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Chieftec / Chenming - Black Dragon Full Tower Case
Author : Wayne Date : February 12th 2002

3DVelocity would like to thank Pete over at Overclock.co.uk for providing this case for review.

 

A Closer Look :

The first thing I need to mention is that the Black Dragon isn't really black, not in the true sense of the word. It's more your typical charcoal hi-fi gray. This isn't a criticism as, for some reason, this lighter black coupled with the matt finish seems to stop your usual beige drives from looking quite so out of place.

The case stands at a shade over 26" high and is manufactured from 1.0mm SECC sheet steel. Despite its height it does feel surprisingly stable, probably due in part to its weight of around 39lbs. If you want to play safe, the Black Dragon comes with the same swing-out feet found on most of the Antec/Chieftec range. I've read in other reviews that these are easily broken but from my experience they're more than strong enough to do the job they're meant for.

All the external drive bays are hidden away behind a swing-out door panel. This isn't the strongest of structures feels as though it could be fairly easily damaged. That said, its purpose in life is to keep your drives away from prying eyes not protect you from incoming heat seeking missiles. The lock is a nice touch but it needs to be viewed as nothing more than a deterrent. If somebody wants this panel open they'll do it with relative ease, lock or not. Needless to say you get a couple of keys supplied with the case.
For those who's rather remove the panel completely, this is easily done by pressing on the tension mounted pivot. My only complaint would be that I'd have liked to see the door able to hinge from either side.

Just below the bottom of the door panel are the usual power and reset buttons and of course a power and HDD activity LED. The reset button is a nice size, easily pressed with a finger but not so easy to press by accident. It's also recessed slightly to minimise accidental pressing. Both the power and reset buttons feel responsive and have a reassuring "click" to them.

 

Either side of the front fascia is a release button. Pressing both buttons allows the fascia to be removed to gain access to the internal bays. The fascia locates using four guide pegs that in my opinion are a little too long as they tend to wedge when trying to remove the fascia. Once wedged it can be all to easy to snap at least one of them off if you're heavy handed.

On a security note, the left hand fascia release button can only be pressed with the side panel removed so if the side panel release is locked (covered later), it's not possible to remove the front fascia without using force.

 

 

 

With the front fascia removed it's a simple case of snapping off the required bay blank and slotting in your drive/s. The Black dragon uses drive rails which screw onto the sides of the drive and allow it to be easily slid into place.

Below the six 5.25" bays is the floppy drive cage. This nifty idea allows the cage to be removed simply by undoing two thumb screws. Once removed, installing your FDD is simplicity itself and certainly a damned site easier than trying to mess about screwing it into place from inside the case. The two thumb screws on the FDD cage are captive, that is they remain attached to the drive cage even when unscrewed which is particularly useful for people like me who could lose an elephant in a phone box

Just below the two thumb screws are the two release catches used for removing the lower fascia.

 

 

 

Page 3 - A closer look

 

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