SUMMARY: A good case for the money.
- Side Panels with Thumb Screws (very handy)
- Two-Speed Fan Switch (for noise control)
- Digital Thermometer for CPU (or anything else)
- CD Drive Bay Covers (keeps the silver look)
- 2 USB, 1 Firewire Front Ports (nice to haves)
The inside front
features an internal drive cage that is removable – there are four screws that secure it to the case. The cage is spring-loaded on one side so that you only have to bolt drives on one side. This means you only have to take off the left side cover to remove a drive.
The front intake fan panel under the drive cage is clean – it would not take much to fit a 120mm fan/radiator here. The front panel is screwed onto the case – no quick removal feature.
The inside rear
shows the usual stuff plus the rear exhaust fan (these are labelled “FU” – made by a company called “Fukuroyo” – interesting how some things translate). Note that the fan panel is uncluttered – if you’re handy with a Dremel or jigsaw, I think a small radiator could fit in this space.
The back of the case
shows the rear fan panel that is aching for a mod. The front panel
carries the silver (or platinum) theme nicely. I especially like the CD drive covers – there are a lot of nice looking cases that lose it when you mount putty gray CDs onto something like a black front. The CD covers
have the open/close button but will not accommodate a volume thumbwheel or earphones. Looking at the cover from the rear
shows a pretty simple setup – a door flap and button. You position the drive so that it is up against the button and that’s it. Last is the LCD Temp Display:
There is a flat, thin temp probe that can slip under a heatsink to read CPU side core temps (obviously you can use this for about anything). The Turbo switch (remember those?) is not for the motherboard – this is a two speed switch for the front and rear case fans.
It’s a clever idea – the Turbo switches between 5 and 12 volts to the fans. If you want, you can add other fans – no reason why you can’t wire in the CPU fan, especially if you’re one of those whose systems are on 24/7 and you can’t sleep at night (a Delta 38 at 5 volts is pretty quiet).
In working with the case, I noticed the following:
- The CD and floppy drives require that you remove the front covers – not difficult.
- The CD flap was sticky – sometimes it stuck open; it should loosen up with use or a dollop of oil wouldn’t hurt.
- There are no sharp edges to cut yourself.
Overall, OK to set things up – no real surprises.
Using Digital Doc 5, I monitored interior case temps as shown in the pic below at Idle and while running SiSandra Burn In, with fans at 5 and 12 volts. The system was a P4 1700 cooled with an Intel retail fan on a Gigabyte GA-8SRX.
Temps were recorded as follows:
Idle 2 Turbo
|3 CPU Intake|
|5 Case Top|
|6 Hard Drive|
|7 Case Rear|
Running fans at full bore makes sense when under stress, but the difference at idle is minor – not worth the noise.
Overall, the Platinum XP has some nice features and is easy to set up. At $69, looks like a good case for the money.
Thanks again to Exotic PC for sending this our way.