Inwin Maelstrom: An Affordable Gaming Case

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Inwin Maelstrom

March 4, 2010 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Inwin Maelstrom
EATX Tower Case
Manufacturer
Market Price

Gaming style cases tend to place cooling above all other things, so they are usually very large and equipped with plenty of fans. They are also typically very sturdy and have a few nice touches, little things that make adding/removing components and cleaning up cable clutter easier. These qualities also make them fairly expensive, with many going for well over $150.


The box.

The Inwin Maelstrom is one of the few affordable gaming cases, available on line for $100. It is tall and deep, and ships with four fans including a large 22cm model on the side, so cooling doesn't seem like it would be an issue, though it probably lacks the refinement of higher-end cases from manufacturers like Antec and Silverstone. That much is obvious from the image on the box, which we are sad to report, is pretty much dead-on. The Maelstrom is perhaps the ugliest case we've had the displeasure of setting our eyes upon.


The Inwin Maelstrom.

The front bezel juts out in all directions and has two green bars resembling the steps you might climb when serving on a submarine or fixing a sewer. It seems to make a perfect handhold for the case, but there is actually a small warning label that discourages that idea. It's something that could be easily overlooked as the print is small, and the black and yellow hazard stripes look right at home with the case's aesthetics which evokes the image of a dangerous industrial environment. The motif has a radioactive flare given the conspicuous fluorescent yellow grommets on the side fan and interior fan blades, all of which are undoubtedly UV reactive. It is noticeably sturdy though so if we had to use one word to describe the Maelstrom would be beastly — both negative and positive connotations apply.



Accessories.

The accessories include a bag of screws and standoffs, a pair of 3-pin to 4-pin molex adapters for the included 120mm fans, two extra spacers for the power supply, and an additional thumbscrew in case you lose one of the four that secure the side panels. There's also a small PC speaker, and two plastic hooks for cleaning up cable clutter. Hidden inside the case is a caddy in the 5.25" bay that holds tool-less drive rails.

Specifications: Inwin Maelstrom
(from the product web page)
Case Size Full Tower Chassis
Material SECC(0.8~1.0mm)
Dimension (H x W x D) 550 × 225 × 601mm
Power Supply 1. ATX 12V
2. PS 2 or EPS Power
I/O Expansion Slots 8 Slots
Thermal Solution 1. Front: 12cm Fan x 1
2. Rear: 12cm Fan x 1
3. Top: 12cm Fan x 1 (Maximum Supports 12cm Fan x 2)
4. Side: 22cm LED Fan with switch x 1 (Maximum Supports 12cm Fan x 6)
5. Water-Cooling Hole Ready
Front I/O 1. USB 2.0×4
2. e-SATA×2
3. IEEE 1394A×1(FireWire)
4. HD/AC' 97 Audio
PSU 1. ATX 12V
2. PS 2 or EPS Power
3. PSU Dust Filter
External Drive Bay 1. 5.25'' × 5
2. Includes FDD Cage x 1 (5.25)
Internal Drive Bay 3.5'' x 6
M/B 1. ATX
2. Micro ATX
3. E-ATX (12" x 13")
Transfer Rate 1. 3.0Gbps w/ SATA II
2. 1.5Gbps w/ SATA I



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