Hiper Osiris ATX Case Page: 1
Founded in 2001 in Milton Keynes UK, Hiper (High Performance Group) has now established itself as a leading manufacturer of PC components worldwide. They offer PSU's, media centers, case fans and other peripherals but today we are focussing our attention on their latest mid tower case - the Osiris.
Osiris is a name all Palaeontologists will be familiar with but for those that don't indulge in scraping dust from ancient hieroglyphs, Osiris is the Lord of the Dead - King of the Overworld. His son, Anubis (also a case made by Hiper), was also named after an Egyptian God who was again associated with the afterlife. From ancient Egyptology it is said Anubis was replaced by Osiris, whose cult had become more significant and thus Anubis was said to have given way to Osiris out of respect. Hiper have continued the Egyption theme but gone backwards in terms of lineage as Osiris is the father (or brother depending on your source) of Anubis. Hiper however are keen to point out the Osiris is not a replacement for the Anubis but an addition to the case range currently available. Still with me? Good. Don't you just love marketing?
Despite its menacing name, I doubt very much reviewing this mid tower case will give me some evil God like curse but all the same I will trudge through the depths of the underworld and inspect the finer details of this sarcophagus in the name of OC3D. So if you can bare the irresistible Egyptian clichés and would like to know if the Osiris really is a God among cases - read on....
Accessories & Specifications
Along with the case itself, Hiper have thoughtfully included a little zip pouch which they call the 'Travel Pak'. I don't quite know where you would travel to with a set of screws but it's a thoughtful inclusion nonetheless. The Pak contains a host of fixings, some of which are quality anodised thumbscrews, to allow you to get straight on with your build without nipping out to the local DIY store to grab those screws that always tend to go missing during any PC build. Here's the list of fixings you get:
Also included in the Pak are 6 Velcro style cable ties and an Osiris Keyring. The cable ties I can see a point to and will no doubt come in handy during the build but I honestly don't think I shall be sticking the keyring onto my car keys any time soon. With that said it is a nice metal keyring and not the plastic gimmicky types you sometimes come across so if you like your Egyptian Gods maybe this will appeal to you.
Let's move on to take a look at the package itself.
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As with any PC case, the transit from factory to outlet and then onto you is the most likely time that a case will pick up dents and scratches, so it's to Hiper's credit that the case arrived in a very sturdy cardboard box. The DHL guy who delivered the case said how nice the box looked, commenting on the Egyptian theme and judging how easy he walked up my driveway with it, was pleased not to require a fork-lift truck to bring it to my doorstep. There is a handy plastic carry handle on top or two side cut-outs that can be used to lift the box up with both hands should you so wish. The box itself is a black printed affair emblazoned with a picture of the Egyptian God Osiris with the name being raised in faux gold writing. On the rear of the box are the obligatory specs and a compartmentalized picture of the case.
The inside of the box has a top and base made of quality foam material which holds the case nice and snug and should prevent any damage occurring to those areas. Hiper obviously thought there wasn't any need for side protection and I must agree as the pictures themselves indicate 'which way is up'. The case is also wrapped in a thin polythene bag presumably to deter any dust from entering the contents. Overall, a well designed and attractive package and although you will most likely only see the box once or twice in your cases lifetime, it is nice to see some thought go into the packaging rather than a boring brown cardboard box.
Here we see the case in all its glory. The top, front and rear sections are anodised black with a brushed metal finish. The metal itself is of the same caiber aluminium alloy Lockheed Martin (Stealth aircraft manufacturer) use on thier wings. Sadly niether Area 51 or Skunkworks were available for comment at the time of writing this review so we will have to take Hipers word for it. Needless to say the 6063-T5 Military spec alloy is light (78% aluminium), strong and a perfect material to build PC's from. The left side panel is a black anodised affair (non brushed this time) and has a quite sleek looking window panel. The right hand side is a plain panel, once more anodised in black. While nothing revolutionary, it is a classic finish seen in LianLi's and Silverstones costing much more so its good to see a quality job on a case that costs half the price. I don't know why the brushed metal effect wasn't carried on to the side panels and frame but despite this the case has a certain allure about it, giving a sense of precision engineering throughout.
