Tagan Aplus Curbic Mid Tower Case
Tagan has been well known for years for quality power supplies, now they are expanding to enthusiast cases under the brand name of Tagan A+. First they sent us their CS-Monolith case to look at, and it was a monster of a case. Well, not everyone needs or wants a large case. For this there are mid towers. Tagan has sent us their newest mid tower, the Curbic. The Curbic is an inexpensive case. Priced at around $60 it is a very affordable case, and with its mesh styling and simple lines the Curbic can look good without breaking the bank in the process. Let’s take a quick look at the specifications of the Curbic.
- Type: Mid Tower
- Color: Full Black Finis
- Case Material
- Chassis: 0.5mm SECC
- Front Panel: 100% ABS Plastic + meshed grill
- External: 4x 5.25" Drive Bays, 2x 3.5" Drive Bays
- Internal: 5x 3.5" Drive Bays
- Front Fan: 1x 18cm (500~1500RPM, 41.90dBa at 700RPM & 18.00dBa at 300RPM) with VR fan speed control & ON/OFF switch
- Rear Fan: 1x 12cm or 8cm*1 (Optional)
- Side Fan: 1x 18cm (500~1500RPM, 41.90dBa at 700RPM & 18.00dBa at 300RPM) with VR fan speed control & ON/OFF switch
- Top Fan: N/A
The Curbic come to us in a simple black and white shipping box.
After looking the box over there was evidence that the case took a hit in shipping.
But, once we took Curbic out of the box we can see it was found to be okay.
With Curbic out of the packing I was happy to see it survived shipping.
Looking at the front we can see the front panel is mostly mesh. The lower part of the case holds a 180mm fan, to the right of the fan are the power and reset buttons.
Below the fan and to the right is the power switch for the fan. This is not easily turned off, so the fan getting turned off by accident would be hard to do.
Looking behind the front panel door we can see the mesh 5.25” bay covers and the front I/O ports. The front I/O ports are a little sparse on the Curbic, only having 2 USB and audio ports. I would have like to have seen at least one eSATA port.
Looking around to the left side of the Curbic we can see the side panel and front fan control. The front fan speed control is located at the front edge of the panel by the white arrow. The side panel fan also has a 180mm fan. This fan is also controlled by a speed control; it is located on the back of the case.
Moving around to the back we can see the side panel fan control. I would like to point out that the I/O shield and expansion slot covers are stamped out and have to be wriggled free. This may leave a small bump of steel after being removed and not allow expansion cards to set flush. If this happens just use a small nail file to file it smooth.
When I turned the case on its side to see the feet I was shocked to see there were none, only after opening the case side and looking at the accessory bag did I find the case feet. They are old school plastic feet and just simply snap into place.
Taking off the side of the Curbic we can start to get a feel for the space. Even with its small stature there is room for even the largest video card and up to 5 hard drives.
Looking at the inside of the side panel we can see the fan is wired to be powered by a 4 pin molex connector. There is also a 4 pin connector connecting the fan to the controller located on the back of the case. To the lower left of the fan in the image above is the power switch wiring for the fan.
Showing the mixing of budget and features is the expansion slot area. For the features we have the tool-less expansion card retention system, and the fan control for the side panel fan.
For the budget side there are the slot covers themselves; they are stamped into the side of the case. This seems like a nice way to save money, but putting a cover back once it has been removed is not that easy. Since the covers are stamped from the case back itself they are they are not the same size as a normal slot cover as you can see in the above image. This means if you remove one, putting it back is going to very difficult, if not impossible, to keep from falling out.
The case front panel wiring is more than long enough to reach anywhere in the case.
Looking to the front of the case we can see the drive bays. All the drive bays have a tool-less retention system for holding the drives in place. The Curbic has space for 5 hard drives, 1 external 3.5” device, and 4 external 5.25” devices.
The drive retention system uses two pins and a cam style lock to hold the drive in place. If you don’t like the drive rail or have a device that is not compatible with it there are slots in the drive cage that allow you to use standard mounting hardware.
Looking behind the front panel of the Curbic we can see the front 180mm intake fan. The wire pass-through areas have some sharp edges as result from the stamping process.
Installing Parts and Final Thoughts
The accessories for the Curbic are slim, but it has everything required for mounting your hardware in the case.
Installing parts into the Curbic was easy and very straight forward. The interesting part was trying to find a place to hide the wires for my PSU. I eventually stuffed the extra wires into the empty 5.25” bays, so a modular PSU would be a very good idea for this case.
I also noticed that with the large video cards you may lose the ability to hold a 5th hard drive. The power connectors will hit each other. If you’re running SLI/crossfire then you could have more issues yet, but chances are if you’re running SLI/Crossfire you’re going to be running them in a larger case than this. I'm not saying that you couldn’t run two cards in this case, but it will get very tight very quickly.
Overall, the Tagan found a nice balance of budget building practice, style, and features. The Curbic looks very nice with the mesh front panel and blue LED fans. The case was surprisingly quiet for running two 180mm fans. On high they are very much in the range of what would be considered livable for a desktop; with the fans on low it was very quiet.
The Tagan Aplus Curbic is not yet available in the US, and has an estimated MSRP of $59.99 and should be available in retail stores before the holiday. The Curbic would be a very good fit for the user who wants an inexpensive, yet a nice looking, case. The Curbic is also very light weight for a steel case, and combined with the small size it would be very nice for a LAN box.
The small size of the Curbic also could present an issue for the type of cooler you use. Coolers at 155-158mm in height will be a snug fit in this case. You might squeeze one that is 160-170mm in height, but the side fan would have to be removed to accomplish this and even then I’m not too sure that with anything over 165mm the side panel would be able to be installed.
I would also highly recommend a modular PSU for use in this case. Due to its size and the way the inside is laid out here just isn’t a lot of room to hide cables.
Bottom Line: The Curbic from Tagan is a sharp looking balance of budget and features for a reasonable price.