Installation was a mixed bag, easy, but it did bring to light one particular issue. Large graphics cards, specifically in length, could have a problem if you fill all of the hard drive slots. Factor in the extra needed for power cables to the graphics card as well and it's a definite issue. 3R Systems are not alone in this respect, and since the hard drives are mounted in the same orientation as the case, there is one obvious work around which is to not mount a hard drive where it will be in the way. Extra to this with the R110 is that since the HDD mount is removable, it does make fiddling around to get the cable in the back of a graphics card a lot easier than most cases with this issue. Apart from that the rest of the installation was a breeze. The motherboard tray area was a little tight but if you're not the sort of person who is forever changing the motherboard (the majority of you) then this won't be an issue.
Test Setup: AMD X2 3800+ (overclocked to 2380MHz) using standard AMD CPU Heatsink, MSI K8N Diamond Plus, X1800XT AiW, Hiper Type-M 730watt, 1GB Corsair XMS Pro PC-3200, Seagate 250GB SATAII HDD, Pioneer 8x DVD-+RW
Usually my setup runs with watercooling, however in light of the air duct used on the R110 case, I've switched back to air cooling for this review. For comparison we are using the Antec P160. To even things out, the same Fans used in the R110 were also used in the Antec P160. Also of note here is that this isn't a true apples to apples comparison as the P160 is bigger, has a different orientation inside for the HDD's and is all aluminium construction. Think of it as more of a base line result.
Temperatures in Celcius, Lower is better
Case temperature for the R110 “The One” is pretty good, especially considering the more 'tight' nature of the interior of the R110 against the P160. The P160 has no form of ducting for the CPU but it's lower overall temperature helps to keep other components cool. The R110 does have ducting for the CPU, and it shows in the temperatures. The side effect is that noise levels outside the case are slightly raised, but since this is an AMD standard fan in our test system the noise level is quite low anyway. HDD temperatures are excellent. Two reasons for this; the 120mm fan at the front as an intake blows over the area of the HDD's and of course the heatsink nature of the R110's HDD mounting system. I believe that performance could be increased by having a larger area on the front case for air intake, however, regardless of this, the HDD temperature is pretty low.
Noise levels are slightly higher than your average case, however there is a reason for this. Two grills on the side panel, one of them ducting to the CPU fan, the other around the graphics card area, are obviously going to raise the noise levels outside the case; that's the price you pay for the additional cooling potential. However it's not actually bad at all, a sort worst of the best in quiet cases; although of course a lot of it will depend on the noise levels of the components inside the case. The other thing that keeps the noise level low is that both of the 120mm fans used are very quiet. Even when the fans are run at full speed, the 120mm fans can barely be heard, and certainly won't be heard over any other component that makes noise such as the CPU fan. As the tests results above show, the low noise and therefore slow fan speeds have not impacted temperatures either.
products are new to me and I would guess to many of our readers. They've not been around all that long in comparison with the more well known brands but they have made quite a positive impact during our review here today. Infact the impact has been positive enough for me to wonder why I've not seen items before. No, the is not a perfect case, and it certainly could be improved but it is stylish looking, functional, and has a few nice features not often (if at all) found on any other case.
The chassis is black, which while not disguising the steel nature, does make it seem more complete or more finished than bare steel. The front is plastic, black to match the rest of the case and features a mirrored fan controller/display as well as built in optical drive bay covers. Of particular note is that have included two (very quiet) 120mm fans in the intake and exhaust locations, something other manufacturers still fail to do. One particularly unique feature is the heatsink mounting system for the HDD's which does it's job quite effectively.
The only real issue is not unique to the but you should be aware of it. The confines of the case do make installing lengthy graphics cards like the X1800XT for example a bit tricky. There simply isn't much room, none in some cases, and factor in the need to add PCIe power cables and it becomes impossible, if there are HDD's in the way. However, if you keep that part of the HDD mount free from drives, there is just enough room to back the cards up and with the way the HDD mount side can be removed completely it does actually make installation easier than other cases with this same issue.
Overall, the is quite a nice case if you don't have the cash to spend on one of the more high end cases but would like to get at some of their features. It's stylish and attractive, has some unique features and as long as you are aware of the large graphics card issue you should be happy with this case. There is one other issue right now though; availability. It seems quite difficult to find any cases for sale in the usual places (at least in the West), but after their presence at CeBIT and from what I've seen here, I hope that situation is set to change. We look forward to seeing what else come up with in the future and hope to see more of their products here at the 'Lair.