Aerocool Strike-X Air - Exposed in its Entirety

Launch SRP: S$155

Installation & Ease of Use

Installation & Ease of Use

The motherboard tray is spacious and can accommodate graphics cards up to 330mm in length and E-ATX form factor motherboards.

The Strike-X Air is unique because of its open concept design and because of the open nature of the case, the Strike-X Air does not suffer from the same limitations as regular casings. For example, it benefits from have lots of headroom for tall CPU coolers. There is also more room for cables to run to over components such as the CPU cooler and graphics card.

That said, do not be mistaken that the Strike-X Air can accommodate all manners of motherboards and graphics cards, it is still bound by certain limitations. For example, it will only accommodate micro-ATX, ATX and E-ATX motherboards. Also, the motherboard tray is large enough only to fit 330mm long graphics cards, which should be plenty considering most graphics cards, even the high-end aftermarket ones, typically top out these days at around 300mm to 310mm.

We found that it was odd for the motherboard tray to have a cut out for quickly changing CPU coolers. Bearing in mind the orientation of the chassis, changing the CPU cooler on an already wired system would mean placing the chassis on its side, something that we do not recommend doing considering the open concept nature of this chassis.

The expansion slot guards are held in place by thumbscrews which can be easily removed.

Look at the amount of space we have after installing a Radeon HD 3870 X2 graphics card.

Installing the components was straightforward, as we would expect from a casing that has its innards exposed. The motherboard standoffs have been pre-installed for a ATX motherboard, so installing the motherboard was only a matter of using screws to secure the motherboard in place.

Optical drive installation was a little cumbersome because users would first have to remove the 5.25-inch drive cage, slot the optical drive in place and then use screws to secure it before replacing the drive cage in its place.

Do not be fooled by the tray, screws are required to secure the drives in place.

The HDD bays have SATA connectors and are hot swappable. To the right is a small 120mm fan with red LED lights, which provides direct cooling for your storage drives.

It was the same story for installing storage drives. Instead of the common tool-free drive trays that we have become so accustomed to, installing both 3.5 and 2.5-inch drive requires screws as they are not of the tool-free variety. That said, the tray itself does slot into the cage nicely without the need for additional screws. On the flip side, the HDD bays are hot swappable as they feature SATA power and data connectors.

To install the PSU, users will have to fix the PSU bracket to the PSU and then slide it into the bay.

Because of the unusual open concept of the chassis, the PSU needs to be installed in a different way and is easily the most cumbersome and tedious procedure of setting up. First, there is a PSU bracket that needs to be secured to the rear of the PSU. Thereafter, you just slide the PSU into the PSU bay.

See the problem? Directly behind the PSU bay is the HDD cage, this means users would have to thread the cables either through the cut out below or through the sides, spilling directly onto the motherboard tray area.

This is simple enough but what comes next is not. Because the PSU bay is located directly behind the HDD cage, the various power cables would need to be threaded through a cut out in the bottom of the bay and then back up again through the grommets in the motherboard tray. This is slightly easier to achieve with a modular type PSU, but even so, it is extremely tedious to do since the cut out is at the base of the case and it is not big. Furthermore  it is not easy to put the casing on its sides either, making this process even harder. Doing this will ensure a neat and tidy setup, but apart from being tiresome to accomplish, one would also need long power cables.

Otherwise, the work around is to simply thread the cables through the opening on the motherboard tray side of PSU bay and simply connect it directly to the motherboard and components. This is an easier procedure of setting up your system, but the downside is that it makes everything look really messy and it obstructs airflow from the cooling fan mounted underneath the top panel.

The Good
Unique and cool looking
Easy to swap CPU, coolers, motherboard, graphics card and memory
Spacious motherboard tray area
The Bad
PSU is really tedious to install
Storage drives require screws to install
Exposed components require upkeeping
Not ideal for permanent liquid-cooled setups
Large footprint