XClio A380Jul 5th, 2007 | By Archive
: 07/5/07 – 04:07:20 AM
Page 1 : Index
XClio has already made it's computer chassis debut on Overclockers Online with the 188 Super Tower, and it turned out to be a very good performer in style and cooling. With simplicity and style, XClio has delivered a very top notch case, and we will expect nothing less than excellent from the A380.
XClio has been around to manufacture power supplies and a number of cases so they are not inexperienced when it comes to styling and performance.
A computer chassis is the first thing one sees when looking at a computer. It serves a very important purpose as the computer's structural exoskeleton. Computer cases should be built strong, tough, and user friendly. Nobody enjoys working with a case that is hard to work with; features such as motherboard trays and hard drive racks make life easier. The A380 features not one, but two large 250mm fan on the side panel and front panel, which would presumably improve cooling performance significantly better than various cases on the market.
Page 2 : Package and Contents
The A380 came in a rather stylish box which boasts its two 250mm fans. On the side notes the specifications.
The case also came with various screws, ties, an optional speaker, along with three different kinds of mounting rails for CD drives, hard drives, and floppy drives.
Before we unveil the case, let's have a look at the specifications.
Page 3 : Specifications
As on the XClio website, these are the specifications:
Material: SECC 1.0mm thickness
M/B Form Factor: Intel P4 / AMD K7, K8 / MP Dual CPU (12'x13')
3.5'*7 – External
Front : 25cm x 1 (VR fan speed control)
Rear: 12cm x 1 (optional)
Side: 25cm x 1 (VR fan speed control)
W/ SILVER CHASSIS OR BLACK CHASSIS
W/ SILVER OR BLACK FRONT PANEL + BLACK BEZEL
W/ USB2.0 + 1394 (TOP PANEL)
W/ ARCYLIC SIDEPANEL WINDOW
W/ FRONT : BLUE LED 25CM FAN x 1 (WITH VR)
W/ SIDE: BLUE LED 25CM FAN x 1 (WITH VR)
W/ 25CM FAN SAFETY VENT (SIDEPANEL)
W/ TOOL-LESS 5.25' CLIPS (5SETS)
W/ TOOL-LESS 3.5' CLIPS (FDD – 1SET)
W/ TOOL-LESS 3.5' CLIPS (HDD – 4SETS)
W/ XCLIO LOGO ON JET ENGINE BODY
W/ XCLIO COLOR CARTON BOX
Now off to take a look at the case.
Page 4 : Exterior
Straight out of the box, this case looks very flashy and is intended for the outgoing and hardcore enthusiast. It is actually very tall and big, and also features fold-out stabilization feet.
The fans are obviously located at the front and also at the side; one cools the hard drive bay and one cools the motherboard.
Opening the front panel reveals drive bays and the power/reset switches. The hinges are very smooth, and are held in place by magnets, giving it a very smooth feel.
The side of the case has an acrylic panel with the side fan screwed in place. The rear of the case does not have much out of the blue with the exception of a fan controlling knob for the side fan.
The front fan is controlled by a small wheel on the side of the case and is easy to access.
The side fan is controlled by a knob at the rear of the case, which makes it just a little bit harder to reach.
The bottom of the case has four fold-out feet in order to keep the case stable, as the case is quite tall itself.
At the top of the case are the front connectors; a FireWire port and two USB ports. It's a shame they did not include front audio jacks, as most cases do include them. The front connectors also have a slide out cover to protect the ports while not in use.
Now that we are finished inspecting the exterior, let's move onto the insides.
Page 5 : Interior
The opening of the side panel requires the removal of four thumbscrews, which would allow the side panels to be removed by lifting the rear away from the case. Think of it as a car door applied to a computer case.
The interior seems to be very user friendly, with many folded edges to avoid cutting at the user's arm while installing.
All of the case accessories are neatly packed in a small plastic container, which can later be used as a secret hiding place for all your goodies.
The connections are not too complicated; two Molex connections for the fans and various front panel connectors.
There are five 5.25" bays which leaves plenty of room for optical media drives.
There are only two 3.5" bays for floppy drives.
There are three internal hard drive bays that face towards the user during installation, which is very convenient.
Now that the full interior has been explored, let's see how the installation process is like.
Page 6 : Installation
The whole installation process for the A380 case should not be very problematic thanks to tool-less drive installation.
The first step in installation is to put in the PSU, which went in without a problem.
The insertion of the motherboard was also problem free.
The video card and other PCI cards were easy to install due to a tool-less clip in the case.
Railings were included to speed up drive installation. They go on without screws, and side into place very easily.
Hard drive railings also worked like a charm, and fitted without a problem.
The connecting of all the wires and components together completes the installation.
The glow from the two fans and the front panel really gives the case a very energetic look. At night the case is the centre of attention.
Now that the system is up and running, let's see how it performs.
Page 7 : Testing
The testing is set up to test thermal cooling performance of the case. The specifications of the system are:
- DFI LanParty Ultra-D
- AMD Opteron 148 s939 @ 2.5GHz
- OCZ EL Plat. Rev.2 (TCCD) 2x512MB @ 2-2-2-5, 200MHz
- OCZ ModStream 450W
- Sapphire Radeon X800GTO2 flashed to X850XT
- Zalman VF700-Cu
- Thermaltake Big Typhoon
The ambient temperature remained at 25 degrees throughout testing. Here are the results:
The XClio A380 does not perform as well as it's 188 counterpart. This could be due to the fact that the fan on the 188 is very close to the motherboard and CPU cooler, while in the A380 there is more clearance. Having the 250mm fan as the main intake fan really drops the motherboard's temperatures quite a bit compared to running the system without any airflow. The noise-airflow ratio seems to be very low, and changing the fan from Low to High increases the noise by about 8 dB. This case does have decent cooling performance, but does not bid as well as the XClio 188.
Page 8 : Conclusion
Here at Overclockers Online, we have looked at quite a number of products from XClio including cases and power supplies and each time, and XClio has never let us down. The aesthetic nature of this case is up to the discretion of the user. While the bold features on this case may not appeal to quite a number of people, there is no doubt that the two large 250mm fans cool extraordinarily well.
However, due to the nature of the case layout, the airflow patterns work counter productively against each other. While the A380 performed marginally worse than the 188, these short comings were easily made up for with the tool-less installation design and usability features. If a jet engine style case is what you are looking for, the A380 is the case for you.
- Flashy exterior
- Tool-less features
- Included fan control
- Bottom fold-out feet
- Cooling performance can be better
- Lack of front audio ports
Overclockers Online would like to thank XClio for making this review possible.