Pretty; functional; plenty of front-panel hookups.
We hate hate hate the startup sound; limited cooling; front-panel connectors go in front of the drive bays, not behind.
We don’t just want to give a 1 verdict to the person responsible for the power-on mechanism in this Ferrari-themed case. We want to strap him to a jet engine. Harsh words, but you too will be driven to undertake such bold action once you hear the ear-splitting rev of a car engine after you hit the F430’s power button. You can disable this “feature” by pulling the plug on the front panel, but hearing this noise even once is too much.
Deafness aside, the case has a few other design quirks. For starters, the snap-locking side panels are a wee bit ugly, but they do allow for superfast entry into your rig’s guts. The case offers a healthy mix of front-panel connections (four USB, one FireWire, standard audio), but the cables for them run in front of the drive bays—an odd choice that limits internal cable management options and looks unattractive.
The case uses screws to hold up to three hard drives in place and rails for up to four 5.25-inch devices. In practice, we found that the latter—such as an optical drive—tend to sit a little more recessed from the front panel than what we find aesthetically pleasing.
The case comes with a single 12cm fan in the rear and no cooling whatsoever for the boisterous side panel exhaust system or front drive bays. But this, as well as the tight space around the hard drive bays, is forgivable. The F430 is pretty and functional and comes with more front-panel connection options than most cases in this roundup.