SUNBEAMTECH Tuniq 3 Case Review

Add Your Comments

With new and crazy PC cases being released every day, Sunbeamtech has gone against the current by releasing chassis’ with a simple and cool elegance. On of the best examples of this design philosophy is the Tuniq 3, which I will be reviewing today.

Pics

The front of the box gives us a nice angle view of the case – note that this picture doesn’t represent the exact case necessarily, you may have the version with the window, the two-tone version or the black version.

Pics

The back of the box gives us a rundown of the case’s unique features, the biggest one being the 3D Core Fan assembly which I will talk about later.

Pics

The easiest and most trouble-free way to unpack a case is to cut one end, flip the box so it is sitting on that end and shake the case and associated bits out.

Pics

The chassis itself is protected by two foam inserts and a full plastic cover – there is very little chance the case will be damaged when packed this way.

Pics

Once the foam and plastic bag are removed we are let with a rather attractive mid-tower chassis.

Pics

This version of the case includes the side panel window, which should give a good view of your installed hardware. It also includes ventilation for your video card and a location to mount a 120 or 92mm fan.

Pics

The side window includes a protective film, but oddly it only protects the right side of the window.

Pics

Moving to the front left side of the case we have hookups for two USB ports, a microphone and a headphone jack.

Pics

Moving around to the front of the case you can see why it’s easy to mistake it for a stylish mini-fridge. The entire front panel is covered in thick brushed aluminum. If you have sharp eyes you will be able to catch the Tuniq logo on the top edge of the lower panel.

Pics

The front door on the case hides five 5.25″ drive bays and two 3.25″ drive bays.

Pics

Interestingly the front door is indented to allow devices that protrude out of the case to be installed and still allow the door to close. Some good thinking by SunbeamTech here!
{mospagebreak}

Pics

All the front panel cabling is passed through this slot.

Pics

The power and reset buttons plus the power and hard drive LEDs are located on the top of the door. It’s quite an interesting position for them, one I haven’t seen replicated on any other case.

Pics

Moving to the right side panel we can seen that it has a small indentation to make removing the side panel easier, in theory at least.

Pics

The case has some fairly decent ventilation for the front 120 mm fan, which is not included by the way.

Pics

Moving around the back, we can see that the case is in a fairly normal configuration. The motherboard and PSU are in the positions you would expect from your average mid-tower case. Also on the back is one of the included 120 mm blue LED fans. Note that this fan position also supports 80 mm and 92 mm fans.

Pics

Zooming in a bit we can see that the left side panel is held on with two thumbscrews and that the PCI cards use a tool-less mounting system – in fact you will only need tools to install the PSU and motherboard in this case. Also notice the little red switch who’s function I will get to in a minute.

Pics

Moving up to the top there is… well nothing. Again, this case is built like your standard mid tower.

Pics

Moving to the bottom of the case, we can see its most unique feature. This case’s “feet” are lit by blue CCFL’s, so you can finally make your computer look like a Tokyo Drift mobile! Need For Speed here we come!

Pics

Moving a bit further forward on the bottom we can see the rather substantial vent that feeds the front fan from the bottom.

Pics

Moving back to the left side and popping the panel off, we can get a better view at the interior of the case. The most noticable feature is the vertical steel bar in the middle of the case. This is the 3D Core Fan assembly which allows up to four 120 mm fans to be mounted and adjusted to cool specific components.

Pics

The three included 120 mm blue LED fans are SunBeamTech units rated at a 0.16A power draw, pushing 45 cfm, and producing 21.75 dB. These fans are a good balance of low noise and good airflow, making them ideal for your standard home PC.

Pics

Looking to the bottom of the case we can see that the CCFL inverter is equipped with a molex pass through cable, meaning that it can be powered without losing a molex connector. You may also notice that the fans use the flat silver cables that ULTRA is famous for, and that all the fans include molex adapters for their standard 3-pin fan connectors.{mospagebreak}

Pics

Moving towards the front of the case we can see the removable hard drive rack which can hold three drives. We can also see the manual, a box of parts plus the front 120 mm fan position.

Pics

Moving on up we can see the five 5.25″ and two 3.5″ external drive bays and their tool-less mounting systems, which I will cover later. We can also see the two fans mounted to the 3D Core Fan assembly. These two fans include wire grills on one side, which is a good thing since the position of these fans makes any nearby wires vulnerable.

Pics

Should be getting good airflow through here, methinks!

Pics

Moving around to the right side and removing the panel we can get a good look at the rear of the motherboard tray. Again a pretty standard affair back here, you should be able to place excess wires back here, but not too many as there isn’t much space between the motherboard tray and the right side panel.

Pics

It seems that SunbeamTech made a conscious effort to enhance cable management by cutting a large notch in the folded edge of the motherboard tray to allow cables to be piped through.

Pics

Moving on to the included literature and parts.

Pics

The included manual is clear, complete and concise. It should be a great help to first time PC builders and is far better than the manual included with the ULTRA m998 (although m998 buyers shouldn’t need a manual anyway).

Pics

The little brown box contains a few things. The first and most visible are the tool-less hard drive rails.

Pics

The other thing it contains is a bag of screws and standoffs, plus one cable tie and one cable tie mount.{mospagebreak}

THE TEARDOWN

Pics

The 3D Core fan bracket can be removed by unscrewing this screw on the inside of the case.

Pics

And these two on the bottom. But before that we need to remove the case’s “feet”.

Pics

This screw/clip combo holds the feet to the case, there is one set at the front…

Pics

And one set at the back of each “foot”.

Pics

Remove the clips/screws and the foot pops off easily.

Pics

Now the 3D Core Fan assembly is removed.

