Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion
During my time here at APH Networks, I have reviewed my share of cases. The most recent one before, the Fractal Design Core 3300 was a completely joy to work with. Everything fit in its place, and Fractal Design included practically everything I could need or ask for. However, when it came to the In Win 904 Plus, this was not fully realized. After my complete unboxing and evaluation of the case, I was more than excited to put my computer parts into this glass and metal beauty. Starting where we always start off, I took the Cooler Master V1000 1000W and installed it in its place. As I have mentioned before, make sure you put the power supply with the fan facing inwards, as there are no cooling holes out the bottom of the case. Thankfully, Cooler Master labeled the power supply upside-down on the other side, so whatever side is exposed to the user will always be read correctly. Next, I threw in the optical drive, and this is where the fun began. According to In Win, you can slide your drive into the bottom, and connect the cables on the opposite side. However, when I tried to do so, the cables would not plug in. The drive bay area for the optical drive was actually longer than my own optical drive, so it slid back and forth without actually plugging in. The only workaround I saw possible was to thread the SATA and power cable through the back hole, plug those cables in, and then push the optical drive into place.
I would have next pre-routed the cables, but since I was not sure of which holes I could use, I placed the motherboard on top and installed it in. With the pre-installed risers, everything fit in place as I have expected. The Noctua NH-U9S also fit without a hassle, as it was well within the limit of 145mm. Anything larger like the NH-U14S or Noctua NH-D15 will definitely cause issues. After this, I routed my power supply cables around the case. Unfortunately, practically all of the cables went through the same hole near the power supply, as it was the only one unhindered by the motherboard. If I were In Win, I would definitely supply more cable holes to thread through. I also found the cutout holes to start digging into my rubber cables. This was made more apparent when I was trying to plug the CPU cable in, as some rubber actually scratched off the wire. This is a bad sign for chassis of any caliber.
My next step was to install the hard drive and solid state drive. The SSD was easy to install, since it just used the included screws to mount into place, but the HDD was a tad more difficult. To get the tool-less rubber-wrapped metal tabs working, you have to insert the tabs into the hard drive screw holes, and shift them into place. However, the problem is the direction to shift. To shift the front two tabs into place, you have to move it in the opposite direction as the back two tabs. According to In Win's instructions, you are supposed to slide it in from the top, but there is no actual way to do this besides bending or breaking the hard drive tray to make it fit. They do also supply screw holes to mount the hard drive, but this defeats the purpose of having the tabs in the first place.
The second last step was to throw the graphics card into place. The two respective backplates are held on by regular screws, and not thumb screws, but this is not a big deal for myself, since GPUs are not generally moved around much. According to In Win, the maximum space for the graphics card is around 360mm. As for myself, the EVGA GeForce GTX 760 fit into place without any hassle. One thing to note is the width of the case. While it will definitely fit most cards, the glass pushes on the power cable connecting to the GTX 760 just enough to make me a tad worried. This increased stress on the cord could be bad for the cable, but it is not a huge deal.
Finally, I wired up the rest of the connectors and plugged in the power cables. Cable management was relatively simple, but since majority of the cables came out of one hole, it was a bit more difficult getting the back glass plate to stay in place. After a bit of poking and prodding, I was able to secure the glass to the holder. In Win does supply a few things to help with wiring, including zip ties and plastic brackets to slot the wires through. Both of these are nice additions. and I am glad In Win is helping users in this regard. Overall, the installation was tricky, with a few more problems than I would have liked. In addition to the few issues I mentioned, I just found the case was just slightly too big for my cables. Maybe this is a one-off thing with my own equipment, but everything just felt like it needed to be a bit longer to reduce the stress on the cables. This would have been solved if there were more wiring holes too. If this were a cheaper case, I really would not have a big problem with it. As this is the In Win 904 Plus, it should just have been more refined internally.
Plugging in my monitors, peripherals, and the power cable, the In Win 904 Plus whirred to life. I also added some lights; namely the BitFenix Alchemy Connect LED Strips, which looks even nicer with a full glass panel. As mentioned before, the In Win logo on the front glows white when powered on. Otherwise, again I will repeat, this case is a thing to behold. The tinted glass works very well at hiding your components on glance, but allows users to see in it when they look a little longer. One thing worth mentioning is the cooling capabilities. Since the computer does not come with any fans, on the standard APH Networks sound scale, where 0 is silence and 10 is loud, the In Win 904 Plus is a 0/10 on everyday usage -- a pointless metric, haha. However, be sure to add at least two fans. While not a lethal issue for your build, your computer will thank you for adding some air into it. With zero fans installed, the In Win 904 Plus will undoubtedly run hotter than other cases, so take my advice and buy two more fans. As for myself, I put a SilverStone FQ122 on the front, and a Noctua NF-A9 at the exhaust. It is actually quite disappointing In Win does not supply any fans, even if they are relatively cheap to purchase. On the other hand, the low price of fans can justify why In Win would leave the fans out. Considering this is a flagship product for In Win, I still expect everything and the kitchen sink, to borrow the colloquialism.
I was recently reading a blog post by Agile Manifesto co-author Robert Martin. In his story, he tells of two different groups he encountered on the same day. In the first group, he praised a packing company for making purchase and building of a bed frame easy. Then he lamented over two large entities of business and their lack of attention to detail, both of which were software issues. These were the careless ones. After looking at the whole thing, it is hard for me to fully put the In Win 904 Plus in either category. For one, they have done a lot right with this case. The aesthetics are matchless; there is none like this. Material choice and build quality are top notch, and the overall design is just splendid The problem however comes with the internal details. For one, the optical drive implementation is just frustrating to install. The wiring holes are both figuratively and literally unpolished. The tool-less drive bay could use some retooling. Finally the fans, or lack thereof, should just come with this case, no questions. With all these compromises and little things, they build up to the point where I ask, "Is it all worth it?" To answer the question, it sure is. After you finish all your installing, frustrations and all, and adding your fans, the In Win 904 Plus is still a sight to behold. In fact, the In Win 904 Plus is something I would label as functional art. It functions well as a case, and it sure has its flaws, but it was designed with design in mind. The best part is these suggestions are not difficult to implement. There is no major flaw with the case, but all the small ones add up; fixing them will make this case fun to look at and to work with. Taking a quick look around different retailers, the 904 Plus does not come cheap. At $229 USD, it is quite obvious this is not for everyone. If you are looking to build your first computer, or trying to fit a build within a certain budget, then this case is not for you. However, if you are looking for something with an outstanding appearance in the entertainment room, the living room, in the study, or have the money to spend, then the In Win 904 Plus should be on the top of your list.
In Win provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
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 7.3/10
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.
The In Win 904 Plus proves beauty does not always come cheap, but it can be worth every penny.
Do you have any comments or questions about the In Win 904 Plus? Drop by our Forums. Registration is free, and it only takes a minute!
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion