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title

Product Application:

ATX Full Tower Chassis

Product Provided by:

Tagan

Available at:

NewEgg.com

Estimated MSRP:

$119.99

Availability:

Now

Review by:

Darren

Edited by:

Scott

Review date:

October 22, 2007

Crucial System Scanner
 

 

inside

     With the door out of the way, we get our first look at the inside structure on the El Diablo.  As you can see the layout is pretty standard overall with space for 6 internal 3.5" bays and a single external 3.5" bay.  The top holds 5 external 5.25" bays and all of the edges are nicely rounded.

  inside

     Looking towards the front gives a better look at the drive structure.  Also note the long cable runs for the top ports and the presence of read card slots (for those giant server side accessories?)  I was impressed to see not only plenty of length on all of the runs, but quite a bit of factory cable management already in place.

drivebays

     Here we have a closer look at the internal drive bays.  With almost all of the bays directly behind the 250 mm front intake, its safe to say things should stay plenty cool.  Thanks to the full size, there is plenty of room to route cabling around both sides of the bays.

rails

     The rails are housed on this removable accessory tray.  Having never seen something like this, its nice to have the option to remove the rails or store them if required.  No more wondering where the rails went when you add a drive months later.

inside back

     The back of the case features a set of tool-less card locks an optional 120 mm fan mount and a chassis intrusion switch in the top right corner above.  The rear 120 mm mounting is a removable mounting that includes rubber vibration dampeners as well.  I briefly considered a matching Antec Tri-Cool for the back but with the two crazy big fans already, who needs it?   The mess of cabling at the bottom is a mix of motherboard leads and power runs.  We'll get to them in a minute.

power

     The power supply mount features a removable frame that allows the case to hold both a standard ATX power supply or a larger redundant server unit if desired.  With so many of the full size ATX cases moving into the server field, this is a nice option to have. You can also see the oversize thumb screws provided for each of the doors.

The Install:

     To test the Tagan El Diablo Chassis I used a build based in the ABIT Fatal1ty AN9 32X motherboard.  The build includes an AMD Athlon AM2 5600+,  2 x EVGA 7800 GTX cards cooled by Artic Cooling 5 series coolers  and a x 2 GB kit of Crucial Ballistix Series DDR2-8500 powered by an Ultra X3 1000 Watt power supply.  Storage was provided by both 160 GB and 250 GB Maxtor SATA II drives and a Lite-on 16x DVD burner.

Hardware Model
Motherboard: ABIT Fatal1ty AN9 32X
CPU AMD AM2 5600+
Memory 2x 2 GB kit of Crucial Ballistix Series DDR2-8500
Graphics 2 x EVGA 7800 GTX
Power Supply Ultra X3 1000 Watt
Drives 160 and 250 GB Maxtor SATA II, 16X Lite-on DVD Burner

install

     My original install plan was to use the OCZ ModXStream 780W power supply for power and the the Ultra ChillTec cooler for my heatsink.  The ChillTec was just too tall for the massive depth of the 320 mm fan and would not allow the door to close forcing me to revert back to the stock AM2 cooler.  With the crazy extra lighting the OCZ just didn't have enough 12 V leads to get everything powered up.

install

     This picture shows what ended up in the case.    I am even pleased to report the tool-less card locks work better than any I have used holding my oversized SLI setup firmly in place with no issues getting them in or out.  Sharp eyed readers will see the second video card is missing in this picture as I worked out the different power runs from the Ultra X3.  Now just a couple quick cable ties and we are set.

connection

     Ok, this diagram from the Tagan folks show you just exactly how to take that mess of cables at the bottom and turn them into the pretty light show this case is capable of.  Strangely the case uses a system of controllers and 4 separate 12 V leads to accomplish this task.  While Tagan has seemingly thought of everything, they do not include the 12 v splitters required to get 4 extra power leads and still have enough power runs needed for a common system build.  Fortunately I had the massive Ultra X3 1000 Watt unit powering another build and made a quick swap.  Count your 12 V leads carefully or you may be left in the dark.

lit

     Here you can see the finished build.  While some of you may not like the mesh look, I found it worked well with the two massive fans.  I did have some trouble getting the ABIT Fatal1ty motherboard to power the two front lights, but this is not a case issue as other motherboard choices may have had better success.

lit

Lets dim the lights so even the accent lighting is clearly visible.  The El Diablo does clean up nicely!

 

lit

     Of course things really look sharp with the lights down.  This is a real LAN party show piece just dying for some UV cabling or a fancy heat sink setup.

Conclusion:

     Overall the Tagan El Diablo makes a great first impression and that same good feeling is carried through the entire installation.  Both fans push an incredible amount of air and remain quiet enough I cant hear them over the system fan.  The installation proved to be easy given the extra space and mostly tool-less design as well.  My only real issues with the El Diablo are the flimsy construction of the top ports and door, making the whole affair feel like a last minute add-on.  I also found the power setup for the lights and fans maddeningly complicated and with no pass through on the 12 V leads most users will find they just don't have the power leads necessary to light everything up without a splitter or two.

     Still the finished product is a feature rich design that looks both stunning and imposing thanks to the aggressive styling and those larger than life fans.  The price point of just over $100 dollars makes this case a great purchase for those of us requiring a bit more than the normal amount of space or cooling for our hot new build.  If you have done the research before diving into the El Diablo, you will find there is plenty to get excited about.

Note: Club Overclocker is now using a new rating system based on a score of 1 to 5.
Please go to our rating system page for more information.

Performance: 5 out of 5

Innovation:

4 out of 5

Quality:

3 out of 5

Stability:

N/A
Aesthetics: 5 out of 5

Software/Drivers Pack:

N/A

Overclocking:

N/A
Value: 4 out of 5

4.0

Project Skill Level
(5 being most difficult)

4 out of 5

 

 


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