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Ultra Aluminus
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by Matthew Harris on February 3, 2006 in Mid-Tower

Ultra has recently released a new case called the Aluminus. It’s quite similar in design to their Wizard case, but it’s been amped up in every single way. This is not just a normal case anymore, they have pulled out all the stops. Let’s see how great Ultra can impress us this time!

Rear of the Case


The rear of the case is different from most others I’ve ever used, because the rear is actually painted to match the rest of the case. This makes for a very pleasing case for using on top of your desk, and yes I know that most of us never look at the back of our cases! If you LAN often, at least the guy sitting across from you will have a bit of aesthetically pleasing scenery rather than bare metal whenever he’s between rounds of <insert favorite FPS here>.

I apologize for the glare from the PCI slot covers, but they are the shiniest pieces of metal I’ve ever seen attached to a case in my entire life. Another thing worth noting is the rear fan grill. Normally the rear fan grilles are these horrid little punche metal affairs that hinder airflow by offering the air less than 50% area to escape. That’s not the case here, no pun intended. Here, we have a very open honeycomb grill that actually offers about the same resistance to airflow as a basic wire grill. This is a very nice departure from some of the other cases I’ve worked with. I wasn’t forced to either break out with my Dremel or put up with less than optimum airflow.

I’m not going to go into tedious build details, but instead show you some shots of the finished system. I used a donor system for the testing here, since my personal rig is watercooled and the benefits of the improved thermal design of this case wouldn’t do it justice. The donor system consists of my old LAN rig which is now my sisters PC. The specs are as follows:

  • Processor: Athlon XP 2200+ @ 1.83GHz
  • Motherboard: Soyo Dragon Ultra Platinum KT400
  • Memory: 768MB PC2700 DDR
  • Video: MSI GeForce 4 TI 4600
  • Storage: 3 * 40GB Western Digital WD400BB
  • Cooling: Thermaltake Volcano 9, Modded with Quad LED Fan – 1 – 120mm TT Silent LED Fan and 1 – 120mm NMB 38mm thick 130CFM fan at 7v
  • Odds ‘n Ends: Antec True Power 430W, ASUS 52x CD-RW, Samsung 16x DVD-Rom D-Link NIC, Motorola 56k Modem, Windows XP Pro SP1

As you can see here, the finished product came out looking pretty nice. The HDD mounting allows for putting the connectors on the offside of the case, giving a cleaner view of the front of the drives, and also allowing the bulk of the cables to be neatly hidden from view. One thing though, if you have really long cables, you might want to go get some shorter ones because as you can see from the second shot, I ended up having to stuff the slack into the top two unused HDD bays. This was just so I can’t get the case side on ;-)