Mountain Mods Ascension PC Case

Construction

Construction
 
After a quick browse through the instructions on the Mountain Mods website (here) and after a lot of head scratching, I finally figured out which bit goes where and with what screws. I started my mission by making the removable motherboard tray first which was pretty straightforward with the hardest task finding a small Allen Key to use for the cap head screws. With the tray assembled, I then slotted the tray into the rear panel and attached it using 8 screws. For purposes of quick removal, I would have preferred to use thumb screws for this area as screwing and unscrewing this panel will no doubt become tedious after a few occasions.
 
Motherboard tray tray fitted
 
Next up came the fitment of the front panel power and reset switches along with the corresponding LED's. This is easily done by threading the units into the front panel and fastening the nut behind. The LED's are very bright blue in colour which again, can be relatively easily swapped out should you decide they do not fit in with your plans.
 
Bulgin switches front switches
 
The 5.25 bays are assembled to the front panel through the corresponding slots and then the drive bay holding plates are then screwed to the units with counter sunk screws. Because of the size of the case I chose, a maximum of six slots can be utilised but should I have opted for the standard front panel, this would have allowed a further four drive bays to be used. As I have more need for cooling than drive bays, I went for the additional radiator option rather than the extra four drive bays as I simply do not have the components to fill 10 drive bays. One disappointing aspect of the drive bay area however, is that there were no blanking plates included. While these can be purchased separately, it would have been nice to have a couple included should you not have the means of filling up the bays rather than be left with gaping holes in the front of your case.
 
5.25 fitted
 
For attaching the hard drive plates you will need a fan (not included) as the hard drive plates attach to the fan, which then obviously attaches to one of the many spare fan holes. This simple method of attaching hard drives to the case has a two fold benefit. Firstly at all ow you to fit the hard drives pretty much anywhere you choose. Secondly, because the hard drive is attached to a fan the drives will be kept nice and cool when in operation. Unfortunately, the plates were not packed with this case (an oversight on Mountain mods part) so luckily I had a spare set from a previous build lying around. Rest assured though, 4 plates that will house up to six hard drives are included as standard. If you have more than 6 hard drives then you can purchase more plates separately should you require them.
 
drive bay holder HArd drive plates
 
To support the motherboard tray a 'C' shaped bracket is included. This is one part of building up the case that threw up more questions than answers. No matter how I orientated the panel it just looked out of place. It wasn't until I realised that the tray just sits on the bracket and the screw holes at the end of the motherboard tray were not for the bracket that I felt confident I had gotten it right. I do however believe this is not a very good design and indeed it's an opportunity missed as the bracket would be better fixed to the tray rather than just balancing like it does. The reason for the holes at the end of the motherboard are for fixing the motherboard horizontal rather than vertical which is great as it's modular but unsightly when not used in that configuration. Another problem the bracket causes is the issue of the side window. It sits perpendicular to the window blocking the view which is less than ideal. This is something I'm sure Mountain Mods will rectify in future revisions.
 
 motherboard tray 1 bracket
 
With the internals now assembled, it was time to put the finishing touches to the case by attaching the panels. This is done by using a combination of counter sunk and button head screws. Once the side panels are attached to each other via lips on the front and back panels, a cross member can be attached to each side along the top of the case which allows the top panel to be fitted with button head screws. Halfway through screwing it all together I dreaded coming to fit the top panel as I envisioned a trapezium like shape would greet me. My fears however, were unfounded with everything slotting into place perfectly, not too tight, not to slack. Here's a quick hint though, do not screw all the panels down until you have it correctly in place!
 
countersunk  button head
 
Remember how I said Mountain Mods also offer an engraving service? Below left is the image I sent to them and asked if they could engrave that. I didn't expect them to be able to do it as engravers normally like to use a black/white simple image with no shading. However, as you can see, Mountain Mods did an amazing job of engraving both side panels with the Angel picture. This was done by the use of a 40w Laser engraver which can engrave images up to 1500 DPI. All the window panels were also cut by the same machine ensuring precise cuts are achieved.
 
image Engraveing
 
So with the panels attached, the case is complete. It's certainly not what I would call gorgeous, more awe inspiring than pretty. It's not designed to be pretty to be fair though. You have to appreciate that this case puts function over everything else. No other case that I know of will fit FOUR Thermochill PA120.3's without any modding. Do you really need that amount of cooling? Well in most cases no, but then this is not about 'need', it's about 'want', it's about a case that can take anything you choose to install, it's taking things to the extreme. If you can see past the ugly gaping holes waiting to be filled, you will see that the Ascension is a PC case like no other. It's the ultimate platform from which to launch a very special personal computer build.
 
 back top
 
front side
 
Let's take a look at the conclusion where I gather my thoughts on the Mountain Mods Ascension... 
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Most Recent Comments

07-05-2009, 12:29:21

JN
"Looking for a case that can house four PA 120.3 radiators? Looking for optimum performance without comprimise? Better check out our latest review then...." - by W3bbo

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...195002691s.jpg

Read on...

07-05-2009, 12:33:48

prosser13
I'm really not a fan of Mountain Mods cases...they're a bit 'boring' for me =s I mean, its just a big metal box with a load of holes cut in it

07-05-2009, 13:00:12

w3bbo
Isn't that the same with all cases? That is of course unless you like a case with a plastic facia

07-05-2009, 13:04:31

FarFarAway
They are the ultimate 'big case' really. Perfect if you want to use multiple PC's and/or watercool the hell outta both of them!

