The GRone ATX Full Tower Case
Full-size tower cases are larger in volume than your average desktop case, with more room for drive bays and expansion slots. Power users tend to add computer components over the years and can quickly outgrow smaller mid-tower cases. These larger full-size ATX towers 'open the door' when it comes to what one can put into them, or use with them. We can use larger motherboards, larger/multiple video cards, more storage drives, larger CPU coolers, bigger and better power supplies, to being able to expand our computers cooling capabilities into water cooling. You can usually fit all of these items into full-tower chassis easily and still not overcrowd the interior. If space is an issue for you now or you want to build a system you can grow into you need to look at a full tower computer case!
Today, we are going to be looking at the GRone full-tower from a well-known computer manufacturer that designs and builds quality, and affordable cases - In-Win. The In-Win GRone chassis is available in two different color variations, Gray ($159.99) or White ($159.99). Both come with a three year parts and labor warranty from In-Win. The chassis we are going to be looking at more closely in this review is the IN-WIN GRone Gray 0.8mm SECC steel ATX full tower computer case.
In-Win GRone Grey Full-Tower Specifications:
- Color: Gray/White
- Case Material: 0.8mm SECC Steel
- With Power Supply: No
- Power Supply Mounted: Bottom
- Motherboard Compatibility: E-ATX (12" x 13") / ATX / Micro-ATX
- With Side Panel Window: Yes
- External 5.25" Drive Bays: 3
- External 3.5" Drive Bays: No
- Internal 3.5" Drive Bays: Internal 3.5" x 8 or 2.5" x 8
- Hot-Swap Drive Bays: 3.5"/2.5" SATA HDD EZ-Swap x 1
- Expansion Slots: 8
- USB 3.0 x 2 (Internal Connector)
- USB 2.0 x 2
- HD/AC'97 Audio
- Fan Speed Controller
- 80mm Fans: No
- 120mm Fans: No
- 140mm Fans: Black 140mm fan x 2, Red LED 140mm fan x 3
Giving the specifications of the GRone full-tower chassis a quick glance, we get an idea of the size of this chassis, and that this chassis can handle up to 10 120mm/140mm fans, this chassis comes with five 140mm fans already installed, and gives options of installing five more 120/140mm fans. In-Win also states that the GRone chassis can utilize both a dual 120mm radiator on the bottom, and a triple 120mm radiator up towards the top of the chassis.
In-Win does keep the box somewhat plain looking, nothing to fancy or flashy. We get the name, and a picture of the front of the GRone full-tower chassis. Both front and rear panels of the box are exactly the same.
Rotating the box 90° right brings us to the general features of the GRone.
Since the back and front panels look identical, I spun the box 180° to the final side of the box. Here In-Win prints the general specifications of the GRone chassis.
Once we open up the packaging that incases the GRone from In-Win, we can see that this chassis follows the more traditional style; but, instead of using standard Styrofoam end caps In-Win uses a foam rubber for the end caps.
Time to look at what gets included as accessories with the GRone chassis; In-Win places all of the above contents into a zip lock style bag that can be reused on the accessories that we are not going to be using. In-Win also categorizes each accessory in its own individual zip lock baggy. These include:
- Motherboard Standoffs and screws
- 2.5” HDD screws
- PSU, Fan Screws, and misc. screws (Odd screws)
- Molex to 3 pin fan adapter
- Wire ties
- A EPS CPU power extension cable
What the In-Win GRone chassis looks like once it has been removed from the confines of the packaging.
Exterior Thoughts of the GRone
I am going to start off on the front of this chassis then make my around the entire chassis. This chassis does not have eight 5.25” bays, instead it can only use up to three 5.25” bays, while the lower portion of this chassis is a façade (I will get into more details about this in a few).
In-Win places all of the front IO ports directly in the front of the GRone chassis, starting up at the top left is the HDD LED indicator/Reset button, moving right while staying on the top, is a large on/off power button, and to the top right is a simple fan controller that runs our fans at full speed (Turbo), or operates the fans at a lower speed (Silenced). On the bottom left are two USB 2.0 inputs, followed by the mic/head phone jacks, and finally two USB 3.0 inputs.
The 5.25” bay covers do not snap in like typical covers do, on the outer edges of the grill covers are two buttons (one on each side) that has to be squeezed in order for us to remove the 5.25” covers.
I was rather disappointed upon seeing this, In-Win does not add any filters behind each of the 5.25” bay covers. I am not going to hold this against this chassis, but I do feel I should mention it.
