Let’s start this review off a bit differently. I have a confession to make. I’ve always wanted one of these benching stations. Basically, due to shipping expenses, I haven’t wanted to buy one and have been bugging the very patient people at Dimastech to send a review sample every time they had something new over the past three years.
Understandably, due to the same shipping concerns, they haven’t had a huge presence in the US market and didn’t see it feasible to pay something along the lines of $80 to send a sample across the Atlantic Ocean. They have now fixed the shipping problem by starting up a US distributor based in Florida.
They also, thankfully, sent a review sample so we could bring it to you. So yea, I was excited to get this. Almost irrationally excited – more so than any motherboard, CPU, or GPU could do, because this affects testing all of those. It’s totally basic, but makes a big difference.
Packaging & Specifications
Dimastech packages their benching stations quite well, surrounded in a protective layer of Styrofoam in a giant box. Their accessories are placed inside specially cut Styrofoam as well so they’re not floating around in the box while it’s traveling. Some of these are heavy accessories, so we should be thankful for that choice of packaging.
The packing list and instructions are condensed into one small half-sheet of paper. It is a benching station after all and other than figuring out which screw should go where, there isn’t a whole lot you can’t figure out on your own.
The specifications list is surprisingly long for a bench table. These are pulled from the Dimastech EasyXL product page, which we have edited due to what appears to be poor auto-translation.
Compatibility & Space
With regard to “Compatibility”, the new “DimasTech® Bench/Test Tables EasyXL” was created to support all motherboards on the market including the SSI server standard, radiators for water cooling up to 140 x 3 positioned on both sides, power supplies and fans of all sizes from the smallest to the largest.
It perfectly supports the installation of complete water cooling systems with dedicated supports and a modular design. This is where space becomes important, thanks to the large size DimasTech® puts no limits on your liquid cooling system, in fact every accessory can find the right place to make your very own DimasTech® Bench/Test Tables.
With this most recent bench/test table, DimasTech® has been able to skillfully mix experience and technology, giving thought only to the customer and their needs in order to achieve a product truly suitable for each user.
- 480 x 490 x 205 mm (D x W x H) (Height as listed includes the rubber feet but does not include the 25 mm spacers that support the motherboard nor the expansion board support.)
Color Bench/Test Table
- Milk White
- Graphite Black
- CNC Laser cut SECC Sheet thickness 1.5 mm
- Powder/Dust Painting with Painting Furnace
- Finish and Quality Control in accordance with Strict Standard
- “Made in Italy”
- Compatibility with Motherboard ATX, Full ATX, MicroATX, Mini ATX, NanoATX, XL-ATX, EATX, SSI-EEB, SSI-CEB, MiniITX
- Installation of up to three 5.25″ devices
- Installation of up to four 3.5″ hard drives – (Optional Installation up to eight 3.5″ hard drives using the BT149 accessory)
- Wide area under the socket for heatsink removal
- DimasTech® reset and power switch buttons with LED ring and cables
- 10 PCI slots
- Compatibility with power supplies up to 22 cm in length
- DimasTech® knurled screws – M3 and 6-32 (Step UNC) complete with DimasTech® knurled nuts – all made of anodized aluminum
- DimasTech® rubber feet
- 2 DimasTech® FlexFan 120 v2.0
- Lower drawer with sliding track affixed with thumbscrews on sides
- Quick release support removal with DimasTech® anti-vibration hardware
- Model number written with laser cutting
- Positioning Devices Supports Modulable
- Totally toolless
- Mounting cutout for DimasTech® Panel – I / O V2.0 (including 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 Audio IN / 1 Audio OUT, 1 E-SATA) – (Sold separately in the Accessories section, model # BT163)
- Compatibility with up to two 3 x 140 mm Radiators – Radiators 120, 140, 240, 280, 360, 420, Black Ice Sr 360 and Black Ice Sr 420 (20 mm fan space)
- DimasTech® pumps support is compatible with DDC (DDC 3.25), DCC (DCC 300, 500, DCC-1RT), D5, AQUASTREAM XT, SANSO- PD054
- Ability to mount RADEXT (up to 360 Model) on the upper part of the Bench/Test Table with Toolless mounting system (on both left and right sides) – (http://www.dimastech.it/EN/c/dimastech-waterstations/dimastech-shrouds/1/)
- Full compatibility with the supports of the series Mini V1.0
- DimasTech® Bench/Test Table EasyXL
- 1 DimasTech® Hard Disks Support x 4
- 1 DimasTech® Optical Drive Support x 3
- 1 DimasTech® Expansion Boards Support 10 Slot
- 1 DimasTech® Power Supply Support
- 1 DimasTech® “Brass Knuckles” Support for Organizing Tubes 16/17
- 1 DimasTech® Pumps Support
- 2 DimasTech ® FlexFan 120 V2.0
- A Complete Kit of Screws, DimasTech® Knurled Nuts and Screws for Expansion Boards Support, DimasTech® Special Rubber, DimasTech® Push Buttons (Reset and Power – with LEDs Ring) and Cables and DimasTech® Rubber Feet
- 15 DimasTech® Spacers 25 mm
- 1 DimasTech® Sticker
- DimasTech® Complete Installation Manual (Downloadable from the DimasTech® WebSite in the Product Paga, directly from the News Section or in DimasTech® Blog – All in Accordance with the Environment)
Why don’t we find out what’s in the box now.
There are all the accessories you need for a bench station. Most of the station is assembled, but a few items need to be manually installed.
They include two 120 mm fan arms, the PCIe bracket (expanded on the XL version up to ten slots), rubber feet, very nice anti-vandal switches, a handy tubing guide, and all the screws you can imagine needing.
The vandal resistant switches are in a league of their own and much nicer than most case switches, much less bench station switches.
There are four wires to hook up – two yellow for the switch itself and red/black for the positive/negative LED leads.
When I say all the screws you could need, I mean it. You can see the extra long motherboard standoffs in there (very handy for extreme benchmarkers that need the room for insulation) as well as plenty of screws and some rubber standoffs for 3.5″ hard drives.
Meet the Dimastech EasyXL
Moving to the EasyXL itself, you can see Dimastech supplied the “Milk White” version. There are six colors available and you can see photos of all six on the EasyXL page of their web site. The finish is a powder coat, which is a bit thicker and holds up better than plain old paint. There were very minor issues in corners where the powder coat didn’t quite make it into the corner but they were so minuscule they couldn’t be photographed. Overall the finish is superb.
As you can see, the EasyXL model ‘number’ is actually cut out of the metal, as are the holes for the power/reset switches and the not-included I/O Panel (Euro 12.99). That is actually my only beef with this station – on their top of the line bench station they should include the I/O panel. I actually broached that topic with Dimastech and they agree. They have had trouble sourcing large numbers of the I/O panels but they are working on it. When they make a new revision (which may be a while off, so don’t hold your breath) they plan on including the I/O panel.
Built to accommodate even the largest motherboards (think EVGA SR-2 / SR-X), the top of this thing is absolutely massive. You’ll see just how massive it is when a board is installed. There are holes for wire management in ideal places so you don’t have a mess of wires up where your system resides. The hole for CPU coolers strikes me as a tad small, but that’s ok. If the CPU isn’t precisely centered over the hole, the motherboard standoffs are high enough that any cooler or water block backplate should slide right under the board. Thought about that way, you can look at the backplate hole as a place for you to just hold the backplate while you screw in your cooler / water block.
There are identical radiator mounting configurations on each side. They are large enough and drilled out to accommodate up to triple 140 mm radiators, but wisely they also include mounting holes for up to triple 120 mm radiators, which is a good thing because the rad I’m using is 3 x 120 mm.
On the front, as mentioned before, there are holes for the vandal resistant switches and the I/O panel (again, not included). Below that reside the bays for three 5.25″ and four 3.5″ devices. These can be moved around somewhat but aren’t as versatile as the PSU/pump mount we’ll get to in a bit.
That was fast – here you see the PSU mount (left) and the very convenient pump mount (right). The pump mount has pre-drilled holes for the common pump configurations on the market. Even the new-ish EKWB pump I’m using in this build was able to mount two of its four holes for secure mounting. It’s certainly a lot more secure than my usual method of 3M picture hanging strips (we’ll just keep that our little secret, OK?).
These two items can be moved around slightly left and right or they can be swapped (which you’ll see is how I used them) or even removed altogether.
That’s about it for the unused benching station. It’s built like a tank and is very easily configured/reconfigured.
Installation was as easy as one would expect. It wasn’t completely tool free due to components (PSU screws, pump mounting screws, radiator screws), but for most of the items directly attached to the station, everything is done with thumb screws. Here is the EKWB pump that came with the EK-KIT L360 we’ll have a review of in the coming weeks.
This is what the station looked like about 1/4 of the way through installation. Remember what I said about the top being massive? Yea, that’s an EVGA X79 Dark motherboard, which is an eATX form factor. It doesn’t even begin to fill up the top panel.
You can also see the fan mounting arms installed and ready to use. I absolutely love those things, because dead air around a water cooled bench station is always a concern. With my old, much smaller (and much inferior to this) benching station, I had a fan taped to the deck blowing across the RAM/PWM. Now the cooling fans are perfectly positioned right where they need to be. The one on the left is great for injecting even more cool air while benching GPUs.