07-05-2009, 13:04:44

prosser13
At least *most* other cases have style and/or mesh :P

07-05-2009, 13:10:29

AntiHeroUK
Great review Rich. I like how you go into detail about the manufacturing process. Probably won't be rushing out to buy one though, a little bit pricey for me.

07-05-2009, 13:16:01

tinytomlogan
*Drools. Huge case but pants for cable tidying. Still love another big case tho.

07-05-2009, 14:45:28

Nick R
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='prosser13'
I'm really not a fan of Mountain Mods cases...they're a bit 'boring' for me =s I mean, its just a big metal box with a load of holes cut in it
At the bargain price of 370 .

07-05-2009, 14:53:25

lasher
I see they did a nice job of the engraving mate.. bet your chuffed with that.

Did you mention the cost of engraving? sorry was busy drooling over the case and not reading in depth!

07-05-2009, 15:06:46

TopSecret
Great review matey I think MM cases are a love/hate thing, and personally I love them! I wouldn't consider selling my own MM case now I finally have one, and that speaks volumes. It's the potential of the cases that turns me on to them. You are spoiled for choice in finish and hardware configs, without being limited by space.

07-05-2009, 15:48:42

Luigi
I have to say, they do appeal to me, all that space would be lovely..

But, I have to agree, they don't look great IMO. I would rather have a Lian Li anyday

Nice review though, I really liked the manufacturing bit.

07-05-2009, 17:06:55

w3bbo
I used to like Lian Li but they have gone a 'tinny' recently. The UFO uses thicker aluminium so it's a lot more substantial.r

The cost of the engraving is in the review, it's one of the options in the purchasing section. $19.99 per window.

07-05-2009, 19:26:52

OmegaStalker
Engraving with that detail and how it looks for that price is a bargain...

Its an interesting case i don't think anyone buys it for its look (unless your like big boxes) but as a case that for YOU its unbeatable tbh buy and they throw a cloth over it although at 370quid im sure they could do something about the design....

08-05-2009, 04:44:49

w3bbo
I would like to have seen some more accessories included such as drive bay blanking plates, maybe instead of having the 120mm holes on the front as plain holes, it would perhaps be best having a 'grill' cut.

08-05-2009, 05:20:36

Mul.
These mountain mods cases truly are a modder's dream. The systems that people build with these cases look phenominal and while it won't appeal to everyone, it performs exceedingly well for those that can put it to good use.

Excellent review.

08-05-2009, 07:59:30

mrapoc
I hate the fact they make them lets face it, extremey expensive, then charge you extra per drive bay etc. =/

I did want a h2g0 previously...till i realised the damn price it was gonna cost me!

08-05-2009, 10:43:33

prosser13
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mul.'
These mountain mods cases truly are a modder's dream. The systems that people build with these cases look phenominal and while it won't appeal to everyone, it performs exceedingly well for those that can put it to good use.

Excellent review.
A modder's dream? Not really IMO. Too big and not enough features to make highlights out of...

A watercooler's dream though, yes

08-05-2009, 11:43:12

Mul.
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='prosser13'
A modder's dream? Not really IMO. Too big and not enough features to make highlights out of...

A watercooler's dream though, yes
Apologies, I should have elaborated on that as I was also referring to cooling mods such as highly sophisticated watercooling loops.

08-05-2009, 12:03:43

Toxcity
I believe it is the modders dream. It seems to me to be like a blank canvas, ready to be splashed with mods.

08-05-2009, 12:26:31

prosser13
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Toxcity'
I believe it is the modders dream. It seems to me to be like a blank canvas, ready to be splashed with mods.
I guess you could look at it like that, but the fact it's got so many holes in it and it's always going to look like a huge box mean I'd recommend other cases for modders

08-05-2009, 12:54:44

w3bbo
So you would recommend a case that needs to be hacked and even then it will never have the same performance? 'All those holes' are there for good reason.

Sure it's boxy, aren't all PC cases (save for the Skeleton)?

08-05-2009, 13:00:06

Toxcity
The thing is the Skeleton won't get anywhere near this case when it comes to performance.

08-05-2009, 13:01:22

w3bbo
Harsh but true

08-05-2009, 14:02:37

prosser13
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
So you would recommend a case that needs to be hacked and even then it will never have the same performance? 'All those holes' are there for good reason.

Sure it's boxy, aren't all PC cases (save for the Skeleton)?
I'm not saying it's a bad thing (apart from my personal opinions about the looks), I'm saying there are better cases for modders (who are generally out there for looks as well as/not performance )

08-05-2009, 14:39:59

w3bbo
Like I said in the review, many people will have there own opinion on what makes a PC good looking. The MM cases have an acquired test that's for sure.

08-05-2009, 14:56:55

prosser13
I think that's the best way to put it w3bbo

Especially when arguing with an MM owner

08-05-2009, 20:49:08

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Toxcity'
I believe it is the modders dream. It seems to me to be like a blank canvas, ready to be splashed with mods.
Not really bud... It's already got everything you need as standard... How many mods could / would you need to do to it?
Reply
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