The lower five 5.25” bay covers are not actually bay covers these lower five 5.25” bay covers is actually is a one piece façade that houses the front fans filter. Removing it was really simple, just push on the center of the fourth bay cover and it unlocks so that we can remove it.
In-Win covers the entire Façade with a small mesh to keep dust and particles to a minimum from entering our chassis.
After removing the front façade we can see that this chassis includes two 140mm front fans. These are accessed from inside of the chassis, I will show you how to gain access to these fans on the next page.
In-Win employs a rather simple push style of locking mechanism that holds the front façade in place.
Looking at the left side panel of the GRone chassis, In-Win places a rather large blue tinted window onto this side panel.
Making our way towards the backside of the GRone chassis.
Up at the top of the backside of the GRone chassis In-Win includes four water cooling ports for those of us that uses a dual loop water cooling set up on our computers. In-Win also includes a 140mm rear exhaust fan; which, if we want to we can replace this fan with the smaller 120mm fan.
The GRone chassis has up to eight PCI expansion ports to support the larger E-ATX motherboards, and to the side of the PCI expansion ports are vents to help improve airflow inside of the chassis.
The GRone chassis uses a multiple PSU mounting holes to accommodate a variety of different PSUs and or different PSU configurations.
On the right side panel In-Win includes an optional backside motherboard fan mount so that we can improve circulation behind our motherboards. Keep in mind that this fan we will have to use the smaller 10/15mm thick 120/140mm fans.
The entire top of the GRone chassis can be removed so that we can install three upper exhaust fans. To remove the upper bezel, grab ahold of it and gently pull towards the rear of the chassis.
Once the upper bezel has been removed reveals that we can install 3 120mm exhaust fans or the larger 140mm fans here, or we have the option of installing a triple 120mm radiator.
In the front of the upper bezel is an external ATA port, so that we can use our extra HDD/SSDs that we have lying about the house and hook them directly up to this chassis.
The only thing I did not care about this part of the chassis is that this upper part of the bezel can get scratched up from hooking up an extra HDD/SSD through the use of this external SATA port.
In-Win does use a rubber cover to help keep dirt and debris from entering this external SATA port.
The entire back portion of the upper bezel uses a side/top venting system to help keep the air restriction from the upper fans at a minimum.
Time to make our way to the bottom portion of the GRone chassis; In-Win uses removable lower fan filters to help keep dust and large debris from entering our lower fans, and from entering the PSU.
But instead of using a cartridge style of fan filter, In-Win just uses a filter screen that only gets held into place by the chassis itself. These are easily removable, but I found this type of filter holding to be more of an annoyance because one, every time I touched the bottom part of the chassis these filters came right off, also once we install our computer components we have to lay the chassis on its side in order for us to clean these bottom filters.
The feet of the GRone chassis are made from a hard plastic, and they do not have a rubber bottom. You may not want to put this chassis on a surface that easily gets scratched up.
Interior Thoughts of the GRone
Time for me to look at the interior of the GRone chassis.
In-Win does things a bit different from what I have seen in the past on other chassis, instead of using screws, or various types of locking mechanisms; In-Win uses a push pin style of locks and we can move them from one set of holes to the next. To move the push pins from one mounting hole to the next all you need to do is pull on the push pins till it pops out, and then push it into the next corresponding mounting hole.
The GRone can handle up to eight 2.5/3.5” HDD/SSDs, In-Win also places two 140mm fans directly in front of the HDD cage, as well as another 140mm fan behind the HDD cage. The HDD cages can be removed from the chassis, there are 3 screws that secure these HDD cages to the chassis. 1 up to the right hand corner, one in the center left hand side, and one more screw is located on the bottom center.
The HDD carriers removal is pretty straight forward.
The front 140mm fans are not screwed into the chassis, all three front 140mm fans are held into by plastic clips.
As I mentioned earlier that the HDD cages can be removed, and that there are two HDD cages. The upper HDD cage handles up to five 2.5/3.5” HDD/SSDs, while the lower HDD cage can handle up to three 2.5/3.5” HDD/SSDs.
What the individual HDD carrier looks like. The 3.5” HDD mounting will not need the use of screws to secure it to the HDD carrier. While the 2.5” HDD/SSD mounting requires the use of the four inner mounting holes to secure these smaller drives to the carrier.
