In-Win Ironclad ATX Full Tower PC Case ReviewTue, Jun 15, 2010 - 12:00 AM
Installing Parts and Conclusion
I have to say, the Ironclad has quite a bit of room — enough for 3 GTX480’s even though I only have two. But there were some concerns. As I was installing the hardware, I did see that the CPU cutout did not line up with the Rampage II Extreme board that was used. Not that big of a thing, although it does force you to remove the motherboard when using certain coolers. Nothing a little modding can’t fix. I’m not a cable management guru, but I didn’t think there was much room to do some nice cable routing, at least not without putting them in the bay area or in front of the front 120mm fan that is. I like the idea of sound dampening, but the material itself did take some of the space that cables could use to be routed. There were no cutout holes on the motherboard tray for better management, either. To be honest, for around $145 (after shipping) those are things I can live without.
Also, keep a special eye on
the location of the 4pin (sometimes 8pin) power connector on your
motherboard. The Rampage board in the above picture has its connector
position in the upper left portion which, with the V10 installed, was
very hard to reach. Actually, the V10 was about an inch from hitting the
top and rear fans. Not enough for my hands to fit. In fact, it would have
required me to remove the cooler to get to the cable. With the cutout
hole not lining up with the mounts (and if it wasn’t modded bigger yet),
it would have been insanely challenging with that particular CPU cooler
installed. It is impressive that the Ironclad was able to fit the V10
inside the case; however, I did run into another snag. The side panel’s 22cm (220mm)
fan would hit the cooler making it impossible to close the case.
You could just use 4 120mm fans since the fan mounts are positioned below the V10 so
it’s not a deal breaker if you plan on or are using this cooler.
All in all, I like the Ironclad. It’s spacious, chock full of features, does push a lot of air, and has a very enticing price point. I think In-Win is doing a great thing offering this case alongside their Maelstrom case. Both cases are extremely similar in design with a few differences. Most of all, the customer gets to have a choice of which full tower they want. While I’d definitely have no problem recommending this case for anyone, issues with certain components may be a turn off for some users. The most obvious is if you’re using the Cooler Master V10.
Using this cooler will undoubtedly eat up the real estate inside this case (any case for that matter). So much that I have trouble connecting the 8pin power connector to my motherboard with my Fred Flintstone-like hands. I also cannot close the side panel door due to the 220mm fan touching the V10. Using 120mm’s on the bottom four fan slots should pose no problem with that cooler installed. The other thing is cable management. It is not impossible to work with, but it is not that easy for a novice cable router like me, either. It has some room, but the use of sound dampening material has taken up some of that room. Also not having some cut out holes or at least a way to route cables makes it a tad harder for some users to tidy up the case. I’m sure more experienced users won’t find that an issue. Another quibble I have is the location of the PSU dust filter. It is sandwiched between the PSU and the chassis itself, which really makes cleaning the filter next to impossible as you will need to remove the power supply to reach the filter. It cannot be attached underneath as the feet of the case block it. Last but not least, it was great to see the GTX 480’s fit perfectly with room to spare inside. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen technical difficulties, I was not able
to get temperature readings with the GPU’s running. But I did at least manage to get the fans to spin. It may or may not say much, but since there weren’t any specs I could find on the fans, I can at least say they do push a very decent amount of air.
As mentioned, I like the Ironclad. It’s built solid, has the room for multiple GPU’s, offers great airflow, and it’s relatively inexpensive for the features (I really did like the 2.5″ mount for my SSD). The issues I mentioned are really kind of being nitpicky considering the price. For around $125 plus shipping it seems like a decent price for a great case. Anyone who wants a new case should take a look at the Ironclad.
Legit Bottom Line: Anyone looking to buy a new case should really consider the Ironclad with its low price point and excellent features.