Regardless of whether you’re an enthusiast or a regular run of the line consumer, you can agree with the statement that cases are important. Having a good computer is one thing, but a case determines whether or not the internal components are cooled properly, what kind of drives you can fit and keep secure as well as the general aesthetic feel of the computer area. There’s also, for some of you reading this, the question of mobility of the case. To those for whom the previous sentence applies, we have an incredibly interesting proposal: The IN WIN D-Frame. This striking, open air frame is definitely aimed at the LAN party crowd, seeing as the case can be grabbed and lifted from any point. For a quick look at the IN WIN D-Frame, please watch this video.
The case comes disassembled, so a bit of elbow grease is required to get it put together. Luckily, tools are included: 2 wrenches and a very (12in) long screwdriver. The latter really comes in handy when dealing with some of the screws on the back panel. Plenty of spare parts are included as well, should some be lost during assembly, or whenever else.
The D-Frame is clever in its design, the case measures 42.8cm by 30.5xm by 66.8cm (19″ x 12″ 26.3″ for those of you who like inches)and the entire thing, including the backplate is made from solid aluminum, giving it a weight of around 25 pounds. In terms of thermal solution the case is open air has room for 4 120mm fans, 3 on the bottom, on one on the front. The front panels has the HD Audio in and out, and 2 USB 3.0 ports. The D-Frame can fit almost any video card, from the smallest all the way up to 33 cm, so this case can be made to transport a small monster. The internal drive bay holds, and locks in place 3 3.5 inch and 2 2.5 inch drives, and has them, interestingly enough inserted vertically. The back plate supports both ATX and Micro-ATX form factors, and on the opposite side has 16 attachment points for the included wire fasteners. This makes wire management easy, which is kind of a must for this case as the sides of the case are made of solid glass. Ample room is provided to do so as well, there is 1.75 inches between the back of the backplate and the glass panel. The back clamp can fit any power supply up to 22cm, so short of you trying to fit a small generator, the D-Frame can take it.
One of the things I actually dislike about the case is its small external bay. But then again, this case is made for mobility and looks, so I don’t think that having only the CD/DVD drive in it will be a hindrance. Another oddity is that the little blue feet that the case stands on are secured to the metal only with double sided tape. They come off a little too easy; simply sliding the case on my desk made two of them loose.
Overall, the case is impressive, but not for everyone. As mentioned in the video, I don’t think this case is in any way a home/family computer case. Being an open air case also makes it somewhat of a dust magnet, so care should be taken to clean and dust the internals often. One last concern is the glass panels. I understand that the case is meant to be a LAN party case, but at the same time, transporting glass is something that isn’t meant to be done often.
If you’re interested in this unique, and most definitely unusual case, they are available in two color sets, red with black, and orange with blue. I do have to mention the price, and at ~400$ (Newegg, red with black), it’s not exactly the cheapest case around. The reason for the steep price is because the build quality of the case is undoubtably solid, everything from the attachment points to the welds on the tubing is sturdy, and barring the double sided tape, there aren’t really many faults. In terms of my personal opinion of it, I have to be a bit of a fence-sitter on this one; while it’s a party piece of a case, the price and specificity of it’s targetted consumer base makes it a tough object to either recommend or condemn. If I have to summarize my thoughts, it’d be something like this.
- Absolutely unique, a real party-piece
- Fits most oversized graphic processing units and power supplies
- Cable management made easy with plenty of space and attachment options
- Open Air (Either the ultimate in air-cooling or the worlds most outrageous dust magnet)
- Cable management is a must as the case is see through
- Glass sides, not the best for a portable case
- Small external bay space
- On the heavy side, around 25 pounds without internals
Give it a look, and decide for yourself.