Enermax Ostrog Mid-Tower Case - More Than Just a Name?

External Design

External Design

According to its specifications, the Enermax Ostrog is manufactured from a mixture of SGCC and SECC steel. Both are basically galvanized steel, but the former is formed form a hot-dipped galvanization process whereas the latter is formed via the electroplating process. Either way, you'll have no concerns of the steel getting rusted as with most other chassis too. The best is its overall matte black finish which gives it a higher-class feel than the usual entry-level casings. To break the monotony of the black steel, there is an acrylic side panel to showcase the components that will make up the system. The presence of the transparent side panel does remind us of the Antec One Hundred Window; however, in this case, the Ostrog has the option of mounting up to two cooling fans on the panel, a literal one up on the former that features only one optional side cooling fan. Beware that mounting high speed fans on the acrylic side panel can contribute to vibrations, thus contributing to the noise produced by the case.

This mid-tower casing has a nice solid feel unlike some entry-level casings where the panels flex due to very thin metal sheets used.

Looking at the top of the chassis, we located the front panel ports that feature a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a pair of USB 2.0 ones. The power button is featured centrally while the reset button is recessed to its left. The headphones and microphone jacks crown the power button. To the button's right, are the indicator lights for power and HDD activity respectively.

 Crowning its facade are front panel I/O ports that sit horizontally. We would have preferred them to be angled like the ones found on the Antec One Hundred Window - this would have been friendlier if the casing is placed on the desk or under the table.

The Enermax Ostrog sports a pleasant and clean facade. The white mesh frame, which is seated in the recess of the front panel, can be replaced with a mesh of another color to update the casing's appearance (though it's not really a mentioned feature). We had with us an extra red mesh (which costs S$8). In order to remove it, the front panel has to be detached from the chassis. The panel's removal involved a fair bit of finger work as we had to pinch and push a pair round clips (near the bottom of the front panel) before we could remove it from chassis with a quick jerk at the bottom grip of the front panel. The white mesh was held in place at the front panel by a total of twelve retaining tabs, which are part of the mesh itself. The tabs had to be pried straight before the mesh could be removed; hence, we certainly do not recommend doing this often as the tabs could be broken off with repeated prying. We advise against using your fingernails; instead, use a flat-tipped screwdriver for this task.

 On the right, the photo shows that round clips that we had to pinch in order to dislodge them slightly from their fastening holes. We really haven't seen a case in a long while using such basic fasteners and this could be a bother during case maintenance.

The mesh of the front panel does play a role in the front ventilation of the chassis as we noticed there weren't any additional front vents, save for the bottom cut-out of the panel that doubles up as a grip for the panel.

The replacement front mesh has a SRP of S$8. Locally, there are only two colors available - white and red.

As we have mentioned earlier, one of the side panels has a clear acrylic panel for showcasing any installed components of the system. The top vents of the acrylic panel support either a 120mm or a 140mm cooling fan while the bottom ones only support a single 140mm one.

The optional side cooling options on the Ostrog.

The removal of the side panels is a tool-free affair as the thumb screws that held them in place were easy to screw out. The side panel, with its clear acrylic panel, sports a handle that can be flipped up for the panel's easy removal.

The handle flips up for a comfortable finger grip.

The rear view of the Enermax Ostrog presents a single 140mm exhaust fan, seven expansion slots and two grommets for liquid-cooling setups. There are also numerous exhaust cut-outs next to the expansion slots. The bottom of the chassis does reveal a surprise; a removable dust filter for the air vents of for the bottom-mounted PSU. Just next to the vent is the optional 120mm cooling fan mount for further cooling options, but as you'll soon see on the next page, this is hardly usable in a practical system installation.

 The rear view of the Ostrog that is typical of a mid-tower ATX casing. Note the expansions slot covers aren't re-usable and need to be bashed out on initial use - very old-school.

The washable dust filter for the air vents of the PSU; to its right are the air vents for the optional bottom 120mm cooling fan.

The Good
High quality steel used in its construction
Numerous cooling options available
Relatively tool-free installation
Ample cut-outs for cable management
The Bad
Front panel is is difficult to remove
Bash out expansion slot covers
Wobbly HDD cage when bay above is removed