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

Internal Design

Internal Design

Accessing the interior of the Enermax Ostrog is easy and it is made so with the side panel with the finger handle (as shown in the earlier page). The four rear thumbscrews that held the side panels in place were easy to remove without the use of any tools. With the side panels removed, we found its interior roomy and according to Enermax, the Ostrog is capable of accommodating high-end graphics cards up to 413mm in length. There is a removable 3.5-inch HDD cage as well as a removable external-facing 3.5-inch drive bay, which sits on top of the HDD cage. Both of these are removable so that they can make way for high-end graphics cards with oversized customized coolers. Lastly, we noticed the motherboard panel features numerous cut-outs for easy cable management.

 The cables from the front panel were neatly bundled and tied to the cut-outs of the motherboard panel.

The Enermax Ostrog gave us the impression that it is a relatively tool-free chassis when it came to the installation of our test components. There were a number of retaining clips that are featured with the 5.25- and 3.5-inch drive enclosures; hence, installation of drives were done without the use of any tools. For example, in order to install our floppy drive into the external-facing 3.5-inch drive bay, we slid it into place, making sure its securing holes line up with the holes of the bay. Once the drive is in place, we fastened the enclosure's retaining clip with quick ease - just ensure the short, black tips at both ends of the clip are inserted into the securing  holes of the drive. The center fastening stub rotated into place once it was inserted properly into its corresponding cut-out of the drive enclosure.

The clip has a cheap plastic feel to it; effective but a somewhat crude implementation of such retaining devices.

The installed retaining clips are shown here with an inner view of the drive cage; you can see their center fastening stubs in locked position.

Making sure the screw holes of our 3.5-inch drive (such as the good old floppy drive) are lined up properly with those of the drive bay.

Besides the 3.5-inch external drive enclosure, we also tried installing a HDD in the removable 3.5-inch HDD enclosure that can accommodate up to three such drives. We had to fit the bundled HDD rails onto both sides of our HDD. After that, we slid the HDD, with its pair of attached rails, into the HDD enclosure - simple and straightforward. The Ostrog chassis also came with a single 5.25-inch bay adapter that will allow a 3.5-inch drive to be installed into any of the four 5.25-inch drive bays.

We lined up the rail and mounted it onto our HDD.

We slid the HDD into the bay until we heard a comforting sound of a click as the HDD rails snapped into a locked position.

The bundled 5.25-inch drive bay adapter.

To ascertain how roomy the interior of the casing was, we proceeded with the installation of the other common components that make up a typical system. After we screwed on the board's standoffs, we installed the board, followed by our 267mm (10.5-inch) long graphics card. After our graphics card was installed, there was very little clearance between the card and the drive bay ahead of it. Hence, it was impossible into install any drive at the bay, effectively rendering it redundant.

It was too close for comfort between our 267mm graphics card (a typical 10.5-inch sized card) and the external-facing 3.5-inch drive bay.

In order to ascertain the claim by Enermax that the Ostrog is able to accommodate graphics cards up to 413mm in length (though we don't have a card that long), we installed a HIS Radeon HD 7870 IceQ Turbo that featured a larger-than-life customized cooler. We had to remove the external facing 3.5-inch drive bay in order to accommodate the HIS Radeon graphics card. Upon its removal, the 3.5-inch removable HDD cage below it felt a little wobbly since it has lost its top support. The problem could have been easily overcome had there been a securing hole on the other side of the case, so this is an oversight from Enermax.

So here's how the setup would look like without the external facing 3.5-inch drive bay. What if we needed a dual graphics card setup? The removable HDD drive cage would have to go as well! In such a scenario, HDDs will then have to be installed at the bottom-most hard drive cage or use adapters to mount them within the 5.25-inch drive bays.

There were four rubber stand-offs for the installation of our PSU which provided some allowance from the bottom vent, thus improving air intake of the PSU. However after installing our PSU, we found that there was little allowance for the optional 120mm bottom cooling fan vent that's in front of the PSU air intake vent. This was made worse once we installed our 3.5-inch HDD into the bottom 3.5-inch drive bay that was not removable from the chassis. While having vents is fine for improved air flow, punching four holes and calling it an optional fan mounting position is just bad planning and marketing.

Besides the almost non-existent possibility of installing a 120mm cooling fan at the base. the wire tangle from the PSU is enough reason to deter anyone considering adding an additional fan at this spot.

Besides the above mentioned non-usable fan mounting spot, there was no lack of cooling options for the Ostrog casing. Earlier, we highlighted the two side panel cooling options found on its transparent side panel. In addition to the rear cooling fan (which is provided), there were also top and front cooling options.

Users can opt to install a 120mm cooling fan that can be installed near the bottom front of the casing - ideal for hard drive cooling. Too bad it's not provided.

There was also the option of mounting a pair of 120mm or 140mm cooling fans at the top of the chassis.

This is how the internal of the Ostrog looked like after we had installed all our test components.

This is another perspective of the Ostrog's interior after we installed the HIS Radeon HD 7870 IceQ Turbo card. If a dual graphics card configuration is required, it would only be feasible with the removal of the 3.5-inch HDD cage, in addition to the prior removal of the external facing 3.5-inch drive bay.

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