Coolcases-modded Chenbro PC-610 Case

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Case interior. Note the Coolcases-supplied Globe fans and fan wiring job. Included accessories are laying in the bottom of the case. Note the depth of this case as well. It's not explicitly mentioned but it looks like it may well fit an E-ATX board for all you dual-CPU fans!

A typical Chenbro interior similar to the Gaming Bomb includes the green plastic hardware and the 10 square holes for installing the snap-in motherboard risers. This case has a fixed motherboard tray. The interior is quite roomy for a case of this size, due, perhaps to the compact size of the drive bays. This makes it easy to install the motherboard. The absence of a side reinforcing crossbar (found in many Antec cases) also helps.

The fixed right side panel, .030-.035" thick steel construction, rolled edges and simple interior design all come together to make this a very sturdy case, especially for this price range.

The case looks like it is descended from Chenbro's well-built server cases. The robust construction of the PC-610 eliminates case resonance as a source of noise, unlike the aluminum cases that have come through Hutter Labs recently. Steel may not be as sexy, but it's certainly an advantage if you're trying to build a quiet system.

The interior features the three external 5.25" bays and 2 external 3.5" bays as well as the removable two bay cage for the internal 3.5" drives. The external drives are designed to mount with snap-in rails but the 5.25" drives can also be secured by screwing them into the left side of the case using screws that are supplied in the accessory pack.

Note all the room that's available behind the front intake fan. You can mount the hard drives in the supplied cage by screwing them into the (grommetless) cage, or for best quieting, remove the drive cage entirely and suspension mount the drive(s) below the fixed drive cages, directly in front of the cooling airflow provided by the 120mm intake fan. Another option would be to mount the drive(s) inside a noise-reduction enclosure like the Smart Drive. Any of these methods is easily applied due the large available space.

Directly below the HDD bays is the green plastic card retention bracket. This rather quaint feature is designed to support extremely long PCI cards, rarely seen these days, at least in consumer-oriented cases. Another holdover from their server cases, perhaps?

On the back panel there are seven card slots adjacent to the green plastic tool-less card retention bracket. This retention bracket holds the cards in place with a small camming latch for each individual card. It is also removable and the cards can be screwed to the case in the usual way. I'm old school; I chose the screw-down method.

Card lock assembly. While it works just fine, I opted to remove it and screw the cards in the old-fashion way.

Moving upwards we see the standard snap in I/O panel. A generic version is supplied, but it's easily removable for replacement with a board-specific version. Adjacent to the I/O plate is the 120mm Globe fan.

The PSU mounts using the standard ATX pattern mounting holes and sits on a shelf at the back wall. There's about 3/4" of airspace above the PSU which is handy for hiding any extra PSU wiring. As someone who takes care to neatly dress the case wiring, this case was a real challenge. The fixed right side panel and interior design made it much more difficult than usual. The case is supported by a set of four 1/2" high hard plastic snap-in feet.

To sum up, it's a sturdy, fairly roomy, small stature case with what appears to be good airflow characteristics and a nice variety of HDD mounting options. It's certainly not a flashy case, but the basic black color and sort of bland appearance should make it easy to fit into a wide variety of decor.

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