Modified cases are the rage now-a-days. Gone are the days of the lame, beige cases that just sit under your desk. In the early days of case modding, the only way you were going to get a nice custom case was to break out the dremel and make one. However, if you’re like me and don’t have any dremel skills, then you were out of luck. That’s all changed in the last few years and now there are a wide variety of pre-modded cases available for purchase. The focus of this review is the Aspire X-Dreamer II
The X-Dreamer II
is about the same size as your typical mid-tower case and available in a wide variety of colors. The case has a nice, almost car like, finish to it (you can even wax yours if you want extra smoothness. Don’t ask me how I know this). The first thing you notice is the large temperature gauge that occupies the front of the case. After that, you’re apt to notice the six bright blue LED’s that occupy the border of the front bezel. The front of the case also features two optical drive covers so you don’t have to break out the paint if you have non-black optical drives. Once you move on to the side of the case, you’ll see a nice big window with a transparent blue LED fan and alien head fan cover. The fan is positioned right over where your video card should be. The top of the case features a matching fan and alien head fan cover. The back of the case has spots for two additional 80mm fans and the usual assortment of back plate materials.
Things inside the case are solid as well. Inside the front bezel is room for two more 80MM fans (that’s a total of six 80mm fans for those of you scoring at home). The case can house four 5.25 inch externally accessible drives, two externally accessible 3.5 inch drives, and four 3.5 inch devices. This is where the first problem for the X-Dreamer II
shows up. In order to install your externally accessible drives, you’ll need to remove both sides of the case and the front bezel. Not too big of a problem, except that the case does not include any kind of directions. You will have to go to the Aspire website to get directions about how to do this (slide both sides off , unscrew the six screws that hold the bezel in place and then gently pull the bezel off). Once you’ve got your devices installed, you have to re-attach the bezel, put the screws back in, and you’re up and running. I’m guessing this is a necessity due to the drive covers but it’s still kind of a pain in the ass especially given the lack of documentation.
The case comes with a removable motherboard tray which is a godsend. This is the first case I’ve owned and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to get another case that doesn’t have one. The motherboard tray slides into a set of rails in the bottom of the case and a structural bar and it is secured with a screw that holds snug to the back of the case. All you have to do is screw the motherboard to the tray and then slide it into place. No more trying to work your hands into the small confines of the case. The case is roomy so even without the motherboard tray you wouldn’t get too cramped.
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