Fashion goes in circles – this expression is true, including in relation to computer chassis. 20 years ago, when processors were still cold, the standard for PCs was considered first AT, and then ATX layout of components, in which the power supply was at the back at the top of the case. As the TDP of processors increases and very hot video adapters appear, chassis manufacturers decided to move the PSU down, under the motherboard, so that it would not heat up from hot air, but instead put more exhaust fans. And for the last couple of years, almost all new items have been produced in this style – a casing with a power supply and drives at the bottom, and everything else at the top. And then, all of a sudden, over the past couple of months, various brands have announced the appearance of chassis (in particular: In Win 103, Rosewill Prism S500, Sharkoon Pure Steel and Aerocool Glo), similar to the classic Chieftec, mixed with no less traditional Silverstone – with an upper position of the PSU and ventilation from the side and bottom panel. How relevant is such a scheme, and why is it remembered now? To find out, we requested the Aerocool Glo case for review as soon as it went on sale. In this article, we will take a detailed look at its design, and then conduct a thermal test.
|Type of shell||Midi-Tower|
|Dimensions, mm||478 (H) x 210 (W) x 483 (D)|
|Material||Steel (0.7 mm), glass (3 mm), plastic|
|Form Factor||SSI-CEB, ATX, MicroATX, Mini-ITX|
|Devices 3.5″ external||–|
|Devices 3.5″ / 2.5″ internal||3 / 5|
|Supported number of expansion slots||7|
|Fans||front – 2 x 120 / 140 mm (optional)
internal – 2 x 120 mm (optional)
lower – 3 x 120 mm (optional)
rear – 1 x 120 mm (installed)
|Interface connectors||2 x USB 3.0, mic in and headphone out|
|Other||3mm tempered glass side panel, two ARGB lighting strips on the sides of the front panel, removable dust filter on the bottom, removable storage tray on the motherboard tray|
|Recommended cost, $||80|
Packing and scope of delivery
The chassis comes in a regular box with monochrome printing on the sides. The only bright spot on it is the RGB icon. On the front there are images of the product with a 3/4 rotation, and on the back there is a detailed diagram of the case in disassembled form and from different angles. Chassis listings in 12 languages and detailed specifications in tabular form can be found on the sides of the box. There are no carrying handles. Internal protection against damage is the usual – foam dampers and a plastic bag.
The set of spare parts for the case is modest, but sufficient. It is contained in a separate box, all parts are packaged in signed bags. There is:
- assembly instructions;
- ten disposable plastic cable ties;
- metal adapter for a Phillips or straight screwdriver for mounting motherboard racks;
- 20 screws for mounting 2.5″ drives;
- 5 screws for the power supply;
- 22 screws for mounting the motherboard and 3.5″ hard drives.
Separately, in the kit, I would like to note two metal adhesive Aerocool logos. The fact is that such things are usually applied to the case “from the factory”. But in this case, the manufacturer decided to leave the choice to the buyer, giving him the opportunity to stick any logo where he likes. I’m sure OEM builders will appreciate it.
Unlike many other Aerocool products, which often look very colorful, the Glo case is extremely strict in its appearance. Due to straight lines, black color and a small number of holes, it looks monolithic. The front panel is solid and completely metal.
External connectors are located on the front right, on the top panel. By the way, the junction of the front and top is made almost imperceptible. If you look in order, then there is a round key to start the system, along the perimeter of which there is a power indicator. This is followed by a small backlight control button, two USB 3.0 ports and two 3.5mm audio jacks for headphones and a microphone. That’s all, nothing more. There is no restart button.
The left side panel, already traditionally, is completely made of tempered glass. On the sides, plastic inserts are glued to it, acting as fasteners. Ahead, along the side face of the front panel, there is a white strip of translucent plastic, behind which the LED strip is hidden.
From under the glass, towards the left side, the dust filter of the bottom panel is easily removed.
The glass itself is held on by two large knurled screws and opens sideways. But it is worth considering that there are no loops in front of this panel, and it hangs ajar only on the front hooks, so you need to hold it from below and carefully remove it completely.
The glass has a thickness of 3 mm and is rather weakly tinted, which is why it has good transparency. Plastic frames are glued in front and behind, fixing screws remain on the frame after unscrewing. In addition, there is a convenient handle on the back.
The left panel is metal and flat. In its front part there is a ventilation grill made by stamping. There is also an LED strip on this face of the front panel.
The right side panel has bucket-shaped stiffening ribs, which makes it highly durable. The mounting screws are also fixed here and will not be lost after dismantling. The removal handle is in its rightful place.
The top panel is flat and solid, there are no ventilation holes on it. If you need to put something here or put it, then no problem.
The rear panel is designed as standard for cases with a top-mounted power supply. The landing holes here allow you to orient the PSU with both the fan down and up, but we would recommend sticking to the first option, otherwise it will have nowhere to take air from. Opposite the rear ports of the motherboard there is a ventilation grill, behind which a 120mm exhaust fan is pre-installed. Its height position can be adjusted by no more than 10 mm. At the bottom there are seven slots for PCI expansion cards, all of them are covered with reusable ventilated plugs and are held on with ordinary screws. The mounting hole to the right of the slots is covered with a solid decorative plug, which is held on by a single thumb screw.
At the bottom of the case there are two large plastic legs, which simultaneously act as guides for the dust filter. The legs are 26mm high and have screwdriver holes to allow bottom fans to be screwed into the case. Four rubber pads are glued to the corners of the legs, preventing the chassis from sliding on the surface and unnecessary scratches on the table.
The dust filter is well made. A fine-mesh mesh is pasted on a massive plastic frame. You can remove and clean it without effort.
Let’s look at the interior of the case.