CMI Cool Dog Case

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
November 8, 2003
Views
24893
Looking for a cheap and relatively nice case? Look no further if cheapness is your friend. Read on about the Cool Dog Case!
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<B>Intro</B>:

It has been awhile since I last reviewed a case, and I usually accept items for review if requested by a company. This is the case with the <a href="http://www.cmicomputer.com/cgi-bin/quikstore.cgi?store=&search=yes&detail=yes&product=csm87&category=case&keywords=&hits_seen=&page=search.html&and=&affiliate_id=">Cool Dog</a> case that I have here today. With a low sticker price for this case, let's see how it can stack up against other budget cases.

<B>Shipping</B>:

<center>Box Packed</center>

This is an important section for case reviews. You don't want your case to get banged up during transit. This case was well packed (most cases are). It isn't that hard really, a square case in a square box.

<B>The Case</B>:

<center>Front</center>

This is the front of the case. Now, when I first opened it up, I immediately thought that this was for dog owners... and I'm not talking about the ones that have huge bulldogs with large teeth and slobber coming down their mouth. I'm talking about the kind of owners that would have a toy poodle or other tame and nice animal. The Dalmatian depicted on the front looks nice enough. It seems to be airbrushed on with a layer of enamel or similar type of surface treatment. The front also has a built in floppy drive port. I really don't like this at all, I rarely have a floppy drive on my computers anymore and a dedicated slot is a waste to me. It is also funny that the drive bay covers are painted as well, for when you remove them, the case won't flow unless you use them for a stealth mod (which I did a similar thing that everyone just rips off).

The dog on the front has its dog tags that are the power and reset button. It is a nice touch, but I'm sure you didn't notice it right away.

<center>Back side</center>

If I showed you this picture alone, you'd think it was a normal off the shelf computer case. Plain vanilla type as well. You'd be right. The only part of this case that is special is the front. But technically that is okay. The price justifies this. You do get two 80mm fan holes for the back for ventilation which is pretty good for this type of case.

You'll also notice the thumbscrews that come with the case. Thumbscrews are a nice touch, but they aren't a deal breaker. How many times do you open and close your case to require thumbscrews? If you answered more than once, then you should leave your case open Smile.

<center>Side</center>

Beige and normal looking. The thing about this side is the fact that you get a usb/firewire and sound ports. I like this for cases. I just don't like hooking them up on the motherboard. I'm just too damn lazy.

<center>Parts</center>

Here is what you get when you bust open the case. The front intake fan holder (80mm), screws, and the power cord, and some extra I/O Shields. Pretty standard nowadays. Nothing really special here.

<center>PSU Specs</center>

Did I mention this thing comes with a 400 watt power supply? The brand is iffy. If you want some good power, I'd recommend getting an Antec or similar type of quality power supplies. Do NOT trust power supplies that come with cheaper cases. I've seen plenty of them die out within a year (or faster even). Trust me, I work in a repair shop.

<center>Opened</center>

Here is where you stick your motherboard in. Any standard size ATX motherboard will fit in it. I had no problems putting in a uATX board either, so your good either way.

<center>5 1/4" Bays</center>

You have a total of four (4) optical drive bays. That's a great deal of optical drives. I haven't ever seen anyone with more than three optical drives at once. And even that is weird. The thing I see typically on higher end models is one DVDRom drive and a DVDRW drive.

<center>3 1/2" Bays</center>

Raid users rejoice! You get four (4) dedicated hard drive bays, plus another three (3) floppy drive bays that hard drives can go into if needed. This gives you a total of seven hard drive bays (six if you have the real floppy drive). This is enough for Raid 0,1,0+1,5. You should be fine, I haven't seen too many people past two drives, even in a Raid array.

<B>Other things</B>:

The edges on the case are sharp. I actually cut myself when I lifted it up somehow. I don't like when I cut myself on something. The case is also cheap looking. It is just a beige case with a nicer painted front. There isn't a window in this case, but you can always cut one if you'd like. With a case like this, it can be a good starter modding case because it is so cheap.

<B>Conclusion</B>:

<a href="http://www.cmicomputer.com/cgi-bin/quikstore.cgi?store=&search=yes&detail=yes&product=csm87&category=case&keywords=&hits_seen=&page=search.html&and=&affiliate_id=">This case is $32 with the power supply</a>. Cheap as the power supply is, it does come with one. For $32, you really can't complain with what you get. I'm reminded of the phrase, you get what you pay for. For $32, this is a good case and I do recommend it to dog lovers and people that want to try to mod a case. If you screw it up, you might as well just throw it away!

I'd like to thank <a href="http://www.cmicomputer.com">CMI Computer</a> for sending this case for review.

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