Dynapower SpidenOct 18th, 2003 | By Archive
: 10/18/03 – 03:56:48 PM
Page 1 : Introduction
Cases can often be overlooked when designing a new machine. Most users have the urge to buy the best processor, memory, motherboard and graphics card they can afford. This often leaves them on a very tight budget for a quality cases. However, it is often the case that is first eyed upon, everything inside just produces numbers.
Many cases have gone in and out of the O² labs. Most of our reviews were from large manufacturers: Lian Li, AOpen, or Antec. All of our case review can be found here but the vast majority is clearly from Lian Li followed by AOpen. Today, I get the pleasure of introducing to you the Dynapower U.S.A Spiden case.
It is only fitting for me introduce to you Dynapower U.S.A. by giving a little background information about them. First and foremost, they are not a new company. Stationed in Los Angeles, this U.S.A based company has over
years of chassis and power supply experience. With a desire to bond to their customer's trust, they strive in producing the highest quality products by using only the finest materials.
When the box first arrived at my door, it wasn't in the best condition. I immediately thought that during shipment the case may have been damaged. However, I opened up the box and was quite relieved to see a well protected case, undamaged from its long journey to my house.
It's now time to take this case through the gauntlet.
Page 2 : Specifications
The easiest and quickest way to learn about a case is through the manufacturer's specification. I should note that there wasn't much paperwork for this case; actually the only sheet of paper I got was my invoice. Although documentation isn't necessary when putting together a system, it made gathering minute details about this case quite a challenge.
- Housing Materials:
- Housing Type:
- Motherboard Size:
Up to 12"x11"
- Disk Drive Bays:
5.25": 4/0 3.5": 2/4 (External/Internal)
17"x7.75"x18.25" (Height Width Depth)
- Power Supply:
430 ATX Pentium 4 & AMD Approved
- Front USB & Audio:
2*USB 2.0, Audio, Microphone, Fire wire (Optional)
Included: 2*80mm clear fans (top and side panel) 4*80mm front, 2*80mm back (optional)
- FCC and CE:
- Net Weight:
7 kgs or 15.4 lbs
- Gross Weight:
8 kgs or 17.6 lbs
1.96 Cubic Feet
Digital thermometer, Rainbow side bubble light bars, Single screw chassis design
Judging by the dimensions, it is quite clear this case belongs in the Mid Tower family. Although there is less than 2 cubic feet of space, there is plenty of room to pack in 10 different bay drives.
The chassis is made from steel. Although it is no longer as popular as aluminum it is a fair bit cheaper for those on a tight budget. This also makes the case fairly solid. I wouldn't want to throw it in the path of an 18-wheeler, but I'm also not too afraid of accidentally damaging it.
With the 430 Watt power supply, it
shouldn't have any problems powering all your latest toys. You do need to watch out on the current, it is rated 28.0A for the +3.3V rail, 30.0A for the +5.0V rail and 15.0A for the +12.0V rail. You may want to consider getting a new power supply if youre running one beastly rig. I powered up just the unit and tested out the voltages with my trusty multi-meter and all the voltages did read slightly over the specifications.
Another issue with this power supply is that it only provides 4 big molex connectors and 2 small disk drive connectors for the 10 bay drives, 8 fans, the temperature display and the bubble bar lights! Since I'm dealing with the power supply, I'll deal the last issue. This unit has the typical 80 mm exhaust fan, however it doesn't have the usual 80-92mm fan for intake. This would dramatically improve airflow and cooling within the case, but I guess they decided to opt out on this option.
One of the coolest features this case has, that none of the other O² reviewed cases do, is the unique window design. Instead of having a generic square, rectangular or oval cut out, Dyanpower decided to cut out some web like design. Buy yourself from lighting and this could be one hyped up show.
The bottom half of the front bezel has some key features to this case. You'll need those big silver buttons to power and reset your machine. Along with the LCD display for convenient temperature readings, there exists a secret little compartment just below. Stashed away is the power button to the two rainbow colored side bars, the 2 USB 2.0 ports, audio, microphone outlets and a fire wire port. (not included in my model)
Our bag of goodies enables us to mount all of our expensive equipment into the new home. Taking apart this case is pretty much tool-free. You can remove any of the PCI / AGP bracket protectors without a screwdriver and the entire chassis covering comes apart with just one screw on the back.
On to my testing as I tell you exactly how I took this beast apart.
Page 3 : Testing
I needed a new case for one of my machines down in the basement. When I heard the Spiden case was making a visit to my house, I immediately knew it would be put to good use. The specification of the rig weren't anything fancy; it was just a simple workstation.
Opening up the case was extremely simple. All I had to do was remove the one screw from the back panel just above the middle of the power supply. Upon completion, I can slide the top cover off and lift either of the side panels.
There wasn't a removable motherboard tray with Spiden but that didnt prevent me from installing my motherboard. I've never had any real problems with system installations and when tinkering with the Spiden, it was pain free. There was no bloodshed for me, the edges are nicely rounded. Using the bag of goodies, I was done setting up in no time!
The hardest part about setting up the case was enabling the use of the front panel. There wasn't a manual or anything to tell me what batch of cables did what. However, they were clearly labeled and when separated individually, the task of activating the 2 USB ports and the 2 audio ports was still a tad tedious.
Clearly marked on the front panel was the addition of a fire wire port. It is quite a shame that the front panel cannot be fully utilized.
The little LCD panel on the front of the case only displays the temperature. The only activation it really needed was feeding it some power! Nice and simple!
I powered the 2 80mm fans by shorting pins 6 and 7 of the PSU just to see how loud it was. I wouldn't say it was quiet, nor extremely loud. The airflow was decent for stock equipment. Had all 8 fan slots been utilized, I'm sure a flashy little bay bus would become handy!
One fancy little feature the Spiden case has was two light up strips along the side of the front panel. This gives it a nice little rainbow effect as the colors change between blue, green and red over time. All you need to do is give it some juice, press the separate power button and watch.
Page 4 : Conclusion
The Dynapower USA Spiden is a great case with some amazing features. This case is often regarded as a gamer case not quite by my standards though. It does have some fancy lighting with a sweet window to show off your latest and greatest hardware. It is by far not perfect, but nothing ever is. Had a revision been made with a few minor tweaks, we could have a great seller on our hands.
- Awesome window and lighting
- Innovative tool less design
- Lots of potential for cooling
- Frontal ports
- Not made from aluminum
- Power supply could be improved
- Bay bus would be nice for all those fans
- No removable motherboard tray