Yeong Yang "Mars" YY-5603 mid-tower case

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The panel thickness is 0.8 mm, which is on par with most sturdy steel cases. The edges have been deburred and most are rolled over to prevent cuts while working inside the case.

The extra depth of the case hard is to perceive when the side panel is removed. A quick check with a tape measure shows the metal chassis outer depth to be 18". This compares to 17" for the Antec Sonata and SLK3700, 17.5" for the Evercase 4252 and 19" for the Fong Kai FK330. The FK330's depth is just under 20", actually less than the YY Mars. So where does the extra 2" come from? It turns out that the outward curve of the plastic bezel adds 2".

In case you did not notice, there is a somewhat hard rubber block on the inside top panel. The PSU gets wedged up against it so that it's more stable. There are also two metal ledges for it to rest on, one on the back and one on the side. These features minimize the amount of force that the weight of the PSU hanging on those four screws can apply on the back panel, which might actually reduce vibration-induced noise from the PSU fan a bit.

Another noteworthy item: There are nine raised cones with threaded holes for the motherboard screws to go into. I much prefer these to the add-on standoffs, which usually screw or clip in and never seem as secure. There is also much less chance of the motherboard trace side to be scratched or damaged during assembly. If necessary, more standoffs can be added. (The only potential downside is possible interference with CPU socket backplates on any motherboards whose CPU socket is located too close to a standoff. The small footprint of a screw-in standoff would come in handy in such cases.)

Rubber block helps secure PSU and perhaps damp the PSU casing against vibration.

While we're near it, let's have a look at the fan. It is a pretty ordinary-looking 120x25mm fan. But its label is rather unusual in that the model number and specs were written in with a pen. Perhaps it is a limited edition production run? I recognized the brand right away. Jamicon is the same brand of fan found in the original SilenX PSU from Ahanix. That was a very quiet 80mm fan. Would this one be a quiet 120mm fan? The B in the model number suggests a ball-bearing fan.

A dig through the Jamicon site revealed no fans with this particular model number, but I did come across a 120mm fan rated at 12V and 0.25A, JF1225x1M[pdf file] — available with sleeve or dual-ball bearing. It lists the following specs:

  • Airflow of 69.57 CFM, 2100 RPM, 36.3 dBA noise (@ 1m?)

It sounds like a reasonably quiet contender. We know it's not going to be quiet at 12V; the main questions is how smoothly it will ramp down in speed.

All the drive bays.

The top 3.5" cage is completely removable — just undo two screws: A boon for PSU fresh air intake ducting.

Internal HDD bays are laid out in the same 90° orientation of Antec's Sonata and SLK3700BQE. A plastic box full or assorted hardware is screwed into the drive cage. It slides into two slots as if it is a double-thick hard drive.

An assembly instruction sheet, generic motherboard I/O panel, a bag of screws and standoffs, some useful cable ties, and side rails for drives are the contents of the box. (The plastic box does have potential as a notebook HDD isolation enclosure...)

The optical drive rails are completely screwless. Just clip them on and slide the drive in until it locks with a click. Nice and easy and secure. To remove, just squeeze the protruding blue plastic handles towards each other to release, allowing the drive to be slid out.

A very nice touch is that on the HDD rails, rubber bushing are built-in, and the mounting screws are not screws at all, but friction-fit pins. They go into the rubber bushing, and the threadless nubs that stick out on the other side go into the drive's mounting holes. You have to hold the drive rails against the drive as you side it in; it is not a difficult task. The end result is a degree of HDD decoupling. There probably is some metal-to-metal contact between the hard drive and the drive cage, but it is less that most HDD mounting systems, which should help to reduce the noise caused by HDD vibrations.

The big downside of this kind of HDD cage for PC silencing is that it is not possible to utilize a full elastic suspension of the HDD(s), a technique that has been proven to be the most effective in reducing HDD noise — especially with already quiet drives like the Samsung. (The reason: Effective mechanical decoupling eliminates noise caused by vibrations transmitted from the drive into the chassis.) The HDD drive cage is held in place with six screws on top and six pop rivets on the bottom, visible from the outside of the case bottom panel. If you are handy, the pop rivets can be removed by drilling through them with a suitable size drill bit, and then the whole front bottom area behind the 120mm intake hole can be used for suspending HDDs to your heart's content.

A second issue that we have already mentioned is that the open pattern vent for the front grill and the very good airflow bezel design goes to waste when you consider the blockage the sideways drive cage causes.

Finally, a Delta Electronics 350W PSU came with the Yeong Yang Mars case. I was informed that this was provided for the convenience of the reviewer, and that this PSU is an option. As the only price provided was for the case without a PSU, I chose to set the PSU aside. For the record, it looks OK, it was surprisingly quiet on a quick plug-n-check and the given specs are not bad. Perhaps a separate PSU test at a later date:

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