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Enermax CS-656TA Enermax CS-656TA: We take a look at a case, complete with a side window, an adjustable speed dial and a backlit temperature display.
Date: August 11, 2004
Provided By:
Written By: Brook Moore

When VL was my hand went up quickly to do the review. Being well known for their high quality power supplies, I was sure to get as good a quality case to install that power supply into. To further my anticipation of the new case, I was to review a Hair Brush Finished Silver version of their ; this should fit nicely into my office scheme. So now that I have it in my greedy little hands maybe the first thing we should do is to go over the specifications.


Type: ATX MID Tower Case
Color: Black, Milk White, Metallic Silver
Material: SGCC 0.7mm
Motherboard: Standard P4 ATX (12" x 9.6"), Micro ATX (9.6" x 9.6")
Power Supply: ATX PS2 (optional)
Drive Bays: 5.25" x 4, 3.5" x 2, 3.5" x 4 (hidden)
Cooling Fan: Front : 8cm x 1(optional), Rear : 8cm x 2 (1 fan included)
Front I/O Interface: USB2.0 x 2, Audio in/out, IEEE 1394
Expansion Slots: 7
Dimensions: D485 x W200 x H410 mm


Realizing that this was not an aluminum case, I was not surprised by the weight when I received it. Before installing anything in this case, it weighs in at a stout 15lbs. Even though it is not made of aluminum, the silver version of this case gives it that appearance. The front of the case is made primarily of plastic, and Enermax has done a nice job of ensuring the plastic matches the Hair Brush Finish Anodized case. One of the first things you notice about the case is that it is neither bland nor exciting, which should lend itself to a large group of users.

The front of the case displays four 5.25" bays and two 3.5" bays; one of the 3.5" is actually formatted for a floppy drive as it has the "slit" pre-built into it. Opening the side of the case, which is only two thumbscrews away, exposes the four internal 3.5" drive bay's for your fixed drives. Unfortunately, these are oriented to the rear of the case and not to the side as we have seen become a trend as of late.

There is a unique lower section (in front of the intake fan) that is backlit by a blue light. This adds a little bit of current trend to an otherwise dated design. On the top of this "Arc" is the power button. In the middle, there is a LED readout for an internal temperature probe. The bottom sports the reset button and a knob that allows you to control your internal fan speeds - up to four fans can be controlled. Below the "Arc" is a flip door (flips down for access) that gives you access to your front panel I/O connections; this includes USB 2.0 (two), Audio in/out and IEEE 1394. The location of the flip door is less than ideal; the door only opens to a slit when the case is placed on a carpeted floor, a wood floor or other hard surface allows it to open, although several times I had to assist it in this endeavor.

Moving to the Left side of the case we see a windowed panel that pretty much allows one to see the bottom 2/3's of the internals. There is no fan on this windowed side panel, although I am sure there will be places that you can purchase this case that will add that modification for you. As stated earlier, simply removing two thumbscrews allows access to the inside of the case.

Looking at the rear of the case we can see where the two 80mm exhaust fans are to go (only one fan was included in my review sample) as well as your standard fair ATX slots and openings. Enermax includes a rear I/O plate, however, with the array of differentiating rear I/O plates, you have about a 1 in 4 chance of it fitting your particular motherboard.

The top of the case has no blowholes and when looking from the inside, it would be a tight fit if you were to modify it to have one.


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