Alright junkies, today we are looking at the Polaris Iceforge PC/OC case from Xoxide Modifications. This isn't your normal PC case mind you, as I've never seen a "normal" case come stock with two 120mm blowholes preinstalled! There are several questions I had before receiving this case.. Is it worth the money for a pre-modded case? Would it REALLY help with my cooling? Will all of my gear really fit in a "mid tower" case? Is it going to be insanely loud? Well, I figured if I had these questions then so will most of you. Without further ado, let's get going on this review.
Polaris Iceforge Case Review
Polaris Iceforge Case Review
Company: Xoxide Product: Polaris Iceforge Case Price: USD$115 Availability: Now Written by: Jim (Justifier) Miller Reviewed: March 2002
2 120mm Dynatrons 1 80mm SuperRed
I've seen 120mm blowholes, I've worked with modded cases more than I care to admit, but nothing prepared me for the first viewing of TWO 120mm blowholes stacked on top of one another in a mid tower case! To say the least these things were huge and downright mean looking..
The next thing that struck me as a good thing was the apparent quality that Xoxide put into the assembly of their modifications. The blowholes had a rubber surround seal as well as plastic grommets that the fan grill mounted on.
Blowhole assembly and quality of components simply get no better than this. The workmanship carried right over to the rear 80mm fan as they used the same material for that fan as well. They cut out the standard metal case grill and replaced it with the same style used on the side blowholes.
The one thing that disappointed me is that on the front intake fan they left the normal cumbersome case fan grill in place. I was left wondering why they reworked the back fan if they were going to leave the front intact. The main advantage of removing the case grill (usually with a Dremel Tool) is that it increases air flow and DECREASES noise.
The amount of room available in this mid tower case was actually pleasantly accommodating. I have been using a full tower server case for the last 2 years, so to say I was concerned about having enough room would be an understatement. That said, upon initially looking at it, and more so as I began assembly, I noticed there was more room than I originally anticipated.
Putting my sacred "gigabox" (named that when being at a GHz was accomplishing something!) into this new home was a relatively easy task. Once I got my gear out of the old box I simply began placing equipment into the Iceforge. One thing that I didn't like was that there is no removable motherboard tray. For someone that puts a system together and forgets about it this is no big deal. For someone, such as myself, that's in and out of their case changing stuff around more often than a fat man goes into the fridge, this is cumbersome.
One thing that drives me insane when I get a new case, manufacturers place the assembly instructions INSIDE the case! How the hell am I supposed to take it apart if the instructions on how to do that are inside?! This Xoxide Iceforge has the perfect solution to this problem. They placed an etched instruction on the top of the case right below the top cover.
This may seem petty to you, but it's the small things like this that I appreciate in a quality case. The way I see it all cases are going to serve the same primary functions, it's only the little things that will differentiate cases or make one stand out more than others.
All of my components fit in the case without being too crowded, which as I said, really surprised me for a mid tower case. I used an Abit KR7A motherboard, which is NOT a small mobo, and it fit with room to spare..
As you can see there is plenty of room, and considering this motherboard is as wide as any I've seen, that's saying something. I've yet to find a mobo that is any taller than this standard ATX size, but if there were one it may create problems, but I highly doubt any of you will come across that.
With room for 4 5.25 drives and 3 3.5 drives this should be big enough to house most systems you guys are running. If you are running RAID then it may be tight as if you're running a floppy, there's only room for 2 hard drives.
In the front of the case is the fan cage:
The cage houses the front 80mm fan and the system speaker. I have mixed emotions about cages like this. The look nice and keep things from being too cluttered, but they also add air flow resistance, which also adds noise. This particular model we're reviewing had another little quirk, when all the fans were spun up it would rattle slightly. While this may not sound like a big deal, it annoyed the hell outta me. This was easily remedied by using a little double sided tape to pad the meeting point between it and the case, but again, something I wanted to mention.
Mounting the drives wasn't hard as there was plenty of room to work a screwdriver in this case. This case has a screwless assembly of the outside, but you have to secure the drives with the standard mounting screws. While some may look at this as a con, I see it as a pro. I've dealt with "screwless" drive rails in the past that either don't fit snuggly, or are just plain trash, it's nice to be able to secure my drives and know they won't be going anywhere.
Here's a few random shots of the assembled unit:
Hit next to check out the quality, performance, and the conclusion.
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