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Friday, 08 July 2011 10:29

Cooltek K3 Evolution - USB 3.0 computer case tested - 5. Testing

Written by Sanjin Rados

Cooltek-K3-Evolution-USB-3.0top-value-2008-lr

Review: Only 40 euro. Where's the catch?

While strapping the Cooltek K3 Evolution USB 3.0 with gear, we had no major issues. You’ll find all the required screws within a bag you’ll find in the case. Cooltek didn’t decide on a user’s manual but more experienced users will easily find their way around.

Unfortunately, Cooltek didn’t provide a spot for the ninth standoff. The company only provides eight screws, which means that they meant it.

Cooltek-CT-K--III-nosac

Graphics card limitations are yet another issue we’ve had. Depending on how high the PCI Express slot is, users will be limited by a graphics card’s length. Throwing in the HD 6990 will require your PCI Express to be at most 18cm from the top of your motherboard. Note however that the HD 6990 is the longest card on the market. The picture below shows MSI P35 Diamond motherboard where the PCI Express slot is 18.5cm far from the top edge of the motherboard. Obviously, the HD 6990 didn’t quite fit in its slot because of the HDD bracket. If the PCI Express was only slightly higher, the card would fit.

Cooltek-CT-K--III-test-gpu1

The GTX 580 on the other hand, felt right at home in the same motherboard. Note that GTX 580s are almost 27cm long.

Cooltek-CT-K--III-test-gpu2

As far as airflow goes, the right panel will take two fans and the case will easily run an entry level passively cooled graphics.

Cooltek-CT-K--III_cooler

Mounting a CPU cooler on a set up motherboard is pretty easy thanks to the motherboard tray cutout. The cutout is pretty large (140mm x 127mm), which is compatible with most motherboards.

CPU size must not exceed 155mm. Unfortunately, our passive weapon of choice, the Hyper Z600, is 160mm tall and it touched the side panel.

Cooltek-CT-K--III-test-cpu1

Since the case is small and the top panel has no holes or space for water cooling radiators, users will have to mount them outside the case. Unless of course they're small enough to fit in the rear panel fan slot.

The optical drive and HDD locking mechanism is the simplest we’ve seen so far but it works. You’ll need to place the drive inside the cage, stick the mechanism into the screw holes and turn the red handle to lock it.

Cooltek-CT-K--III-test-drajv1

Hard drives and optical drives have two locking mechanisms each and there’s no room for SSDs or 2.5’’ drives. The HDD cage has no rubber anti-vibration pads but you’ll find some underneath the PSU.

Once the K3 Evolution is locked and loaded, it will be pretty cluttered but that can be solved with a little creativity.

Cooltek-CT-K--III-inside4
The front fan will be just enough if you’re not an owner of a hot graphics card or CPU. Naturally, better safe than sorry and we’d advise you to throw in another fan in the rear. Since it comes stocked with only one fan, the K3 is almost inaudible. You can only hear it a bit when it’s running at max RPM.

The fan regulator will take care of one fan only. We must ad that the fan’s blue glow makes it look really cool  in the dark.

 

(Page 5 of 6)
Last modified on Monday, 03 October 2011 15:46
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Comments  

 
+2 #1 BernardP 2011-07-08 22:26
Too bad the USB connectors are plugged into the rear panel instead of the now standard internal interface found on more and more mobos:

http://download.intel.com/technology/usb/USB_3.0_Internal_Connector_and_Cable_Specification.pdf
 
 
+2 #2 Resistance_is_futil 2011-07-09 12:51
Latest information from Cooltek say, that from next shipment on, all K3 Evo 3.0 will have additional a 120 mm fan in the rear for better cooling, WITHOUT changing the price at all.

Regarding internal USB 3.0 support : I thought the same, but if ppl don´t have USB 3.0 20pin-connector onboard this solution opens the case for everyone.

For those who want to use an internal connection, there is the solution of a USB 3.0 to 20-pin converter.

For THIS price range fro my point of view the Cooltek Case is BEST (value, quality, features) you can get for your money.
 

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