A hastily written, biased, unprofessional review of the g-Tower from AMS electronics with water cooling:
My g-Tower comes modified with top blow-hole from http://www.cooltechnica.com/
, where I bought the case.
The modifications by cooltechnica are well made. I use it for my Innovatec and DIY water-cooled system.
This case has some nice features:
Wide enough to fit a pump next to the hard disks, a very convenient spot
Easy to cut and alter an aluminium case (like cutting up stamped grill)
Place to fit TWO radiators (with 120 mm fans), one @ back, one @ top (cooltechnica modification)
More sturdy than the Lian-Li´s I´ve encountered
Damped with rubber feet
No front door to mess with
No retractable motherboard tray or stuff like that (rattles)
Excellent quality; very well made with folded edges and all, you won´t get a nick
Cooltechnica´s top blowhole helps self-ventilation as hot air rises
Some drawbacks also:
Not enough air intakes, especially the poor front intake
Side panels need dampening or they easily start to resonate
No front door to cover noisy cd-roms
Top blow-hole makes any attempt to dampen the whole case with
sound-eating material much harder, sound coming out at top
Also, the top blowhole drilled by cooltechnica is right in the center of the case roof, too close to that part of the internal chassi that runs through it (like in most cases) so only some radiators fit. This makes it trickier to thouroughly isolate the radiator from the rest of the chassis. Better do it yourself and place the hole just a bit off center.
If using a radiator at top hole then there´s not room enough for cd-roms at the top two 5.25 bays. Still space enough for stuff like rheobuses.
The fans that comes with the case are very noisy, including the one that
cooltechnica throws in for the top blowhole. Money for nothing.
I never did understand why all cases come with fans blowing both in and out of them. What blows out comes in at the other end anyway. I got a rather silly but fun DigitalDoc5 coming with my case, measuring temperatures at 8 places. Running the 2 Papst 4412 radiator fans @ about 5V and one Papst 8412 in PSU (controlled by PSU) provides sufficient cooling for the whole case. (Extra fan in the dual fan PSU seldom needs to turn on. Controlled manually and by the DD5 because the PSU sensor sucks.) Water temperatures never above 40 degrees C. My system is ASUS A7N8X, 2600+ 333fsb, Radeon 9700 (water cooled), Barracuda SATA. Radiators are a Black Ice Extreme at top, an Innovatec at back. If I had to do it all again I´d go for cheap car radiators instead if I could fit them inside.
However, the northbridge got rather warm since no cpu fan helped cool it. Therefore I built an air duct so that the fan/radiator at the back draws some of its air through the northbridge heatsink. Now it stays below 50 C.
I think the main reason manufacturers fit their cases with intake AND blowout fans are that they thus can insure a good air circulation in the whole case. But if paying some attention to the airflow is all it takes to cut back on the number of fans needed then the only remaining problem is that the case will have negative pressure, attracting some dust. I put thin sheets of vacuum-cleaner filter at all intakes to get rid of most of it, works like a charm. (Going for all blow-in fans instead seldom doable due to PSU fan always drawing air out and fans at the front is evil.)
The g-Tower got rather smothered with this setup. I had to drill some extra air intake holes along the bottom sides. The tiny holes in the front are by no means adequate. But that redirected some of the airflow needed to cool the harddisk so I gave up and eventually fitted a fan in the front intake after all, just to cool it.
Side panels had to be damped. Foamy material along contacts with the rest of the case and heavy rubber sheets near the pump to get rid of all vibrations. Probably easier without that Eheim pump which had to be very thouroughly dampened from the rest of the case.
All fans and radiators are now painstakingly isolated from the case with foamy materials and silicone. This is all the more important when using a lighter aluminium case than with a big heavy Chieftec.
Although the whole harddisk mounting section is hanging in elastic cords still the barracuda clearly makes the most annoying sound in this system. Not easily dampened within such a case, full of holes.
Maybe better wrap it up in sound dampening materials and water cool it.
All in all the main appeal with this case are the 120 mm fan holes. At least that´s why I bought it. Don´t know of any other midi tower that fits all this stuff that easy.
Aluminium cases are lighter and look better. Harddisks are better cooled too if dispensed with aluminium along the sides where heat is released.
Still, cases made of steel are cheaper and often vibrates less, probably a smarter choice.
Btw, to have the fans go at minimum speed I modified my other case toy, the Innovatec fan controller, to work together with the DD5. Now I can control all the fans myself but the DD5 steps in and feeds a full 12V if ever anything gets too hot. Foolproof and quiet, but not exactly cheap.
This was supposed to be short. Thanks for reading anyway