There is a sea of choices when it comes to buying cases for your desktop computer. Casual users just go with whatever off-the-mill products they can get but gamers and enthusiasts are a totally different subject. These customers demand looks, features, and slew of other things that makes it hard for manufacturers to offer them in affordable prices. There is a company that tend to break that mold and that’s Aerocool who for a good couple years now has been churning out chassis after chassis intend for gamers and are priced just right to tempt any would-be buyer. Today we have the Strike X GT from Aerocool for review: a midtower case for gamers and enthusiasts donning Aerocool signature Strike X theme. Let’s get started and let’s make this showy!
Around two or three years ago, Aerocool came splashing into the scene with their PGS product line and have since become a staple in many local computer stores. From their humble Vs-9 all the way to the BX500, Aerocool has filled many gaps in the otherwise Coolermaster-dominated PH market bringing enthusiast-grade chassis to budget-conscious consumers. Today, Aerocool is slowly expanding its product line from front panel fan controllers all the way to gaming peripherals. For now, we’ll be sticking to their forte and that’s making cases. Let’s see some specs and features and then move on to touring the Strike X GT midtower from Aerocool
FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS
High performance “Mid-Tower” for gamers and enthusiast.
Aggressive “X” concept design case – a gamersâ€™ dream!
Supports longer high-end VGA cards up to 295 mm.
Supports 3 x 5.25″ bays and maximum 6 x 2.5″/3.5″ HDDs (internal) with HDD convertor bracket.
Anti-vibration pad included to dampen PSU vibration.
Each HDD bracket can mount a 12cm fan to cool each individually.
â€œEasy-installâ€ screw-less kits for the 5.25â€ devices.
3 x USB2.0 + 1 x USB3.0 and Audio/Mic ports are easily accessible from the top of case.
CPU hole is pre-drilled on the Motherboard for easy access to cooler installation.
Cable management holes are pre-drilled with high end rubber protection.
Dust filter included to prevent dust entering from the bottom of case.
465mm (H) x 190mm (W) x 490mm (D)
3x 5.25″ (Exposed) / 6 x 3.5″ HDD or 2.5″ HDD
Max length space available for PCI slots
1x USB 3.0 / 3x USB2.0 / Audio+Mic (HD audio)
Height limit for CPU coolers ( Without side fan )
Aerocool is one of those companies that ships their chassis in full-colored boxes and the Strike X GT is no exception. The Strike X GT’s packaging shows a good shot of the product. This shot of the box is quite deceptive as it shows the product filled with fans on every possible vent area.
The other side shows us a front and side shot of the Strike X GT. Again, the images mislead us to believe there are cooling fans where there aren’t.
The narrow sides are filled with marketing text and specs.
The Strike X GT is protected during shipping by a plastic bag and cushioned by styrofoam-lined cardboard inserts.
Here is the case out of the box. Notice there’s fans in the side-panel vents as opposed to what’s display in the packaging.
We start off our tour of the Strike X GT chassis with the front where Aerocool has made sure this case just screams out Strike X. Two 120mm front intake vents are stylized in the Strike X theme and above that are three 5.25″ drive bays.
The main side panel (we seriously don’t know what this side is called and I believe nobody has a better term for it) has allocations two 120mm fans. The mounting points are lined with grommets to dampen vibration. Some extra stylings on this side are present but don’t serve any purpose aside from visual interest.
The opposite side (back of the motherboard tray) has nothing going on so we’ll skip this one. We’d have to point out though that this side is flat so we’d expect some space inside for cable management.
The underside of the Strike X GT features retractable plastic feet giving the chassis a stable footing. The bottom of the chassis has a large vent area and a closer look shows us that a dust filter is in there.
The back of the chassis features a rear exhaust vent beneath which are grommeted holes. Aside from liquid cooling applications, these holes also serve to route the front USB3 port to the back of the case. The expansion slot covers are colored in red and gives a good contrast to the otherwise all black chassis.
Opening up the case, we’re greeted by the ton of wiring inside. The motherboard tray is one solid piece and supports micro-ATX and full ATX motherboards. Cable management is aided by grommeted holes on the side of the motherboard tray. The Strike X GT has a total of nine 5.25″ drive bays, the topmost 3 of which are for the optical drive bays.
The back of the motherboard tray gives us a better look of the cable management features of the Strike X GT. There is an amply sized hole in the motherboard tray to assist in aftermarket cooling installation. The Strike X GT also includes tool-less retention brackets that lock the mounting trays in place. Note that you need access to both sides to install your devices.
Here are the mounting trays for both 3.5″ and 2.5″ drives that slide in the drive trays of the Strike X GT. Lots of screws provided for installation. The mounting trays can also be used for mounting 120mm fans.
A closer look at the front of the chassis. Here we have the lower part featuring the two X-styled vents which give the chassis that thematic feel. Underneath all the plastic are steel mesh and the upper vent features a lone 120mm intake fan.
The three drive bay covers can be removed via the front. A lot of Strike X marking can be seen here.
The upper front is where the USB slots, front audio and power buttons are located. There is a lone USB3.0 port which is fed from a rear USB3.0 port. This is where that grommet in the back is for. It’s cool to see that the power and reset buttons are large but that lone Strike X logo would’ve served a better choice for the power button.
Rounding up the X styling is the top vent, capable of housing a 120mm radiator. Fans can be inserted underneath the top chassis to maximize space inside the case.
You’ll to contend with these wires during installation. 😀
Aerocool includes two 120mm fans with the Strike X GT. To adhere to the color scheme, these fans use clear red blades. These fans are rated for 1200RPMs with 39CFM.
The Strike X GT is advertised to accommodate 30cm video cards and that looks just about right by our measure.
CPU coolers on the other will have to be below 160mm tall. This is just about enough clearance to house some mainstream tower coolers like the Hyper212+.
Measuring the allowance we have in the back of the motherboard tray, we get around a half-inch of space to route our cables. Not enough for space for large cabling projects but for a mid-tower such as this, it’s adequate and will probably be a tight fit.
Here’s a cleaner view of the inside of the case with the cables nicely tucked away. We intentionally let you see the out of box condition of the cabling so you’ll see the difference that cable management makes.
Here’s our case filled with components.
The back of the motherboard tray.
Like we said earlier, tower coolers above 16cm will have a tight fit and the Hyper212+ is a good baseline for anyone whose sizing up their coolers for this case. When fans are mounted on the side panel vents, your overall clearance is reduced so take note of that.
As with any chassis, looks take center stage as the main consideration and Aerocool continues to roll out and offer more products into their Strike X line which is sure to please Aerocool fans (the people not the ventilation; or Coolests as they’d like to call them.)
Coming in at around Php3,450, the Strike X GT competes with a lot of mid-tower solutions out there but at this price range, its found itself in sweet spot with little competition. It’s closest competitor are more affordable offerings from other brands but they don’t have that gamer-style that Aerocool has built this case on. Some featuring more modern features and plenty of included fans. The Strike X GT makes up for this by giving a lot of drive trays and some snazzy looking fans. They don’t light up though.
Aerocool has a lot of room to improve on though. The USB3.0 is still not powered off a front USB3.0 connector from the board which would’ve given us a pair instead of one USB3.0 port in the top/front. Another one is that when you want to clean out the filter on the bottom, you’ll have to remove your power supply. The front vents lack any filtering at all. Users need access to both sides of the drive bays to secure the drive trays which should prove a lot of work. We do expect Aerocool to implement more modern features in their cases in the future so we’ll hopefully see a modern version of this case in the future.
In closing, we find the Strike X GT a decent case overall with plenty of room inside to work on and with okay cable management. Barring most of the issues we’ve mentioned, if you just want a case that certainly has a statement and you won’t be screwing around with your parts most of the times then if the Strike X GT tickles your fancy, by all means get it.