Before unpacking and reviewing the new case let us say a few good words about the previous model that Airen was so kind to send to us.
- Airen GameComp 2 – the predecessor of the GameComp 3, was tested and reviewed some time ago and left us with a very good impression. It is a middle tower case with dimensions of 235 × 540 × 530 mm and weight of 9.5 kg. It features a total of six preinstalled fans, including a large 200mm on the side panel. The case offers pretty good ventilation, nice cable management options and tool-less design for easy installation. With all black exterior and red elements inside the case, combined with the red glow from the LED fans the case has a distinctive look. Check out the review here – Airen GameComp 2 Test and Review
Okay, let’s move on to the next case Airen has to offer…
The case arrived packed in a carton box with printed technical specifications and features regarding the product inside and an actual drawing of the case along with the company’s logo. The case itself was wrapped up in nylon and covered with thick, hard styrofoam pieces on the top and bottom. Overall it was well protected and had no damage from the shipping.
After removing the protective materials I took a minute to inspect the exterior of the case. The case is all in black, constructed from steel and plastic with mesh grills. I really like the overall clean design with the added sharp edges on the top and front of the case. It has a certain aggressive stance, but at the same time it is elegant. The left side panel has a window with smoked finish to it that catches your attention once you look at the case.
|Front/Side View||Rear/Side View|
Let me go real quickly trough some tech specs of the case and then I’ll go ahead and remove most of the parts explaining everything step by step. Airen GameComp 3 weighs 11.0 kg with dimensions of 220 × 520 × 535 mm and supports ATX/microATX motherboards and ATX PSU’s.
|Top View||Bottom View|
On the top panel you can find some interesting and handy features – HDD/SSD Dock Station, two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 (one USB 3.0 port is Super Speed), Audio AC97 or HD, Card reader SD/MMC/MS and of course the Power and Reset buttons. Also a total of three fan controllers are available for the preinstalled fans – Top, Front and Rear with Low, OFF, High settings. The buttons have a quality feel to them and can be moved with ease. In front of the USB ports there is some space where you can leave your USB drive or mobile phone if you see fit to do so. I could not remove the top panel entirely as I didn’t want to break some of the plastic clips, hence I am not really sure if the top panel could be removed at all. The part that can be removed is the top grill which has a push button that releases it. On the bottom side of the case there are some plastic feet with rubber pieces to avoid easy movement of the case on a slippery floor.
When I finished with the top and bottom sides I removed the left side panel – keep in mind that the window did not have good contact with the metal panel, there were some loose metal clips that were not really pushed all the way in – it is not a big deal, after pushing them far enough, the window stopped moving around.
Then I took a look inside the interior of the case. Again, black color is predominantly present. Cables from the I/O panel are black, then you have the blue USB 3.0 cable and a flat, colored cable for the power, reset buttons and HDD activity light. The PSU stands are elevated feet with nice, soft material on top to absorb vibrations. There are a total of 8 expansion slots, three 5.25″ external bays with toolless design for mounting and 8 drive bays.
After removing the drive bays and the top HDD cage (via push buttons), inside there was a small carton box with included the following accessories:
- plastic brackets for mounting a 120mm fan on the external bays cage to cool the RAM (when no DVD-RW is present)
- plastic bracket for supporting the GPU, that can be mounted next to the cable management holes on a rail
- rubber feet for mounting inside an individual HDD bracket to avoid vibration
- 4+4 pin cable
- Velcro ties
- bolts, screws
You can notice from the picture above that the HDD plastic brackets have a circle in the middle – that is due to the fact that each one of them can accommodate an 80mm fan. As for the HDD cage itself you can mount two additional 120mm fans on it. To the left of the cage, at the bottom of the case there is one more place for a 120mm fan. Hanging on a zip tie attached to the HDD cage, inside a nylon bag there were 2 additional dust filters which can be mounted on the top panel, beneath the grill. Airen GameComp 3 has a total of 6 included dust filters. What made a big impression on me was the User Manual for this case… I am impressed by the information that is written inside, it is thorough and even a person with no skill should be able to use all the features of this case after reading the manual.
So much for the left side of the case… On the right, I removed the side panel and had a glimpse at the space behind the MB tray – it is not much, but everything is nice and tidy from the factory with installed plastic brackets that hold all the cables. You have two more brackets for the 8 and 24 pin cables, which is really nice. Also there is enough space for mounting zip ties. I find the lack of rubber grommets not pleasing, but I guess at this price point there were no other compromises to be made. I also removed the front panel that hides two 120mm RED LED fans behind it. You have five fans preinstalled for you in this case – two at the front, two 120mm RED LED fans at the top and one Non-LED 120mm fan at the rear acting as an exhaust.
It was time for me to assemble the system inside. As I was doing that I noticed and felt how good the build quality of this case actually is. Everything clicked perfectly into place and felt sturdy and strong. The HDD brackets are made from plastic, but can be bent easily and make a perfect fit for an HDD, also the bracket clicks nicely into the HDD cage with no room for moving around. When installing the HDD I didn’t put any screws as it was totally secured and in place.
|Metal sheet acting as support||Behind the MB tray|
Due to my AIO CPU Cooler I had to remove the exhaust rear fan, but I encountered a sheet of metal, the purpose of which is to support the stability of the case. It was in such position that I could not put all the screws of the water radiator as it was blocked by the metal support. I think that this is more of an issue with my radiator (it is somewhat with longer edges than a typical 120mm radiator), not a global problem with the case. Anyway, I moved along with managing the cables – it was really easy with all the included brackets. Only I wish there was some more room behind the MB tray because people with Non-modular PSU’s might have difficulties with all the cables that need to be put somewhere and probably won’t fit behind the MB tray.
Here is the system placed inside the Airen GameComp 3 Case:
- MB: Asus P6T Deluxe X58 OC Palm Edition
- CPU: Intel I7-920, D0 stepping, running at stock speeds
- GPU: Palit GT 640
- HDD: Western Digital 640 GB Black Series
- PSU: Corsair RM750 W, Modular
- RAM: A-Data XPG 6 GB Triple channel, running at 1333 MHz
After I spent some time describing the case it is about time to check how it will manage to keep my hardware running inside. So let’s do some testing…
The first test will be conducted with Low setting on the integrated fan controllers for the preinstalled fans and the CPU fan is set to Silent mode from BIOS. Room temperature is about 22-23 degrees Celsius.
Idle, no stress.
Second test is at Idle, with High setting for the preinstalled fans.
Third test is Stress with Low setting for the preinstalled fans.
Final test is Stress with High setting for the preinstalled fans.
- Airen GameComp 3 performance – What can I say… I was impressed with the added features this case has to offer and to be honest I really enjoyed the overall build quality. Having dust filters everywhere is amazing, the LED fans look really nice and can cool the hardware well enough even at low RPM. You have five preinstalled 120mm fans which is a major thing to consider. You can mount additional 120mm fans at the bottom and at the optical drive bays with the included bracket to help with the cooling of your RAM. That VGA holder bracket is a really neat feature for heavy high-end GPU’s. What I did not like so much is the lack of rubber grommets and the small space behind the MB tray, which is not really a deal breaker, but something to be kept in mind. I will also mention the very useful brackets for cable management – well done Airen. With some additional zip ties and a little of your time you’ll be able to make a nice and tidy system.
- Airen GameComp 3 noise level – Five fans inside the case means excellent cooling with some audible noise if you don’t keep them at low setting on the fan controller. You barely hear the system working at low settings of the fans and the temperatures are not bad at all for a 22-23 degree ambient air temp. But at 12volts (high setting) the noise is quite audible, there is a profound humming from the air passing trough the grills. Here is the place and time to say that if you are a person who wears headphones while gaming you have nothing to worry about – probably you won’t hear a thing. But if you read the news and browse or work only, the High setting isn’t for you. As I say often every person hears noises differently, so for some even five fans at high RPM might be all right. Overall I prefer the low setting for everyday use of this case – it keeps the system reasonably cool and quiet at the same time.
- Airen GameComp 3 appearance – As I said at the beginning of this review there is a slight aggression in the appearance of the case due to the sharp edges at the top and front panel. I have to say the result is quite nice in my opinion and doesn’t look “too much”. It gives the overall clean design some more details to look at and appreciate every time you look at the case exterior. The whole front panel is made entirely of mesh grill that enables you to see the red glow from the front fans clearly. Another beautiful point of the appearance is the smoked side window – it sticks out of the side panel itself and adds to the aggressive look of the case. Through the window you can see again a red glow inside the case, emitted from the top LED fans. From wherever you look at the case you can see the slight red lights that make their way trough the mesh grill, which looks stunning in a dark room.
I think Airen GameComp 3 deserves the following reward:
Official price (MSRP): Airen GameComp 3 – unknown
Warranty: 24 months
I thank Airen for the test sample.