Pics

From this angle you can see the huge number of holes that allow you to mount a fan at pretty much any possible angle and position.

Pics

After the 3D Core Fan assembly is removed the Tuniq 3 begins to look like any other mid tower chassis.

Pics

The next thing to get yanked is the switch/inverter assembly for the cold cathodes, the inverter has an adhesive velcro strip on the bottom that will allow you to mount the inverter anywhere in the chassis.

Pics

Remove these two screws…

Pics

and these two screws…

Pics

And out comes the hard drive rack.

Pics

Removing the bezel is a pretty standard affair. Just yank it and it unmounts from the case. Behind it is a pretty standard steel “face”.

Pics

Pretty standard down here too.{mospagebreak}

Pics

The case speaker is located on the front panel in this position.

Pics

Looking at the back of the bezel, we can see that the face plates are held in with plastic clips and that the front panel hinges are entirely made of plastic. Note that these plastic hinges are very solid, so you shouldn’t have to worry about breaking them.

Pics

Moving down the bezel a bit we get a good view of front port assembly and the ventilation for the front 120 mm fan. To be honest, having this area perforated and not completely open makes little sense to me as it is adding an unnecessary airflow restriction. Oh well – at least the bottom vent allows relatively unimpeded airflow to the front fan.

Pics

Here’s a closeup on those hinges – they are far more sturdy then they look.

Pics

Removing all the screws on the front bezel allows you to remove the front port assembly…

Pics

…and the lower aluminum piece.

Pics

Removing the screws on the aluminum piece’s plastic frame allows you to detach the two pieces.

Pics

That is a big piece of aluminum.

Pics

And thick too! I swear you could probably kill someone with this thing!

Pics

At this point the chassis is looking rather barren.

Pics

And we are left with a rather large pile of parts.{mospagebreak}

THE BUILD

This time I will be installing an older P3 based system in the case. This system has been in need of a home and seemed to fit the bill for this case rather nicely.

Pics

This first thing to be installed is this poorly painted black floppy drive.

Pics

Slide it all the way in…

Pics

Line up the holes…

Pics

Slide this plastic piece to the right…

Pics

And slide the lock into place – it really couldn’t be easier.

Pics

Holy three CD drives Batman! Installation is basically identical to the floppy. First slide the drives in…

Pics

Line up the holes…

Pics

Slide to the right…

Pics

And lock. Did I mention how much I like this system?

Pics

Three old-school HDDs are going to be installed (later reduced to two). Don’t be fooled, those are 10 and 15K SCSI drives you are looking at 🙂

Pics

To install the drives first click a set of drive rails onto each one.

Pics

I initially wanted to install the drives with the cables coming out the back of the cage, but this proved impossible as there was a small metal piece of the cage in the way.

Pics

Darn it!

Pics

Luckily installing the drives so the cables come out the front is a piece of cake. Simply slide the drive/rail combo in until it clicks into place.

Pics

Then slide the rack into the case and secure the screws.

Pics

Next install the motherboard standoffs.

Pics

Followed closely by the motherboard and expansion cards.

Pics

Then the PSU is screwed in.

Pics

Then everything is plugged in and a bit of basic cable routing is done.{mospagebreak}

Pics

Next the 3D Core Fan assembly is reinstalled – notice that I changed the position of one of the fans so it will intake air from the side vents and blow it over the motherboard.

Pics

The CPU should stay nice and cool with this sucker mounted here!

Pics

Hopefully the video card will stay cool as well!

Pics

Finally both side panels are reinstalled.

Pics

One final peek around back to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything.

Pics

And we have liftoff! All the included fans give off a good amount of bright blue light. The case feet light up quite nicely as well!

SIZING IT UP

The exact dimensions and weight of the Tuniq 3 are:

  • Length: 18″
  • Width: 8″
  • Height: 17.2″
  • Weight: 24.64 Lbs

vs. the previously reviewed m998

  • Length: 20.47″
  • Width: 9.45″
  • Height: 18.11″
  • Weight: 17.00 Lbs

So the Tuniq 3 is quite a bit smaller yet weighs seven pounds more, of course due to it’s steel construction. After being spoiled by the low weight:size ratio of an aluminum case there is no way my main rig is going back to steel.

UNIQUE FEATURES

3D Core Fan Assembly:

The 3D Core Fan Assembly is a neat idea that falls short on the implementation a bit. It’s simple steel construction makes it ugly yet sturdy, and I would imagine that it may interfere with longer graphics cards

CCFL Feet:

A pretty cool feature that adds no functional value but may add “bling” to your PC

FINAL THOUGHTS

My experience with the Tuniq 3 was fairly enjoyable. I can see that people looking for a good chassis to blend into a home or home theater and not sacrifice cooling may have a good match with this case. The ability to mount up to seven 120 mm fans (1 front, 1 rear, 1 side panel, 4 3D.C.F.A) will please airflow freaks everywhere. I would just be sure that your graphics card isn’t much longer than an FX 5700 if you plan to mount a fan blowing front to rear over your video card.

Pros:

  • Pretty extreme cooling potential
  • CCFL case feet
  • Three 120mm blue LED fans included
  • Removable hard drive rack
  • Convenient front port location
  • Very simple and attractive look
  • Thick aluminum bezel
  • Almost completely tool less
  • Excellent manual
  • Front door allows protruding devices to be installed
  • Cheap at only $70 USD

Cons:

  • Under the lights and fans is your standard steel mid tower

 Recommendations

At this price, none

CONCLUSIONS

The Tuniq 3 is a great looking little mid tower case. With good cooling, tool less features, and a sleek and stylish look it is worth a look for people out there with a mid range or home theater PC that needs a case. For the price the Tuniq 3 really is a great deal and a great case, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Kyle Lunau

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *