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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

X-Fighter is a mid-tower case from In Win with its design inspired by the Star Wars movie franchise, giving this case an aggressive looks. Let’s see what you should expect from this new release.

In Win X-Fighter caseFigure 1: In Win X-Fighter case.

The right side panel has a set of vents that you can adjust manually, as shown on Figures 2 and 3. Even though this case provides this neat feature, there is no fan behind the right side panel, as we will show you later.

In Win X-Fighter caseFigure 2: Side vents can be adjusted manually.

In Win X-Fighter caseFigure 3: Side vents can be adjusted manually.

In Win X-Fighter caseFigure 4: In Win X-Fighter case.

The stands deserved special attention from the designers behind this product, as you can see in Figure 5. Instead of the traditional disc-shaped stands, X-Fighter uses cone-shaped stands, which give it a very beautiful looks.

In Win X-Fighter caseFigure 5: Cone-shaped stands.

[nextpage title=”Introduction (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 6, you can see the front panel from X-Fighter. It features four 5.25” bays and two external 3.5” bays for floppy disk drives or memory card readers. The plastic bay covers are meshed, which improves the PC internal airflow. However, behind these covers the case has a metallic cover attached to the chassis that must be broken in order to improve the airflow and make these meshes covers meaningful.

The power button is long and has a series of six red LEDs that “walk” from the center to the extremities when the PC is turned on.

In Win X-Fighter caseFigure 6: Front panel.

In Win put the reset switch behind the handle available on the front panel. We loved this idea because you won’t be able to hit this switch by accident, as it sometimes happens on other cases.

In Win X-Fighter caseFigure 7: Location of the reset switch.

The top panel can be seen in Figure 8. You will find there two USB ports, one FireWire port and two eSATA ports, plus the headphones and microphone jacks. The presence of a FireWire port and two eSATA ports (and not only one as usual) is really an advantage; however we think this case could have come with four USB ports. Also the two USB ports are too close to each other, preventing you from installing two “fat” USB devices at the same time.

In Win X-Fighter caseFigure 8: Top panel.

And finally we have the rear panel, which follows the standard ATX design with the addition of one 120 mm fan (no word on speed or airflow; it uses a three-pin connector so you can install it directly on the motherboard to monitor its speed) and two holes for water cooling hoses (these holes come with rubber covers, so you won’t need to break anything on your case in order to use them). One thing that we noticed was that the metal plate used on the rear panel has live edges around the power supply and motherboard openings, so you have to be very careful while building a PC to not cut yourself here. This case would look even better if In Win painted the rear panel and the interior from this case black.

In Win X-Fighter caseFigure 9: Rear panel.

Now let’s take a look inside X-Fighter.

[nextpage title=”Inside X-Fighter”]

What is really awesome about X-Fighter is the presence of screwless latches to remove the side panels.

In Win X-Fighter caseFigure 10: One of the screwless latches that hold the side panels.

In Figure 11, you can see the reverse side of X-Fighter right panel. As mentioned before, there is no fan attached to it, however it uses a duct in order to be compliant with Intel Chassis Air Design Guide, a standard created for the Pentium 4 “Prescott” processor (which heated far more than previous Pentium 4 CPUs).

In Win X-Fighter CaseFigure 11: Right panel.

In Figure 12 you have an overall look inside X-Fighter.

In Win X-Fighter CaseFigure 12: Inside X-Fighter.

What immediately caught our attention was the presence of two 80 mm fans on the lower section from the case, in charge of cooling down the video cards. In Win does not say anything about their speed, airflow or noise level, and they must be installed directly to the power supply, as they  only have two wires each, so you can’t monitor their speed through a monitoring program. You can lay down the wall containing the two fans by simply sliding a button. This wall is permanently attached to the chassis using hinges.

In Win X-Fighter CaseFigure 13: Inside X-Fighter with wall laid down.

As you can see, some plastic parts are lime yellow, which may not fit the taste of all users.

