Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside
Standing nice and tall is the Tagan A+ Black Pearl WCR computer case. With relatively standard dimensions as a full tower case, the black colored chassis is built with almost entirely with aluminum. Two 5.25" aluminum optical drive covers are included to ensure any optical drives would fit in with the design of this case, so feel free to use beige units. Installed at the bottom of the seven external 5.25" drive bays is a 3.5" floppy converter, again with an aluminum cover for external access and aesthetics. All these can be moved around to any of the seven drive bays.
Located just below the array of drive bays is a distinctive strip stretching the width of the A+ Black Pearl WCR, differentiated by the use of clear plastic. The power and the reset buttons are located towards the right, where both are LED backlit -- the reset button functions as an HDD activity LED, while the power button on top of it is a power LED. Located towards the center is a two line LCD screen; top line indicating case temperature (As read by an included thermal sensor that can be placed anywhere inside the case), and the second one posting data on connected fan RPM. Two small buttons are placed on either side of the LCD display to allow the user to control fan speed. One problem I see -- it doesn't save fan settings, and with the stock fans it will spin at around 1500rpm at boot up. I have to manually crank it down to the lowest (~1050rpm) every time I start the computer.
The overall shape Tagan A+ Black Pearl WCR is also quite unique -- incorporating rounded corner on four edges, it makes the case look a lot smoother. The Tagan A+ Black Pearl WCR's mesh case window is uniquely located on the right side of the case, rather than the left side -- due to the fact that the motherboard is mounted upside-down to improve cooling performance. The large mesh only covers the upper chamber of the system; the bottom chamber cannot be viewed. Personally, I'm not a big fan of mesh windows -- while the theoretically improve ventilation, it interrupts regular airflow and internal case pressure. Not to mention that they don't insulate any noise at all. On the positive side, an air guide inside is designed to allow the rear fan to draw air directly away from the CPU and CPU heatsink.
The upside-down motherboard orientation is reflected by the design of the back of the case -- it's identical to a standard chassis, except that particular portion is flipped around. A fan mesh is placed behind the rear intake fan. While it looks pretty good, the density of the abundance of openings makes me doubt that airflow would be all so unrestricted.
The power supply is placed into the back lower chamber, along with the hard drive cages which are placed near the front of the Black Pearl WCR. Two 80mm fans can be added to the bottom chamber (Not included), while two 120mm fans can be added to the top (Again not included). Only two 120mm case fans comes with the A+ Black Pearl WCR; located at the front of the bottom chamber and one rear intake for the main chamber.
A closer look at the top. The fan ventilation opening and attachment holes are cut into the case itself, so basically you'll be attaching a fan with screws through thin aluminum. Two 120mm fans can be placed here, and I would highly recommend installing at least one fan here for taking out heat generated by your video card(s). Two holes are pre-drilled behind the fan openings for water cooling tubes going in and out.
Near the front, at the top of the case are the front panel connector ports. The usual array of ports are available; one Firewire, two USB, 3.5mm audio output, and 3.5mm microphone input. All these are located behind a small aluminum cover that can be flipped opened.
Even more meshes at the bottom. A configuration of six neatly aligned rectangular vents are used to provide additional ventilation for the bottom chamber -- but personally I'd be a little careful with dust in this regard (Especially if you're placing the case on the floor). An additional set of holes are near the front bottom of the case, for air drawn in by the bottom chamber intake fan. Rear vents allow power supplies with a bottom mounted fan to take in air from outside the case directly.
Four rubber based feet helps reduce vibrational noise at the bottom of the case, but wrapped around with aluminum on the vertical sides for aesthetic purposes.
Panels on both sides uses the type of panel securing method shown in the photo above. It can be attached and detached by a thumbscrew, and directly connected to a rail spanning across the entire length of the case that locks the panel in. The thumbscrew itself cannot be detached from the locking rail.
1. Introduction, Packaging
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion