Lite On FS020 Mid/Full Tower Case

Lite On FS020 Mid/Full Tower Case

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9.0

Lite On FS020 Mid/Full Tower Case review
Awesome Case!

The good:

about 21' tall which makes it a large mid case or a small full
3 spaces for 120mm (ya heard me) fans!
4 5 1/4 bays
2 3 1/2 bays (4 more hidden)
smooth edges
drive rails
removeable drive cages
thumb screws
fairly attractive (appearance)
300W high quality psu comes with it
tons of space
user friendly (idiot proof)
Sturdy and has additional Stability bar - which is removable with the release of one screw.
Cool to the touch
Intake fan filter (dust stopper!)

The bad:

Everyone says this and its true, the front of the case is very hard to remove, I broke a small latch when I first removed it and since then it is much better=) I glued it back on but I purposely broke it off again lol=D
Top should be removeable without removing the front
Front fan cage won't fit 120x120x38 depth fans without modifications.
My case didn't come with instructions, will need to figure out some things, like how to remove the front or how to use drive rails were hardest parts for me
No motherboard sliding tray - I've never used one before but I thought they are a pretty cool idea, well to the people who want one, there isn't one.
Pricey for a case

Summary:

Description:
This is one awesome case, it is exactly what I was looking for in a case. I was looking for a case thats not too big not too small (this one is 21inch tall which is a large mid/small full) with at least 4 5 1/4 bays and 2 exposed 3 1/2 so its unlikely you'll run of of space there. there are 2 more hidden 3 1/2 bays under the exposed ones and 2 more are placed above where the cpu would be on most motherboards. This is in front of one of the outtake 120mm fans for good cooling of harddrives if one were to be placed there (I do this with my 30 gig 75gxp @7200rpm). This brings me to another point, this case has room for THREE 120mm fans! This is excellent and the reason is 120mm fans can push more air for less noise, one of the things I looked for in a case is room for at least 2 120mm fans. Now I have ~150cfm going through my case with 2 panaflos @ 69cfm/30db each and my psu probably pushes at least ~10cfm. Its very quiet and its a good amount of air. I have a metal plate that came with the case covering the 3rd fan space on the back but this plate rattles once in a while and it would be a good way to reduce noise by removing it. There is tons of room in this case and it is probably a fraction wider than most cases, I noticed the holes for the spacers for the mobo worked with 2 different mobos, my old case did not match all holes on either of these mobos.

Instalation:
The left wall of the case is sealed by 2 thumbscrews, simply remove them, then slide left and lift and boom! its off. What a beauty! I love the smell of new parts=D. the right side of the case comes off in much the same manner but the only 2 thumbscrews are for the main left wall and the rest of the case is sealed by regular screws. The front is hard to remove as I noted before, there are 6 parts that clip into the case and one screw, and maybe one more latch (the one I broke purposely, hehe). You can remove the front by removeing the screw then pinching about 3-4 clips at once and pulling while pushing in a direction to release the latch that I no longer have. Once you successfully remove the front of the case you will find 2 new screws hidden within the front that will allow you access to the top of the case, and along with it, the power supply unit! The fan filters are also located in the front of the case that comes off and probably can be cleaned very easily. The compartment for the power supply unit which I will call the psu from here on is very neat, it will not fall onto your motherboard when you remove the 4 screws that keep it attached to the case because its in a compartment of its own. The space allowed for the wires of the psu to the rest of the system is ample, not small like on some cases such as the Supermicro SC750. The case came with a 300W Lite-On psu with a single 80mm fan. Upon removing it I could tell it was a very good psu because it was heavy. The reason I say this is because when you look inside of it, you will see why it is heavier than a sky hawk psu of similar wattage. It has bigger heatsinks and capasitors which will result in more stability and longer lifetime. I forgot to mention this earlier but the case also came with a Nidec fan pre-attached to the higher rear exhaust space, but I replaced this fan with a panaflo fan because of the superior air to noise ratio. I also replaced the 300W psu provided with the case because I replaced it with a ultra high quality Enermax 430W psu. This psu has dual fans and is very quiet! I noticed that the hole for the fan of the psu to exhaust is covered by a metal plate to fit psu's with 80mm fans (the majority) but when this plate is removed there is room for a 92mm fan!! There is such a thing? Well if they start coming out your case is future proof in this respect! As for installing of motherboard and devices it was fairly easy although I broke a screw while installing my floppy drive (my fault) so its friggin stuck in there!! arg! Cables are fairly clean when the job was done and the mobo fits well with the case so all the cards fit well. You might consider rounding your IDE and floppy cables to make it even cleaner in there for improved airflow. The case also comes with a power cable for your psu, a nice touch but for me I just got one more to add to my collection=). I also tried removing the part that holds the leds and the reset and power button, it uses a nice sliding and clipping system and there are no screws here. I noticed there are 2 wires for the power switch and to this day I don't know why there are 2 of them. The power button is nice and big and the reset button is a bit smaller but big enough that you can press with your finger so you don't have to grab a pen or pencil each time your system hangs. One thing I had trouble with during instalation was for my CDrom which had to be installed using drive rails. Now the problem is I never used drive rails before and the case has no manual. After about an hour of fiddleing I went on to the web in search for an answer and finally completed instalation. I must say I like the drive rail system now that I know how to use it.

Summary and Final Thoughts:
Like I said this is a awesome case, currently I run about 150cfm of equal intake/outtake in it with a MSI K7T pro2A (KT133) and a duron 650 @954mhz (1007 peak @ 106x9.5) and the system temperature is at a consistent 20 degrees centigrade. Its quiet considering the airflow in this case thanks to the superior noise to cfm ratio of the bigger 120mm fans this case supports. I wish the case came with the extra latch on the front pre-broken as all it does it make removing the front more difficult and its already plenty firm with just the single screw and the 6 clips. I also wish the top were removable without having to remove the front of this case since I never REALLY needed to remove the front except it was required to remove the top to access the psu compartment. I forgot to mention this but the top of the case will not come off unless both side panels are off. They really should include a manual for this case as it is hard to figure out how to use some of its features and you really expect a manual when you pay this much for a case. This case is fairly pricey for a case but you get what you pay for when you buy this case. It cost me $183 total when I ordered it from outsideloop.com. If this is too much for you to spend on a case you should look elsewhere, but if you are willing to dish the dough and want the absolute best mid/full tower I will recommend the Lite-On FS020 with all my heart;).

Final Rating 4.5/5 (no manual, bad front and top removal, more thumbscrews, front fan cage won't fit 38mm depth fans without modifications, pricey, other minor imperfections, otherwise perfect)

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