Top-Mounted Ports & Fan
The most noticeable feature of this case which makes it stand out of the normal crowd are the top-mounted ports and cooling fan. Basically, it looks like Maxtop bored a hole into the top of this case and inserted a plastic contraption which houses a cooling fan and some convenience ports (2 USB ports, a microphone jack, a headline jack and a Firewire port). Both features are hidden from view by a spring loaded door. The 80mm 3-speed case fan is a cheap plastic unit on a hinge. When you press down on the door, it will unlatch and open upward, which likewise brings the case fan into view. When the PC is powered on, this case fan will begin to spin when you open this door. When you press back down on the door to close it, the fan stops. This extra cooling fan is a cute gimmick, and will indeed help with cooling by drawing air outward from the top of the case. But, practically, I do wonder what use a hideable fan would be.
The convenience ports are also hidden behind a spring-loaded door, and this sits directly in front of the door for the case fan. Beneath the ports themselves hang the wires, so when you go into the inside of the case chassis, you will see those wires and be able to hook them up to the appropriate connectors on your motherboard. Once connected, it is convenient to have these ports in a location which is accessible without moving the case. Of course, with this case, the usefulness of these connectors could be hampered if you are one of those who stick their PC into a cubby-hole on your desk. Front-mounded ports are almost always accessible. In some situations, top-mounted ports may not be.
Lastly, there is a carrying handle integrated with this plastic unit. This is obviously useful for carrying the case around. It is sturdy enough to carry a fully loaded PC. This could be helpful to folks who need to haul this PC around with them.
The Case in Action
Putting the hardware into this case is just like almost any other, so I will not bore you with that procedure (you can read Build Your Own PC if you are interested in how it is done). The case does have room for two additional case fans in the rear (fans not included). This could be quite helpful to overclockers. There is also a spot in the front for an 80mm case fan, directly in front of the hard drive chassis. The side panel also has a side-mounted case fan pre-installed. I should also note that the side-panel is not see-through, as some of the other Maxtop cases include. Installing hardware into this case is painless. The case is made out of a thin aluminum metal, which is good for cooling. The corners on the inside are all rounded so there is little danger of cutting yourself on something. It would be nice to see some removable motherboard mounting plates or drive chassis, but this case does not include those luxuries.
When the PC is on, this case acts like any other. The installed case fans and the power supply make very little noise, which is quite nice.
The CSX-147K is a nice case, and certainly an economical value. The major features that make this case stand out are the top-mounded case fan, the top-mounted convenience ports, and the carrying handle. The black finish is also smooth and makes the case look pretty good. The included power supply is really convenient and almost makes this case a steal at $40. Beside these features, this case is pretty standard. It does lack some of the luxuries of the more expensive cases that would make some things easier to deal with, but for the money, there are absolutely no complaints.
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