Sunbeamtech UFO Acrylic Cube Case Page: 1
Introduction

Many of you will be familiar with the name Sunbeamtech. Case hardware and modification items ranging from CCFL's; power supply's; fans and rheobuses are just some of the items that this Chinese company produce. In fact it would probably be easier to count the items that they don't manufacture. Let's have a look and see what Sunbeamtech have to say:
 
Sunbeam Company, a true art innovator in the field of PC modification and accessories at all aspect, targets on providing the top quality and state of art computer products to high tech PC users. We dedicate outstanding high quality control as our number one priority and deliver the products with the highest level of excellent Performance, as well as the coolest Innovation and an Appearance that draws your attention.

Launched as a promising new company in the field in 2000, Sunbeam Company specialized in developing cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL), and furthermore extended to manufacture various modding equipments. Throughout the years, we now expand our product coverage to provide pioneering and fancy computer application at all aspects, while focusing on, but not limiting to, cooling systems and computer cases. Our mission is to satisfy PC players all over the world who are tired of boring traditional computer impressions and longing for experiencing the excitements of revolutionary hardware designs.Sunbeam Company has manufacturing factories located in Dongguan City, China.
 
In order to provide exceptional product quality combined with superior customer support, we keep updating and advancing ourselves to meet the diverse changes and increasing market demands. We strive to continue designing and developing ground-breaking, exciting, and appealing products as well as being the one stop resource and solution for all computer enthusiasts seeking to turn their ingenious visions into the coolest and fanciest reality.
 
Today I have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to review one of Sunbeamtech's range of chassis' - the Sunbeamtech UFO Acrylic Cube case.
 
Sunbeamtech UFO Acrylic Cube case
 
The Sunbeamtech UFO Cube case is an interesting step away from the conventional case, in that you have to build it first before you can use it. One thing that confounds me though is why it's called the UFO, when it very clearly isn't.
 
Having owned one of the first generation of Sunbeamtech Acrylic cases. I am very eager to see what has changed. Anyway, let's not delay the review any further...why don't we look at the UFO Acrylic Cube case' specifications.
 
Specifications
 
Color: Transparent(ACUF-T) UV-Blue(ACUF-HUVB)
Drive Bay: 5.25" Drives Bay x 2, 3.5" Drives Bay x 2( Internal )
Front I/O Port: USB 2.0*2 + Speaker + Microphone
Weight N. W: 5.1 kg/ G. W. 6.2 kg
Dimension: H 300mm x W 295mm x D 380mm
M/B Type: Standard ATX and Micro ATX
 
Admittedly, the UFO Acrylic Cube case isn't going to be setting any records for increased space or functionality, but it does offer an interesting alternative for a SFF PC.
 
Let's head over the page to have a look at what you get for your money, and how easy it is to construct...


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Packaging
 
The packaging for the UFO Acrylic Cube is certainly a no-frills offering. The box features a simple image of the product on the front and a set of images on the rear illustrating the Sunbeamtech Acrylic Cube case' features. The case specifications are found on the side of the box.
 
Cube packaging front Cube packaging rear
 
Cube packaging side Cube packaging opposite side
 
Removing the outer shell reveals a well packaged and well protected inner shall. Each individual piece of the Cube case is housed in a sheath of polystyrene-like material, and the associated case hardware sits on top.
 
Packaging opened Hardware included list
 
The installation hardware that ships with the Cube case is quite significant, and a little daunting to say the least. The packaging includes an instruction booklet with very easy to follow text and quite detailed images of each stage.
 
Packaging contents
 
Included in the Cube case packaging is:
 
* UFO Acrylic Cube case panels
* 2 x 120mm fans and grills
* On/Off button assembly
* Case feet
* Screws, screws and more screws
* 35" - 5.25" HDD spacers
* Panel brackets
* Motherboard I/O panel with blanking plates
* 1 x case speaker
* A pair of Michael Jackson's finest.
 
Now that we've had a look at the packaging and its contents, let's have a closer look at the case and how easy it is to construct...
 
A Closer Look
 
The On/Off button assembly features 2 x USB 2.0 ports and speaker/mic ports. The buttons feel really nice and easy to push, and have a quality feel about them. You will also notice the assembly has 2 x LED's present; one for power and one for HDD activity.
 
The two supplied 120mm fans are a little bit of a mystery as I couldn't find the exact fan on the Sunbeamtech website. I do believe though that they are an SLF-12-B Silent LED variety with a noise output of 21dbA and a rotational speed of 1200RPM.
 
On/Off assembly Sunbeamtech 120mm fan
 
The panels on the UFO Acrylic Cube case are simply screwed together using thumb screws and the screw holes present in the panels.
 
Case panel screw hole Case panel screw hole_2
 
 


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A Closer Look continued
 
The Cube case is extremely easy to put together but make sure that you wear the included gloves to prevent oily fingerprints all over your lovely new acrylic case. I have included a few assembly images just so you can see how easily the case comes together.
 
Cube case base rear of case showing I/O panel and blanking plates
 
Motherboard tray Case almost completed
 
The motherboard tray (lower left) has holes cut into it which is to allow air from the top level of the chassis to be diverted into the lower level and removed via the PSU fan.
 
I must say that the overall quality of the UFO Acrylic Cube case has significantly exceeded my expectations. This case is way better than my first Sunbeamtech tower case; the thumbscrews are stronger and less prone to sheering the heads off; the panels fit together very snug, and it feels very solid. The Cube case is probably not solid enough for frequent trips to LAN's, but occasional trips should be ok.
 
