After recent tests I am considering purchasing a more modern case – ‘modern‘ being that gaming advances have come up with some very interesting computer cases. Mentioned in my Intel Core i9-9900 Processor – ‘Intel’s Boxed Fan Heatsink vs Noctua NH-U12S cooler’ post was the point that I was having “to remove the MoBo” in order to install the cooler’s backplate. That 2016 Antec case had only one removable side cover…my other cases (old and new) have two removable side covers.
Also, in my recent MX Linux, Manjaro & Mint – ‘Intel i9 9900 & GeForce GTX 1660 Compatibility Tests’ post I mentioned removing the “256GB PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 NVMe SSD” that had the OS on it…those have a tiny screw that fastens it securely into the M.2 connector. I didn’t want to corrupt the WIN10 Pro OS during the planned tests. I tried to remove the screw with the tower case standing up, and the screw fell – naturally. 🙁 Had to unhook the case, remove it entirely from under the large computer desk I have, then carry it to a counter top (its a heavy case) and lay it down on its side in an attempt to recover that screw. After recovering the screw, carrying the case back to the desk, then sliding it back under the desk and having to hook it back up – I knew that this almost same process was going to be needed when reinstalling that M.2 NVMe SSD, with the exception of not carrying it to a counter…could just lay it on the side under the desk. That was more trouble than removing the MoBo for the cooler!
Over the years, I have also checked out different computer test benches, but never found one for the right price that I actually liked. Recently, I noticed an interesting looking case that another blogger had, and checked out its specs on the Cooler Master website. Spotted the HAF XB Evo LAN Box and Test Bench Computer Case there, and have been looking into it ever since. Price has dropped to $100 on the Cooler Master site, but is still $110 everywhere else. Sides are removable, top is removable, and the MoBo tray is removable.
Have wanted to wait on a better price drop…down to about $80, and have also been back ‘n forth on what I like or don’t like about it – mainly not liking how the two X-dock bays (‘Hot-Swap’) worked, from what I could see of them anyway. Love the “Micro ATX / ATX / Mini-ITX” MoBo option, since I could literally swap out my other MoBo’s for testing in this case. The footprint – 13.00″ (h) x 17.40″ (w ) x 16.70″ (d) is a tad large – and would require another remodeling of my 20 year old computer desk, in order to have it up on the desk area for easy excess. Love that the MoBo lays flat in the case – had never thought much about it until researching this case.
Watched two videos on it this morning, and the X-dock bays are not too bad, since the removable trays still allow disk drives to easy connect to SATA connector in the rear (had thought it might involve connecting and disconnecting the wiring). Here are the videos:
Yep, I am too weak to resist this case for much longer…