A+ Case Monolize ATX Full Tower Case Page: 1
Introduction

NanoPoint are the parent company of A+. They produce a lot of nice equipment such as Tagan PSU's and IcyBox media enclosures. Today we're looking at the A+ Monolize ATX Case. With smooth black looks and two rather beastly fans on it it certainly looks an interesting proposition.

Black is my colour so I was rather interested when I had the chance to take a look at the Monolize.

Packaging

The packaging on the Monolize is surprisingly understated and wouldn't be a stand out on the shelves. However, seeing as most of the trade for A+ is to be done on virtual shelves I don't think the external packaging will be an issue.

monolize packaging

monolize packaging 2

Internally the case is packed up nice and tight with plastic surrounding the case to stop scratches in transit and foam to stop and dents. Top marks to A+.

case packaging

You shouldn't have trouble with a damaged case from all but the most unreliable courier company, which is reasurring.

Package

Cases don't tend to come with much but A+ have done a good job sliding in a few little extra's.

extras monolize

Drive bay rails include plentiful supply of floppy, HDD and Optical drive bay rails. Additional are a few zip-ties and a sticky zip-tie clip. Screws and a few other extra's are added as well as a pretty cool little container to store all the spares (see next page). Pretty sweet all in all. The manual is very basic but does the job.

Specification

Taken from NanoPoint's website:

Special Features

World record: Special brand-new cooling system with two blue Illuminated 250 mm fans in the left side door

Separate adjustable (speed) 250 mm fans, also with separate on/off switch function

Blue illuminated Aplus logo in front with on/off switch

Up to 13 disk drives can be mounted inside the case

ATX and extended ATX main boards fit inside

Easy drive mounting with 26 screw less rails

Easy installation of the PCI cards with clip system

4 knurled screws on the back for easy opening the case

Manual comes in English, German and French languages

In accordance with RoHS

Tech data

Amount 5¼"-Bays: 5× external
Amount 3½"-Bays: 2× external, 7× internal
Fancontroller: +
Fan (included): 2
Fan (optional): 1 x 80 mm, 92 mm or 120 mm in the Rear
Airfilter (included): -
Interfaces: +x USB 2.0, +x Firewire, -x Audio
Supported Mainboards: Standard ATX, extended ATX (12"x13"), MP Dual CPU
Name: CS-Monolize
Iconnumber: 10747
Material Case-Chassis > 1mm SECC
EAN-Code: 4250078102120


Logistical Data

Nett dimensions: 240 x 545 x 565 (mm)
Gross dimensions: 310 x 640 x 600 (mm)
Nett weight: 11,78 (kg)
Gross weight: 13,98 (kg)
Packing unit: 1 (pcs)
Minimum order quantity: 1 (pcs)
Contents of 1 carton: 1 (pcs)
Weight of 1 pallet: 200 (kg)
Quantity of 1 pallet: 14 (pcs)
WEEE Registration #: WEE/KH0083UX
Country of Origin: Taiwan

The specs looks pretty decent and with two simply massive 25cm fans on the case it certainly has a good set of lungs.


A+ Case Monolize ATX Full Tower Case Page: 2
Close-up Monilith by A+ Case

The external of the case is pretty striking with a plain black look achieved by what looks like matt black powder coating. The front of the case is a matte plastic with a swing door.

monolith side on

monolith side on

I thought I'd use two different styles of lighting to give you a good idea of how the case looks in different situations. When I first took a look at the case and realised the front had plastic on it I was a little skeptical (being an all Aluminium man myself), but the case does look good sitting beside my desk.

monolith case fan side

Here we see the huge fans that I presume gave the case its name. Large they are indeed, although you do get used to the size after a while. They certainly are a big feature of the case. The fans look a little 'stuck on' when you take a closer look at them. The join in between the case and the plastic shroud used is visible and would irk those who are perfectionists with their cases.

mopnolith case side

The opposing side of the case has ventilation holes drilled into it at the top and side. At first I wasn't sure what to make of them but as time has goes on I realise the idea is to draw airflow across the case from the large fans through the back of the case. This does actually work and right now I can feel air blowing through the case and out the other side. We will see whether this is effective or not on the test results page.

monolith case

The front of the case is very reflective on the middle panel. Also note that fingerprints are very easy to imprint on the case and not so easy to get off! The A+ symbol is cut inside the door front and not so easy to see in the light. More on that later.

front door open

The matte look continues on inside the dook and I like the look here. The on/off button is fairly solid and doesn't rattle and the same goes for the reset button.

front fan speed buttons

The case front also has buttons to turn on/off the fans and ramp up and down their speed. These again are pretty well made and make a satisfying "click" when pressed. I think this is a handy feature to have on a case such as this.

side panel

The side panel is set into the plastic side of the case and could cause hassle if you have a desk that encloses the case at the side.

in the dark

The case front lights up nicely in the dark. It's a cross between those cases that have too much 'bling' and those that are plain and simple. Having said that, if you do not like branding I don't think this case is for you. Note that there is a button inside the door that turns this light on and off.

case side fans lit

The fans also look pretty nice in the dark too. On my case the colour did not quite match on the fans but I didn't notice until I set the case up to take this shot. Again, all of the lights can be turned off.

External Build Quality

The external build quality is pretty nice overall. There is a slightly plastic feel to the front of the case but everything seems to be put together well so it doesn't lose too many marks for that.