The rear 120 mm fan can be seen in Figure 14. As mentioned before, In Win doesn’t say anything about its speed, airflow or noise level, and it has three wires so you can monitor its speed using your favorite monitoring program, provided you installed it on your motherboard, of course. It is interesting to note that this fan is attached to the case using a screwless mechanism.

In Win X-Fighter CaseFigure 14: Rear 120 mm fan.

X-Fighter has individual plastic mechanisms to hold daughter cards, shown in Figure 15. These mechanisms are thicker than usual, and maybe they are stronger than those cheap mechanisms used by so many cases. Only time will tell if they are really stronger.

In Win X-Fighter CaseFigure 15: Screwless mechanisms for holding daughterboards.

[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]

This case has four external 5.25” bays, two external 3.5” bays and five internal 3.5” bays. The external 3.5” bays cannot be used to install hard disk drives (we tried). As mentioned, the 5.25” bay covers are meshed and feature dust filters, shown in Figure 16.

In Win X-Fighter CaseFigure 16: Dust filters on 5.25” bay covers.

The screwless mechanism used by this case is outstanding, based on rails that must be attached to each drive (no screws are necessary). These rails are available in a rail holder that comes attached to the lowest 5.25” bay, see Figure 17. This is a really neat feature.

In Win X-Fighter CaseFigure 17: Rail holder.

The hard disk drives are installed inside a cage. This cage, however, has only four bays. The fifth hard disk drive bay is available in a perpendicular position below this cage and do not support the screwless mechanisms, so the fifth hard disk drive must be installed in the case using conventional screws.

The hard disk drive cage can be slightly tilted  in order to facilitate the hard disk drive installation process, see Figures 18 and 19.

In Win X-Fighter CaseFigure 18: Hard disk drive cage.

In Win X-Fighter CaseFigure 19: Hard disk drive cage tilted.

With the cage tilted you can remove the front 120 mm fan, which is fastened to the case using a screwless mechanism. This fan has a dust filter and uses three wires, so you can install it directly on the motherboard and monitor its speed. Like all other fans, In Win does not say anything about speed, noise or airflow level.

In Win X-Fighter CaseFigure 20: Front 120 mm fan.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

In Win X-Fighter case main specs include:

  • Style: Mid-tower
  • Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one.
  • Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC).
  • Power supply required: Doesn’t come with the product.
  • Available colors: Black.
  • Side panel: Meshed with duct.
  • Dimensions: 18 ½” x 9 ½” x 22 7/16” (47 cm x 24 cm x 57 cm) (H x W x D).
  • Net Weight: 17.6 lbs (8 Kg)
  • Gross Weight: 20.2 lbs (9.17 Kg)
  • Bays: Four external 5.25” bays, two external 3.5” bays and five internal 3.5” bays (one outside the hard disk drive cage).
  • Expansion slots: Seven.
  • Fans: One 120 mm on the front, one 120 mm on the rear and two 80 mm fans on the side above the expansion cards.
  • Optional fans: None.
  • Extra features: None.
  • More Information: https://www.inwin-style.com
  • Average Price in the US*: USD 120.99.
  • Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

In Win X-Fighter is a mid-tower case targeted to the user that wants a mid-tower case with a different design and some interesting features. Here is a summary of what we found about this case.

Strong Points

  • Good-looking design.
  • Screwless mechanisms to remove all panels and to hold daughterboards and disk drives.
  • Dust filters.
  • Meshed bay covers
  • Two eSATA and one FireWire ports.
  • Two 80 mm fans on top of the expansion cards (i.e., video cards).

Weak Points

  • The two USB ports are too close to each other, preventing you from installing two “fat” USB devices at the same time.
  • Could have come with four USB ports.
  • Could have come with a side fan behind the vents from the right panel.
  • The metal plate from the rear panel is sharp and you can cut yourself.
  • Not speed control for the fans.
  • Two 80 mm fans don’t come with speed monitoring wire.
  • Could have a fan on the top panel.
  • Could have come with meshed slot covers.

In summary, we were positively impressed by In Win X-Fighter. It provides a somewhat attractive price for a product with a different design that will certainly please lots of people.