The side panels and front panel are designed for tool-less removal and fitting and with minimal effort the push tabs release the panels and the front comes away with relative ease allowing the case to be stripped down to allow easy access to all the internal space ready to for you to fit your components. The rear panel also has a unique number plate, matching the keyring giving a sense of exclusivity. I doubt that there will be a limited run of these cases and that they will any time soon become collectors items but its a nice feature and made me smile.
The top panel is where you will find the power/reset switches but that's not all as sat alongside are 2x USB 2.0 ports, eSATA and mic/input/output 3.5mm jacks also adorn the separate plate. There are also 2 micro leds, one blue and one UV coloured which are for hard drive activity and power supply respectively. Towards the back of the top panel we find an exhaust fan fitted with a mesh screen to protect your pinkies - again this is fitted really well.
Above we see the front and rear of the case in a little more detail. Above left shows the two stealth bays and the hieroglyph of the Osiris. I am not a big fan of graphics on a case and this does nothing to change my personal opinion as it takes something away from the clean look of the Osiris and only serves to cheapen it a little. To the rear of the case, Hiper have placed two rubber grommets to allow the use of water cooling without having to mod the case. This is a great idea but the problem is that only a 120.1 radiator can be hung from the back else some of the rear panel will be obscured and also due to the positioning of the pre-cut holes anything bigger than a 120.1 will prove difficult to route the tubing through these holes without kinking. If however, you only intend to use one of the many pre-built basic kits out there then this is a welcome addition and perfect for the budding water cooler.
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Hiper have thoughtfully included some catches on the side panels which allow a tool-less entry to the internals of the case. The catches themselves are once more metal and although a little stiff to work at first, soon loosen up with a few uses. They are also robust enough that they should last some time and won't become tatty through over use. Two of these catches are on both panels and slide downwards releasing the door panels. While in the 'locked' position there is no fear of the panel coming away any more than if they were screwed to the case.
With the side panel off you can better see the mesh/perspex window. This is one of the best ideas I have seen in case design for a long time and probably my favourite aspect of this case. On the outside, the mesh serves three fold. Firstly it will protect from those inevitable finger prints and secondly as there will be no finger prints, there won't be any scratches and swirl marks that usually become apparent after a few wipes of the perspex removing said fingerprints and dust but perhaps most importantly the mesh also serves to prevent EMI. The mesh is fine enough to allow light to pass through the case and acts like a tinted window from a distance which looks quite cool. Once more the finish is perfect with no ill fitting apparent. If you want even more ventilation then the perspex can be removed to leave just the mesh via tiny screws on the inside of the panel.
The front panel is easily removed by simply pulling at it from the hole in the bottom. It is affixed via push/pin style clips that while relatively easy to remove are solid enough to hold the front panel in place.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the inside of the case is also black with the motherboard panel being silver. The paintwork once more is pristine with no blemishes that I could find. The pristine paintwork is however spoilt by a Hiper bar code type sticker and while it should be easy enough to remove it is one of those minor irritations that shouldn't be there.
The motherboard panel allows fitment of most form factors and the provided motherboard stand-offs screwed in easily and matched up to the motherboard holes precisely as you would expect. Sadly, the motherboard panel is not removable which is a real disappointment as this is a feature I am coming to depend on as I now change boards as often as graphics cards! I appreciate this is a sub £100 case but it cannot be that difficult to incorporate and would make this case so much easier to work with internally as I shall explain later in the review.
The drive bays are welded in place and are adorned with 'fins' that make the drive bay area look like some sort of huge heat sink. I am unsure if that was the purpose of the fins or if it is purely cosmetic but once again this also presented some fitting difficulties.
Upon closer inspection of the case there are a few visible welds that while not exactly unsightly the do spoil the 'precision' feel of the case. I guess this is a price you are going to have to pay as the Hiper case is of a screw less design (in part) and as its a one piece frame it should stand the test of time and not develop those little squeaks and rattles after a year or so of use. I understand that alloy is notoriously hard to weld but it's the little details that can help the overall impression of the case and this is hopefully something Hiper will improve upon in the future.
