People believe that a bigger selection is a better selection. And while that may be true, it still doesn’t mean that finding the perfect case will be easy. With so many cases on the market, it’s easy to find many that fit what you need. Search for what you use your computer for, whether it’s going cross country for LAN’s, needs to be as loud as an airplane or merely just listening to music and emailing friends. Today we review the Enermax FS-710* Beige 10 Bay case, one of the more popular cases out there, along side the Lian Li PC-60.
|Thy almighty case|
The case comes with, a bag of screws for mounting your 3.5” drives, two thumbscrews for quick and easy removal of the case’s side panel, and 8 drive rails for easy installation of your 5.25" drives. And finally, two pairs of keys are included, to lock the front door of your new case as well as the side panel, keeping those ‘curious’ friends and family members at bay.
| ||Drive Rails|
Some of the first things I noticed were the swing-out door that hides the four 5.25” bays, the two visible 3.5” bays and the power and reset buttons. One of the best features about the door is you can lock it, so people are unable to power on the computer, use your CD-Rom drive, insert a floppy disc, or access any of the other features that are more commonly left out in the open with other cases. One of the cooler features that I noticed was the bottom half of the case allows for two 80mm intake fans (or exhaust if you prefer). The bottom half has a curved pattern that allows for good airflow. And my personal favorite feature about this case is the side panel that grants easy admittance to the innards of your PC. Unscrew the thumbscrews, press the handle in, the door swings out, and remove the side panel. No hassle what-so-ever.
| ||Lock or Unlock|
The Enermax FS-710 is all steel, so it weighs in at 20 pounds, empty. Upon completion of installation, my case weighed in at approximately 30 pounds. Your case’s weight depends on the amount of hardware you install. Not necessarily a case one might want to lug around. However, for home use this case is everything that anyone could possible want, with 10 bays, it gives an enthusiast more than enough space to move around and upgrade.
Upon removal of the side panel and installing a few more motherboard screws, I had installed the motherboard in no more than 5 minutes, without a removable motherboard tray. The FS-710 supports the ATX form factor, making installation of the ECS K7S5A and later installation of the Epox 8K3A+, was a breeze.
There are a total of 10 drive bays, four visible 5.25” bays, two visible 3.5” bays and four hidden 3.5” bays. Installing a 5.25” drive was even easier than installing the motherboard. Just attach the two provided drive rails on opposing sides of the drive, remove the case’s faceplate, insert the drive (from the outside of the drive), and the rail ends will snap in place, parallel with the case sides. Attach your power, IDE, and fan cables and you're in business.
|The drive slides right in.|
Although, installing a 3.5” drive requires more patience, this case really spoils you. The two 3.5” cages slide in and out of the case for easy installation of your floppy, hard-drives, Baybuses, or anything else you might think of to install in a 3.5” bay. First you must unlock the cage by moving the level to the 'unlocked' position, then take out the cage, put your 3.5” drive in the cage (secure it by screwing it in place), replace the cage into the case, and lock the cage again. (In the same fashion you unlocked it, by moving the level back to its original, 'locked' position)
|The cages come|
right out of the case.
Installing everything in the case took no longer than one half hour, full dedication to the case would require less time. However, one will become distracted with thoughts on how to better install a particular drive, location is key. My only complaint was during the process of installing my hard-drives. I felt that I had to apply more force than necessary to squeeze both drives into place. Because of this, some of the outside rubber on the hard-drive was shaved off because of the tight fit. I'm not one to complain and this did nothing to infringe upon the performance of the drive, but I’m not a fan of having shavings fall off my hard-drives.
There are four places for you to put 80mm fans (intake or exhaust is at your discretion). The fans were easier to install than the hard-drives, they simply snap into plastic clips securely and easily. I chose to install two 32.5 CFM Crystal Tech Blue LED fans and two 28CFM Panaflow L1A’s.
|The two exhaust (rear) fans.|
I am still using the Enermax 330W Dual-Fan Power Supply that was included with the case, and everything has been running stable for over a year. This case has stood its ground, even after a friend carelessly tipped the case over so it was at a 45 degree angle when he rolled his chair into the side of it. Not one ding or physical imperfection. Installation of any device takes little time and effort. The swing-out door conceals the visible drives, which means no more masking, and the easily removable side-panel for quick, easy upgrades or those late night fixes makes this case a beauty. No doubt this is one of the better, mid-sized cases out on the market.
* Cheiftech manufactures all these cases and then resells them as their own and to distributers Antec, Enermax, etc. The FS-710, is the same case as an Antec 1030.