Buying a case is somewhat like buying a car. While the functionality is extremely important, one can never overlook the looks and the design of both a car and a case. Sometimes one can overlook the design to get more functionality or vice versa. The Tuniq 3 Case from Tuniq is one of these vice versa cases. With a few sacrifices in the easiness of installation, Tuniq managed to significantly increase performance while also managing quite well in the looks department.
|Material||Aluminum front bezel, 0.8mm SECC chassis|
|Color||Black, Silver, Black / Silver|
|Motherboard||ATX, Micro ATX|
|Drive Bay||External 5.25” x 5|
|3.5” x 2|
|Internal 3.5” x 3|
|Cooling System||Front 120mm x 1(Optional)|
|Rear (Exhaust) 120mm x 1|
|Fan bracket 120mm x 2|
|Front I/O Port||USB2.0 x 2|
|audio x 1|
|Speaker x 1|
|Net Weight||11.2 kg|
|Dimension||430 mm (H) x 200 mm (W) x 451 mm (D)|
The outer packaging of the Tuniq 3 is more plain than anything. Following standard white on black Tuniq colors are effectively used to portray this case's subtle yet explosive style. I generally do not pay much attention to the packaging but rather the product. That being said, I was rather surprised by Tuniq's misleading box design. As you can see from the pictures the case portrayed on the box is white with no windows. The case inside, however, was not the case portrayed on the box. Firstly the case was black not white and it featured an acrylic side window. I'm not the one to complain about extra cool and surprising features in a product, but for those who might be shopping in a store looking for a professional looking case, might look at this as a nuisance rather than a plus.
The packaging for all of the cases is pretty standard: 2 large styrofoam pieces around a case in a plastic bag. The Tuniq 3 was no exception. This packaging style saves money and is very efficient in protecting the case from damage. As expected, the case arrived without any deformation or damage despite the notable scarring and damage on the box.
When I began working with the case I was genuinely surprised at the amount of features the Tuniq 3 came with. It came with 3 LED fans and 2 large 2 blue CCFLs (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) lights under the case. These LED fans came in a very unique configuration. The fan bracket that you see in the picture lets you mount the fans in many different positions depending on the hardware that will be installed in the computer. For example, if you aren't going to have a large graphics card but will have many hard drive it will be of greater benefit for you to leave the fans in the configuration the case came in. If you are more concerned with cooling the graphics card then it would be more convenient for you to rotate the fans 90 degrees to have them pushing air onto the motherboard and the graphics cards rather the hard drives.
Tool free design became so popular that almost all cases come with it. The Tuniq 3 is again was no exception. The case features tool-free hard drive, disk drive and graphics card installation. People with large graphics cards, however, will find out that you will have to use screws to secure the graphics cards since the tool free clam is not very efficient with large graphics cards. Amidst suffering around the case, I also stumbled on another interesting the part of Tuniq 3's design: a removable hard drive cage.
After discovering all of these amazing features, I could no longer wait to start installing my system into Tuniq's Tuniq 3. This is where I ran into my first problem. In order to install the motherboard, I first had to remove the fan bracket which was attached onto the case with 4 screws.
After removing the fan bracket, I and installing the motherboard, I set upon installing the the front fan, where I ran into another interesting issue. Apparently it is incredibly difficult to install front fan without removing the hard drive cage and impossible without removing the front cover. As you can see from the pictures, the screws that hold the fan in place go through the 4 indentations in the front of the case. The front fan is located in front of the cage so after removing the cage, I had to hold the fan in place with on had while using the other to secure the screw on the other side of the case.
With the front fan in place, I proceeded to installing the power supply, water cooling system, reinstalling the HDD cage, and the fan bracket. At this point I noticed that the 7800 GTX was a little too big for the current fan bracket configuration, so I had to rotate the the lower fan to a position parallel with the graphics card. Also, as you may hove noticed from the right picture, the installation of the bracket did not go as smoothly as I had hoped for. The twin 120 mm fans take up quite a bit of space which greatly reduced the amount of space available for the loose power cables and liquid cooling tubes.
At this point at least 3 hours passed, I was exhausted, it was 4 in the morning and I decided to turn on the computer. This is when I realized that all this time spent on assembling the case was worth it. The case look absolutely marvelous in the darkness of the night. With 3 fans and 2 CCFLs shining away anyone would without a doubt give this case a second look without even wondering what might be inside it. The styling of the front panel gives it a "plain" look when the computer is off, but all that plainness is thrown out of the window when the case comes to life as soon as the computer is turns on.
Priced 59.99 at newegg.com, the Tuniq 3 from Tuniq is the very definition of quality, looks and performance at a very reasonable price. Aside from its difficulty of installation, the Tuniq 3 didn't demonstrate any other shortcomings. If you are a person who wants a good looking case at reasonable price that you won't touch after assembling it, this might be a great case for you.