by William Kelley on November 7, 2007 in Mid-Tower
Gigabyte is well aware that consumers yearning for a quiet PC don’t want to give up great looks and functionality. They prove this with their iSOLO 210. In addition to the case’s aesthetics, it also turns out to have very impressive construction, especially considering its low price point.
Gigabyte has given us a very well built case to use in the iSOLO 210. With all the sound deadening features built in, I had high expectations. While I feel it somewhat sacrifices pure cooling performance with the solid front panel and the close proximity of the hard drive cage to the intake fan, they did vent the front panel on the sides and bottom to help. Now to answer the question as to how well this case works.
The installation of the motherboard and power supply is pretty standard stuff. No surprises here, everything fits right in with lots of room to work. The hard drive rails simply secure to the drives with pins and slide into the cage.
There is lots of room for cabling and even though I do not have a motherboard with side-facing SATA ports, I feel there is plenty of room to use them even with standard SATA cables. The front panel connections also offer plenty of length to reach the ports on the motherboard and there is room to slide them under the hard drive cage to help with wire management.
I happen to use one of the largest video cards on the market in my PC. At 9 ½ inches long, the ATI HD 2900 XT definitely can affect the case you select for your build since it is just so darn long. This case just swallowed it up with ease. In fact, I see no issues in running 2 such large cards for Crossfire in this case since the arrangement of the hard drive cage leaves the entire bottom of the case open for whatever cards you have.
My one gripe about the tool less PCI installation that I alluded to earlier comes in here. It couldn’t solidly hold my video card. While I was not worried about it falling out, if I was to transport my case I wouldn’t trust it to hold the card properly in place. But, at least there are provisions to use screws.
After installing the sound card and PCI Firewire card along with the DVD drive and floppy, cable management comes into play. Many cases simply do not deliver here. Looking pretty on the outside is all well and good, but I for one do not like the look of wiry messy monster on the inside. The iSOLO 210 offers lots of hiding space for the cables and working inside it was a breeze.
I have to say this was the most fun I have ever had building a PC without even once tearing out my hair looking for a place to tie off a cable to keep it out of the way. Gigabyte also includes some plastic hold downs that 2-sided tape to the case for more help. Again, my only complaint is that the hard drive cage is slid too far back to allow you to install the drives in reverse, but with no window, that really is no big deal.
All built and ready for business, this case really does look every bit as high quality as it feels. The side panel mesh is large and opens up the entire side of the case for airflow. The venting around the front panel also helps with airflow.
Time to put it through the final phase of testing.