Your Ad Here Your Ad Here
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Aerocool S9 Pro case

  1. #1
    lynx's Avatar .
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Yorkshire, England
    Posts
    9,810
    Well, I finally did it.

    I've been promising myself a new case for some time, and events have forced me to act now. I'm not going to bother with pics because there isn't much to show that you can't see on the manufacturer's web site. Apart from volt modding the front fan down to 7 volts I haven't found a need to change anything.

    OK, down to practicalities, the case has it's good points and it's shortcomings.

    First of all it is quiet. And I mean really quiet. I've just got home and I wasn't sure the system was running. Ok, it's not silent, but I'm not used to such a low level of noise. This 400mm fan really delivers what it promises.

    Next, the design allows me to route most of the cables down the "hidden" side of the chassis, but that's pure luck not their intention. It's a bit tight, but the headers from the top panel just fit between the joint where the motherboard backplane and the main chassis meet. To put a genuine design hole to make this cable route obvious wouldn't significantly add to the cost, would prevent chaffing of the cables during placement and would give a little more slack.

    OK, what's wrong with this case? Basically it comes down to the HDD mounting.

    I mentioned the front fan. It's on the wrong side of the chassis. The result is that it intrudes into the area where you need to mount any hard drives, and since the primary reason for mounting a fan in this area is to cool your hard drives this seems like a basic flaw.

    All the drive bays are 5.25" and there are "vibration-proof" adapters to mount 3.5" drives into the bays. The problem is that the drives have to be moved back about 1.5" because of the fan. In addition, because of the design of the adapters there are limitations about just where you can mount the drives in relation to the fan. This could be overcome if the adapters were in left and right hand pairs, but being symmetrical they protrude into the fan area.

    The extra downside for me is that the drives now cover one of the Sata connectors. Not much of a problem personally since that one isn't in use, but I can see that it could present problems for others.

    The final problem is lining up the adapters. It's OK on the open side, but trying to line them up on the blind side almost needs 3 hands. In addition, the short screws mean that even after lining things up you can't get the screws to bite into anything without applying pressure - this is where you need the third hand. Then, when I came to mount the second drive the gap had closed up too much, making adjustment difficult. I suppose these are problems with any rubber mounting.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with the end result, but a little bit of work on the design could have saved me a fair amount of hassle.
    Last edited by lynx; 10-18-2008 at 01:20 AM.
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    Detale's Avatar Go Snatch a Judge
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Posts
    8,120
    Would it be possible to tap new holes in the HDD dampeners to make it fit better? Also what about getting some slightly longer screws would that help?

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    lynx's Avatar .
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Yorkshire, England
    Posts
    9,810
    The problem with the HDD mounts is that they are designed to fasten to the front and rear holes on the drive, which are about 4 inches (10 cm) apart. In order to mount the drive further into the body of the case there are an additional 2 (for symmetry) holes so that the drive can be mounted using its middle and rear holes which are 2.5 inches (6cm) apart.

    Unfortunately this means that there is still over 1 inch (2.5cm) of mounting hanging over the back of the drive, including the part which fastens the mount to the case and this intrudes into the area where the fan is mounted. Some relief could be gained my removing the end 0.4 inch (1 cm) of the mount including one of the outermost holes, but I'm not keen on damaging parts so that their original purpose can't be achieved.

    Fitting a fan which isn't wider than the drive (which would have to be 92mm) would solve the problem, but that defeats the purpose of having large fans in the first place.

    Getting some longer screws wouldn't be a final solution - there isn't enough leeway to use them for mounting as they simply wouldn't be tight enough. I think it would be possible to use longer screws to get things lined up, then replace them one at a time with the screws supplied.

    A photo doesn't work very well since everything is black, so I've done a drawing instead. It isn't quite to scale, but it gives an idea of the problem. The part in blue is the main metal frame, with the rubber isolation blocks in brown, seen end on. Holes 1 and 2 are the desired fastening points, the alternative is to use holes 1 and 3. The overhang beyond the drive body is everything to the right of the red line, and the part that could be removed is to the right of the green line.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by lynx; 10-20-2008 at 10:19 AM.
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    lynx's Avatar .
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Yorkshire, England
    Posts
    9,810
    I decided to sort this case out before installing Windows 7 as my main OS.

    I started by looking around for some narrower fans. I've seen reports of 12cm fans which are only 14mm thick, but it looks like they are out of production.

    So I decided to see if there was any other way to solve this problem, such as mounting the front fan above or alongside the drives.

    I pulled off the front cover to see what the options were, and that's when I realised just how stupid I had been. The fan can fit inside the front cover but outside the metal part of the case.

    I remember wondering why the front cover was so deep (38mm) and now I know. The rubber fan mountings are just the right thickness to keep the fan away from the filter. I tried it out and found that everything fits perfectly.

    Now to sort out the drives. It looked as if I should be able to get the drives much further forward by re-arranging the alignment of the hdd mounts. You can imagine how glad I was that I had never mangled the mounts. I did this, but there was only one way to find out just how far forward I could go - remove the fan mounting plate again.

    Once I did this I realised two things. Firstly the holes were in the exact position so that there would be a gap of about 1mm between the end of the drive and the fan mounting plate. Perfect. Secondly, with the fan mounting plate removed I could line up the drives and fit their mounting screws in about 2 seconds flat - no need for that extra hand.

    There's still one minor annoyance - the flange on the fan mounting plate interferes with one of the drives if you install three of them. If you mount the drives in one way it interferes with the top drive, if you mount them the other way it interferes with the bottom drive. I've got round it by mounting 2 drives one way and the top drive the other way. That leaves the top 2 drives closer than I would like, but the top drive has XP loaded and the 2nd drive will have Windows 7, and since I don't have sufficient Sata ports they won't both be active at the same time.

    All in all I suppose I owe Aerocool and apology, their case is much better designed than I first realised. On the other hand I still blame them because they had mounted the front fan in the wrong position in the first place, and a simply diagram (no words required) would have shown how to mount the drives as they had intended.
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    Detale's Avatar Go Snatch a Judge
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Posts
    8,120
    Procrastinate much .

    Pics would be awesome man.

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    lynx's Avatar .
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Yorkshire, England
    Posts
    9,810
    I'm hopeless at taking photos.

    You can see what I mean by looking at the pics on their website.

    Item 10 is the offending item - you can see the filter but not the fan - it is inside the case! I suppose I should have guessed that they got it wrong - the blue leds were virtually invisible.
    Last edited by lynx; 11-23-2009 at 12:13 AM.
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    Detale's Avatar Go Snatch a Judge
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Posts
    8,120
    Ahhh I see now. Surely they should have provided some kind of diagram. Write em an email. Change the world

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •