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Ultra Products Aluminus ATX Case
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Doctor Feelgood
Arrrrghh!


Joined: 07 Apr 2003
Posts: 20057
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 22:35:22    Post Subject: Ultra Products Aluminus ATX Case Reply with quote View Single Post

Another great feature of the Aluminus is the removable motherboard tray. Two thumb screws on the right side of the tray hold it in place. Remove the screws and slide the tray toward front of case and it pops right out for easy installation of the motherboard. Mounting the motherboard was a joy... the stand offs were already in place and in this case even mounted in the correct spots. - The Review
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Little Bruin
Boo Boo

Joined: 07 Apr 2003
Posts: 667
Location: Pic-A-Nic Basket
Das Capitolin
Rated R


Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 70
Location: Reno, NV, USA

PostPosted: Tue, 08 Aug 2006 21:31:32    Post Subject: Reply with quote View Single Post

Ok, so I was very thrilled to have won a black Ultra Aluminus case. When I received it today, I spent over an hour transplanting case contents.

Since I am going to be doing a case review next week for Bjorn3D, I thought that I might use this case as a comparison. Well, hopefully the Aluminus gets better with some tweaking.

So far, I am very disappointed in the lack of 120mm fan support in the case window; nobody really even uses 80mm fans anymore. Next I found the case to also lack a 120mm fan for the top of the case, which is prime real estate for heat (since it rises). Lastly, the front panel 120mm fan insert is just a bad design. It cannot be removed, and it will only work well with lower CFM 120mm fans since there is so much blowback and no clearance at all from the hard disk drive.

On a ten-scale, I would give this case a 7. Pretty case which is built very well, but a high price with no fans or PSU, and the design is a little flawed.

I cannot believe it got a 4 of 5 rating in your review. Crazy

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Hellfire
Rated XXX


Joined: 05 Aug 2003
Posts: 3473

PostPosted: Wed, 09 Aug 2006 09:46:00    Post Subject: Reply with quote View Single Post

I can't really say much since I didn't take a look at the case.

However, not many cases include a fan in the top portion. I agree I think they should, but many do not. So I really couldn't hold that against them, as probably 90% of the cases would have that issue.

As for the 120mm front fan insert, I personally don't see anything wrong with it, as there are screw holes you can use to make sure it's secured. As for the blowback, I'd have to see the case to really comment on that, but I think it would be fine as the air would be pushed through the holes across your HD's. HD temps would be the best judge of it's effectiveness.

Looks like the case works just fine, and no glaring flaws so a 4 would be justified.
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Kilamon
Rated XXX


Joined: 22 Mar 2005
Posts: 811

PostPosted: Wed, 09 Aug 2006 13:18:20    Post Subject: Reply with quote View Single Post

I also won an aluminus case, though I opted for blue.

I immediately took it apart. Grin

The front holder for the fan is, in fact, removable, but the tabs are located in a very inconvenient place on the inside. Removing the holder is mostly unnecessary, however, as the screw holes provided aren't large enough to hold standard fan screws and require boring out with a drill if you intend to screw your fan in. I found the fan (a $14.99 one from Best Buy) to fit pretty snugly with the only problem being the wiring (the holder has a cutout for the wires but it's mostly useless).

I agree with Das Cap; the side window has 2 vents and both are non standard. Neither one uses air filters and only has what looks like a ripoff of modder's mesh. The duct for the CPU is fixed and not flexible or extendable (think "bendy straw") which is something I'd like to have seen. The rearward fan is 120mm only with more modder's mesh.

Once I had decided that I was going to build up a new server to replace the old scavenged dell optiplex I'd been using as my file/print server (I had almost all the parts I needed for a p4/1.7, 1g ram, 2x250gb HDD to do raid, etc), I put them all in a pile and started assembling.

I removed the tray for the motherboard, which was decent and seemed sturdy but unlike the Lian Li trays, where the pci slots are attached, this one is just the motherboard tray. My only nit here is that all the case manufacturers never seem to give you enough brass standoff screws for your motherboard. I had some spares though, it was all good. Spent some time (ok, 3 days) looking aorund the house for my extra P4 mounting kit for the cpu cooler. Once I put the tray back, I moved on towards the hard drives.

The hard drives each have their own little tray and each tray has 4 rubber grommets so instead of using the side screws, it's screwed on the bottom of the drive. That was pretty sweet. Then I realized the geometry of the case was off somehow and the cage that held the hard drives was off by about a quarter inch. A little careful "assertiveness" and the cage was mostly corrected. The factory could have solved this with a small span of riveted aluminium to keep the square cage in square.

One thing to note here is the use of the grommets. That's pretty sweet. It made me wish that there were more, however, as using some of those for the fans would reduce noise from rattles. Now that it's all assembled, it makes a bit of a racket since that front fan draws in through those fins. A speed adjustable fan would be advisable here.

I like their solution for the front USB, something your reviewer seems to have glossed over. It is mounted inside a 5.25" adapter. If you remove it from it's mounting, you can put it in the 3.5" space and, if you're like me and have decided that floppy drives are a thing of the past, then it will look a lot more finished and clean when you put it there.

Another thing I'd like to note is how much room is in this case. I was able to hide all my wiring and get a clean look without too much trouble. The drive cage has holes reminiscent of a ML370 for cable routing.

Mine had some minor defects which seem to be endemic to the use of 22 gauge aluminum. I'd like to see some sturdier plates used in the construction, maybe 16 gauge or 18 at the least. If the thinner aluminum is used, then more U channels are needed in order to strengthen it. The side panel's holes should be a standardized size with filtration added. The front holder for the fan could stand to be made easier to remove and some sound dampening here would be wise.

In all, for winning the case, I think it's pretty cool. It looks good and functions as it's intended. There's definately room for improvement and physical room if you want to do a water system. I would not, however, advise anyone to buy it unless they had a few extra bucks to spend on improving it.

I give it a 3.5 out of 5.
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