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Enermax CS-800TA-S Enermax CS-800TA-S: We take a look at a case with an adjustable speed dial and temperature display and tell you if it's worth your time or not.
Date: January 28, 2004
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Most of you are probably familiar with Enermax. Long time makers of some high quality power supplies, they've also been offering cases and front panels for quite some time. Their cases range from high-end to entry level, catering to both enthusiasts and IT professionals.

The is a case that caters to the former. Its large size and fair number of cooling features is something enthusiasts may be interested in and today, we'll see if it is worth your consideration.

Specifications

Model
CS-800TA Series
TYPE
ATX MID Tower Case
MATERIAL

SECC 0.8mm

MAINBOARD

Standard P4 ATX (12" x 9.6")
Micro ATX (9.6" x 9.6")
Extend ATX (12" x 13")

POWER SUPPLY
ATX PS2 (not included)
5.25" DRIVE BAYS
4
3.5" DRIVE BAYS
2
3.5" HIDDEN
4
Cooling Fan
Front:8cm*1 (air in)
Rear:8cm*1 (air out)
Side :8cm*1 (air in)
Front I/O Interface
USB2.0 x 2 ,Audio in/out, IEEE 1394
Dimensions
D 21"x W 7 3/4"x H 17"

As you can see from the specifications, the CS-800TA is not an aluminum enclosure. This will decrease the cost, when compared to aluminum, but it does take away from the sex appeal for those who are into appearances.

As indicated from the box art, there are three different colours available for the CS-800TA. We received the silver one, and let me say that UPS gave this thing quite a beating during delivery. There is a fair amount of form fitted foam to protect the case, and upon removal, the chassis was undamaged, which is more than I could say for the box.

A couple of things did alarm me though. The HDD cage was resting at the bottom of the case when I removed the side panel, and a lot of the internal wiring seemed to be caught in it. It appeared to be undamaged, and the wires seemed to be alright, though in the future, some packing tape to secure the cage and wiring may be a good idea.

Other than the case, you'll find a small bag of case screws, an instruction leaflet, a floppy power cable and several HDD rails. I know some people aren't fond of rails, but personally, I do find them easier to use if you frequently need to remove drives for upgrade purposes.

One nice touch is these drive rails are completely tool-less. Simply snap them into your HDD, and that's it.

Exterior features

The CS-800TA-S can be classified as a mid-tower, but it is easily one of the largest mid-towers I've had the chance to work with. It isn't quite as tall as some of the Antec towers I've had, but the CS-800TA-S is certainly a lot deeper. There are a total of four external 5.25" bays, leaving you with enough room for most combinations of 5.25" devices, such as two optical drives, a fan controller and perhaps an Audigy Live! drive.

There are two 3.5" external bays, good for a floppy and perhaps a Zip, neither of which a lot of people have these days. Just beneath the 3.5" bays are a couple of USB connections, sound ports, the power button, and a small LCD for temperature display, which we will discuss later.

There is a circular, mesh fan vent located near the bottom of the front bezel. Rather than blocking this area off, and forcing the fan to draw air in from the bottom of the front bezel, this approach Enermax took works out much better. Though I don't have the testing tools to measure airflow, logically, the fewer obstacles you have, the better.

Moving on to the side panels, there's a couple of interesting features worth noting. The first is the fan control located in the center of the side panel. Like the front bezel, there is a circular, mesh covered hole for airflow for the included 80mm fan. There are fan icons, and turning the dial to one, two or three will increase the speed of the fan accordingly.

Naturally, the control mechanism needs to be somewhere, and unfortunately, Enermax placed this directly on the opposite side of the opening. A small box built into the inside side panel would have been a better choice, as the fan controller's PCB does restrict some airflow. For the fan controller to work, you'll have to connect a three pin connection from the fan to the controller, and a Molex-to-Floppy adapter (which is included) into the controller.

The side panel of the CS-800TA-S is not a tool-less design, and a couple of Phillips screws need to be removed in order to take the side panel off. Once the screws are removed, you can use the handle located towards the rear of the side panel to take it off. The handle serves to give the user something to hold on to, and at the same time, locks the side panel in place. The handle is fairly sturdy, and should be able to withstand a good amount of abuse, because if it breaks, taking the side panel off is going to be very difficult.

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