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Ironclad is the latest full-tower case from In Win, being basically a Maelstrom case with a screwless mechanism for holding daughterboards and an SSD adapter added. Like Maelstrom, the highlights from Ironclad include foam pads to absorb noise and support for 10 fans. Let’s see if this new case is a good buy.
On Figures 1 and 2 you have an overall look at the Ironclad, which is almost identical to the Maelstrom. The biggest difference is that the manufacturer replaced the two green tubes from the front panel with a military-inspired silver part.
The case is available in black, like the model we reviewed, or with a camouflaged pattern using white, black, blue and brown (“special edition”).
The left panel has a huge mesh coming with a 220 mm fan installed (no word on speed, airflow and noise level). The blades from this fan measure 210 mm, so this fan is actually bigger than some 230 mm fans that use 190 mm blades. It glows blue when turned on, but there is a switch on the left panel for you to turn its LED’s off. This fan is connected to a standard peripheral power plug and has only two wires, so you can’t monitor its speed through your motherboard.
By removing this big 220 mm fan you open space for installing up to six (yes, you read it right!) 120 mm fans on the side panel.
The front of the case can be seen in Figure 3. No door is present and the case has five external 5.25” bays. All bays use meshed covers featuring washable air filters. On the lower part of the front panel there are three covers similar to the ones used on the 5.25” bays, i.e., meshed and with washable air filters. Ironclad comes with a 120 mm fan behind these covers, this time using a small three-pin connector for you to connect it on your motherboard (and thus allowing speed monitoring). You can, if you want, use one of the two adapters that come with the case to install this fan directly on the power supply instead of connecting it on the motherboard. Once again, In Win does not say anything about airflow, noise level or rotational speed.
If you pay close attention you will see that the top 5.25” bay comes with an adapter for installing external 3.5” devices such as floppy disk drives and memory card readers.
[nextpage title=”Introduction (Cont’d)”]
Ironclad comes with another 120 mm fan on the top panel identical to the one used on the front panel and has a space for installing another 120 mm fan there.
This case, like Maelstrom, comes with the most complete set of connectors we’ve seen to date: four USB ports, two eSATA ports and one FireWire port, plus the traditional mic in and headphones out jacks.
In Figure 7, you can see the rear panel from Ironclad. As you can see, the rear panel and the interior from this case are painted black, which gives a very professional looks to the case. The power supply goes on the bottom of the case. The case comes with another 120 mm fan on the rear panel, identical to the top and front fans, also using a small three-pin connector. The slot covers are meshed, which can help improving the internal airflow from the case. Between the power supply and the expansion slots there are four holes protected by rubber covers for passing hoses from water cooling systems.
One feature was removed, though: Maelstrom has a mesh above the expansion slots for improving airflow, that is not present on Ironclad.
The stands from this case can be rotated, so you can choose between having them showing or not.
Now let’s take a look inside In Win Ironclad.[nextpage title=”Inside Ironclad”]
Both panels are fastened to the case using thumbscrews, which is excellent. Before talking about the internals from Ironclad, let’s talk about the side panels. In Figure 9 you have a better look from the left panel and its 220 mm fan. See the huge mesh and the holes for installing up to six 120 mm fans if you remove this big 220 mm fan. See also how there is foam to absorb the noise produced by your PC on both panels.
In Figure 11 you can have an overall look from inside Ironclad. As mentioned, the interior from this case is painted black.
[nextpage title=”Inside Ironclad (Cont’d)”]
The motherboard tray has an opening on the area where the CPU is located, so if you want to upgrade your CPU cooler in the future with a model that comes with a different kind of back pl
ate you won’t need to remove the motherboard from the case in order to install it.
One of the main differences between Maelstrom and Ironclad is the addition of individual screwless locking mechanisms for fastening expansion cards on Ironclad.
In Figure 15, you can see the place where the power supply is installed. Here we were happy to see that In Win is probably reading our reviews: in our Maelstrom review we complained that this case didn’t have an air filter on the mesh for the power supply fan, and on Ironclad they added this feature. Sweet!
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
This case has five external 5.25” bays and six internal 3.5” bays for hard disk drives, all using a screwless installation mechanism based on rulers that need to be installed on the sides of each drive. The installation is simple: just add two rulers to the drive you want to install (see Figure 18) and then slide it in the bay you want to use. The hard disk drive bays are rotated 90° in comparison to the 5.25” bays, which certainly helps installing drives there.
Ironclad also comes with a 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter, allowing you to install a 3.5” external device like floppy disk drive or memory card reader to any 5.25” bay. This adapter supports also the installation of a hard disk drive on it (it has the appropriate holes), so you can have up to seven hard drives installed if this adapter is used.
Another advantage of Ironclad over Maelstrom is that this new case comes with a 3.5”-to-2.5” adapter, allowing you to install an SSD or laptop hard drive on any hard disk drive bay.
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In Win Ironclad case main specs include:
- Style: Full-tower
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one.
- Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC), painted black inside.
- Power supply required: Doesn’t come with the product.
- Available colors: Black and black/white/brown/blue camouflage (“special edition”).
- Side panel: Meshed.
- Dimensions: 21 5/8” x 8 7/8” x 22 ¼” (55.0 cm x 22.5 cm x 56.6 cm) (H x W x D).
- Net weight: 27.5 lbs (12.4 kg)
- Gross weight: 32.5 lbs (14.8 kg)
- Bays: Five external 5.25” bays and six internal 3.5” bays (one extra 3.5” bay can be converted from one 5.25” bay; comes with adapter for installing a 2.5” device on a 3.5” bay).
- Expansion slots: Seven.
- Fans: One 230 mm fan on the left panel (glows blue when turned on with on/off switch for the light), one 120 mm fan on the front panel, one 120 mm fan on the rear panel and one 120 mm fan on the top panel.
- Optional fans: One 120 mm fan on the top panel and six 120 mm fans on the left panel (by removing the 230 mm fan).
- More Information: https://www.inwin-style.com
- Average price in the US*: USD 110.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
We had already given our “Golden Award” to In Win Maelstrom because of its good cost/benefit ratio. Ironclad comes with the same price tag and improves a few things (air filter on the bottom panel, screwless mechanism for holding expansion cards and adapter for installing SSD’s) and therefore we have a winner.
- Up to ten 120 mm fans can be installed.
- Meshed bay covers with air filters for improving airflow.
- Meshed slot covers for improving airflow.
- Hole for CPU cooler back plate installation on the motherboard tray.
- Together with Maelstrom, it has the highest number of connectors we’ve seen on a single case: two eSATA ports, four USB ports and one FireWire port.
- No sharp edges where you could cut yourself while building your PC.
- Side panels with foam to absorb noise.
- Excellent screwless mechanism for installing drives.
- Very good number of hard disk drive bays (six or seven, if the 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter is used) that should please even the most demanding user.
- Adaptor for installing an SSD on a hard drive bay.
- Air filter for the power supply.
- Individual screwless retention mechanisms for holding expansion cards.
- No holes for routing cables behind the motherboard tray.
- No speed controller for the fans.
- No noise-absorbing mechanism for the hard drives.