Gelid Darkforce Review

Testing and Conclusion

Gelid Darkforce

 

Testing and Conclusion

Once built into and fired up the Gelid Darkforce is actually a very quiet and elegant looking piece of kit to have sitting on the desk beside you.  The 3 inclusive Gelid branded fans appear to be an all black version of the Gelid "Silent" range.  Whether they are or not they certainly are pretty damn quiet.  Cross case airflow is reasonable but certainly not brilliant.  With room for additional fans this could always be improved should you so desire.  Build quality is good, with no rough edges or marks, smears or scratches out of the box.  The case feels solid and well put together.  Braiding on the internal cables is of a good quality and well presented with heat shrink terminations being nice and tidy.  Take not all other case manufacturers.  If Gelid can braid it's cables so can you.   The quality and presentation of the plastics is also good, as is the inclusion of rubber grommets for all cable management holes.  The Darkforce can take GPUs up to 11.5 " or 16" with the removal of sections of the HDD racks, it can accommodate CPU coolers up to 165mm in height, which should see it cope with all but the very biggest on the market.  It has ample storage capacity and flexibility of mounting for 3.5 and 2.5" drives.  Essentially sleek and stealthy in it's looks their is yet an air of aggression emanating from the broad barred grill at the front.

So far so good then, but as you'll know from reading through the review this case is not without it's problems.  The main areas of concern are the lack of space behind the motherboard and the rather small cable management hole beside the PSU.  All this makes not only for what could best be described a tiresome build but also makes it very hard to achieve a decent looking interior, which with that big window is something you're going to want to achieve.  Add to this that the fan filters aren't exactly easy to get at, with some being totally non removable and the Darkforce starts to lose a few points from what was looking quite a tidy score.

Now lets look at how it fits into the market place.  At £89 it's up against some stiff competition, not least of which is the new Black and white edition CM690II recently reviewed.  for a bit less you can sort yourself out with one of the lite versions of the CM690 complete with window.  At £89 sadly the CM690 is not it's only competitor.  Shop about and you you'll find you can also pick Corsair Carbide 500R and the new NZXT Phantom 410.

First impressions of this case were very good.  It ticks a lot of the right boxes and has some features that other manufacturers could do with taking note of.  However, When thinking about summing it up and scoring it I keep getting dragged back to the build experience and the mess of cables I was left with.  It really was a pain and I am really not happy with the results, and believe me I had more than one go at it.  In the end I got so fed up with trying to arrange the cables in such a way that I could actually get the door on that I just stuffed everything into a vacant 3.5" drawer.  Another 5mm back there and a larger management hole near the PSU and I really I would have been praising this case from the highest mountains.  As it is regretfully I have to award a Bronze. 

      

Thanks to Quiet PC for the Darkforce on test here today, you can discuss your thoughts in our forums.   

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Most Recent Comments

14-03-2012, 07:38:46

tinytomlogan


Well known for their fans and cooling solutions Gelid Branch out into cases and their brand new Darkforce. A Mid tower case pitched at 89 it enters into what is probably the most competitive sector of the market.

Continue Reading

14-03-2012, 07:49:33

SieB
Another 690 II OEM design, do people even try anymore

14-03-2012, 08:14:55

urobulos
Ehh....

I really wish companies like Gelid just focused on their strengths. What's the unique selling point of this case? Derivative, bland looks, average price at best, average build quality. How anyone at Gelid thought it's a good idea releasing it is beyond me. Case might not be terrible on its own, but when put against the competition there is really no reason for anyone to buy this case. The R3 has the minimalist looks and sound insulation, Utgard better features and a more competitive price, lower end Corsair cases offer better looks and build quality for the same prices. I could go on with this. Lesson for Gelid and other similar outfits is if the best you can do is release an adequate, me too, product, then just don't bother.

Especially when it take ttl's precious time which could have been used for moving the review of the Shinobi XL up a day or two I hope this one is shaping up nicely.

14-03-2012, 08:19:03

daniSAUR
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post

Another 690 II OEM design, do people even try anymore
Just about to say this!

14-03-2012, 08:19:22

magicc8ball
At first I really liked the color of the case but as I kept on reading it just got more and more bleh. To what Sieb said no there are very few that will try and make something worth buying. Someone makes something that works good and then everyone else just jumps on the train and keeps riding even after the consumers and tired of the same old thing...

Good review Tom! I am looking forward to your 680 review as it should be coming out really soon

14-03-2012, 14:34:38

Computer crazy
Nice review, however it is competing in an area of the market which is already filled with great cases. The design isn't anything massively different or new either.

14-03-2012, 18:52:20

murphy7801
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post

Another 690 II OEM design, do people even try anymore
Fractal ?

15-03-2012, 01:36:46

airdeano
hummm... a case shoot-out...

cooler master 692

enermax fulmo

gelid darkforce

j/k

airdeano

22-03-2012, 18:05:23

cfire

hummm... a case shoot-out...

cooler master 692

enermax fulmo

gelid darkforce



Don't forget Rosewill BLACKHAWK-ULTRA, a parent company must make all there cases.

06-04-2012, 15:34:38

MaXiMiZe
This case cannot look more like a CM 690.

06-04-2012, 21:54:30

Brutos
i thought i was looking at the CM 690
Reply
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