Xigmatek Utgard Review Page: 1

Xigmatek Utgard Review


Introduction  

If you have managed to find OC3D then you are obviously a very wise person for starters, but by a process of elimination there is also a very large chance you would fall into the PC Enthusiast catergory. If such a badge is applicable there is no doubt in my mind that you will of heard of Xigmatek. Again, by a process of elimination, it is very likely your Xigmatek encounters have been restricted to the awesome fans they produce. Often companies try to diversify from what they are famed for and have a crack at the case market. One rather large company tried it recently and really should of stayed in bed the morning that project was notioned.

As ever here at OC3D towers we like to give every product that graces the office a clean sheet, and at least give it a chance to show us what it has to offer. Bring forth the Xigmatec Utgard which on face value has a lot of tidy features, but can it really deliver the goods?

Lets stop blathering as I doubt many of you even read this bit anyways and move onto the specifications:

Product Name UTGARD

 Product Number

 CPC-T90DB-U01~U03 / CPC-T90DB-U51~U53

 Dimension

 Utgard-Original / Window: 207(W) x 515(H) x 490(D) mm (8.1*20.3*19.3 inches)
 Utgard-Mesh: 222(W) x 515(H) x 490(D) mm (8.7*20.3*19.3 inches)

 Drive Bay

 5.25" External x 9 with tool-free holders.
 (Including one external 3.5" device adapter and one 4 in 3 3.5" HDD adapter.)

 Expansion Slot

 7 slots (tool-free)

 Motherboard Support

 ATX, Micro ATX (with easy black plant installation window)

 Power Supply

 Standard P/S2 ATX/EPS power supply unit
 1. Intake airflow hole with dust filter.
 2. Available for face upward and downward installation.
 3. Within anti-vibration rubber.

 Cooling System

 Air-cooling
 Front Fan:      Pre-installed 120mm white LED with orange blades x 1
                      (80/90/140mm fan is available)
 Rear Fan:       Pre-installed 120mm white LED with orange blades x 1
                      (80/90mm fan is available)
 Side Fan:       Utgard-Original: 80/90/120/140mm fan *1 (optional)
                      120/140mm fan *1 (optional)
 Utgard-Mesh: 120mm fan *4 (optional)
                      200/220mm fan *1 (optional)
 Utgard-Window: Not available.
 Bottom Fan:   120/140mm fan x 1 (optional, with 14cm tool-free holder)
 Top Fan: Pre-installed 170mm white LED with orange blades x 1
                      (120/140mm fan x 2 are available)
 Fan Speed Control:
 Six fan speeds are adjustable synchronously by two knobs on top panel.
 Water-cooling
 Water pipe holes x 4 (with rubber cover)
 Available for 12cm*2 or 14cm*2 radiator (thickness under 46mm)

 I/O Panel

 Top Panel: Power On/Off switch, USB2.0 x 4, e-SATA x 2,


Lets move on to our first impressions of the case over the page



Xigmatek Utgard Review Page: 2

Xigmatek Utgard Review

Initial Impressions

Starting of with the basics... Its a mid tower case, and quite pleasingly from my point of view is that its lines are very clean and simple, the designer was definately not taking anything stronger than Valium. Our case side panel has a large mesh section that can have up to 4x 120mm fans fitted or a 1x 200mm fan and all the mounts also have rubber grommets to help with keeping the noise down, but you can also buy a version with a clear windowed side panel should you prefer it.

Xigmatek Utgard Review     Xigmatek Utgard Review

Xigmatek Utgard Review     Xigmatek Utgard Review

There are 9x optical bays covering the whole of the front of the case which all have dist filters on the back. At the top of the front panel you'll find 4x USB ports, 2x eSATA, a headphone and a microphone port. The obvious power button is there but no reset button. With the wonders of Windows 7 you can set the power buttons secondary use to be rest if you use it so often you can not live without it. The top panel also has a pair of fan controllers each control 3 fans a very welcome addition to a case at this price point.

