part) this CS-10181 has a lot of the same features. We're going to look at all of the preverbal bells and whistles, but first let's check out the specs from the Enermax site:

     

    Model No.
    CS-10181 10182Series
    TYPE
    ATX MIDI Tower Case
    THICKNESS
    1.0mmSECCor Aluminum
    MAINBOARD
    ATX
    POWER SUPPLY
    Optional unit, PSII or mini redundant
    5.25" DRIVE BAYS
    4
    3.5" DRIVE BAYS
    2
    3.5" HIDDEN
    6
    Cooling Fan
    Front:8cm*2 with filter
    Side:8cm*2 with bracket
    Rear:8cm*2with bracket
    Top: 8cm*1
    I/O Interface at front side
    USB2.0 ports,Audio in/out,IEEE1394(Optional)
    EMI finger
    available
    Dimensions (DxWxH)
    558 x 205 x 520 mm

     

    If you're wondering if you read that right, you did. That's factory locations for 7 80mm fans! That's a whole lotta cooling for a mid-tower case, albeit a pretty big one. Mix that with the large amount of drives (Four 5.25's and eight 3.5's) and I already like this case initially. Let's take an up close look at this case and its features.

     

    FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

    While I certainly plan to go into a good bit of detail on this CS-10181, I'll let you check out a few pics of the entire case to give you a feel for it. Let's face it, no matter how great the features are, if you just don't like the appearance of a case, it's worthless to you. And on the flipside, if you LOVE the looks of a case, you can overlook a lot of small stuff. :)

     

         

         

    I will say up front that the initial feel of this case screamed quality. It's a metal chassis and while I know that aluminum cases are all the rage as of late, there's something about a solidly built steel case that I still like to see. Not only is it a rock and all the pieces snap together firmly, but Enermax really went the distance by taking care of the little things we look for in a case. Rounded edges on the frame, no sharp edges on the fan cutouts, nice window installation, and a modders dream inside and out. Even where the metal is rolled under to where there's no way a finger can logically get without almost hurting yourself the edges are rounded. Take a look at the images below at what I'm talking about when I say rounded edges..

     

     

    Notice on how the rail above the metal is neatly folded under leaving no exposed sharp edges..

     

     

    And in this image which is the corner of the 3.5" drive rack and the bottom of the case, again, no sharp edges to speak of. For those of you that have never cut your hand open on a cheaply constructed case you probably think I'm making much to do over nothing. For those of you that HAVE sliced your hand open, well, nuff said! :)

     

     

    FEATURES:

    I honestly don't even know where to start on this category as there are so many things that I think warrant mentioning, most of 'em are even good! I'm just gonna randomly throw them at cha rapid fire like.. Let's do it.

     

    Case Open Detector:

    This is a feature that is more fitting of a server environment, but it's included on the 10181, which technically by design IS a server case. This is a "Case Open" detector switch. Simply put, it is a sensor that for equipped motherboards will tell you if your case has been opened since the last time you were in your machine.

     

     

    Our DFI Canterwood motherboard had this feature so we experimented with it. I'll simply say that I disabled the feature with a quickness. As often as I'm in and out of my case it would always stop on the POST screen to tell me that my Chassis had been opened. Pretty annoying really, but hey, if you dig this kinda stuff you'll be in heaven..

    OK, I admit it; I wanted to get the lame one out of the way first, so sue me! Let's head to page two and check out the actually cool stuff!

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