A+ Case Monolize ATX Full Tower Case Page: 3
A Close up - A+Case Monolize internals

The Monolize is a nice and roomy case with lots of space to store all of your top-end components. It is here especially we see that the entire case is constructed in solid steel with all sharp edges rounded off for safety. It's all very grey but seeing as this case doesn't come with a window this can also be forgiven. I'm glad to say that the plastic feel of the front of the case is not echoed in the internals and the case feels especially solid inside.

monolith interior

The PSU is housed at the top in a fairly standard configuration. Drive bays look difficult to put your drives in but thanks to the included rails it is one of the easiest cases I have ever used to put a drive into. Simply clip in the rail and presto they slide in without a hitch. I like the rail at the top that certainly helps to make sure the case doesn't flex and keeps it solid.

drive bay view

case reverse side

There are no included fans other than the mammoth ones on the side of the case. I am assuming that this is because A+Case are hoping that the airflow side-to-side will be more than enough to ventilate the case. Notice that the hard drive bay is half taken up with a plastic gizmo...

holder

A pretty handy cubby hole for any of your spare bits and bobs. It can of course be removed by simply removing the two screws keeping it in place.

case drive bays

drive bays 2

The cables have lots of clever routes to go when you look closely which is a major bonus as I have had to get the dremel out on several occassions on other cases to get better wire routing.

case rear view

The rear of the case is a pretty standard affair and as I have noted, is missing a fan.

case front view inside

The front of the case has a fan bracket in place but again no fan. A+Case have really committed to the side-to-side airflow idea in this case, although leaving options for a more conventional configuration.

case fans inside

Before we take a look at installation I have to mention the huge fans on the inside. They are mounted pretty solidly and both are wired onto a single molex lead which certainly saves a lot of wiring nightmares. It does mean that you have to keep a spare molex connector on your PSU though.


A+ Case Monolize ATX Full Tower Case Page: 4
Test Setup

Before I move on to the installation lets see what I put into the case.

CPU: Intel Core2Duo E6700 @ 3.33Ghz
Motherboard: XFX 650i Ultra
GFX Card: Sapphire X1600Pro with Arctic Cooling Accelero X2
RAM: 2gb Mushkin XP2-6400 4-4-4-12
HDD: OS - 160gb Hitachi Deskstar SATA II
Power: Zippy 500w
Cooling: Scythe Infinity

I have used the Silverstone TJ09 to compare results with.

Idle temperatures were taken after 30 minutes of "rest" time on the PC.

Load temperature for the CPU was Dual Folding@Home after 30 minutes.

Load Temperatures on the GPU were taken after 30 minutes of RTHDRIBL.


This should be a nice test of the cases thermal properties.

Installation

Installation was a simple and pretty quick process. I have performed a small amount of cable tidying but in fairness the case does a lot for you with a nice range of cubby-holes in which to route and hide those ugly spare cables. Here's the result:

cable tidying

As you can see the case gives a nice clean install even with the little effort I put into it.The only problem I encountered was that I put the PSU in before the motherboard which meant I had restricted access to get the fan on the cooler.

gfx card holder

gfx card holder 2

Another feature of the case was the clip to hold in the graphics card. This does make installation of graphics cards easier and I tried a few of the ones I have to test this without any problems. However, I am not convinced that the clip would not wear down with use, and could become loose. Ease of use here is a 10/10 but I personally would still like screws or thumbscrews, mainly as I swap out GPU's all of the time and some of them cost rather a lot!

Minor gripes aside the case was incredibly easy to install into and the features like the drive bar clips and the PCI slot clip, as well as the ample cable-routing options made it a pleasure to work in. I also have to say that there was not one sharp surface or edge in the case and I was pleasently surprised that my fingers didn't have the usual plethora of cuts that you usually get from cheaper cases.


A+ Case Monolize ATX Full Tower Case Page: 5
Test Results

Here's what happened up against a Silverstone TJ09S with only stock fans left in:

testing

The only place that the Monolize let itself down was in CPU temperature where it trailed the Silverstone by some distance. I have a feeling this is due to the non-standard side-through air passage in the Monolize. The rest of the temperature scores show a pretty competitive cooling solution from the Monolize case.

If you're looking to get this case and want a cool CPU I would suggest adding a front and rear fan for better airflow as that is what the ATX standard intended.

Still overall a pretty decent performance from the Monolize.


A+ Case Monolize ATX Full Tower Case Page: 6
Conclusion

The Aplus CS Monolize is a very well proportioned case that is well built and looks pretty decent, especially when lit up. Mostly built to a very good standard, there are a few niggles that you may not find in some of the more expensive cases out there.

The looks of a case is a very personal thing but I actually have grown to quite like the Monolize case. OK, it's not your £200 top-end all-alu chassis, but it is good looking with only a touch of "gaming case bling".

Coming onto the price, £70 from one of our trusted retailors seems very good value to me for such a large case with some of the features I've mentioned. That's a full half of the price of the Silverstone TJ09 I reviewed earlier.

Komplett

The A+ Case Monolize get's a "Value For Money" Award and "Recommended" for being a well made, attractive case well inside most people's case budget.

Value For $$ Award Recommended Award

The Good

+ Well Built
+ Decent looking
+ No sharp edges inside
+ Decent amount of "bling"
+ Good Value

The Mediocre

* All steel case
* Over-branding in some places

The Bad

- Slightly platic feel to some parts
- Some finishings need tidying up

Thanks to NanoPoint for the review sample

Discuss in our Forums