The GELID Solutions DARKFORCE makes its first attempt in entering the PC mid-tower case class. The vision statement from the GELID Solutions site states that they “combine quality and ingenuity to set the standard in creating best-in-class products for global computer enthusiasts.” Let’s take a look at how the exterior holds up the GELID solutions vision.
The DARKFORCE has a nice clean front. The Plastic front blends mesh metal. The top half of the case has four 5.25″ bays with metal mesh covers. The fourth bay has a cut out for 3.5″ drives as well. The bottom half of the case continues with the clean plastic and mesh combination. Six horizontal cutouts expose wire mesh also allowing for air flow with some style.
Moving on up to the top side shows a bit of the DARKFORCE’s innovations. The I/O panel heads up the topside. In other makes and models a hand hold may follow the I/O panel. But not with the DARKFORCE. What they have here is definitely innovative. A slot for hot swappable 2.5″ and 3.5″ hard drives takes this place. The rest of the top side is wire mesh allowing for air flow from and optional interior case fan.
Here we have a closer look at the I/O panel. GELID Solutions does a nice job of future proofing the panel. A typical round power and reset button are set at the top. Two USB 2.0 ports surround either side of the audio ports. A USB 3.0 and E-SATA port round out this nicely set up panel.
The primary side sports a nice clear acrylic window. The door was easy to take off with two thumb screws and a pull on the hand hold. The feet have a nice look as well as they arch inward.
The opposite side opens much the same way. A nice engineering idea is also showcased on this side: a mount for a 120mm case fan near the top right of the case. As you will see in the interior the case fan is placed right over the CPU mount. This sounds like a good cooling idea from GELID Solutions.
The backup panel shows the first sign of liquid cooling options at the top with three ports at the top. A cut out for the I/O ports sits next to a 120mm case fan. 8 card slots follow below plus an additional vertical slot. The PSU location is also versatile for installation. Also, two Phillips screws at the top can be unscrewed to access the top side dust filter and install a 120mm fan.
The DARKFORCE bottom also has some nice unexpected features. The feet elevate the box more than most cases that I have recently reviewed. This looks to be for improving air flow. A removable cleanable air filter is also at the bottom.
GELID Solutions has a good start to living up to its name’s meaning of icy, at least in the function of keep a rig cool.