XG Sidewinder ATX Case Review Posted!

Discussion in 'Reviews & Articles' started by Dashken, May 10, 2005.

  1. Dashken

    Dashken Administrator!

    Looking for a cool-looking case that's solidly built and comes with loads of accessories right out of the box? Then you should perhaps take a look at the XG Sidewinder ATX case!

    Join Goofy today as he explores the XG Sidewinder and find out what's so great about this ATX case!


    Link : XG Sidewinder ATX Case Review!
  2. Olle P

    Olle P Newbie

    Seems nice.

    Overall seems like a nice cabinet, but I'd like to make some comments about the review (and case).

    Goofy, who wrote the review, think it looks great.
    It does, if you like a computer with side window and lighting.
    I prefer my computer to sit dark and quiet.

    400W is not "beefy" by today's standards, and I'm not willing to bet that it's enough to last two computer upgrades (6-8 years).
    Still better than the 300W that used to be standard for preinstalled PSUs.
    Included PSU is convenient, at least initially, and it cuts the price if you're in need of a new PSU.
    The downside is that you usually don't know what you get, and included PSUs have a bad reputation of being cheap, low standard and noisy. If it delivers unstable or out of specs voltages and can't provide the 5V/12V currents required by your hardware it's not convenient.
    It would be most welcome to have a more exhaustive review of the PSU to back the last sentence quoted above.

    Front door
    My current cabinet came with a front door.
    - A front door does protect the drive bays, which is good.
    - If well designed it also reduce the noise from the CD/DVD drives, which is even better! (Not mentioned in the review, so I don't know if the door of this cabinet reduce noise.)
    - When closed it prevents the trays from opening when they're supposed to (while creating disks or installing software). This might damage the CD/DVD drive it's supposed to protect.
    - The door prevents use of 5,25" bay equipment that protrudes from the front, like some fan controllers and such.
    - The hinge might be a weak spot, as it was on my cabinet. Use mild force to open the door beyond it's natural limit and the hinge is broken beyond repair. Then what do you do?

    The basic setup gets a :thumb:
    Small adjustments to improve it further are:
    - Twisting the front fan so it suck air into the cabinet, increasing the total flow.
    - Adding a 12cm fan to suck air out the back.
    - Connecting the fans to a fan controller to reduce their speed, and thus noise, when less cooling is needed.

    This is a fairly cheap cabinet that seems to provide good value for money even if the PSU performance/quality so far is somewhat questionable (lacking hard data for a proper evaluation).

    1 person likes this.
  3. Goofy

    Goofy ARP Reviewer

    Hi Ollie
    Thanks for raising a few good points.
    You said that 400watt isnt really 'beefy'. Well I'm going to have to disagree there. Seeing as 40% of the world's home computer users are using Pentium1, equivalent or lower, which probably came with a 230watt power supply, it is more than enough. You can run almost any peripherals with that PSU. For a 9800XT, Ati suggests 350watt. I'm sure that a majority of people do not own or use a 9800 pro or above. I estimate maybe 1/5 computer users would need a graphics card over 350watt, so that means for 80% of users (just rough estimate) it is beefy enough. Having a niche market of 80% of computer users is one hell of a big niche.

    You said: "Goofy, who wrote the review, think it looks great.
    It does, if you like a computer with side window and lighting.
    I prefer my computer to sit dark and quiet."
    Then dont buy it.

    You: "When closed it prevents the trays from opening when they're supposed to (while creating disks or installing software). This might damage the CD/DVD drive it's supposed to protect"
    Well if you are going to use a burning program or a program that will open the CD-ROM, simply leace the open the door open for the duration of the program.

    You also mentioned the hinges being a weakness. The strength and craftsmanship that went into the door, (I went into great detail about the door in the review) are of VERY high quality. It makes no sense for XG to put so much effort into designing such a high quality front face, to put in cheap hinges at the last moment that will snap after a little bit of use and render the expensive and well-made cover useless. If they used bad hinges, they wouldnt bother making a strong good looking cover as it would just be pulled off after the hinges broke. I have had no problems with them and I will update the review if I have any problems with them.

    Fan controllers can be set back into the case to stop them from protruding into the door, and the 3.5' bays are already set-in for floppys and fan controllers to have extra room. This is shown in the photos if you look closely.

    You said "Even if the PSU performance is somewhat questionable..."
    C'mon mate, I'm the one doing the review here, not you. If I had any problems with the PSU I would have mentioned it in the review or update the review stating that the PSU is bad quality. Also, once again, its fair to state that it doesn't make sense for XG to design such a good case and then chuck in some garbage PSU, as that would deter users from the case and therefore the design and all other aspects of the case that aren't the PSU will have been wasted.