On the top of the case there is a large meshed panel which can be removed. It exposes an area that a a 2x120mm or 2x140mm radiator up to 46mm thick can be fitted. This is nothing new in todays day and age but lets remind ourselves that this case only costs £65... Finally manufacturers are giving us what we want without the need for mortgaging kidneys. Kudos.

Xigmatek Utgard Review     Xigmatek Utgard Review

Cracking the side open reveals yet more surprises, the first one being the internals are all powder-coated black, and the case ships with a Xigmatec 120mm exhaust fan, a 170mm roof fan, and another 120mm fan attached to the removable 4x hard drive mount that takes up 3 drive bays. The motherboard tray is not removable but it is covered in cable tidy holes, and a large cutout for fitting heatsinks on even the funkiest design of motherboard.

Xigmatek Utgard Review     Xigmatek Utgard Review

All 9 of the drive bays have tool less mounts, but its worth reminding you all that you could technically fit another 240mm radiator in the front of the case should you need to *wink wink*. The bottom of the case has a tool free mount for another 120mm fan and its always nice to see an additional dust filter for the PSU vents aswell.

Xigmatek Utgard Review     Xigmatek Utgard Review

Xigmatek Utgard Review      Xigmatek Utgard Review

All this talk of watercooling lets not forget to test this with our air system, we normally test our Q6600 with a Nexus HOC-9000 but yet again a case with a roof fan it doesnt fit. When tested with a Cooler master V8 temperature did not go above 50. Its hard to compare because of the new heatsink but with our pair of HIS 4870's at 50% fans they did not go above 73c. Thats the same temperatures that the In Win Maelstrom has just acheived even though the Utgard doesnt have any side fans!

Xigmatek Utgard Review     Xigmatek Utgard Review

Lets head over to the conlusion and wrap this up. 



Xigmatek Utgard Review Page: 3

Xigmatek Utgard Review

Conclusion

First things first. Let's remember we are looking at a case that costs £65, so we shouldnt expect much right? Well in the case of the Utgard you would be wrong. Very wrong. The features it carries are not unusual but to have this many and still keep the price this low is.

A 2 channel - 6 fan controller for one saves any prospective buyer at least £20. Add the supplied Xigmatec fans and you've saved another £20. The budget for the internal powdercoat, all the cable management holes and the CPU heatsink cut out we are well past the point I would be saying "bargain".

The icing on the cake has to be the water cooling support. A dual fan radiator in the roof is perfect for even the hottest CPU loop, with the optical bays all down the front of the case you could fit another 240mm radiator. With two 240mm radiators this would mean that you could have a fully watercooled system, without any mods all housed in a case you only paid £65 for!

The Utgard is not just perfect for watercooling, but it works very well with an air system too. There is great airflow thanks to the Xigmatek fans and the immense mesh real estate the case has to aid its airflow. This all adds up to a case that is trading blows with cases way out of its price bracket.

Budget home rig, or decent sized LAN rig, this case is perfect for both, the price, performance. The extensive features all add up to what has to be the best value case we have ever featured on OC3D. Value normally means corners have been cut to keep the price down, but not with the Utgard you get much more than you pay for which is why we are happy to award not only the Value award, but also the Gold "Best in Class" award.

Cutting to the chase. If you have £100 to spend on a midtower case and need to fit a water loop, save some money and buy the Utgard. It ticks all the boxes you need, plus all the boxes you want as well. I'd have to say this is THE BEST featured and performing case that I have seen in the sub £100 price bracket. The fact the Utgard come in more than £30 under that £100 marker is nothing short of amazing. If Xigmatek made a full tower version in the same design then I think they would have the market cornered.

Good
- Fan Control for up to 6 fans
- All Black Interior
- Plenty of cable management
- Comes with Xigmatek Orange blade fans
- Internal water cooling support
- Amazing Value

Mediocre
- Not a sausage

Bad
- Did you read the review? It's almost perfect!

   

Thanks to Case King and Xigmatek for the sample today, discuss our findings in the forums.