by Greg King on June 8, 2007 in Cases & PSUs
The chassis market is full of common names, but it’s not often a new player comes along that really impresses. Tagan is one of those rare companies who delivers a full-size case that is well worth your consideration.
Once out of the box, we see the sheer size of the case. One unique feature about the Black Pearl is the one single piece of aluminum that makes up the front, back, bottom and top. This adds to the overall appearance of the case as well as making it sturdier. This similar design can be seen on Silverstoneâ€™s TJ07 and the Lian Li V2000. Offering seven 5.25″ drive bays the expandability of the Black Pearl cannot be questioned.
This total however is lowered to six should the users decide to use the provided 3.5″ bay adapter. The top two drives are occupied with a pair of drive shrouds. These are used to cover up the optical drive bays but with their spring loaded doors, they continue the all black look regardless of the color of the CD/DVD drive.
Just under the drive bays, there is a small LCD screen flanked by two small buttons. This is actually the read out of the included fan controller. Just to the right of this display, the power and reset buttons can be found.
Here is a closer look at the top two drive bay covers. These are spring loaded and made entirely out of aluminum. One suggestion I have is to remove the front of the drive trays as these can catch randomly on the door.
No case is complete anymore without a slew of I/O ports. Not wanting to be left behind, the Black Pearl offers a pair of USB ports, a FireWire port and an audio out and microphone pass-through. These are all cleverly hidden from sight behind a small black aluminum door. Notice the screws on either side of the door. These screws allow the I/O ports to be removed the desire ever strike you.
On the top, at the back of the case, there is a large perforated area, just about the right size to accommodate a pair of 120mm fans. While a pair of fan can be mounted back here, the intended use for this area is the installation of a radiator. This is obvious by looking just behind this perforated area and seeing a pair of hole. These holes can allow the user to pass through up to ½” tubing. The best part of this whole idea is that the hole covers are held on with screws. This is night if one ever gets tired of water and decides to change back to air cooling. Instead of punch outs that cannot be replaced, if the user keeps track of the covers, they can be reinstalled.
Moving to the right side of the case, we see a half window in the side panel. Tagan has decided to design a case completely opposite of what is normally seen in 99% of all computer towers. With the motherboard tray on the other side, the motherboard is going to obviously have to be installed upside down. This is a design that we first saw in the Liquid XS at All American Computers and one that I install fell in love with. Finally, an exotic video card cooler can be seen. The side door also helps to hide a lot of the wiring mess that is common in most every PC build.
The back of the Black Pearl showcases the inverted style of the case. With the power supply mounted in the bottom and the PCI slots at the top, the Black Pearl is certainly different than majority of other cases available today. In the middle, just to the left of the I/O shield is as 120mm opening for a, you guessed it, a 120mm fan.
At the bottom, we see the power supply area. Just above the opening, there is a pair of grills that allow air to flow into the case. There are also holes should a pair of 80mm fans get installed onto this area.
Just above the power supply area is the I/O shield and the fan screen.
At the top, the PCI slots are just to the right of even more ventilation holes. The PCI slot covers have a mirror finish and look great with cards installed.
To secure the doors on either side of the case, there is an incorporated pull tab that when pulled out, released the door. This is secured onto the case with an attached thumb screw.
Moving down to the bottom of the case, there are three separate blocks of holes, all aiding in air circulation. To dampen some of the case vibrations, as well as protect any surface you set the case one, there are four rubber feet.
Let’s take a look now at the interior!