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  • Recommended by TR

Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price free/subscription

The front of the case pops off very easy by releasing a couple of catches, making it easier to install the optical drive and whatever you’d like to fit in the 3.5in drive bay, be it a floppy drive or a card reader. The optical drive is hidden behind a flap, but rather than using a mechanical eject button, which every other SFF barebone I have seen uses, the Kloss uses a much more elegant solution, whereby a button on the front of the case sends an eject signal to the optical drive. This way you can use pretty much any optical drive in the Kloss without having to worry about where the eject button is located or what size and shape it has.

The optical drive is fitted with the help of a couple of special screws and a small retaining bracket screwed on to one side of the drive. The hard drive uses a couple of similar screws, attached to the bottom of the drive, and the drive is locked in place by moving a lever at the bottom of the case inwards. The only thing that threw me during the installation was that the hard drive is mounted with the connectors inwards, although a quick glance in the manual made things clearer.

All cables needed to put the Kloss together are supplied, although I should point out that it has really been designed for SATA hard drives. You could use an IDE drive, but it will be much harder to install. The power supply has two SATA and two Molex power connectors as well as a floppy drive power connector, so there are connectors to spare. One of the Molex connecters can be routed up to the top half of the case if you have to power your PCI Express graphics card, but Kloss should be providing a PCI Express power adaptor that can be attached to a connector on the motherboard in the final production version of the Kloss. It is impressive that TriGem has managed to source a PSU with a 24-pin power connector and this is the first one of this type I have seen in a SFF chassis.

The case is built of out of aluminium, while the front is made of high quality plastic and the design matches the rest of the case well. Apart from a tiny fan in the 250W PSU there is a 70mm fan in the rear of the case as well as an enormous 92mm fan on the CPU cooler. Due to the small size of the system TriGem has had to come up with a heatpipe cooler, as the new Pentium 4 processors get very hot during heavy load. Having tested the Kloss to its limits with a 3.6GHz Pentium 4 processor and a GeForce 6800GT graphics card, it got quite noisy when running 3D benchmarks, but this was only to be expected as none of the SFF systems cope well with a lot of heat.

The Kloss has however been designed differently in this aspect as well. It has a large vent hole at the top of the case where cold air is drawn towards the CPU cooler, which coincidentally has been fitted with a shroud to enable the air to be drawn directly into the CPU fan. The heatsink is made of copper, but has been chromed to be resistant against oxidation, although the fins are still made out of aluminium.

The air inlets in the case draw in cool air from the left side and blow out the hot air to the right and towards the back. One advantage with the latest generation of Intel motherboards is the new CPU fan interface as it allows for much improved fan control over previous CPU fans. This, together with the fact that the hard drive is in pretty much a separate compartment in the case means that the Kloss runs fairly cool and very quiet during general usage, although it is not entirely silent.

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