Aerocool Strike-X Air Review
Up Close: Exterior
The Strike-X Air Is predominantly made from formed plastic over a metal frame to give strength. As you can see from the images below the horizontal layout of the open frame design is essentially split into two halves, with the motherboard area on the right and the drive bay area on the left. The footprint of the case is so large that it won't actually fit into the light tent, necessitating a bit of improvisation involving a trip to the haberdashers to purchase some black material.
The front I/O panel sporting 1xUSB3, 3xUSB2 and a brace of HD audio sockets is a situated off to the Right hand side of the case, but sitting centrally to the motherboard area. The power and reset switches can be found off to the right of the front I/O. Above the front I/O area looms the main case cooling fan. A huge mesh panel supporting a red bladed red LED 200mm fan, the panel's angle can be altered, enabling it to be swung open completely for access, held horizontal , or closed up completely for maximum cooling impact.
While on the subject of the cooling panel I think it's fair to point out this is perhaps the weakest part of the case design. Not because it's not a good idea, it is, in fact the top fan positively pours down cooling air by the bucket load on the hardware below. It's because it's structurally weak. As it's not able to support it's own weight when positioned horizontally Aerocool have fitted a simple strut to the left side in order to provide support, much like you'd have under the bonnet of a car. The problem arises after a few moments when the right hand side of the cooling panel sags under it's own weight somewhat spoiling the aesthetics.
Unfortunately the problems with the panel don't end there. With the panel fully closed the ribs down each of the flanks don't quite seem to line up with the grooves in the front panel, causing it to not quite close. Either it's a little too big to line up with the grooves or it's way too small to make it to the edges of the rebate. Just looks wrong.
Moving round the back things improve. With no less than 10 expansion slots the rear hints at the X-Strikes ability to swallow big motherboards. The case also offers a not towards watercooling with 4 grommeted tubing holes and some mounting holes for a 120mm rad on the bar above. Off to the right we find the PSU port and the rear of the drive bay area.
Flipping the case over to see the underneath we get to look at the rear of the motherboard area. I have to admit when I first flipped the case over I couldn't help thinking how much of a pain it might be to build into the case if this was the only way to access the rear of the Motherboard. With 6 large grommeted cable management holes, and a total of 14 cable tie mounts though there should certainly be ample opportunity to do a decent tidy job. the image below right shows a close up of the PSU vented area which although meshed does not have a filter, and the large non gormmeted hole by which the cables leave the PSU before travelling behind the Motherboard.