Aerocool Spiral Galaxies


It would be best to keep this galaxy far, far away

Month Reviewed: March 2005
Verdict: 5

Back in November 2004, we reviewed a case from Silverstone that was strikingly similar to this Aerocool unit—the only major difference being the front bezels. Like Silverstone’s TJ06, the Spiral Galaxies (who comes up with these names, anyway?), sports a unique “reverse ATX” chassis that opens from the right and requires the ATX motherboard to be mounted upside down. This puts the CPU at the bottom of the case, smack-dab in the middle of a wind tunnel created by twin 120mm fans on either side of the motherboard. The vortex is enhanced by a massive plastic shroud that clamps down over the top of the motherboard. Although this cooling design could be beneficial for overclockers, it’s a pain in the butt to affix or detach the shroud, which is largely unnecessary for regularly clocked PCs.

We also had problems this time around getting the power supply cables to reach the motherboard. Because the PSU resides at the very top of the full-size tower while the motherboard is located at the very bottom, you need super long cables to span the two. The exact length of cable varies depending on the location of the mobo’s ATX power connector. If the connector is above the CPU—as was the case with our mobo—you could be SOL. Not even the extra-long cables that came with our PC Power and Cooling test unit would reach.

Another annoyance is the hard drive cooling situation—or lack thereof. The Spiral Galaxies doesn’t include any dedicated fans for the drive cage, so cooling duties have to be handled by a fan on the bottom of your PSU, provided it has one. Also, like the PSU cables, hard drive cables have to be extremely long given the drives’ location up at the top of the case.

This case might boast a unique design, but clearly it’s more trouble than its worth. Take it from us: Stick with standard ATX for the time being. --Josh Norem

+ Full-size tower: Interesting design and roomy interior.

- Full-size tumor:
Needs really long power cables, and the shroud is a PITA.

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