There are probably three different kinds of computer chassis buyers. One type is a user who simply wants something to house their PC. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, as long as it holds the motherboard, and everything else needed for a PC to work.
Another kind of shopper is somebody who at least gives half a damn what the case looks like. Budget is still a concern, but it needs to look a little decent and not be the target of ridicule when guests come over.
Then we have the buyer who doesn't care about pricing, and it has to be a well built case that also will draw the attention of the fashion police as an example of what perfection looks like when it comes to cases.
The Ultra Dragon MS-Blue Glossy ATX Mid-Tower Case (hereby referred as Dragon for the rest of the review) probably falls between #2 and #3. It's a large mid-tower, with clean aesthetics and based on the Chieftec DG-01BLD-U case (at least, that's what I gather from the Chieftec name stamped on the drive rails). It is rebranded by and features a very nice blue paint job.
Inside the packaging box, the Dragon is wrapped by a plastic bag to protect it from moisture and secured by a couple of cardboard blocks. Other than the Dragon, you'll find an instruction manual, and a number of accessories that go along with the case.
|Ultra Dragon MS-Blue Glossy ATX Mid-Tower Case
||Color: Glossy MS-Blue
Depth: 473 mm
Width: 205 mm
Height: 522 mm
4 - 5.25" Bays with Easy-Pull Port Covers
3 - Removable 3.5" Bays (2 External and 1 Hidden)
3 - Hidden Removable 3.5" Bays with Removable Case Fan Mount
Expansion Slots: 7 Standard Slots
Case Fan Mounts: 4 Snap-in 80mm Case Fan Mounts
Case Fan Mount Dimensions:
Depth: 25 mm
Width: 80 mm
Green - Power
Orange - Hard Drive Access
4 Extendable Case Mount Feet For Extra Stability
Front Swing-out Bezel Cover with Lock
Quick Release Clear Side Panel with Lock and Exhaust Fan
Quick Release Internal 3.5" Drive Bays
Large Front Panel Vent
4 Screwless Case Fan Mounts
4 Sets of Rail Kits
Ultra Dragon MS-Blue – Exterior
The Dragon is constructed primarily out of steel, which is stronger than aluminum, but also heavier. Compared to their some other cases I've worked with, the Dragon is definitely the heaviest. It also wasn't quite level, even with the case feet extended, but this was easily fixed with a screwdriver and adjusting the feet.
The front bezel is 100% plastic, and a pain to remove I might add. No air filter was present, so you'll want to dust off the interior of your PC now and then with this case. To hide any unsightly devices, the Dragon features a swing door which can be closed to hide mismatching drives. The door is also lockable to keep nosy neighbours out (or a jealous LAN gamer from powering off your PC in the middle of a match).
There are four 5.25" drive bays, with plastic covers over each. It was bad enough one of the feet was slightly misaligned, but as soon as I opened the door, two drive bay covers fell to the floor. Either Ultra Products need to verify everything is secure before boxing it, or they should consider using a different shipping company.
Behind the drive bay covers are metal plates, which need to be removed before installing any devices. These come off pretty easily.
The power and reset buttons are located next to the two 3.5" external bays. There are also power and HDD activity LEDs here as well. You can also get a good look at the paint quality here in the above shot. Ultra Computers call this Liquid Gloss, Extreme Finish, and I'll have to say that it does look very glossy. We've worked with a lot of nice cases in the past, but this was the first time my wife ever mentioned how nice a case looked when viewing it.
The bottom half of the front bezel is the familiar grill we're used to seeing with Chieftec cases. As mentioned earlier, there is no air filter, so keep that compressed air can handy. The grill does allow a good amount of air flow, but the downside is noise is not really blocked so this case can be a bit louder than those which are more fully enclosed.
Near the top of the grill is a small swinging door that hides the USB and FireWire connections. The door is a nice touch as I personally find these kinds of connections on the front of the case quite ugly.
A quick look at the rear shows us that the case is ready for two rear mounted 80mm fans. The Rear IO shield is PC'99 compliant, and can be removed if you have a motherboard with a different IO layout. The IO shield is not cut from the case shell, so you can put it back in if you need it. As you can see in the above image, no power supply is included.
The Dragon has a huge case window on main side panel. With such a huge window, it's a shame Ultra Products did not paint the interior as well. On the windowed panel, there is an 80mm intake fan that will draw cool air over the PCI slots. This side panel can also be locked with another set of keys that is provided.
Ultra Dragon MS-Blue – Interior
There are four sets of drive rails that can be used with 5.25" devices. These rails do somewhat speed up the process of swapping out optical drives but ultimately, your total time saved is not that much since you'll need to remove the rails from the drives if you decide not to use it.
You also have your usual assortment of case wires for the motherboard. I do like the "block" wires used for USB and FireWire as it takes a lot of the work in figuring out where individual wires should go out of the equation. In case you're wondering, the front mounted USB ports support USB 2.0.
In total, there are a combined ten drive bays available. They are broken up as four 5.25" external bays, to external 3.5" bays, and four hidden 3.5" internal bays. The 3.5" bays are on two quick release drive bays. Simply unlock the bay and slide it right out.