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 GideonTech Reviews
-- DesignComp DCI CM 42-CL DIY Acrylic Case
-- Price: ~ $199.95 USD
-- 07.25.2002
-- By: GideonX
-- Page: 1 2 3 4

   A while ago, we spoke with DesignComp on getting some acrylic cases in for review, since they were rather uncommon at that time.  They went through a break to re-work their acrylic case.  Now after a year and a half, they're back with a new acrylic case.  Instead of the normal pre-assembled case, this one is a Do It Yourself case.

   There are four different choices for this case, they're all the same but with different colors.  We're looking at the clear version, but you can find blue, red and gray on their website.

   When they mentioned a DIY case, I was hesitant for a second due to the fact most acrylic cases are held together with welding glue.  I was not about to get into a mess while working on clear acrylic!  But that fear was laid to rest, when I heard the case was put together with your basic screws.

   The acrylic pieces come packed between two sheets of Styrofoam to protect it during transport.  In the above picture you can see the printed instructions along with some screws fitted into the Styrofoam sheet.  Here is my first gripe upon opening the box.  I took a look at the instructions, which is a total of 3 sheets.  On these sheets, all you see are diagrams which are very small with no descriptions.  The parts and pieces are also not fully explained.  To put it bluntly, the instructions are horrible.  If you're the kind of person who has trouble putting together a $39.99 piece-it-together table or dresser from Wal Mart, you will most likely have a hard time putting this together.  I'll try to explain as best as I can in this review, hopefully that will help a bit.

   Here is the accessories that come with the kit, they even included a pair of cotton gloves so you can wear it while putting this together.  I found that wearing the gloves made it hard to put screws and grab the acrylic pieces securely.  I tried it for a while, then just took them off and washed my hands as you will see later on.  

   There is no parts list in the box, so I am going on faith that they included everything that's needed.  The bags contain screws of different length, extra long brass stand offs, expansion bay spacers, case speakers, acrylic feet with a rubber bottom, acrylic face plates, power/reset/led PCB for the front and the I/O panel for the back.

   Some quick specs on the case from Design Comp:

  • 4 x 5.25" exposed bays 
  • 2 x 3.5" exposed bays 
  • 5 x 3.5" internal HDD bays 
  • 5 x 80mm fans (Optional) 
  • material - 5.0mm and 8.0mm thick acrylic panels and aluminum backplate for I/O port opening and PCI slot area 
  • Dimensions: 445mm(H) x 220mm(W) x 475mm(D) 17.5"(H) x (8.75"(W) x 18.75"(D) 
  • Weight (case only) - 5.5 KG or 12 lbs (Packaged) 7.0 KG or 15.5 lbs
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