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iQ Eye 1020-2A Case Review


Product
iQ Eye Case
Date
8th September 2004
Manufacured By
Supplied By
Price
£69.99 + VAT
Author

 

Introduction:::...

You might be surprised to know that of all the reviews I write, I probably enjoy reviewing cases the most. I think the reason is probably that unlike graphics cards, motherboards, hard disks and the like where there are so few things that can actually be changed or added, cases are a veritable designer's playground, packed with potential for innovative design and engineering.

There really has been an explosion in new case designs recently, some good, some not so good. One thing is certain though, the way a case looks doesn't necessarily give any clues about how good it actually is. There are superb looking that are let down by poor build quality or functionality just as there are fairly dull looking cases that are a real joy to use. There aren't many around that get it all right.

The case I have on review today is one that, given a choice, I probably wouldn't have made an effort to get hold of. I may as well be honest and say that I'd seen pictures of iQ-eye before and it always struck me as a rather unexciting looking affair.

I think the biggest problem I had with it was not just that it looked like a subwoofer, it was more to do with the fact that several low-budget cases have hit the market this year, and just about all of them seem to share the iQ-eye's design trait of a rather plain front with a single, large, defining feature on it. Some have rather cheap and nasty single-device temperature readouts while others feature illuminated round ventilation grills or something equally tacky. They all however come with an assurance that they are built to the lowest possible standards, and though I try to never pre-judge hardware, I have to admit I'd got it in my head that the iQ-eye fell into the same category. I genuinely believed this was a piece of junk attempting to sell itself on the basis of having something vaguely interesting stuck on the front. Whether I was right or wrong is something you'll discover over the next few pages.

Kindly sent us by NanoPoint UK, the iQ-eye is manufactured by the respected Chinese manufacturer Casetek. But before we get stuck in, the specs:

 

Specifications:
Model CK-1020-2
Type Midi ATX Tower
Mainboard ATX
Expansion Slots 7
Drive Bays 5.25"  x 5 (open bay)
3.25"  x 2 (open bay)
3.25"  x 3 (Hidden)
Material 1.0 mm SECC
Power Supply PS/ll
Optional Cooling Fan 1 x 8 cm front fans with air filter
1 x 9.2 cm rear fans
2 x 9.2 cm side fans with air filter (Optional)
1 x 8 cm top fan (Optional)

Top I/O      

IEEE1394, USB 2.0x2 , Audio

EMI Finger

Available
Screw-free PCI Slot Included
Temperature
Display LCD
Included
Case Dimensions

558 x 219 x 477 mm (DxWxH)

Accessories CK-9001 Computer Carrying Backpack  (Optional)
Side-panel with window and protection net against EMI (Optional)  

At a quick glance it all looks fairly standard, but two things kind of leap out at you. The first is that this case has room for a mammoth five cooling fans, three of them 92mm units, and the second is that there's only room for three 3.5" drives if you're using both of the external 3.5" bays, hardly the basis for a killer RAID array.

Okay, let's get to the case itself.

 

 
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