Enermax CS-10182

Enermax CS-10182

enermax copy.jpgA case aimed at geeks who have a sense of aesthetics

Month Reviewed: February 2005
Verdict: 9
URL: www.enermax.com.tw

Over the last few years, computer stores have been invaded by legions of factory-modded cases featuring preinstalled windows, wild paint jobs, and neon LEDs. To some PC users, the trend is a blessing; others see it as a plague. If you fall into the latter category, consider the Enermax CS-10182, a sturdy mid-tower that caters to power users without compromising on aesthetics.

Available in green, yellow, silver, and black, the CS-10182 looks elegant and offers space aplenty for all your components. This roomy case fits two external 3.5-inch drives, four optical drives, and six hard drives. According to Enermax, it even accommodates Extended-ATX motherboards. Optical drives and hard drives are kept snugly in place by screw-less rails that make drive-swapping a snap, and extra rails can be conveniently stored in an unused drive bay. As for all your external peripherals, you’ll find two USB ports, one FireWire port, and headphone and microphone jacks on the top of the case.

Of course, a system packed with high-end hardware must have cooling prowess to match, and the CS-10182 delivers the goods. Ventilation holes pepper the front, side, and top of the enclosure, and mounts are provided for up to seven 80mm fans (two are included with the case). A swing-out panel on the inside of the CS-10182 allows cooling fans to be aimed directly at the CPU and videocard, and Enermax was thoughtful enough to include washable filters for the air intakes.

Now for the gripes. The motherboard tray is nonremovable, and the tool-free expansion-card locking system isn’t strong enough to hold even medium-size cards in place. Fortunately, you can use screws as an alternative.

The door guarding the external drive bays opens just 90 degrees, so it’s difficult to access your drives if you keep your computer on your right side. And the hinges supporting the entire front panel (which swings open for easy service) feel flimsy and fragile—on our test unit, they broke off during shipping and had to be replaced.
Nitpicks aside, the Enermax CS-10182 is a well-crafted enclosure with tasteful stylings. It falls just short of a Kick Ass award, but even so, it’s worthy of serious consideration. --Josh Norem

+ Winona Ryder: Sturdy frame; plenty of space and cooling for all your components; stylish.

- Winning the Ryder Cup: Flimsy hinges on front panel; nonremovable mobo tray; ineffectual expansion-card locking system.

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