Anidees AI Crystal XL Review
Published: 2nd April 2018 | Source: Anidees | Price: |
The Build and Cooling
So large is the AI Crystal XL that it makes it look like we've stuck an M-ATX board into a standard sized case. Nope, this is actually our normal board we use for builds inside one of the the largest cases we have ever reviewed. As we saw in the Technical Specification, this case will actually take HPTX, XL-ATX, E-ATX and SSI CEB, as well as the usual ATX, M-ATX and M-ITX. There are plenty of cable management holes, but they are mainly spaced for the larger rads, leaving big gaps around the motherboard. It's also worth noting that none of the management holes on the main panel are rubber grommeted, which we think is a bit of an odd decision given the full glass nature of the case, and given that the case comes with a remote control, it's hard to believe that the grommets were left out from the point of view of a cost saving. As usual we've palced our Havik 120 in the case for comparrison purposes, but with 190mm of CPU cooler headroom on tap, like the rest of the hardware, the Havik is somewhat lost.
If you're going to be investing in the Crystal XL, you might also want to consider that due to the sheer size of it, standard PCU length cables can't necessarily be run in nice straight perpendicular lines, but instead have to reach directly as the crow flies to their destination. This we feel will make the cable management job at the rear look not quite as tidy as we'd like it to, but is something that's easily remedied with some cable extensions, or even custom made cables.
With the regards to water cooling, the possibilities are some of the best we've ever come across. For starters, the roof of the case will accept rads up to 480 or 420mm, and with a 65mm gap between the motherboard edge and the top of the case that means there's room for a 40mm thick rad of any flavour. Stick with the 120mm fan based rads however and you can make best use of the off-sets in the roof, which, motherboard allowing ups the available room to a potential 100mm
The front of the case is also able to accept both 480 or 420mm rads, with the false floor cut out allowing for an overall depth of 100mm of both 120mm and 140mm based rads. If you're craving something bigger there are a few options open to you, the first of which is to opt for a 360 or 280mm rad which stops short of the false floor boundary, with the second option being to remove the false floor completely. Doing this pretty much makes the sky the limit, with a gap of 140mm before you encounter the plastic management hole cover, and a total of about 240mm before you reach the cables themselves. It must of course be remembered that the thicker you go with the rads and fans, the more you're reducing the room for the length of the GPU, but with a total of 530mm available for the GPU, we don't think this is really worth worrying about. The other caveat is that the front fans can also be mounted outside of their current position, and although this allows for a potential additional 25mm of room, the likelihood is that their ability to suck in air will be greatly diminished
To help bring the sheer scale of this case into context, we've placed our usual 360mm XSPC rad in the front. Now it's not unusual to see us do this, we do it for every case that will accept a 360. What is unusual is to see just how lost it looks, how much space it has around it, and how much scope there is for longer and fatter rads. Just stop for a minute and take another look. That's a decent thickness 360mm rad! Just how small does it look in this case!!!