In-Win GRone Case Review: Do Features Make the Caseby Dustin Sklavos on September 18, 2012 12:01 AM EST
- Posted in
In and Around the In-Win GRone
While I'm for the most part inclined to take the In-Win GRone's aesthetic out of the equation, I do want to make a few generalized notes about the build. I personally like the gunmetal gray color In-Win uses for the case, and the steel side panels and chassis match the plastic fascia and shell very well. There's a two-toned black and gray motif that I think serves the GRone well; if nothing else, it's fairly consistent.
The front of the enclosure is marked by what appear to be a series of ventilated bay covers similar to the old Cooler Master Centurion, but in actuality only the top three of these covers actually hide 5.25" drive bays; the rest are for consistency's sake while also allowing fresh air to reach the front intake fans hidden behind them. Above the drive bays are a healthy amount of connectivity: two USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports along with the usual audio jacks. Also included is a sliding fan speed switch that allows the case fans to operate in "silence" and "turbo" modes. The reset button is actually shared with the IDE access LED, which is the long sliver to the left of the power button. It's not labelled at all, but that's what it is.
When you move to the top of the GRone, there's an angled accent that's ventilated and hides the trio of 120mm/140mm fan mounts, and in front of it is the recessed SATA hotswap connector. It's not quite as elegant as NZXT's solution in the H2 but it gets the job done.
Interestingly, the left side panel has a large window that's extruded and tinted aquamarine; if you look closely you can see the In-Win logo on it. There aren't any fan mounts, though. The only fan mount on a side panel is actually behind the motherboard tray, though an enterprising user could probably swap the two side panels if they felt like the existing allowances made for cooling were inadequate.
Removing the thumbscrews and popping open the GRone reveals business as usual with a few kinks thrown into the mix. In-Win positions the GRone as an E-ATX case primarily, and given the placement of the routing holes in the motherboard tray they're pushing that scenario pretty hard. There's a substantial opening next to the power supply bay, though, and both drive cages are actually removable. In-Win uses a drive sled design similar to what SilverStone employed with the FT02, where the door allows the drives to lock into place. Worth noting is the way removing the center drive cage doesn't result in losing the 140mm interior fan.
In-Win's design is for the most part clean, though they use red LED fans on the front intakes. Those fans are fairly dim and inobtrusive, presenting more of an accent, but then why tint the side window blue instead of red? We're already at three tones before we get to that blue window. Aesthetics notwithstanding, though, the GRone promises to be at least reasonably easy to assemble and I'm fairly optimistic about its cooling potential.
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mattgmann - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - linkGood article. My commentary is simply on the state of computer cases?
It just seems that 99% of the "performance" cases out there are styled to appeal to a 14 year old boy's fantasy of some type of sci-fi prop.
Lian-li and Silverstone seem to have stopped making sleek aluminum cases with decent finishes. At least, they're not what they used to be.
There are certainly some custom chassis companies out there, but they've sacrificed pretty much all aesthetics for performance. They're certainly high quality, but utilitarian to say the least?
Is anyone making good cases with solid, sleek modern designs? I'd like to see some cases with nice finishes too. NOT airbrushed pictures of chicks riding dragons! A good paint/powder coat job can do wonders for a case.
Anyway, rant over. I'm just hoping someone at a major company will hear enough requests and hire some designers who don't dress like the cast of "Tokyo Drift".
vincentlaw - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - linkThe Corsair 550D has a rather understated design actually, and Anandtech has a review of it. It's basically a black slab, with no obnoxious lighting or windows, and a nice textured paint job.
Omega215D - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - linkAlong with Corsair's Carbide, Lian Li, Silverstone cases there's Fractal Design and A few Antec cases.
My CM 690 is pretty conservative as well.
Operandi - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - linkI agree this case is supremely stupid looking. Oddly enough Inwin do make some very clean looking cases. They are usually pretty light on features but they are very, very well built sadly they are not marketed toward the performance user. Instead we get these gaudy “gamer” cases that look like a prop from Starship Troopers.
I have to disagree with your Lian Li comment though. Their modern cases are vastly superior to their old ones. All my high-end builds go in Lian Lis.
StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - linkBut I liiiike Starship troopers! D:
Personally I liked the styling of the old silver Thermaltake Xaser 2 cases, think I might have one somewhere...
Before my current case (Corsair Vengeance C70) I had an Antec Dark Fleet-85 that would light up like a Christmas tree, never again. :P
Samus - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - linkI agree, even lan boxes/gaming PC's should look professional and not like they're designed by a 14 year old. I'm in my 30's and all Silverstone cases appeal to me, along with many Lian-Li cases. Just about everything else is styled like a bad joke.
Belard - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - linkAntec 280. Its a slick and business like version of the Antec 1100. Check it out. Its a great case to work with.
Yeah, the $100 Antec 280 and 1100 are a better deal.
In-WIN is a good company... they have made some very interesting and good cases for many many years... only in the past year or so have they made themselves public.
just4U - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - linkI like cases with a window in them (im 43!) but like the rest of you I am not into the childtoy design of some cases. I've found that the Corsair 600T is probably the best modern design (look wise) i've seen in years.. I also like the Storm Scout from Coolermaster and several of Antecs more modest cases (the one, three hundred, & Sonata)
I was hopeful with the new lanboys that came out.. thinking yeah a modern take on the old one.... then I saw them and wanted to cry. Right now I am running thru some of Silverstones MATX cases... their quite stylish.. and the builds when complete look really sharp but their not the type of cases you want to fiddle with internals when your done. (alot of us I think.. change out parts all the time..)
Belard - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - linkHAHAHA! Silly old man!
A friend of mine bought the 600T... Its a good case. I tell friends and clients to pick what rubs them the right way. I do quite a bit of research myself and look at the construction, air-filter access, air-vents (I don't care for TOP vents), size, etc - as each build may require a different case. I got a $65 case on sale for $35 that was perfect for a client - but not something I would want... even thou its looks very good with brushed metal look ALL around.
I'd really love to see an mATX size version of the P280... as I prefer my PCs on the desk, not the floor... but still look good.
PS: I'm 42 :) But I'm in my 20s at heart and health (usually) - I still play 3DShooter games with some of the best.
db4williams - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - linkFractal Design's ARC Midi. I built my system using the ARC Midi and I will say it is simply amazing! It looks great, has great cooling capacity, and it's water cooling friendly! Fractal Design hit it out of the park with it's design IMO.