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Chenbro Gaming Bomb II Chenbro Gaming Bomb II: G5 envy? It looks like a Mac, but leave it to Chenbro to give the case a unique look and feel.
Date: January 26, 2005
Provided By:
Written By:

In my experience with Chenbro, which has been quite limited, I've been led to believe that Chenbro was a very plastic & steel kind of company. Most of the products that I've seen from Chenbro in the past few years have been based on steel chassis and plastic fronts bezels. When I was offered the review of the Gaming Bomb II, I was very interested particularly because I had yet to see an aluminum case offered by Chenbro. Will the Gaming Bomb II be a failed attempt at an enthusiast's all-aluminum case, or have Chenbro's design team come out with a winner?

Before we take a look at the case, first here are the features:

Features and Benefits

Thermally Advantaged Design

-   Front 120 mm Fan
-   Rear 120 mm Fan
-   Top 92 mm Fan (Optional)
Front Metal Mesh Ventilation
Easy Installation and Maintenance
-   ICM™- Integrated Cable Managment Technology
-   FlexiBay™ Hard Drive Cage Techology
-   Screwless 5.25" Bay Design
-   Screwless 3.5" Bay Design
-   Removable & Toolless M/B Tray
-   External PSU Installation
Excellent Styling
Unique Rounded Shape Aluminum Bezel
-   Transparent Side Panel Window (Option)
-   Integrated Handle Technology
-   Large Square Lighted Power Button
-   Screwless Fan Holder
FPIO Support
-   2 x USB 2.0, 2 x Audio, 1 x IEEE 1394
Safety Assembly
-   Folded Edge and U-Seam Technology
-   Membrane of side Panel to Avoid Scratches During Assembly
Security
-   Case Accepts Common Locking Technology
Other Special Features Of Note
-   Less Weight with Better Heat Dissipation
-   Enclosed Lighting Clips Included in Accessory Kit


So let's see what this case has to offer.

First Impressions:
Upon taking the case out of the packaging, I was rather stunned. The case looks awesome, and is very light. The brushed metal look is very refined, and the way the front bezel is shaped gives the case an interesting demeanor.

Let's take a look at the actual case.

Here we see the front of the case, with the four 5.25" bays, and the two 3.5" bays, as well as the power and reset buttons, and the front-mounted USB, IEEE1394, and microphone and headphone ports.

In addition, two curves in the lower half of the front of the case constitute the grills for the front case fan. Be warned, if the case is black, dust will be quite noticeable on these front grills.

For those of you wondering about the power LED, it is built into the power button, which glows blue when the computer is turned on. The hard drive activity LED is to the left of the reset button.

One of the complaints I had with the case was that the power button had a lot of resistance to it, when pressed it had a nice click to it, and felt solid. The reset button on the other hand, due mainly to its size, was somewhat difficult to depress fully.

Upon pulling the front metal bezel away from the case, the screws that keep the 5.25" and 3.5" bay covers in are revealed, as is the plastic molding behind the metal bezel. The door had just about the right amount of resistance to opening, however I did notice that if the case was turned with the front down, the bezel had a tendency to open.

At the rear of the computer, we find the PSU bay as well as the removable motherboard tray, consisting of a 120mm Sunon case fan as well as the ATX panel and the rear ports for the expansion slots. There are four screws that hold the motherboard tray in, each of which do not detach from the tray.

The power supply is held to the case via a plate, which is attached to the PSU, and then attached to the case via thumbscrews. Installation was easy, and the PSU seemed to be supported well. Each point which mounts to the PSU is marked with a "P" as well, which should help those unfamiliar with ATX PSU's.

I have seen screws of this type before, on high-end servers, and at times can find them to be a little finicky, as the screw doesn't always mate correctly with the hole, however that's to be expected, as the same holds true for screws that are manually driven in. Also, the screws have grooves so that they're easy to turn.

The rear of the motherboard tray sports the 120mm Sunon fan. The fan assembly is something I have to congratulate Chenbro on, as it's one of the easiest assemblies I've worked with in quite a while.

To remove the fan, there are simply two retaining clips that get pushed up, and the fan can be tilted and lifted out of the assembly. If the dust filter needs to be removed (which is part of the actual fan housing) simply pull back on a tab, and push the housing up, and it slides out of its locked location, and out towards you.

Unfortunately one thing I have to say about the rear fan is that while the actual fan and housing are great, for the price of this case, the actual fan grill is kind of cheesy. There's some metal that has holes in a honeycomb-like pattern, and there are small tabs cut out from the metal, which go through holes, and are bent into place. Considering the price bracket this case is supposed to be in, I would have expected more out of a fan grill.

From the side, the case almost has an Apple G5 look to it, especially due to the top handles on the case. I actually was able to remove the handles, but it left gaping holes in the top of the case, so I wouldn't recommend removing them. It's easy in this picture to see the brushed metal look of the case.

In addition, at the bottom of the case we can see the case feet, which are pleated metal. I would have liked to have seen some sort of pads, even removable pads on the case feet, as I have a hard wood floor in my own room, and don't particularly like scratching it every time I move the case.

Here we can see the case in all of it's glory - starting in the top right and going clockwise, we find the 5.25" bays, the 3.5" bays, the removable drive bay, which Chenbro calls their FlexiBay , and finally the motherboard tray.

The interesting thing about the 5.25" and 3.5" bays is that screws are never needed for drive installation. Chenbro instead has created a system by where two metal prongs will enter the screw holes upon "locking" a side mechanism. For the 5.25" bays, this mechanism is a circular disk that slides clockwise to lock, and counter-clockwise to unlock. For the 3.5" bays, there is a lever of sorts that is pushed right to unlock, left to lock.

Here we can see the 5.25" and 3.5" bays in both unlocked and locked positions.

Here we can see the locking mechanism open in the 5.25" bays.

And here we can see one bay with the locking mechanism open, and another directly below it with its locking mechanism closed.

One problem I had with the retention system regarding the drives staying place was that if the drives were pushed with a decent amount of force, the retention system did not keep them in place. Now, most people won't be applying too much pressure to their CD-ROM drives (hopefully,) however I feel this is still something to take into consideration.

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