Budget Casing Shootout - Affordable PC Housing


Ease of Installation (contd.)

Ease of Installation (continued)

The Ikonik EN2-WB

The PSU bay has a removable filter and four rubber feet to help isolate vibrations. Impressive for the most affordable case of the lot.

Installing optical drives is a tool-free affair, simply detach the securing clips at the sides, slide the drive in and reattach the clips to secure.

Floppy drives and hard drives are installed in the same way too.

Instead for opting for a poor clamping tool-free design, Ikonik sticks with trusted screws for the expansion bay. It isn't the most convenient way to add on additional devices, but at least it works. Note also the grommets for liquid cooling solutions.


The NZXT M-59

The PSU bay is located at the bottom of the casing, and NZXT has even conveniently provided rubber feet to isolate the PSU's vibration. There's also a removable filter underneath that can be easily taken out for cleaning.

Installing hard drives was a cinch. Just hook the special latches onto the drives and slide them into the drive cage, and voila, it's done.

Installing optical drives was a little more cumbersome. No special slide-in racks here as users are required to secure their optical drives in the bay by means of thumb screws.Installing optical drives was a little more cumbersome. No special slide-in racks here as users are required to secure their optical drives in the bay by means of thumb screws.
 The Thermaltake WingRS 301

The PSU bay of the Thermaltake WingRS 301 is located on the top side. A small patch of foam is all there is to help cushion vibrations from the PSU.

To install optical drives, simply slide the drive into the bay and turn the mechanism at the side to lock the drive in place. Convenient and elegant.

Hard drives and floppy drives are installed in the same way too.

The seven expansion bays are of the tool-free variety, but the implementation isn't the most elegant, requiring users to first undo a thumbscrew and then remove a mounting bracket that secures all devices in place.

Worst of all, the expansion bay slots were poorly aligned. Seen here, the slots don't sit flush with our graphics card. Since the card wasn't flush with the slots, we experienced great difficulty in securing the card since the mounting bracket won't sit properly on the card's back plate.

Analysis

For outright ease of installation, the Cooler Master Centurion II is the clear victor. Mostly tool-free, practical and easy, the Cooler Master Centurion 5 II is a well-designed casing as far as ease of use is concerned. Build quality is also top notch, as the casing felt sturdy and the edges seemed to have been blunted a little to prevent cuts.

The NZXT M-59 also deserves special mention, because aside from the traditional screw-on expansion bays, it was right up there with the Centurion 5 II. Build quality is also commendable as the casing had a good solid feel.

The Gigabyte Luxo M1000 and Antec Two Hundred, though big, fall short in this category. You'll need a screwdriver with you at times to install components on both casings, and worst of all, both of them felt exceptionally flimsy and the edges were really sharp to touch. Users could easily get cut if they aren''t careful.