IN-WIN BUC: Just How Much $100 Can Buyby Dustin Sklavos on May 9, 2011 4:28 PM EST
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Introducing the IN-WIN BUC
When building a new machine, it's often easy to pass by certain manufacturers in favor of old standbys like Antec, Cooler Master, SilverStone, or Thermaltake. Whenever another company becomes a contender it's usually because they made a big splash at the top of the market and let the halo effect strike the way Corsair did. However, there's great engineering going on with smaller firms, and in the case of IN-WIN and their new BUC enclosure, you'd be surprised at just how much actual value can be crammed into what seems at first glance like a mid-range enclosure. If you're the type to tinker religiously with your desktop, the BUC may just be the case for you.
I'll admit I was a bit skeptical when the BUC arrived. Good enclosures can be difficult to find, and my initial perspective was that the BUC was going to be "just another gaming case". Thankfully my job requires more than snap judgments: I have to actually use the case, build a computer with it, and really get a feel for it. In the process, I found a lot of very pleasant surprises.
Keeping things moving with our new set of case reviews, the BUC is our first full-sized ATX case and as such it's the first case to take advantage of our full-sized ATX testbed, which I'll talk more about when we get to the thermal and acoustic testing. Once again I ask that if you have any suggestions for how we handle future case reviews, please feel free to let us know. Now, on with the show!
|IN-WIN BUC Specifications|
|Motherboard Form Factor||ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX|
|Drive Bays||External||3x 5.25", 1x 3.5"|
|Internal||5x 3.5"/2.5" (three hotswap)|
|Cooling||Front||1x 120mm intake fan|
|Rear||1x 120mm exhaust fan|
|Top||1x 120mm fan mount|
|Side||2x 120mm fan mount (tested with extra included fan mounted)|
|Front I/O Port||2x USB 2.0, headphone and mic jacks, eSATA|
|Top I/O Port||1x USB 3.0 (with routing cable)|
|Power Supply Size||Standard ATX|
|Clearance||250mm (PSU), 12" (Expansion Cards), 170mm (CPU HSF)|
|Dimensions||19.9" x 8.3" x 19.1"|
I whipped out the tape measure to give more exact figures of just what you can expect to fit in this enclosure, but generally speaking just about any standard CPU cooler or power supply should fit. As far as video cards are concerned, fitting anything the size of a Radeon HD 5970/6990 is going to be a tight squeeze, but other than that you should be good to go. Our GeForce GTX 580 was able to fit comfortably and easily with room to breathe.
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cjs150 - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - linkPlease include case dimensions in metric as well as inches. Motherboards, fans, radiators are all in metric measurements and it makes it a lot easier for those, like me, who stuff cases with lots of kit to work out will fit.
I am also as frustrated as reviewer with cable routing. It really is not that difficult to allow a bit more space behind the motherboard tray. It is worse for me because I like silence from my pc and therefore want to put noise reducing stuff on the side panels.
Finally, I am not particularly bothered by the number of HD the case can hold (I am building a 6TB file server which will be enough for decades of films), all I need is space for 2 drives, an SSD + one HD. However, I do like to have an optical drive in the system. I have yet to see any case deal with providing real noise reduction/anti-vibration for an optical drive.
bhima - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - linkThe Antec 900 has become sort of the mainstream case standard. I think getting the data for that case will make it easier to judge what these numbers mean in the real world when testing other cases against it. That way, people can pick a case based on whether it cools better than the 900, or is quieter than the 900.
Of course, once you have a bunch of cases reviewed, you won't need a reference case anymore, but while you build up a review archive it would be nice to get the info for such a popular case.
e_sandrs - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - linkWe've been using INWIN cases for a long time to build a few hundred computers per year and I have only good things to say about them! Very nice build quality for the price - I'm glad they're getting some love here on AT!
xrror - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - linkI kinda miss the stop motion video of you fighting with a screwdriver and actually installing a build into a case in this review. I wholeheartedly recommend buying a cheap electric screwdriver and having every case review feature you doing assemblies with the time lapse footage.
I mean, reading about how all the pieces and such fit together is good - but seeing one wrangle with the cables and such really brings out a more practical view of a case. For instance in this review one thing that might stand out is the decided lack of need for a screwdriver. Also it would help show off the "backplane wiring" as you hooked up all the power connectors and then slide (I guess somehow?) the motherboard into the case.
jerem43 - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - linkI've been using in-win cases for years. A strong sturdy case with ease of access, no sharp edges, quality power supplies and good heavy gauge steel make for an excellent case. Even their ,ore consumer oriented cases are a joy to work with, simple to access and maintain.
kenyee - Friday, May 13, 2011 - linkThat'd be a more useful noise test...use a standard drive and test how well you can hear the drive working...
Michael Meio - Sunday, June 26, 2011 - linkIt would be nice if as regular rule of computer case testing / reviewing, some part was dedicated to dust filters and the way they compare to other brands and models.
IMO there are two kind of filters that cover the majority of options out there: Sponge and plastic.
I find that the presence of sponge or foam dust filters in a computer case shows some sort of lack of respect and a desperate corner cut attitude on the case manufacturer's part. A foam filter is in all aspects, the cheapest way to deal with it. It needs no special gap, no channel or punch holes to seat on, and obviously, minimum head scratching for the case's designer.
A plastic / nylon dust filter is different. It requires thinking. It needs a specific place to be. Just as the front cover or the side panels.. it relies on a designed mechanical solution to be attached to the case and held in place. It simply shows the attention to detail on the manufacturer's part.
The dust filters location, functionality, ease of use / remove / "washability" truly plays a big deal on my buying decision when it comes to chassis.
I don't own a BUC case and currently, I'm shopping around. It surprises me how difficult it is to find out what are computer case filters made of in pretty much every single review out there. Needless to mention, their location, ease of use, etc. This review unfortunately, is not an exception to that.