    And whoever did the photo editing for my review, you did such a great job. Thanks very much!
  4. Papercut

    Papercut Newbie

    Hey Goofy, good stuff :thumb:
    But perhaps some mention of the PSU's individual rail outputs would be nice...
  5. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Well, I have to agree with Olle on the PSU. 400W is not exactly beefy by today's standard. You can't really take the majority of the users as example. This casing is designed for end users, not OEM customers or even customers that buys pre-assembled PCs. Since the majority of the buyers would be end users like yourself, they might get a rather updated system with all the highend components. 400W is sufficient for most users, but I doubt there's room for SLI systems or even single 6800 Ultra. PSUs that come with cases are not necessary high quality PSUs. If you noticed, most high end cases like Lian Li, SilverStone do not come with PSUs, or comes as optional accessories.

    Other than that, I think this is a good review! :thumb:
  6. ESP

    ESP Newbie

    Hmm, I agree with Olle P that a 400W PSU isn't that so powerful. Of course it's good enough for most system but I wouldn't consider it as beefy. Nowadays I see quite a lot of people having a PSU that are higher than 400 watts. For people with a very powerful rig, they might be using a PSU with even higher watts, maybe as high as 500 watts or more. :)

    EDIT: :shock: Chai is a minute faster than me. :wall:
  7. Goofy

    Goofy ARP Reviewer

    Ahh yeah I understand now. I guess im still stuck on a budget whereas otherse arent.
    And I couldn't do any tests on the PSU as it blew on me because I have no surge protectors on my power supplies. So i had to fork out the money for a new 400watt PSU of lower quality, price and wasnt sata-ready either :(
    Last edited: May 13, 2005
  8. Olle P

    Olle P Newbie

    Reply: Read it all before replying back.

    As the others pointed out: This cabinet isn't targeted at those 80%, but rather towards "1337 gamers". These use the most powerful stuff they can afford, and lots of HDDs on top of that. Today these buy PSUs at 500W minimum.

    The only time I personally have had problems with insufficient power was when I put a 2nd HDD in my first computer. (A 486 with 60W PSU, IIRC.) The PSU wasn't powerful enough to get both of them spinning at the same time.
    Easier said than done, speaking from my own experience.
    Of course you're supposed to keep the door open, but there are reasons why it's not open when it should be:
    - You don't know that the program you're running will open the tray.
    - You're so used to closing the door that you do it by reflex, some time after starting the program.
    - You leave the computer to get some food or beverage and some other "helpful" familymember close the door for you.
    - The door closes itself. (Which is what my door did sometimes. It swung quite easily while open, with a magnet to hold it shut. Tilting the cabinet a little, as was the way it was mounted under my desk, made the door close itself more or less.)
    Again from experience: My cabinet had a very sturdy and proper looking door in a neat design, not that much "bells and whistles" eyecandy used on the Sidewinder. (About craftmanship: The Sidewinder may have some "well crafted" design, but the production must be on the cheap side to get such a low price tag.) Anyway, my cabinet had "hinges" in the form of a small plastic snap-in hook that let the door open about 120 degrees. The hook did break when my by then two years old daughter used force to open it wider.
    This suggests that you still use that cabinet.
    Most reviews are written based on tests done on equipment that was borrowed for a few days, so long term usage can't be judged. The text "Many thanks to the kind folks at XG for supplying the case for this review." made me expect that to be true here too.
    How much you can set them back is a matter of drive-bay design, none of which is mentioned in the text. (I did expect to find something more about how easy/difficult it is to mount your stuff into this case, and whether or not to use protective gloves to avoid cutting oneself while doing so.)
    3.5" bays are used very little nowadays, and very few fan controllers use them.
    Again it's a matter of time and presented facts coupled with prior experience.
    Assuming, as I did, that you'd only had it up and running for a few days tops, you might not notice any flaws that produce trouble later on, like a total breakdown of the PSU a couple of months later.
    Nor did you produce any voltage readings or current ratings whatsoever, not even the brand of the PSU.
    Fact: Cheap cases come with cheap PSUs, some of which are okay while others are outright crap.

    That's what makes it questionable (with emphasis on question, since it might be good, but there's no proof of that)!

    Here's one theory, for example: Your nice cool CPU temperature depends not as much on good cooling as on too low voltage! I don't claim this to be true, but there's nothing in the review to contradict me.
    I beg to differ!
    This case cost ~65$ including the PSU.
    Quality cases cost more than that without PSU.
    Quality PSUs cost same or more than that without case.
    XP most definitely have to cut quality corners to make a profit. Simple maths: the more spent on eyecandy "craftsmanship", the less left over for quality in materials and production.


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