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The Finer Details
With the main aspects of the case frame covered its time to look at some of the features the Osiris has to offer.
Here we see the Travel Pak that contains all the little screws required for the case, molex adapters for the fans, tie wraps and PCI venting backplates, instructions as well as the individually numbered keyring to match the case that I mentioned earlier.
For ventilation, the case has three 120mm fans that run at 1500rpm pushing 49.7CFM according to Hiper. Above left we see the rear and top fans that will be acting as exhausts. These fans are Hipers own brand and are also ideally placed should be air cooling your processor. The reported noise level is 19dB(A) but I feel that a little on the conservative side as while I don't have specialised monitoring equipment, the fans while not exactly loud are certainly audible and silent pc freaks may want to think about putting these on a fan controller rather than attaching them via molex. The good news is these fans are 3 pin as standard so can be attached to a motherboard header, the bad news is that unfortunately the wiring isn't overly generous so you may need to use the provided molex adapter or purchase a separate extender if you don't have enough headers around the CPU socket area. Above right we see that Hiper again have ventilation in mind providing a blow hole and filter for the PSU allowing you to orientate the PSU whichever way you like. The back of the PSU area also has provision for this with additional screw holes. In actual testing however I found the filter to be a little too restrictive and decided against using it, instead having the PSU fan side up which will also aid in exhausting warm air from the case. Thumbs up to Hiper for giving us the option though and I do suggest trying both way to see which way works best for you.
As I mentioned earlier, I encountered a couple of minor difficulties when trying to use the provided thumbscrews. On the backplates it is nigh on impossible to use the thumbscrews as unless you have fingers like pipe cleaners you cannot get a decent enough grip to give them more than a few turns. Using a screwdriver is also difficult due to the case frame getting in the way resulting in the threads not going in true. So after a frustrating 5 minutes and much cursing of my sausage fingers I did manage to tighten the thumbscrews but it soured the build nonetheless that had thus far been plain sailing. Above right is the floppy drive converter allowing the use of a standard drive bay. This is removable so you can make use of an additional 5.25 drive bay should you not require a floppy drive for your PC. If you do have use for a floppy then you will be pleased to hear the drive bay is fitted with rubber anti-vibration mounts.
Another great feature of the Osiris is the removable hard drive rack. This rack is attached to a fan with the same specs as the other case fans which in turn is attached to a fan grill and slots behind the front blow hole with mesh filter acting in unison as the only intake fan. This will effectively keep your hard drives nice and cool, blowing cold air over them and then into the case. The rack itself is once more covered in a grill like surface which will also presumably aid in its cooling properties. Inside the rack we see rubber strips and the capability to hold up to four hard drives. With four hard drives installed the airflow will however, be severely restricted but with an excess amount of 5.25 bays it may be an idea to make use of the additional space for hard drives with some stand-offs - sadly the required standoff sizes are not provided for this purpose by Hiper. I should point out the metal used in these parts will definitely stand the test of time as it felt sturdy throughout the build and not flimsy like some aluminium racks.
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- Intel Q6600 G0 @ 3.6ghz
- Gigabyte 965p DS3
- ATI 3870x2
- Seagate barracuda 500gb 7200.11 32mb cache
- Silverstone Strider 1000w
- Xigmatek HDT S-1283 CPU HSF
To see how effective the Osiris is at keeping you components cool I ran a series of benchmarks including 3dMark06 (looped 3 times), Prime 95 version 25.6 (2 hours) and HD Tach to heat up the case as much as possible and then recorded the results via Everest Ultimate ver 4. To ensure equality I only tested the case in in it's current condition with minimal cable tidying using the provided cable ties. The three provided 120mm fans were used via molex connectors (full 12v power) and the CPU HSF was set to 100% (auto disabled) via bios. Here are my findings :
Not a bad result at all. I was impressed with the GPU result as in my previous case the temp was hitting 80c after a single 3dmark run. No surprise that the hard disk temp didn't really move much, testament to the attached fan on the intake and the exhaust fans were doing well, ridding the case of heat from the CPU HSF.
