Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside
The Xigmatek Elysium takes on quite an interesting exterior design. Some individuals fancy a chassis that incorporates a simple and clean design seen on cases made by Fractal Design. Others may lean towards a more outgoing gaming appearance like the Thermaltake Chaser MK-1 I have reviewed a few weeks back. The Elysium, on the other hand, takes on characteristics of both design elements. It has the outgoing exclusive gaming design seen in the front mesh bezel, and the cool white LED fans all around. Also, its fine aluminum trimmings on the front and top give it a clean and more mature look. Simply put, I really like the exterior design of the Xigmatek Elysium. It strikes a balance between all-out gaming and a mature appearance, and this is where the money is.
The front bezel on the Elysium is made out of mostly high airflow wired mesh. The design is very straightforward as well. Two aluminum strips with a brushed metal finish border a total of twelve 5.25" bay mesh covers. Each cover is made out of the same high airflow metal mesh, with a small removable filter on the inside. As seen in our photo above, one of the covers includes Xigmatek's logo, allowing the user to move the logo to any desired position on the front bezel. Taking a quick glance at the side of the Xigmatek Elysium, we can see the same design elements being carried forward. The side first features a large mesh area for the pre-installed 200mm fan for cooling the graphics card area. Circling around it is an extremely large acrylic window with two vent points (Top and bottom). I personally loathe side mesh vents, because I never use them, and leaving them open creates a point of entry for more dust. Even if one decides to spend the money to purchase a 3-way or 4-way SLI or CrossFireX setup, I still believe that an intake side vent would just disrupt the airflow already created from the front intake fan(s) and back exterior exhaust fan. However, from a marketing standpoint, more airflow possibilities do look better on paper.
The case measures in at 618mm in height, 230mm in width, and 663mm in length, which is simply monumental. Interestingly, the Xigmatek Elysium is not considered to be a full tower chassis, even though it really is, except with a bit more. Since it is in its own class, Xigmatek refers the Elysium to be a "Super Tower" chassis, and there really isn't a better word to describe the Elysium. Xigmatek does not include the net weight of the Elysium, and since I cannot fine a large enough scale, let me tell you that this case is certainly among one of the heaviest cases I have ever used.
There are a total of twelve 5.25" bays that are found on the Xigmatek Elysium. Unfortunately, the Xigmatek has not included a 3.5" slot adapter tray and cover for those who may want to utilize it -- not that many still use them anyway, haha. All 5.25" slot bays on the front panel can be unclipped from the inside of the front bezel with ease. The entire process of installing optical drives is entirely tool-free, which is quite a convenient feature, but more on this later.
As aforementioned, the front bezel of the Xigmatek Elysium is very straightforward. The entire front bezel design is based off of the 5.25" mesh covers and the side aluminum strips that give a very distinct yet simple look. Found on the right side of the bezel is the power LED and the hard drive activity LED. Behind the front bezel, you will be able to see two 120mm intake fans. I will go into more detail of these two fans in the subsequent section of this review, since they are fitted onto hard drive cages.
The one area I put heavy emphasis on when I choose a case is the front panel connectors, and the Xigmatek Elysium got it spot on. First off, found on the very left side of the front panel is a square power button. To the right, you will find one eSATA connection, two USB 2.0 ports, 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks, two USB 3.0 ports, and a small reset button in a section of its own. This section is enclosed by a cover with engraved labels on top. Above this well defined array of front panel connectors is a dust protective sliding cover, which is a very nifty feature to see. Lastly, one will find a HDD docking station just above the sliding cover that can fit both 3.5" HDDs and 2.5" drives. With all these features and front panel options provided on the Elysium, no one can really complain about the lack of anything -- it certain does not.
At the back of the Xigmatek Elysium is a fairly unique layout. Since the chassis was built with the SR-2 in mind, the first thing you will see is the option of using a bottom mounted power supply unit, a top mounted power supply unit, or both at the same time. The top mounting space for the PSU is covered with a small vented metal cover that can be removed and repositioned onto the bottom space. At the same time, the vent can be used to mount an 80mm exhaust fan. Even though this design is quite ingenious, dust will inevitably make its way through the back of the system, especially when a fan is not mounted onto the vent. Found above the bottom power supply hole are ten expansion slots, which can accommodate pretty much any setup. These expansion slot blanks are designed to allow air to flow through them, which is nice. Above the expansion slots, one will find an opening for the motherboard I/O shield, and a hexagonal stamped fan vent for the 140mm exhaust fan. A total of 7 pre-drilled and pre-fitted water cooling holes are found at the back of the unit. Two are above the exhaust fan that lets the user to route the USB 3.0 cables to the back of the I/O connections. The other five water cooling holes are located beside the expansion slots for those who want to use external water cooling.
Lastly, looking towards the side panel of the Xigmatek Elysium, there really is not much going on. The side panel does not have a particular special design, and the only feature present is a vent for users to add CPU backplate cooling. The meshed vent can mount one 80mm or one 120mm fan.
Much like the front panel, the top panel is also made mostly out of the hexagonal mesh. The entire panel can be removed from the top via a lock mechanism right behind the front panel connections. Under the top panel mesh is a large air filter, and it seems to be extremely difficult to remove. However, I believe Xigmatek intended for the entire top panel -- mesh and all -- to be cleaned as one unit.
At the bottom of the Elysium, the first thing that sticks out would be the feet. There are two large feet with a large array of rubber dampeners to minimize vibration. Found inside the accessory box are an additional four casters that may be added on if desired. For a chassis as big as the Elysium, I am quite relieved Xigmatek decided to provide wheels. Unfortunately, the casters have a huge and noticeable issue. If you would direct your attention towards the picture above, you may be able to see that none of the wheels are able to make a full 360 degree turn. Since the bottom feet are in the way of the wheels, making a full rotation is certainly not an option -- and this is very disappointing. Also, moving the chassis straight is also impossible. In fact, let's just say the casters really cannot move at all. Had Xigmatek moved the mounting holes half an inch inward, the wheels would not have such a constipating issue.
Overall, the build quality on the Xigmatek Elysium is quite good. Since the chassis was made to hold some of the heaviest and most exclusive products in the market today, we are happy to find all its parts fit together flawlessly. Also, the material used is of high quality, and cannot be easily damaged. Although Xigmatek does not state the material used for the body, I presume the majority of the body is comprised of steel, electrogalvanized, cold-rolled, coil (SECC). This material gives a certain heftiness to the entire unit, and also adds quite a number onto the net weight. For stuff that are not SECC, chances are that you will come across some plastic.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion