The In-Win Ironclad Full Tower Case
Today, In-Win gives Legit Reviews the opportunity to look at their newest case in their Destiny-Extreme series, the Ironclad. The Ironclad ATX full tower PC case retails for $125.99 on Thenerds.net, and for a full tower that is rather inexpensive for the features it offers. It looks like the In-Win Ironclad may give more expensive cases a run for their money. Let's take a look.
In-Win Ironclad PC Case Features:
- Excellent Thermal Solution
- Gaming Chassis utilizes 22cm (220mm) side panel fan to accelerate
air through and out of chassis to keep components cool. A ventilated
floor panel and a top vent with 12cm (120mm) fan provide the optimal
airflow on both intake and exhaust.
- Dust proof meshes
- The air filter meshes are built into the front bezel side panel
top panel and floor that keeps out of the dust and extend the life of
- Tool-free mechanical design.
- Screw-less I/O expansion slots make assembling a fun, easy and enjoyable experience.
- Metallic Warship Design Enhances the structural steel sturdiness
- Eight tool-free expansion slots
- Patented shock-free railing system
At first glance, you see the one picture of the case on the box and it's a small portion of it, but it is enough to give you an idea of what it will look like and the airflow it could provide. No doubt that this is full tower; the Ironclad weighs in at 29lbs. Just from the box it looks to be nearly the size of the HAF-932.
Unboxing the Ironclad was easy enough. It had two foam blocks on each end and was completely wrapped in plastic to protect it from any sudden movements and environmental elements should your carrier happen to have butterfingers.
The accessories bundled include: motherboard mounts, screws for the side fans when applicable, miscellaneous screws, case speaker, a couple of zip ties, two 3-4 pin power adapters, two rubber mounts for those longer power supplies, adhesive cable clips and two push-pin cable clips. Of course, we cannot forget the User’s Manual.
After unwrapping the Ironclad it’s not hard to see that this case is a bit of a beast. It’s about as tall as the HAF-932 that’s sitting not too far away. In fact, they are about the same size with the Ironclad being a little thinner. It is sporting a mesh on the front that is more “open” than the mesh on most cases. It should provide more than enough airflow for your hardware.
A nice feature I almost missed happens to be on the inside part of the front bezel. Every bay cover has a filter to aid in dust reduction.
Up top you can see the slots for two 120mm fans and there is enough room for a dual 120mm radiator if one decides to go that route. Then you have the front panel with the Power/Reset buttons and it sports four USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire, HD Audio, and then last but not least, two e-SATA ports.
Onward to the side; you’ll get to see the 22cm (220mm) LED fan that also happens to have an On/Off switch next to it. Nice feature there. Last feature on the side is the ability to install six 120mm fans for some serious cooling. Every screw hole has a rubber grommet to aid in noise reduction. You may have seen this before on another case by In-Win, the Maelstrom that we reviewed last year.
The other side is as plain as they come. Not a bad thing.
Moving on to the back, we see the whole back side is painted a matte black, with the power supply mount on the bottom. Above the power supply area there are the four water cooling tube inlets/outlets. Most cases I’ve seen only use two, maybe three at the most. Next feature I like is that it has 8 expansion slots, which means the Ironclad has more than enough room to handle triple GPU setups no matter what motherboard you have if one chooses to do so. A motherboard with a layout like the Asus Rampage II Extreme or the ASUS P6X58D Premium (both have same pci-e layout) will have no problem installing more than two dual-slotted GPU's inside this case. Above the slots is the exhaust for the 120mm fan in the back. And last but not least, we have thumbscrews holding the panels on. A very nice feature should you not have a screwdriver handy.
On the bottom we have the stand that swivels 90 degrees, each having two rubber feet. The only other mentionable feature is the vent for the bottom mounted power supply.
Cracking the Ironclad open, we see that the interior paint matches the exterior which is one of the best features of this case in my opinion. I feel that it gives the case a professional appearance. There weren’t any sharp edges that I was able to find either, and installing any hardware won’t be much trouble at all with the spacious interior. As far as fitting in a 5970, that will be a tight fit if it fits at all.
Jumping to the other side, we see of course the CPU cutout hole. I do think it should be bigger but for the price, that’s nitpicking it a little bit. Other than that there isn’t much else to see.
Here on the interior part of the side panel the first thing we notice is the sound dampening material that should aid in the noise reduction. Though I do wonder how well it would do that as most of this panel is mesh. Then we have the 22cm (220mm) LED fan. Sadly, I could not find any specs on this fan or any of the 120mm fans on the box, in the manual, or on the website.
The other side panel has the same sound dampening material applied to the bottom portion of it as the other panel. I like how it lines up perfectly with the motherboard tray. As mentioned, I’m not sure how well this will reduce the noise but we'll know shortly. Also worth mentioning is that if you're looking to route some cables behind the motherboard tray you may run into issues with that due to the sound dampening material taking up some room. The lack of cutout holes for better cable routing doesn't help a lot either.
Something you don’t normally see caught my attention. Up front there is a tray where the drive rails reside on both sides. It rests in one of the 5.25” drive bays which, quite honestly, is an excellent idea and place. Below the drive rail tray resides the 2.5"" bay with its own detachable mount. Very nice.
The tray holds the rails on both sides that are held firmly in place.
And here is the mounting plate for the 2.5" bay area. This is perfect for SSD's. I liked this as the case I personally use does not have this so my SSD just sits in the case.
Onward to the bottom: we see the power supply mount even came with a dust filter. Honestly, while the dust filter is a great idea, I feel that the concept isn't executed very well as it literally sits underneath the power supply INSIDE the case, making it nearly impossible to clean it. You would need to remove the power supply to even get to the filter. I thought maybe mounting the filter underneath the case would be a solution but the case feet block the way. Also, you will see two circles which indicate where the two extra rubber power supply mounts would go should you use a power supply that is a bit long.
The motherboard tray has an imprinted stamp, creating a legend for the reference marks that are marked next to the pre-drilled holes for the necessary mounting screws. Helpful for the experienced or inexperienced builders.
And finally, we have all the case connections, sleeved and labeled clearly. They are long so if you need to get creative with the cable routing, it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. The instruction manual does provide the information on connecting these properly.
Also, I want to mention that the Power LED wire is split into 2 connections. One has the positive and negative wires next to each other while the other connector has them further apart for motherboards that have such a pin arrangement.
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.