During the above Load testing I took some temperature readings with a thermal probe to see where the hotspots were. While I understand that this isn't the most scientific approach as temps can vary depending on ambient temps and hardware used it will at least give an indication of how good/bad the airflow in the case is. I found the area around the NB to be hot (29c) which due to the CPU HSF blowing back to front and not downward is to be expected. The PSU area was surprisingly cool but the inferno was the area around the 3870x2 memory heat sinks (44c). This however is cooler than my current case which is testament to the Osiris's airflow/cooling capabilities. It is worth bearing in mind that only one hard disk was installed in the hard drive rack so optimal airflow is passing through the case during this investigation. With four hard drives installed and therefore a lot more restriction, you would expect these temps to increase slightly.
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I have been very meticulous during this review and have sometimes verged upon the nit-picking. Maybe its because I am currently looking to buy a case of my own and rarely go for a sub £100 case or maybe it's because I have become accustomed to absolute quality and perfection when housing expensive hardware. Either way I have found it very difficult to find fault with the Osiris. While this case is not perfect and does have a few flaws, they are only minor and can easily be dismissed as when you consider an rrp of less than £80, the Osiris quickly becomes a leader in this price bracket.
First the good. Cooling was exceptional for a mid tower case if a little on the noisy side but this can be tempered to ones tastes with the addition of a fan controller or indeed quieter fans. The overall look of the case is very striking yet minimalist and fans of Lian Li and Silverstone will feel right at home with the quality of the finish. With the interior being black, excess cabling is less visible and continues to provide that quality feel which is carried on throughout the whole case both inside and out. The meshed areas work well with the case's aesthetics and because this case is a light alloy with 78% aluminium you won't break your back lifting it or break your heart dropping it (not recommended though).
It is easily large enough to hold crossfired or SLI'd high cards with the 3870x2 being a good 3 inches away from the 5.25" drive bays. Large CPU HSF's can also be used (Xigmatek S-1283 used for this review) although anything much taller won't fit with only apx 10mm clearance of the side panel to spare, so do check your HSF's height before purchase. The visible welds are a little unsightly but are much more secure than pop rivets or screwed designs ensuring durability for years to come and while I found it difficult not to use a screwdriver during this build, it was a lot less harrowing than the usual aching wrist affair with non tool-less cases.
Now the bad. The major disappointment for me was the missing option of a removable motherboard tray but due to its 100% solid welded frame it becomes apparent why a motherboard tray was not included. I would also liked to have seen a separate compartment in the lower section if nothing else but to hide the unsightly PSU cabling which if you don't have a modular PSU will resemble a rats nest. I can see why a separate compartment was not included as with only one intake fan, cool air would not reach where it is required but all the same, I generally felt uncomfortable with a lot of the cabling just sat on the bottom of the case with no where to hide it. The addition of the Velcro straps do help somewhat but they can only tidy so much therefore additional space would have been nice to further hide the cabling especially when you consider the Osiris has a windowed side panel.
The windowed side panel itself is very lush and is perhaps the best cosmetic feature of the case along with the anodised finish but for reasons unknown to me, the side panels were not brushed but plain anodised. The thumbscrews, while a welcome addition, proved difficult at times to use and I had to resort to a screwdriver, negating the tool-less design due to the ridged casing areas.
The Ugly? Nothing to report unless you have an objection to hieroglyphs.
In short I am very impressed with the case and did not expect it to be as well made as it is. For £79.99 it's most certainly a bargain and you will be very hard pushed to find a case built to these high standards unless you double that price. If my old school teacher were writing this review she would give it a B+ and make some dismissing comment such as 'Very good but room for improvement'. Luckily she isn't and I will therefore simply say, nit picking aside, this is one damn fine case that you will not be disappointed in and therefore gets the OC3D 'Recommended' and 'Value' stamps of approval.
Thanks to Hiper
for supplying the Osiris for review. Discuss this review in our forums