With the case assembled and the hardware installed the case looks quite fitting. The case is just big enough to make cable routing very easy and the holes in the motherboard tray also allow for cables to be hidden very easily.
 
HDD installed
 
finished product Finished product_2
 
Side-on view of the case
 
You will notice on the image above that the Cube case has a little door on it, this is to allow easier access to the retention screws for CD/DVD drives and the HDD. The older Sunbeamtech cases didn't have this option and were a right pain to get to. Nice touch Sunbeamtech!
 
It warrants a mention here that the height from the motherboard to the underside of the lid is approximately 120mm deep, so that effectively cancels out any large aftermarket heat sinks. However, a Scythe Ninja Mini at 115mm tall fits in perfectly. Furthermore, if you are looking to house an NVIDIA 8800GTX or ATI 2900XT card in here you're going to be disappointed.
 
With 2 x 120mm fans that don't have any dust filters, then dust will also be a likely problem and require regular cleaning.
 
Now I'm sure that you want to have a look at some night shots of the case...don't you? Well here they are and doesn't it look pretty!
 
Case night shot Case night shot_2
 
 
I'm sure that the lovers of bling will go mad over the UFO Cube case as it certainly provides a sexy UV glow, and considering that the case is UV blue reactive the addition of some CCFL black lights will make it stand out even more. Those who prefer a more subtle approach to a SFF case should perhaps look elsewhere.
 
Now that we've seen the case in all its glory, let's see how we're going to test it...


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Testing Methodology
 
 
Personally, I think that the two most important factors when considering purchasing a case (besides intended purpose, price and looks) is the cooling performance and noise. Subsequently, those will be the two areas that we will be assessing in our testing today.

Cooling performance

One of the features that Sunbeamtech market in regards to the UFO Acrylic Cube case, is that of enhanced cooling to motherboard components.
 
Motherboard cooling image thermal zone image
 
So we are going to test that statement! The hardware I have decided to run with for todays testing has been listed below:

* Intel E6600 with retail heat sink
* ASUS P5B Deluxe WiFi/App motherboard
* 2GB XMS2 PC2-6400 RAM
* Gigabyte 7600GS graphics card
* 1 x Western Digital 80GB SATAII HDD
* Antec EarthWatts 500W PSU
* Pioneer DVR-A06 CD/DVD drive
* Creative X-Fi audio sound card.

All temperatures will be taken at both idle and load and measured with a digital thermometer, allowing 5 minutes for acclimatisation. Load will be simulated by running the Stanford Folding @ Home Windows SMP client, which effectively saturates the E6600 by running 1 thread per core. Graphic load was obtained by playing Valve's Counter Strike: Source at a resolution of 1280 x 1024. Ambient temperature during the testing period was a mild 25.9 Deg Celcius.

Noise

Possibly the hardest part of any active cooling review is summarising the level of noise given out by the fan/s. The threshold for what is considered 'noisy' varies from person to person and therefore what I may consider quiet, another person may consider extremely loud. For this reason, all reviews at Overclock3D use a dBA meter to measure the level of noise output by the fan/s. However, because the test system includes a number of fans (CPU cooler, PSU etc) I have chosen not to include any dB(A) measurements. I will however report my findings as objectively as possible.

On to the testing...


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Testing
 
The Sunbeamtech UFO Acrylic Cube case did very well at keeping the test hardware cool, especially with the inclusion of the passively cooled 7600 GS.
 
Cooling performance chart
 
The HDD area saw a slightly elevated temperature range due to my Antec Earthwatts PSU not having a 120mm fan on the bottom. Subsequently, the build up of warm air wasn't able to be evacuated out of the case as efficiently by the 80mm fan that it has at the rear.
 
As far as noise was concerned, the UFO Cube case was very quiet. So quiet in fact that you really had to strain to hear the 2 x 120mm cooling fans from approximately a metre away.
 
Let's head over the page to see how the Sunbeamtech UFO Cube case performed as a whole...


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Conclusion
 
So how well did the Sunbeamtech UFO Cube case perform in todays review?
 
The presentation of the case was of a high standard, and the way in which it was packaged meant that you shouldn't have any worries about it arriving damaged. Everything that you need is included as well as a few extra screws just in case you lose some along the way. The overall look of the case is very good, although case choice is certainly a personal thing. It's certainly nice to see that Sunbeamtech has also perfected their case-in-a-box format in that the materials are considerably better quality than their first generation.
 
The cooling performance of the case was very good as we saw today in the testing phase. One thing to bear in mind though is that the Cube case certainly requires your PSU to have a fan on the bottom to help evacuate heat out of the chassis efficiently. The noise emitted by the cooling fans is also more than acceptable.
 
Sunbeamtech has an MSRP of just US$79.00 on the Cube case which means it's an absolute steal in my opinion.
 
Let's have a look at the review break-down:
 
The Good
• Price
• Build quality
• Looks
• Cooling performance
• Roomier than the average SFF case
• Quiet
 
The Mediocre
• Potential dust magnet
• Restricted to CPU heat sink choice
• Will not take 8800GTX or HD2900XT
• Not rigid enough for frequent LAN work
 
The Bad
• Nothing to report
 
I have decided to award the Sunbeamtech UFO Acrylic Cube case the Overclock3D 'Recommended' and 'Value For Money' Award.
 
Recommended Award Value For Money Award
 
Overclock3D would like to thank Sunbeamtech for supplying the review sample
 
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