Summary

Our Score

6/10

Review Price free/subscription

A+ XBlade - Full Tower Case

If you’ve seen a CoolerMaster Stacker case, then you’ll have a rough idea of what the XBlade looks like. However, the XBlade shares more than just looks with the Stacker as many of its features are also similar. What it doesn’t have is space for two PSUs or a large watercooling kit like the Stacker, nor does it come with wheels.

But let’s start from the beginning and take a closer look at what is on offer. It is blatant that the XBlade is trying to cash in on potential Stacker buyers, but it’s only about £12 cheaper. It is slightly smaller, but it still measures 520 x 205 x 510mm (HxWxD) which is far from small compared to your average tower case. But with an increased popularity of watercooling kits the extra space means that you won’t have any problems fitting all the gear inside.

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The XBlade has been designed to accept dual processor motherboards and is as such an affordable server or workstation case. However, if you’re not using it with a dual processor motherboard you have to remove a rather large metal piece that is screwed onto the motherboard mounting tray. This has been fitted to add structural support for the extra weight that two CPU coolers would add.

Due to the size of the case, you can fit no less than five 5.25in drives. The bottom part of the case is taken up by a 3.5in drive bay caddy, which fits inside three further 5.25in bays. This is held in place by four screws and corresponding nuts in rubber grommets – the grommets are meant to reduce vibrations on the caddy itself.

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If you don’t intend to use any 3.5in drive bays this can be removed and the three 5.25in bays are freed up – but how many optical drives do you really need? The front of the 3.5in caddy can be fitted with a 120mm fan for added cooling. A clever feature here is that the fan can be easily removed without having to take out the hard drives first and it’s also protected by a washable fan filter to reduce the dust intake. The fan is fitted with four plastic pushpins and these slot through rubber grommets to reduce vibration once again. A second fan filter is fitted just above it, but this has to be removed if you want to use this space for front accessible drives.

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