I have in front of me the Apevia X-Discovery case. Toted as a ‘silent case’ I’ll be testing this claim and whether this case reaches the standards set by gamers…
Standard ATX / Baby AT / Micro ATX
|Drive Space||4×5.25″ / 2×3.5″ / 4×3.5″ (hidden)|
|Motherboard Size||up to 11″ x 12″|
|Front Panel Switch||Power / Reset|
|Front Access Ports||2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Firewire|
|Cooling Fan Space|
Up to 4 x case fans:
|Front Thermometer||1 x Analog Temperature Gauge|
|Front Fan Controller||N/A|
|Front Volume Controller||N/A|
|Led Display||Power / HDD|
|Shipping Weight||18 lbs (w/o power supply), 21 lbs (w/ 420w power supply)|
|Dimensions(DxWxH)||19.25″ x 7.75″ x 17″|
(Click any of the pictures to make them larger)
The X-Discovery is one of the many gaming cases manufactured by Apevia, featuring many high-end features such as an analogue temperature gauge on the front, and a windowed side panel.
The case was shipped with tons of polystyrene protection and plastic covering ensuring that no scratches are present on your new case.
The front of the case is dominated by the clear acrylic magnetic door, which stands in front of the colour-matched drive bay covers (both optical drives and FDD) and the analogue temperature gauge. At the bottom are the I/O ports for firewire and USB. The power and reset buttons are situated around the temperature gauge and are accentuated in silver. Above the power buttons, there are two LEDs; green and red for power and HDD activity respectively.
On the side of the case, there is an acrylic window, dominated by the Apevia fan grill which hides the 80mm UV blue LED fan. Just below the fan is a cosmetic grill to add aesthetic appeal.
The paint job is glossy blue (the case comes in 6 colours to suit your needs), and is used throughout the case; the drive covers, front grill and both sides.
Internally, the case is well laid out with a selection of four internal 3.5” drive bays, two external 3.5”, and four 5.25”. The motherboard tray slides out to make installation easier, although it does require the other side panel to be removed. The windowed side panel is held in place by two thumb screws allowing for easy removal.
Behind the front grill, there is space for two 80mm fans laid out horizontally to bolster cooling to your hard discs. The case doesn’t come with these fans, but its nice to see there is space for more powerful cooling. As the fans take up 160mm of space horizontally, it may have been better to use a 120mm fan as these are generally quieter.
On the back of the case, there is grill which covers the supplied 120mm fan. The exhaust fan mount not only supports 120mm fans, but has mounting holes for 92mm and 80mm fans. This means that you can use your favourite fan with this case.
There is a selection of leads that are connected to the front of the case, as well as the normal motherboard connectors and USB/firewire plugs, there is a molex plug for the front LED strips (more on this later), a molex for the analogue temperature gauge and a temperature sensor.
Supplied with the case, is the usual bag of screw. In this case, Apevia have supplied press in feet, and a security bracket which you can screw to the back of the case to use to padlock side panel into place. Whilst not a widely advertised feature, this would come in useful at a LAN party where you want your pricey PC equipment to be as secure as possible. This shows that Apevia have aimed this case at gamers.
I decided to install our spare micro-ATX motherboard into the case. The X-Discovery supports both ATX and m-ATX.
After removing both side panels, I took out the motherboard tray, screwed in the spacers and mounted the mobo in place. No problems in this stage.
The power supply installation was a little bit more difficult as there are no rails to hold the PSU in place while you are screwing it in; however, putting the case on its side made things a lot easier.
The hard disc installation was simple, although the case doesn’t use a screw-less design, meaning that you will have to use your trusty screwdriver.
The optical drivers were a little more difficult as you first have to remove the front drive cover on the case. Then you slide the drive in and replace the cover. This means that your ugly grey CD drive is hidden behind a colour-matched face.
The top PCI expansion cover is a screw on type, while the others are pop out. An odd choice… This shows one of the pound saving choices made by Apevia.
Cable management was easy with the case having loads of places to tuck unneeded cables away.
The motherboard plate on the back is not the normal pop out type and it’s screwed into place. The holes for ports are in an odd setup which means that nine times out of ten, you’ll remove it and put your own one in.
After connecting up the front molex’s I was ready to go.
Turning on my PC immediately lit up the front strips, making them shine bright blue, complimenting the blue backlit analogue temperature gauge, and the blue 80mm side fan. The rear 120mm fan is not equipped with LEDs.
The case is quiet, but the rear 120mm does create quite a lot of noise, which seems odd for a case designed to be quiet. If used with a fan controller, the problem can be quickly solved.
The side blue LED fan shines UV light, meaning your UV components will shine brightly. Again, Apevia have obviously aimed this case at gamers would want there PC to perform as well as look good.
The front temperature gauge is fast considering as it is analogue, switching from hot (CPU heatsink) to a cold glass of water took seconds. The reading was accurate and was backed by a separate temperature probe. As the range is from 10 to 80C this isn’t going to be useful for people who use extreme cooling (phase change etc.).
Overal the case looks awesome, the blue LEDs coupled with the lit up clear acrylic panels; this case will appeal to gamers wanting to make an impression.
A budget price, eye-catching good looks and easy installation, the Apevia X-Discovery caters for the wallet conscious gamer looking to make an impression. Featuring quirks such as the backlit analogue temperature gauge and a sub £50 price tag, finding faults with this case has been made extremely difficult.