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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
ABIT Fatal1ty AN9 32X
AMD AM2 5600+
2x 2 GB kit of Crucial
2 x EVGA 7800 GTX
Ultra X3 1000
160 and 250 GB Maxtor SATA
II, 16X Lite-on DVD Burner
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lets dim the lights so even the accent lighting is clearly visible.
The El Diablo does clean up nicely!
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.
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.
5 out of 5|
4 out of 5|
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5 out of 5|
4 out of 5
Project Skill Level
(5 being most difficult)
4 out of 5|