Aerocool Strike-X Air Review
Up Close: Interior
With open frame cases it's quite hard to define what's exterior and what's interior. For the benefit of this review we've kept to the same format and will be detailing here the areas that would typically be found on the interior of a case. of course with the X-Strike air, they're as much on the outside as they are on the inside.
Looking at the Motherboard tray area we can see that this case is able to accept the large XL-ATX motherboards. Along with a good sized CPU cut out, with two rows of grommeted cut outs to allow for cable management with the larger and the smaller standard ATX boards. This is a nice a touch as all to often we see cases able to accept large motherboards only having cable management holes spaced for the larger boards, leaving a large distance to run your cables if you opt for the smaller boards. Strangely all the front I/O cables exit the front panel on the upper side of the motherboard tray. With the tray being so close and the front I/O being so low why not have had them exit on the underside where they would already be hidden? On the plus side, the open frame design does allow for the accommodation of really quite large Air coolers. With the cooling panel in the horizontal position it's possible to fit coolers of up to 230mm under there. and with a capacious interior it's also able to house GPUs up to 330mm in length. Both of these tolerances are reduced a little when the panel is placed in it's closed position, but in reality it's not likely you're going to be using the case with the panel in that position.
Off to the left hand side of the case we find the two drive bay areas. The lower section is able to accept up to 3x3.5" drives or 3x2.5" SSDs or HDDs. The drives are loaded into cassettes securing with 4 screws and inserted into the bay area. What isn't immediately obvious is that all 3 slots offer hot swap capability with no need to to wire in a drive every time you swap one round. A single red LED 120mm fan stands on duty down the side of the bays to provide cooling to the area.
Above the 3.5" bay area we find the 5.25" bays. Again accommodation is provided for 3 5.25" devices. Drives are held in place with screws as opposed to any sort of tool less mechanism. For ease of installation the whole of this upper drive bay area is removable.
Before we leave the interior lets just take a look at how technology meets simple design. The left hand image below shows the interior of the rear of the hot swap 3.5" bays. The bays come with 3 SATA cables already attached which is just as well as space for larger hands is limited as I discovered trying to remove the lower cable of the 3. The image below right shows the extremely simple solution Aerocool have adopted to enable the cooling panel to be propped open!