Cubitek XL Tank Review (Page 4 of 4)

Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion

As Cubitek's XL Tank is capable of holding motherboards of any size up to XL-ATX, users will find that assembling their build is very straightforward. XL-ATX is basically a slightly longer variant of ATX, so while you won't get any more usable space than a regular ATX mid-tower, the XL Tank still has a lot of room to work with. As such, mounting my Asus P8P67 motherboard couldn't have been easier. There was more than ample room in the main motherboard space for me to carefully fix the risers into the motherboard tray, and maneuver my P8P67 into its place. In fact, there is enough room so that the user can begin with installing any other major component, without fear of being tight on space later on. To start off, I first installed the Core i5-2500K processor and G.SKILL memory before placing anything into the case, and then put the motherboard with aforementioned components onto the risers.

Cabling was a fairly easy task, thanks to the myriad of openings available on the motherboard tray. In fact, I would say that the most difficult part of the cabling was actually organizing the cables behind the motherboard. However, it was nothing that 30 minutes and a few cable ties couldn't fix.

I previously mentioned a slight issue with the fasteners that came with the Cubitek XL Tank. The supplied M3 screws described in the manual used for mounting the motherboard were in fact way too long for the claimed purpose; the length of the thread was 15mm, which is almost twice as much as the allocated space in the risers. I had the opportunity to look through the accessories box of another XL Tank, and found the same problem. I had to make do with the sixteen supplied thumbscrews (Which were meant for the 5.25" drives) instead of the M3 screws. This raises another issue: I was left with seven thumbscrews, having used nine of them to mount my motherboard. This leaves only enough thumbscrews for less than two optical drives. This is not a problem for most people, but as the case has four 5.25" slots, I would expect to have that installation capability. I also had to resort to using the remaining motherboard risers to mount the optical drive in place, as the thumbscrews were too long.

Other than the unexpected issue with the motherboard screws, the rest of the installation went according to plan. I installed the Antec TruePower TP-550 modular power supply in the case; thanks to the abundant openings in the motherboard tray, I was able to achieve a rather neat cabling job without too much effort. It was a tight job getting the rear panel of the case closed, as there isn't a great deal of room to work with between the motherboard tray and right panel.

On a scale from 0.0 to 10.0 where 0.0 is silent and 10.0 is the loudest, the fans would come in at a 4.5 subjective sound rating at full blast. Although definitely noticeable, the level of noise produced by the intake fans are by no means irritating. They can get annoying after an extended period, especially in a small and relatively silent room. The fans circulate a phenomenal amount of air, so hearing their low drone is a small price to pay for keeping the interior of the case cool. The rear and top mounted intake fans are user-replaceable, which is great news for those of us who prefer ultimate noise reduction while simultaneously maintaining excellent airflow (Such as our very own Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Kwan, haha).

Once everything is put together and the completed computer powered on, the embedded dark red LEDs in the included stock fans add a really nice touch to the case. Even in a completely darkened room, the distinct glow coming from the Cubitek XL Tank is by no means intrusive. Granted, not everyone might appreciate it, but I myself found it to be quite pleasant. The HDD light is situated at the top right corner of the front panel, just above the first 5.25" slot.


Cubitek may be a relatively small player in the extremely competitive field of computer cases. But don't be fooled: The field is shifting. Cubitek has made the effort to proclaim to the world that they are a force to be reckoned with. And after spending the past few weeks examining, testing, and using the XL Tank, it is clear to me that overall, Cubitek has made an ATX case that's not only nice and sturdy, but also clean and stylish. It is obvious that the case has a very solid and yet beautiful aluminum exterior construction. Care has also been taken to facilitate a substantial level of airflow, which comes in the form of four fans and plenty of mesh panels. There is very ample interior room for ease of component installation. The almost completely tool-less installation of components makes short work out of assembling a PC. However, there are a couple of downsides to the XL Tank which could be improved in future releases. It would be great if all the appropriately sized fasteners were included, such as the motherboard screws mentioned earlier. More importantly, allowing the top mounted intake fans to be sealed off or providing dust filters for said fans would minimize potential dust accumulation. Actually, having dust filters at the front intake fans would be nice, too. But having said that, once both the positive and negative aspects of this top quality chassis are weighed out, including its $100 USD MSRP -- at the end of the day, who else will sell you an all-aluminum mid-tower case for this price? That's right, Cubitek will.

Cubitek provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.

APH equal.balance Award | APH Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that aren't likely going to matter to the end user.
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 7.2/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.

Looking for a solidly constructed, all-aluminum case that makes computer assembly a piece of cake? For $100 USD MSRP, you probably won't do better than the Cubitek XL Tank.

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Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion