Friday, July 25, 2014

Case Review: Xigmatek Alfar

Price:
   The  Xigmatek Alfar is an ATX case and cost ~1150CZK (~57.5$) after 21% VAT.

Features:
   - ATX motherboard
   - 2 front panel USB 3.0 ports and audio in/out jacks
   - 3 5.25" bays
   - 4 3.25" bays
   - 3 2.25" bays
   - Supports 180mm PSUs
   - 6 PCI-e expansion cards can be up to 300mm long
   - 1 PCI-e expansion card can be 260mm long
   - Supports 160mm coolers according to spec but I would stick to 158mm because some 160mm
   coolers don't actually fit
   - Fan Support:
       2 120/140mm fans in the top without proper radiator support internally
       2 120/140mm fans on the side panel
       2 120mm fans in the front with no radiator support
       1 120mm fan in the back supports a radiator
       1 120mm fan in the bottom of the case
   - Tool less installation of 2.25" 3.5" 5.25" drives
   -Watercooling tubing cutouts

Build Quality:
The entire case is painted black with the outside painted in a "rough" finish that resist fingerprints and the inside an almost sooth finish. The front cover is plastic and has a rubberized coating which to is fingerprint resistant. The whole case is built of steel but is surprisingly light making it very easy to carry even with a full system inside. The case is very rigid for it's weight with very little flex to the side panels. The only major flaw this case has are the plastic feet that do not grip surfaces and make it very easy to slide the case around.
It also has a distinct cheap rattle to it.

Building in the case:
Was very easy. There is plenty of cable management room behind the motherboard tray and there enough and big enough cutouts to cable manage even a dual GPU system. The biggest issue occur above the mother board with the top fan mount and my massive Phanteks Heatsink (review) because the heatsink blocks access to both fan headers and fan mounts. Cable management was harder to do than in some larger cases but still much better than other similarly priced cases.

Summary:
My go to case at this price point.

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