Specifications and Features
Today we look at the Aerocool Masstige. The name according to the Aerocool box comes from ?Massive Capacity, and Prestige Design.? To their credit it lives up to that name. This case comes with lots of room for drives and manages to look great while doing it. Since Aerocool wants this case to be used for massive capacity I figured that I would have to come up with something good to put into it. However let?s go over the features and specifications before we dig into deep.
This is a mid tower case that come without a power supply and is available in your choice of silver or black. Our review sample was the black chassis, which currently runs for $110 shipped. This is a BTX-ready case, but those installing BTX motherboards, must purchase BTX accessory kit. The kit includes a new rear plate that works with the new BTX motherboards.
- 100%Tool-free"button"lock design for CD ROM installation
- Install up to 10XCD ROMs(or other products such as fan controller,thermal reading display or card readers etc.) or maximum 3xHDDs with included 5.25" to 3.5"adapters (3.sets)
- 100% Tool-free slider design for HDD installation
- Steel mesh to prevent dust from clogging into the power supply and also provides good air flow
- 2XHDD bays design at 90 degree angle for easy installation
- Pre-drilled screw holes for future BTX motherboard for future BTX motherboard.
- Large ventilation holes for good air flow. Can mount up to 2X80mm fans or 1X120mm fan
- Interchangeable rear plate for ATX / BTX montherboard
- Front panel USB 2.0 / IEE1394 / Audio
ATX,Micro ATX / BTX,MicroBTX,Pico BTX
|1X12cm Quad blue LED fan at back of case. 3X8cm transparent fan at side of case||I/O Ports||USB2.0, IEEE 1394 Firewire, Audio & Speaker ports|
|200mm(W)x467mm(H)x450mm(D)||Color||Silver /Black||Drive Bays||External:10x5.25", (3 sets of 3.5"adapters),2XHDDs(hidden)|
|Net Weight||11.49KG||Material||SECC 0.8mm||Container
Just glancing over the specifications you can see that this case comes with quite a lot for not a lot of $$.
The Aerocool Masstige arrived in a colorful box that received a bit of a rough hit. The box did its job, and protected the contents admirable, when I opened it up the case was in perfect condition. There were no scratches, dings or any other visual anomaly.
As you can see the front of the box has a big bright full color image of the case in both color flavorings. On the back there is a diagram of the internals showing all the different features. Both do a good job of showing both the case and the functionality of the case.
The case comes wrapped in plastic and protected on the front and back of the case by foam inserts, these inserts are much better than the standard Styrofoam or cardboard inserts found on cheaper cases. Also included with the case in a small cardboard box inside the case is the bundle. It contains ten pairs of tool less mounting devices, three hard drive adapter rails, two pairs of hard drive rails, and assortment of screws, and a small full color booklet showing how to work the various features of the case.
Like I said before, this is a very attractive case. I really like the look of it with the brushed aluminum sides on the front bezel to the mesh front grills, and even down to the small but attractive window.
You can see from these pictures that Aerocool wanted to maximize cooling. There are three 80mm fans on the right case panel directly under the window. On the left case panel there is a section that has pre-drilled holes allowing for air to flow from the three case fans on the other side, over the two hard drive locations and out the left side of the case.
Looking at the front of the case you can see that the mesh covered drive bays allow for lots of air to enter the front of the case. On the back there are two spots for either 80mm fans or one 120mm fan, which is included. The power supply mounts under the motherboard at the bottom and is inserted from the back by removing the mounting plate.
After removing the side panels you can start to see the expansivenesses of the inside. Stretching from the top to the bottom in the front of the case is the drive cage with room for up to TEN devices.
Not enough room in there to house your ?artistic nudes? collection? Well your in luck Aerocool give you another two hard drive bays just under the motherboard and above the power supply. They also include a fan mount for installing a 120mm fan into the front of the case. This mount can be moved any where along the front of the drive bay.
The motherboard tray is not removable sadly but it does at least come with pre-drilled holes for both ATX style motherboards and BTX style motherboards. I will say that the motherboard tray was flimsy, and could use some reinforcement or thicker material. Thats not to say I had any specific issues with it, rather that it just warped, and popped when I pushed on it. I'm sure that its more than strong enough to keep your motherboard securely held in place. At the bottom of the case is where the power supply is housed. It even comes with its own window facing... well what ever you set you case on. This nice little feature lets power supples with fans on the bottom to still effectively cool themselves. I often wonder why more case manufactures don't implement something like this.
