In Win X-Fighter Review

Author: Stephen Duffin
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2009
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/inwinxfighter/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

The In Win X-Fighter has a sleek, futuristic design. Perhaps designed with a Star Wars theme in mind, it is appealing to the eye with its bold lines, and multi-colored chassis. As a mid-tower case, it's small in stature compared to robust cases like the Sniper or 932 HAF. Nevertheless, the X-Fighter still had some thought put into the design.

Designed for gamers, In Win has packed this case with all the accoutrements you would expect from high end offerings. Being designed for the gamer market means it should be able to hold full sized video cards while keeping your system cool at the same time. Let’s see if it holds up to some other cases we have looked at already.

In Win X-Fighter Specs
Case Size: Mid Tower
Material: 0.8mm SECC Steel
External Drive Bay: 5.25" x 4 3.5" x 2
Internal Drive Bay: 3.5" x 5
Front Ports: eSATA × 2, USB2.0 × 4, IEEE 1394 A (FireWire), HD/AC' 97 Audio
Dimensions ( H × W × D ): 18.5" × 9.4" × 22.4" 470mm × 240mm × 570mm
M/B: ATX, mATX
I/O Expansion Slots: 7 PCI/AGP Slots
Power Supply: ATX 12V, PSII
Thermal Solution: Smart-3D UniDuct™ 12cm Ceramic Fans at Front & Rear Panels VGA Turbo Cooling System with 8cm Side Ceramic Fan x 2 Support Water-Cooling
Safety: Meets RoHS, CE and FCC Class B Requirement
Security: Padlock loop for padlock

The case comes in a suitably sci-fi themed box. In Win's X-Fighter sports a look that may not win over everyone, but appearances aside it seems to have all the features that a gaming case should have, at a reasonable price compared to other cases out there.

Exterior Features

The case exterior has some interesting design details like the adjustable airflow vents on the left hand side.

At the front of the case are four 5.25” DVD/CD drive bays and two 3.5” drive bays, as well as the power and reset switches. There are dancing lights in the power button switch which indicate the power consumption and HDD activity of your system.

Sitting at the top of the case there are your typical quick access I/O interface ports consisting of head phone and mic jacks, 2 USB, 1394 Firewire, and 2 e-SATA ports.

Looking at the rear of the case, you'll see the power supply mount at the top in addition to those for a water cooling setup. Below those are the rear panel I/O, a 120 mm fan, and the PCI expansion ports.

Things wouldn't be complete without an instruction booklet and a few screws and offsets. The installation of your equipment is unfortunately a little tough, as you have very limited room due to the size of the case. Before I got started, I removed the plastic bezel that holds two 80mm fans that cool your expansion cards. The power supply should go in quite easily. Meanwhile, the motherboard offsets are built into the case, and I only had to install only two offsets to add my motherboard. I would recommend using an micro-ATX mobo for this case, as full ATX offerings will likely limit access to all of the connections for power, USB, Firewire at the very bottom of such boards.

Tool-less installation allows you to add your ODD’s and HDDs via quick connect clips which you simply hold on to the sides of your equipment and slide into place, locking them into position. My only gripe with this setup was with the HDD as they mount backwards into the cage, bringing the wires to the front of the case and restricting air flow. You have to remove the plastic front bezel to insert the ODDs.

Once the bezel is removed, you just put the rubber mounting clips on the side of the drives, then slide and lock them into position.

This case does come with some nice features like removable dust covers. At the front of the case is a intake fan that is easily removable making it very easy to clean as well as all the drive bay covers.

To test the X-Fighter, we'll be taking temperatures of our setup running inside the case at idle and in load states in degrees Celsius. I will be using speed fan and core temp to monitor the system, and prime 95 - In-place large FFT’s to create the highest temps possible. Each test will be run for 30 minutes. Ambient room temperature is set at 22 Celsius.

System
• Processor: AMD 5000+BE
• Motherboard: MSI K9A2 Platinum
• Memory: Kingston economy 667 MHz
• Video Card: BFG 8600GTS 256MB GDDR3
• Power Supply: TAGAN TG530-U15
• Hard Drive: Western Digital 320 Gigs/Seagate 320 Gigs
• Optical Drive: Samsung SH-S183L
• CPU Cooler: Scythe Shuriken
• OS: Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit

The In Win case didn't cool as well as most of the cases tested and either tied or marginally beat out the generic cases. I wasn't very surprised at these results considering the size of the fans and the lack luster cable management.

The X-Fighter just doesn't stack up to gamer and enthusiast standards like the 932 HAF or the Sniper . While certainly stylish enough, it simply doesn't cool as well as it should in spite of being labeled as a "gamers case". During testing with prime95 it actually failed testing due to the heat and the lack of its dissipation from the case. I would not even consider trying to run a SLI or Cross Fire setup in this chassis, not only thanks to the lack of room but the extra heat generated just might do some serious damage to your rig.

Retailing for around $100.00 USD, this case is not the greatest deal around considering you can find comparable Lian Lis for a few dollars more on some e-sellers. They may be older models but at least you end up with an aluminum chassis. The X-Fighter is not a total failure, however.

It does pack quite a few nice features into a tiny box. Adjustable side vents and the quick tool less features, as well as the removable dust covers are all there to please. This case would be ideal for the LAN Party crowd who looking to have a light, portable and stylish rig. If you are into mild-gaming or just want a new media center, then this case is a decent option for you.

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