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-- Aluminum Case Round Up
-- Category: Review
-- Posted by: GideonX
-- Posted on: 2001-11-15
-- Price: ~ $99 - 200 USD
-- Pages: 1 2 [ 3 ] 4 5 6 7
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One of the more rare cases on the market is the Professional from Chili.  From a smaller company out in Hong Kong, this case is slightly different in the fact that it is nearly 1/3 smaller than most cases.  If the small size was amazing, the build is to be noted also.  It is built using 1/4" of aluminum on all sides except the bottom.  A very solid case for its size.

Here are basic specs:
  • 7 Wide x 15.5 High x 10.5 Deep
  • One 5.25" External Drive Bays 
  • Two 3.5" Internal HDD Bays 
  • Two 3.5" External Drive Bay Removable aluminum driver cover
  • 1 92mm fan spot (fan not included)

NOT P4 compatible 

CPU HSF height limited by PSU configuration. Extremely large HSF (Thermaltake Super orb) will not fit in this case. 

Fits standard ATX (up to 260mm in width), Micro ATX Mother Board

The front of the case fits the name pretty well, professional.  From afar, it looks like a small block of aluminum.  The drive bays are concealed behind a piece of aluminum that slides across.  It does add a nice touch to the overall appearance of the unit, but it sure is a pain when you need to get access to your drives real quick.

The side panel is secured by eight (8) total hex screws.  Two (2) Allen wrenches are included so you can get inside the case.  There are two different sized screws used on this case with corresponding wrenches.  This is totally inconvenient!  It took about 2-3 minutes to get the side off with the wrench, which of course wouldn't stay put so I can twist it around.  You also better find a good place to put these, there is only one set of these wrenches.  Lose them and your case is shut tight unless you can find another set.

A normal bag of screws and stand offs come with the case, along with an IDE cable.  You don't see IDE cables in most cases, so this may seem a bit strange to some.

A quick inspection of the case showed only one exhaust hole available, located in the back.  No intake spot in the front and hacking away at this case is probably going to be quite hard.

This is the inside drive cage, there is a corresponding L shaped piece that attaches your CDRom with your floppy drive to give it extra support.  Strange enough, there is enough support using that extra piece to keep your drives in place.  To get to this piece, taking both side panels off is recommended.

The 3.5" holder is located at the bottom front of the case.  Two (2) drives total can be attached here, which seems a bit cramped in my opinion.  Add the heat factor that two hard drives can create with no intake cooling available, this may not be a good area for it.

The bottom is the only piece not made of aluminum, but of hard plastic.  There is a square section of holes about 6 inches across from the 3.5" drive holder.  I think this may be there to ventilate a bit for the CPU.  The case is structured to have the motherboard installed upside down.  Once this happens, the CPU will point toward the bottom of the case where those holes are.

One of the good points (this case does have good points!) is that it can be disassembled totally.  The front bezel comes off after six (6) screws are removed.  Makes installation of the system a bit easier once everything is out, although it is a pain.

This is our Enermax PSU installed in the Chili.  Notice the upside down formation of the expansion slots and the I/O ports.  There is not a lot of room between the PSU and your CPU/Heatsink once the motherboard is installed.  Our SK6 fit ok, with about 10mm of space left over.  The heat coming from the CPU is nicely exhausted through the fan on the PSU.  Good thing we have that on our Enermax, or else it may get a bit too toasty in there.  Please check the height of your cooling device and power supply before plunging in for the buy.

Here is a shot of the back where the expansion slots are located.  This is the case oriented up in the correct position, you're not looking at it upside down.  The expansion slots are bit short, about 5-10mm shorter than regular slots you have on a normal sized case.  So if you have a video card, for example, that has video in/out and other ports, this may get blocked.

This case has a lot of issues with size, here's another one.  The 3.5" holder doesn't block our board's three (3) Ram slots.  If you have a board with four (4) slots, the farthest one may be a very tight squeeze when upgrade time comes around.

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