Last but not least are the three 80mm fans on the right side panel. Here you can see how they are mounted in all their glory. While not my preferred place to find the power button and front panel ports, Aerocool did at least give us a nice selection. There are two USB2.0 one Firewire, Headphone and Microphone ports as well as the power and reset button up front for easy access.
To give this case a real run for its money I tore apart my dual Xeon server, and removed it from its 4U rack mount case.
- ASUS PC-DL Deluxe
- 2x Intel Xeon Low Voltage 1.6ghz processors running at 2.6ghz 1.55v
- 1Gb Mushkin TCC5 memory
- 80Gb Maxtor System drive
- nVidia GeForce2 400MX
- MSI 48x CD-RW drive
- Sparkle 460w EPS power supply
- Adaptec 3200S SCSI Raid Controller with 128ZMb
- 6x 73Gb 10,000 RPM Seagate SCSI Ultra320 Drives in Raid5
This system should put any case to the test when it comes to storage and heat. The 10,000 RPM SCSI drives them selves generate a tremendous amount of heat, then when you add in two overclocked Intel Xeon processors... well lets just say I don't have to worry about turning on the heat this winter.
As you can see I packed this thing as full as I could go. There are seven hard drives in there, giving me an unformatted capacity of 518gb. This may not seem like much when I have two 250gb drives in my main system, but you have to remember that there are SCSI drives. I can run two streamers of uncompressed HD video on these drives. That means I can play back two streams, record two streams or play one and record one all at the same time!
Put the sides back on and thats one good looking server. It just screams performance and storage. On the back you can see how my system fills it out, using all but two of the slots open.
Here we have some shots with the flash off so you can see the color from the rear 120mm LED fan. The blue glow looks nice, its not my preferred color and I will likely change it out with a different one but for the moment it works just fine.
I did encounter some issues with my installation. First the internal hard drive mounts. I don't like the fact that the 80pin IDE cable and power cable face right, I would prefer them to face the other direction so I can more easily hide the cables. On some cases you can opt to go either direction with the hard drives but in this case you only get one direction. If you attempt to mount the drive in reverse the IDE and power cables will obstruct the left panel and you will not be able to close the case. This is by no means a make or break point just one that bugged me, I like my cases to look clean and tidy.
My last little problem is heat. Yes that right heat. With all the equipment I put into that case there simply are not enough fans. It would be nice if Aerocool would at least include a second 120mm fan for the front of the case. So will this affect you? Not likely most people are not going to be putting six 10,000 RPM drives and two overclocked Xeon possessors into this case. But if you do plan on putting lots of hard drives into it I would strongly recommend adding a second fan in the front just to be safe.
So that is it for the bad, now on to the good. The good news is that this case has lots of room, if you are into water cooling then add in all you want, put that dual 120mm radiator up front and you still have room for plenty of drives.
Even though I griped about not being able to use the front panel ports, the cables are more than long enough for most motherboards. I have no idea why I always get so unlucky with this. It seems every time I get a new case I try to plug in the front panel and low and behold the cables will not reach. I don't expect many people to be affected by this as Aerocool clearly thought out the length and made sure it will reach the vast majority of motherboards.
The same can be said of the power supply location. More than once I have put my system in to a new case only to find that no mater how I do it the power supply cables just wont reach. Now you might be thinking, O well he is just using cheap power supples, not always the case though. I have had this experience with the OCZ powerstream, Antec TruePower 550w, and Sparkle power supplies before. It seems some case manufactures just don't bother to check and see if an average power supply will reach all the points in the case. Obviously Aerocool did check because I had NO problems getting power to the CD-RW drive at the top of the case or getting power to any of the seven hard drives.
I also want to talk about the tool less drive mounts. These things are great. Once you put the adapter rails on the hard drive all you have to do is slide it into place, pop in the drive mount, turn the little knob from open to locked and your done. This made for very easy drive installation. I think that I even prefer this to some of the best drive rails systems I have used, like those from Antec.
Legit Bottom Line:
The Aerocool Masstige delivers. It delivers on price, storage capacity, features, and performance. This case is a worthy rival to the CoolerMaster Stacker that comes with a smaller footprint and smaller bill. If you need lots of space with out spending lots of green, then by all means test drive the Aerocool Masstige.