Looking at the front IO motherboard connectors, the Molex connector is used for the included fan controller, the exterior SATA connector gets a SATA power cable, and SATA DATA cable, and we get a standard USB 3 motherboard connector, a USB 2 motherboard connector, and the power/HDD LED connectors, and finally the on/off/reset motherboard connectors.
In-Win uses vented PCI port covers that we can reuse.
Looking at the 140mm rear exhaust fan.
In order to install a lower dual 120mm radiator into the GRone chassis, we have to remove the lower HDD cage.
After doing a quick measurement I found out that we will be limited to using only a single row dual 140/120mm radiator with fans. I tested this out with my Danger Den dual 120mm, Dual pass, Dual row radiator I could fit the bare radiator in here but once the fans got installed I could not make it fit.
Up at the top of the GRone chassis we can fit another triple 120/140mm radiator up here. But up here we can use up to a dual pass, dual row, triple 120/140mm radiator.
The CPU cutout does appear to be large enough to handle a multitude of different motherboards and their unique arrangements.
I left the rear HDD cage 140mm fan on for my measurement of the interior. We can use up to thirteen inch long video cards if the rear HDD cage fan is installed. But once it has been removed we gain an additional one and three quarters of an inch, that gives up fourteen and three quarters of total room.
Looking at the included front three 140mm fans.
Doing a quick measurement behind the motherboard tray while the right hand side panel is installed, we get right at an inch of space here; which should be plenty of room to hide our PSU wires here, and or use a thin 15mm 120/140 fan on the right side panel.
Doing a measurement behind the motherboard tray for a quick verification this reconfirms that we do have one inch of room behind the motherboard tray.
All of the edges of the GRone chassis were rounded off enough to keep my hands and or arms from getting cut up as I made my way around this chassis. Since I removed all of the side panels, and bezels off from the chassis prior to installing my computer hardware, I grabbed the front top right hand corner of the chassis, and then grabbed the bottom lower left hand corner of this chassis and twisted it just to see how much it would move. I am pleased to say that this chassis had very little movement; which tells me that this chassis is solidly built and that this chassis will not fail under the weight of our heavy, and expensive computer components.
Installing Hardware into the GRone
Time for me to install my computer components into the GRone chassis, first things first is for me to install all of the motherboard tray standoffs in their correct mounting holes.
I got the motherboard installed into the GRone chassis and my first thoughts are, “The GRone chassis makes my ASUS X58 Deluxe motherboard look tiny.”
A quick measurement of the upper area above the motherboard.
To install the 3.5” HDD into the HDD carriers is pretty simple, we align one side of the HDD to the included HDD silencing pins, then careful bend the opposite side of the HDD carrier to fit it over the HDD completely. It appears that the pins are slightly out of alignment, but once I got the HDD installed the pins did properly align themselves to the HDD.
In-Win includes an extra mounting hole for those of us who wishes to fully secure the HDD to the carrier.
To install the smaller 2.5” drives we need to remove 1 3.5” HDD pin.
Once we remove that single pin we now can fully secure the smaller 2.5” HDD/SSDs to the HDD carriers.
What the back side of the motherboard tray looks like once I gotten all of the hardware installed into the GRone chassis.
Looking at the CPU cutout, and yes this cut out is plenty of large enough to handle a great variety of different motherboards.
What the interior of the GRone looks like once everything is installed, I will have to say that is one clean looking computer. The side panels of the GRone do not slide and lock into place, they instead swing out. This makes buttoning up this chassis a lot easier and effortlessly.
What the GRone all assembled and rip raring and ready to go.
Final Thoughts of the GRone
The IN-WIN GRone chassis is a well designed full-tower that is fully capable of handling a multitude of different computer configurations with considerable ease. It was also able to make our computer system look stylish at the same time. Some of these areas that impressed me the most on the IN-WIN GRone are:
- The swing out side panels; this in itself makes opening and or closing up this chassis extremely easy especially when working on this chassis in low light times of the day or during a LAN party.
- The ability of being able to install a dual loop water cooling configuration with minimal loss of the capability of the GRone chassis
- The wire-management capabilities of the GRone full-tower chassis are what I call top notch.
The IN-WIN GRone full-tower chassis comes in at a price of $159.99 USD with $19.99 shipping, which gives us a grand total of $179.98. At the end of the day this is more than a fair price for just about anyone needing or wanting a case at is large enough to accommodate all of their computing needs while providing room to grow in the years to come.