The X-Master case from Apevia is great for some light gaming, a home theatre PC, or a general computer. This case is flexible since it can be stood upright or on its side. Because of its smaller form factor, this is is great case for those looking for a computer that is not that large compared with many standard cases on the market today.
We are currently seeing the trend where cases are getting smaller and thinner. This is mainly due to the Home Theatre PC concept. It is now even more feasible and there is more desire to be able to setup a computer next to our TV's so that we can play our media on the big screen. We see this concept in the kind of product that we will be reviewing today. Today, we will be taking a look at the X-Master multi-function computer enclosure from Apevia. Apevia has been around for nearly 10 years, so they actually have quite a portfolio of cases already. In general, the style of their cases make use of a range of colors while trying to keep the look simple and modern.
Taking a Closer Look
The X-Master case comes in a wide variety of colors including Aluminum, Blue, Red, and Green. We will be taking a look at the full black version. When first looking at the case, it has a professional look that would fit in easily as a workstation in the workplace. But this case is meant for the opposite, it is suitable as a media server, for games, or for general use.
The most unique feature of the case is that you can choose to either stand this case up on its edge or flat on its side. Either way, it looks fine. When you stand it up, all the ports are located at the very top. These include 2 USB ports, to audio ports, a Firewire port, a reset and power button switch, and LEDs for power and hard drive activity. Towards the middle are bays for 2 potential CD rom drives and a floppy drive.
The front of the case has a brushed aluminum look and there is a large vent that is quite visible from the front. On each side of the case, there are holes used for ventilation. Despite the case being primarily made of steel, I found that this case was fairly light. When opening the case, the first thing that I noticed was that the power supply was located towards the bottom front of the case. This is typically where the intake fans are located.
This was the first time that I had seen a power supply at this location. There is actually a power cable coming from the power supply running from along the top of the case towards the back where you plug in the power supply cable. The advantage to this is that it leaves a lot more room in the motherboard area, but could potentially not allow a large graphics card to fit. 2 80mm fans are includes with the case that are already mounted in the back to help expel hot air from the case.
You can hold as many three hard drives. If you have a single hard drive, the easiest place is the small compartment at the top of the case. Or you can choose to mount them sideways at the compartments on the side of the case.
Installing a motherboard was fairly hassle free. I could easily fit a micro ATX motherboard. This computer also supports a larger standard sized ATX motherboard as well. This case has slots for up
to 7 expansion cards, but you will most likely not use that many since people typically use it for a graphics card and a sound card at most.
The only concerns I have for this product is that putting my 8800 GTS cards a very tight squeeze since it was practically touching the power supply with the needed extra power coming from the power supply. Also, you have to keep in mind that this case will probably not fit those larger CPU heatsinks since this case is fairly thin at only 5.3 inches.
If you are looking for a case that is smaller than a traditional mid -tower case and something that is light, flexible, and good-looking, then this is the case for you. If you are a gamer and have a large CPU cooler, you will not be able to fit it in this case. I was able to find this available on NewEgg for the price of $69.99. This is pretty inexpensive and reasonable for a case.