Anidees AI-6 Review
Performance Testing and Conclusion
The crisp white lines and curving strip of brushed Aluminium of the Anidees AI-6 make for a refreshing elegant appearance. Even in the more traditional Black the AI-6 manages to stand out from the pack without being too obviously shouty about its looks. In use the case performed well, the fans in particular being a bit of a surprise as having such OEM looks (perhaps with a splash of Spectres about them) we expected them to be considerably noisier than they were. In practice the fans were very quiet at full speed and even quieter with either of the speed reducing cables in use. It would have been nice to see an additional fan in the front of the case, or perhaps one included in the roof, but of course all of this pushes the price up, and as a great many people swap the fans out of cases for ones with more bling and case presence this is perhaps a rather astute business decision on behalf of Anidees. After all it makes little sense to increase the cost of a case to provide an item that a high percentage of the buyers may discard. But credit where credit is due, the fans included do a good job and are worth hanging on to.
Build wise the ample and well spaced rubber grometed management holes and generous supply of cable tie points make build a relatively pleasurable process. We have to say that an additional 5mm of space behind the motherboard tray would have had us really singing the praises of the back end of this case. If you want to add in custom cable extensions you're going to struggle to fit everything in and still have it looking tidy. We're not saying it can't be done, it can, it's just going to be hard work getting it all in and getting the side on. And while we're having a bit of a moan the grommets themselves could do with being a little more substantial as they were a bit prone to popping out when we were feeding cables through, and a right git to get back in.
Don't let this have you thinking the AI-6 isn't well made and well put together though, because it is, and the issues listed above are far too common in cases for us to really single the AI-6 out as being the only case in its class with these sort of compromises. The only other real thorns in its side are the rivet burrs in its interior, a bit of a letdown as otherwise quality is good, there's certainly rigidity and strength here. The paintwork is well finished and blemish free as re the stunning Aluminium accents.
The AI-6 is also a quiet case with surprisingly good airflow despite there only being 2 fans included. Couple that with decent storage (8x3.5" or 2.5" drives), accommodation for large GPUs plus decent sized CPU heatsinks and native watercooling support for 240mm or 280mm radiators in the base of the case and with additional accommodation in the roof and the front if you're willing to get the Dremel out and we have the right sort of ingredients for a pretty good recipe.
Although we're talking about this as "a case" in the singular it's important to remember that aside from the 2 colour variants the case is also available with or without a window, or with sound and vibration dampening material pre-installed. Add all this together an you get no less than 8 possible variants.
At a smidge over £100 the AI-6 is up against some stiff competition in the shape of such cases as the NZXT Phantom 410, the Carbide 500R, and of course the Fractal define R4. Is the AI-6 able to mix it with these Big Boys? In short yes, the AI-6 is worthy of your consideration and well worth a look if you're in the market for a case in this price range.
So the AI-6 is less than perfect, but show us a case that isn't. There's room for improvement and perhaps a quiet word to be had with the chap who wields the rivet gun. But let's remember that the AI-6 is Anidees first product to market. To produce a case as good as this as a first attempt is no mean feat. We think you'll agree that not only is that impressive in itself in these times of austerity but that it's very likely we're going to be seeing a lot more of Anidees in the future.
Medal wise, We'd dearly love to award a gold as our overall impression of the case was a good one. We liked the silence, we loved the looks. However, although we feel comfortable making an award that relflects the very low noise output of this case, with the issues as we found them we can only award a Silver overall.