There really weren’t many interim photos of the build process. Basically I wanted to get this thing built, and moving back to the, um, ‘studio?’, then lugging it back to building was a pain, so I just built the thing. With its open nature, you’ll easily be able to see what went where and how.
Now we get to the fun part – a completely built, functioning system on a solid bench table. Please excuse the blue 24-pin PSU extension. That turn was a bit too sharp for the non-sleeved wire from the PSU and blue was the only thing I had lying around to use. Pretend it’s red. Or black, k?
Because the screws EK includes have tiny little heads on them, they would go right through the mounting holes. There wasn’t enough length on the fan screws (which by necessity must be precise so they don’t poke holes in your radiator) to add washers. Thus, I put washers on the short screws and mounted the radiator directly to the station, with the fans on the other side. This is what a 3 x 120 mm radiator looks like mounted, which isn’t too bad actually. A 140 mm rad would look a little bit better, but not much.
Additionally in this photo you can take note of just how tall the motherboard standoffs are. I love, love, love this, for ease of cooler swapping as well as for the ability to use thick insulation for extreme cooling.
Here’s the back of the case, with the PCIe bracket installed. Note the pump and PSU bracket’s positions are switched and they are moved over as far to the right as they could. This serves to keep plenty of airflow space around the radiator and allows the tubing to make its way where it needs to without kinks. On the left, you can see the “brass knuckles” tubing holder, which keeps the tubing right where it should be. That was a good idea and I’m glad it was included.
The vandal resistant switches look great and are a good add-on to a premium product. They have a nice blue glow when lit that’s not too bright also. I went ahead and filled up the 5.25″ bays; mostly to hide the PSU wiring behind them. There is a DVD-RW, a Lamptron FC-5 v2 fan controller and the Cooler Master Silent Pro 1200W PSU fan controller.
Here we have my second gripe – no SSD mounting. Unless I’m missing it, there is no reliable way to mount an SSD on this station. You’ll need to get some 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapters for that. The two holes (front & back) on the 3.5″ drive bay are where they should be for 3.5″ drives but that doesn’t allow you to mount the typical adapter included with most SSDs. It’s another minor quibble, considering it sits in the bay just fine and I swap drives just as often as I do other hardware, but it’s a notable absence. Dimastech does have a dual SSD adapter that would mount in a 3.5″ drive bay for Euro 11.99. That’s another item I think should be included with their premium product.
One more close shot of the EasyXL with a darker background. I like the font choice.
Ok, I’m basically done until the conclusion but here are a couple more finished photos for you.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
Well, if you can’t tell, I have enjoyed working with (and will enjoy working with for years to come) the Dimastech EasyXL. Truth be told, I had just assumed I’d like it by seeing its use in various people’s builds over the last several years, all the way back to the first time I saw one in Miahallen’s review of the Dimastech Easy V2.5. They’ve gotten better since then.
As with all products, it’s not perfect; but in the case of the EasyXL, it is what it doesn’t include that makes it not perfect. If they added the I/O panel and one SSD adapter with the station, and did so for the same price, it would be extremely hard to improve this product.
So, what about the price? Well, Dimastech is proud of their product and they aren’t cheap. In Europe and worldwide outside North America and South America, the EasyXL can be had for 179.99€ (that’s Euros) plus shipping.
Thankfully Dimastech has just recently begun distributing their stations right here in the US (Florida, to be exact) and you will be able to purchase them without the insane shipping cost of coming from Italy to this side of the pond. In the North American and South American market, the EasyXL will retail for $239.99 (US dollars) plus shipping, which is a direct currency exchange, so they haven’t bumped the price at all. Shipping will be much more affordable now too.
That brings us to the value part of our program. There are several benching stations out there, from more expensive Microcool Banchetto stations to the less expensive (both Dimastech and Microcool have inexpensive options – Dimastech Hard V2.5 and Microcool Banchetto K) among others. Each of them has their benefits and drawbacks.
These stations are not for everybody. The budget-minded folks that may not use their station as their 24/7 case, or those that don’t need something this durable might look for something cheaper. But for people that test hardware on an anywhere-near-daily basis; those that need this kind of build quality and versatility, the Dimastech EasyXL (or the smaller Easy V3.0) is the cream of the crop. There is no more well-designed and well-rounded benching station out there. If you test a lot of hardware, want a strong water cooled open air PC or bench with extreme cooling, the Dimastech EasyXL is the best of the best.
Note on purchasing: Dimastech is in the process of setting up a US web site at http://www.dimastechusa.com, however it is not ready at this time. They expect it to be finished sometime in October. You can still purchase from that distributor, but you need to email [email protected]. They can get you a shipping quote and arrange for payment, then shipment from the US warehouse. In Europe and all other worldwide purchases besides the Americas, you will need to contact www.dimastech.it or [email protected].