The front panel is made mostly of plastic combined with dense metal mesh. Dark Force has four 5.25 bays. One of the bays can hold 3.5” devices when strapped with a 5.25“ to 3.5“ drive bay converter.
The same metal mesh is used for bay covers and for the lower part of the front panel. For inserting optical drives we will need to remove front panel. A simple tug on the bottom of the panel will do the trick.
The front fan is protected only by the metal mesh on the panel, although we’d rather have a denser filter such as those on the bay covers. After some closer inspection, we realized that dust filter holders are there but someone obviously forgot to insert the filter.
One GELID Solutions 120mm Silen 12 fan (1200RPM and 12V / 0.08A) serves as the intake fan, and it is placed on the bottom front.
The power and reset keys are placed on the top panel. In the same line you will find 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x eSATA, 1 x Audio and 1 x Mic.
There is a hot-swap docking station on the top panel for easy connection of 3.5” or 2.5” HDD or SSD. It is recommended to enable AHCI hard drive mode in motherboard bios before inserting drives into the dock.
The top panel can be removed as well. As you can see, most of the panel is made of plastic and metal mesh. Now we know why this case weighs only 9.2kg.
The top panel can house two 120mm fans, but they are not included by default. We found the dust filter here, something we missed on the front panel. We tried to strap the top panel filter on the front panel and almost made it – almost.
There is bunch of wires going from the I/O panel, but GELID Solutions have done nice job here by sleeving all cables in black.
There is a small plastic cap which protects connectors on the hot-swap dock. You can check out how GELID Solution laid out the I/O panel on the picture below.