Ultra M998 Midsize Black Tower PC Case ReviewTue, Dec 18, 2007 - 12:00 AM
Overall, Ultra Produts has made a very nice case with the M998. The case is easy to work with and for a midsize tower, and it was found to have plenty of room to accommodate aftermarket coolers, extended length expansion cards, and large body PSU units. The M998 exterior is not extremely impressive when measured on the eye candy scale, but it has a nice chrome look inside. Ultra provides black mounting hardware for the drive bay devices to aid the end user obtain the ‘clean’ look by keeping everything the same color. Once a system is installed into the case, it really does look slick as you can see in the picture above.
To take it a step further, Ultra also provides the Power Rail to help with air flow and wire management. From my point of view the Power Rail is a conversation starter and that’s about it. Because the width of the case is so wide you could easily hide all power wires without the Power Rail, but it does make for better wire management. The other unique feature of the M998 is the replaceable front IO panel, which I really like.
There were a few things that I didn’t like about the Ultra M998 computer case. It should be noted that these are personal annoyances and may not bother many of you. If you are building a system and plan to leave it in that configuration for some time, then these issues will not have any bearing on you. Now, if you tend to swap parts often (like me), you will grow to hate these these issues. It annoys me to no end that I have to take the front cover off every time I want to add or remove a drive. If you want to add something to the external 3.5” bays you have to remove the hard drive cage, and in order to that the expansion cards or the tray itself has to come out. Being able to remove the cages independently and to the side would be a MASSIVE plus to this case. The Ultra M998 has no tool-less drive rails, which also stinks. Instead, Ultra put thumb screws on just about everything to have a somewhat tool-less environment. I would have liked to have seen drive rails. It is just one of those things I have grown accustomed to having in a case, especially in high-end cases.
The M998 sports a plastic front bezel that uses the clip-in style retention system. Anyone that has had a case with a front bezel like this knows it’s not if it will break, but when. For a case that retails for $153 plus shipping on our shopping engine, it would have been nice to see a more updated front bezel.
Bottom Line: The Ultra M998 ATI mid-tower case is a good solid case. It would be great for a LAN rig, it is light, looks good, very easy to assemble parts into and has the required side window to show off all your parts.