Testing cases is another one of those odd “benchmarks”, as the main test of any case, is what features it has, and whether its cooling options are quiet. The features are detailed in the look at the case itself, but individual ones will be looked into during the testing to highlight any problems or particularly innovations we liked.
We also have a rather unique test termed the case “strength” test. This involves yours truly standing on said case, and checking how it reacts in terms of flexing.
The DF-85 is a very strong case. Sitting atop it made almost no impression at all even when putting a lot of weight straight onto the top mounted fan grills; though I wouldn’t recommend this on the SSD dock.
Side panels are solid and will handle impacts no problem, even the one with the window in it is very robust and barely flexes at all. There are some plastic sections on the front which probably wouldn’t stand up to much punishment, but all drives in that area are located far enough back from the main case body that they would be protected from most possible dangers.
All in all, your internals should be well protected inside this case.
Cooling is also pretty much as good as you’re going to get while sticking with air only. Not only do you have three front mounted 12cm intake fans to make sure you’re pulling in enough air, there’s a host of exhaust fans that handles the removal of that pesky warm air. At the rear are two 12cm impellers pumping air away from your CPU and PWM areas and another two 14cm fans located on the roof of the case removing any extra air that may have escaped the rear ones.
There’s not much room for expansion on this, but would you reallt want to? The only spot that I think could improve internal cooling would be to add an intake slot beneath the PSU. This would allow the power supply to have its own cooling system with intake and exhaust points handled exlusively. This means that the PSU is less impacted by the rest of your hardware. It’s not entirely necessary, but would help keep your PSU chilled.
Considering the ammount of cooling devices that spin up when you power this chassis up, I was surprised by how quiet they all were. All the red bladed fans illuminate a bright red and purr away at perfectly reasonable levels. With a little tweaking of fan speeds and case insulation you could quite easily create yourself a near silent case.
Again, a top notch job here. Rounded edges abound to stop the shearing of cabling and skin, plenty of holes for looping the unsightly wires away behind the motherboard tray and lots of space to keep them there without squashing.
Unfortunately as with all cases that seem to tick all the boxes, this one does come at a cost, ranging from between £130 and £180 depending on where you shop.