The case itself has the Commodore logo all over it in a ‘we own it, and darned we’re going to use it’ kind of way. It’s embossed into the front door that covers the drive bays and when you open that up, you’ll find the full logo on the inside of the door and on each of the blanking plates. It could easily have been naff, but the slighty raised embossed logo is subtle.
The hinge on the front door is effectively double-jointed so can fold all the way back, which is good – normally these doors don’t open all the way, which is a pain. Another stand out feature is the large Commodore shaped logo in the side of the case, behind which sits a 200mm cooling fan, which is the largest I’ve ever seen on a system. There’s a large circular grille at the front too, behind which sits a 120mm fan with another 120mm fan at the rear. This flashes in an array of disco lights too, but patently, with the door closed you won’t be able to see it.
I do like the C-Kin concept a great deal, but, and it’s a big but, there’s no getting away from the fact that, C-Kin aside, this is standard midi-tower case that you could buy off the shelf. There are five 3.5in internal bays, and above this are two external 3.5in bays, the top one us occupied by a card reader, and the one below it is filled by front mounted USB, Firewire and headphone and micophone ports. This is located inside a flap that is hidden by a cover with the corresponding icons. It’s quite a cool touch the way this pops out, but the flap didn’t quite have the solid quality feel that I was expecting. In fact that was something of a theme with this case, with slightly wobbly buttons that didn’t really inspire confidence, especially at the price.
Turn on the PC and you’ll find the grilles at the front and side light up one of several colours – there are buttons round the front grille to turn these one and off – one for the front light and one for the side. Keep pressing and you can get both lights to flash through each colour consecutively – brilliant if you want to drive everyone in the vicinity crazy.
The next thing you’ll notice is the sound – in this specification this is a noisy PC, and the noise insulating panels on the interior are just not enough to do much about it.
Let’s talk about that spec. The motherboard is an Asus P5N32-E SLI – not quite the top-end Asus Striker, but it’s got everything you really need. It’s a high quality board based on nVidia’s 680i chipset, and boasts an 8-phase power design, which Asus claims makes for a more stable system. It uses a heat-pipe system to reduce the amount of fans needed, not that it can prevent this box from being noisy. It’s got two PCI Express x16 slots for graphics cards, a third full length x8 slot, and the smaller PCI Express slot, which operates at x1 speeds. You get two of your olde worldy PCI slots and you also get six SATA ports.