In Win are setting an incredible pace for unique chassis designs recently, but while last week saw us taking a look at the glass and aluminium wonder that is the Tou, this week sees us looking at something a lot more practical and consumer friendly. I am of course talking about the In Win GT1, a budget friendly mid-tower that can be picked up for as little as £55 here in the UK. So it looks like we have a mid tower on a mid budget price range, so this should be something that caters towards quite a broad range of system builders in terms of features and performance, as we often find the best value for money comes from mid-market products.
In Win are known to draw heavy inspiration from non-pc products, much like with their awesome D-Frame chassis which was based around the chassis of a motorbike. In the same spirit, the GT1 mid-tower draws much of its design inspiration from a sports car and it will be interesting to see if its performance is as energetic as its design inspiration.
As you can see from the specifications below, the GT1 is pretty well equipped with 2 x 5.25″ drive bays, room for plenty of extra 3.5″ and 2.5″ drives, support for ATX/mATX motherboards, USB 3.0, 7 expansion slots and even a built-in fan controller.
The box features a nice image on the front as well as a bunch of tiles that detail the main features of the chassis. The box also kicks off the race car inspiration by adding a nice racing stripe across the top.
Around the back we see a lot more of the race car ideas with a funky image of a car similar to something like a Mustang.
Finally, inside the box I found a great bundle of extras, this included a handy user guide, all the screws and bolts needed to install our components and some red clip-in fixtures that can be added to the air vents. These clips are something you’ll see later in our build section of the review.
The left side panel of the GT1 features a huge crystal clear panel that gives a great view of the chassis interior, so a clean-looking build will be important.
The right side panel may not have a window, but it does still features a similar sized section that is raised, thus allowing a little extra room for cable management behind the motherboard.
There is plenty going on at the front, with the front panel connectors and buttons at the top, three ventilated 5.25″ drive bays that feature front removable covers and a large air intake at the bottom. The air intake features two large vertical mesh intakes, as well as 18 smaller ones broken up into two 3 x 3 squares. It is here that we can clip in our red highlights that came bundled with the chassis.
The front panel is nicely equipped with a hot-swap SATA bay on the top, followed by Power, Reset and Fan controls on the top. On the front edge we have a pair of USB 2.0 ports, HD Audio ports and a single USB 3.0.
Around the back we find that there are a pair of rubber grommets at the top, a pre-installed 120mm exhaust fan, seven expansion slots, an expansion slot bracet and finally a bottom mounted PSU cut-out.
Front the top we see a lot more ventilation, with a design similar to that of the front panel. We can also get a better view of the hot-swap HDD bay on the top, or if you’re anything like me this area will be used to keep spare change, USB sticks and biro pens.
The underside shows four large rubber feet, these give good clearance and stability to the chassis. There are two dust filters, one for the PSU and one for an optional 120mm fan mount. Towards the front you’ll also notice four screw holes, these allow you to install an extra 2.5″ HDD on the chassis interior.
With the side panel removed we see that the chassis interior features the same black paint job as the exterior, giving a nice uniformed look, this is even more important given how clear the side panel window is. The motherboard back plate features a good size CPU cooler mounting cut-out, as well as risers for the motherboard. There are a couple of small cable routing holes on the right and the whole lower section is removed to allow for easy cable routing.
In the back we see that there is a clear plastic, but red LED 120mm exhaust fan. Below that we find a single reusable expansion slot cover, while the six below it are all of a snap-off design.
Three twist-lock mechanisms allow for quick and easy 5.25″ bay installations. There are six hard drive trays that slide out, each supporting either 2.5″ or 3.5″ drives and there are two extra spaces to screw a 2.5″ drive direct to the chassis, bringing the total to 8 HDD’s.
The top features two clip-in fan mounts, allowing for quick and easy fan installation, with both mounts each supporing a single 120mm fan.
The PSU is mounted on top of two rails that provide a little extra clearance for airflow, taking full advantage of the bottom mounted dust filter.
Around the other side we see that there is only 5mm of space for cable routing behind the motherboard, although this does increase behind the HDD bays to allow for SATA cables to be connected. There are quite a few cables for the front panel floating around and that is due to the chassis featuring three USB ports, a HDD bay and a fan controller on the front panel.
Behind the front panel you will find a single 120mm intake fan and dust filter near the bottom. There is room to install another 120mm fan here, although there is no extra dust filter present and that would have to be purchased separately.
Build time was almost 25 minutes for the GT1, I didn’t really hit upon any major issues throughout the build and as you can see, other than a few stay cables behind the motherboard, we have a fairly clean-looking build.
Airflow toward the back of the chassis is nice and clear and our GPU and CPU should be able to breathe quite nicely, no doubt in my mind that a multi-GPU configuration would do well in here, although I would install extra front air intake fans first.
The HDD bays are hardly feeling the strain of our single SSD drive, but for a chassis on this budget it is nice to see so much space for storage. The large cable routing cut-out next to the PSU is doing a great job too and there is easily enough room to install an extra 120mm fan on the base of the chassis, which would make good use of the dust filter on the underside of the chassis.
With the side panel back in place, you can see we have a nice clear view of the interior, although I can assure you that the view is even better than my camera can capture due to reflections. Also here you can see I’ve installed some of the red clip-in highlights on the front panel, I could have filled all the spots, but I thought that it would be more fun to demonstrate them by installing only a few. It’s nice to have a choice of an all black panel or black and red, although personally I rather like the extra touch of red.
Speaking of an extra touch of red, lets not forget the red LED fan tucked away in the back of the chassis, which lights up the interior rather nicely.
Overall I’m rather impressed with the In Win GT1 and while I reserve that it’s not personally something I would choose for my own rig (mostly because it doesn’t match the other things I have in my office in terms of design), I do still love the design and features that it offers and for this price range it’s clear that In Win are being highly competitive in an already fierce market.
For £55 you’ll be hard pushed to find a chassis that offers more features than the GT1 and while you may find similar specification products, it really boils down to which design you prefer. The design of the GT1 is clearly marketed at a gaming audience and the side panel window, red LED fan, extra storage bays and room for additional cooling will all play well towards a mid to high end build.
Build quality is on par with the competition for the price range, with a steady mixture of plastics and steel. All of the panels fit nicely and there were no noticeable rattles or squeaks while installing components or moving the system around.
I’m not so sure I can see much of a sports car influence in the GT1, but I do like what they’ve done with the design regardless. The front filters and their clip-in red highlights are a nice touch and I like the idea of customising the chassis after you’ve purchased it. The side panel window is awesome too and it’s nice to see a clear panel in a market that often favours tinted panels.
If I have any issues with the GT1 they’re nothing that aren’t excused by the budget friendly price tag. A little extra cable management room would be nice, but this is true of most chassis, an extra air intake fan couldn’t hurt either, or even a full set of reusable expansion slot covers. Yet again, all of these would likely have put the price up by £10 or £15, perhaps even more, so I appreciate that In Win have found a strong balance of price, functionality and performance.
- Unique and colourful design.
- Good quality side panel window.
- Cable management.
- Plenty of hard drive bays.
- Three air filters provided.
- Room for extra cooling fans.
- Snap-off expansion slot covers.
- Single USB 3.0 port.
“In Win have a really hot product here, packed full of features and backed up by a cool exterior design. You’re going to be hard pushed to find something more versatile within this price range and it’s definitely worthy of our Bang for Buck Award.”
Thank you In Win for providing us with this sample