InWin 909 E-ATX Aluminium & Tempered Glass Chassis Review

Introduction


Building an extreme gaming rig, enthusiast grade workstation of simply a system that offers some akin to installing a work of art in your office space can be quite an expensive endeavour. The InWin 909, the latest addition to their already quite extensive selection of premium chassis, looks like the perfect chassis for the job, and while it comes with a bit of a hefty price tag, the sheer volume of aluminium and tempered glass, as well as the extensive component support on offer looks set prove that you really do get what you pay for.

Impressively Detailed Craftsmanship

“909 is constructed with solid materials, and its chamfered edge design and sleek anodized aluminium are beautifully crafted to masterfully create a streamlined and smooth enclosure inside/out.” and “features a single piece 4mm brushed aluminium shell and an elegant back panel that hides unnecessary rear I/O cables. The clutter-free design demonstrates the elegant aesthetics of simplicity.”  – InWin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebJVLcP_ass

Specifications

Equipped with luxurious 4mm brushed aluminium panels, topped off with 5mm thick tinted tempered glass, the InWin 909 is certainly classed as a premium grade product, a far cry from the steel, plastic and plexiglass of seemingly thousands of chassis products available on the market today. Of course, building materials are one thing, but with USB 3.1 Type-C connectivity, LED lighting, dust filters, support for E-ATX motherboards, multiple high-end graphics cards, extensive water and air cooling, and so much more, metal and glass is just the start of what the InWin 909 in all about.

In the box, you’ll find a hefty component bag, featuring the usual documentation, a good assortment of screws and bolts, as well as USB 3.0 header adapters, and motherboard power cable extensions to help accommodate the sizable 909 dimensions.

The InWin 909 is certainly sizable, with a huge tempered glass side panel that covers the not only fairly tall, but quite long chassis. It’s likely that if you’re putting this on, under, or beside your desk, it could stick out quite a bit, so it may be best to get out a tape measure and ensure you even have room to accommodate it, as well as suitable breathing room at the back for ventilation. The glass certainly looks impressive, with a heavy tint that doesn’t give much away, however, if you throw some lighting into the chassis interior, you’ll soon see the benefits.

There’s a nicely designed I/O panel on the left side of the chassis too, giving you access to a master lighting control, three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 Type-C, HD audio jacks, a power button and LED indicators. This is great if you plan to put this chassis up on top of your desk (where we/InWin think it belongs) but it could be impractical if you have it on the floor, as the ports will be awkward to reach.

Another huge glass panel on the right side, meaning that no matter which angle you view the InWin 909, it’s going to look pretty stunning. Just keep in mind, immaculate cable management is vital here, as everything will be on show, so make sure you use the cable tidies that are included in the component bag.

The front panel is formed from the same piece of aluminium as the top and bottom of the chassis, giving it a flawless flowing design that just emanates quality. The black brushed detailing brings out all the little details in the metal work too and it is topped off with a lovely In Win logo strip on the bottom half.

Each of the side panels is mounted on a rubber coated peg and held in place by four aluminium thumb screws for easy access.

Around the back, there’s all kinds of ventilation, fan and radiator mounts, but aside from the PSU cut-out at the bottom, you’ll notice a complete lack of slots for the expansion cards and the motherboard as they’re set further inside the chassis; we’ll show you how in just a moment.

InWin Presents NUC and SFF Cases at Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – InWin is well known for their unique PC chassis designs, but this time they took their design ideas and shrunk it down to be used with Intel’s NUC systems and mITX form factors.

On display were a lot of small cases, perfect for the space-conscious user, living room, or small office as they still offer plenty of features.

The outside of a case is just one part, the insides have to match. InWin has a list of modules available that include dual and quad LAN adapters with Power over Ethernet PoE support, Serial and Parallel ports.

Some systems come pre-equipped with Intel NUC board such as the K3-3Gen Broadwell system. A common feature for all the small cases on display is that they’re all standing vertically for the smallest footprint possible.

InWin’s Ultratop cases aren’t just available pre-equipped with NUCs, they also come as bare systems, allowing you the choice on what board to put inside.

Just because something is small, doesn’t mean that you can’t connect plenty of devices to them.

Despite the small size, you can still fit 2.5-inch drives into the cases and they come with plenty of USB ports, WiFi, and Bluetooth as well.

Power over Ethernet is an amazing feature. You do not need to have a dedicated power supply as these low power units can get enough electricity to run on just the power that’s provided through your ethernet cable, that is if you have a PoE infrastructure. It is one of those things that has to be experienced in real life before you realise just how great this is.

Stay tuned for more news and product reveals directly from Computex in Taipei.

InWin Introduces yet Another Gorgeous Chassis, the 503 Mid-Tower

InWin has created a lot of amazing PC cases and won almost countless awards for them, and now they’re back with another great looking mainstream case with the name 503. The InWin 503 mid-tower PC chassis comes in two colour choices and it has plenty of room for all your components, even the extra big ones.

The black and red version of the chassis comes with a red LED fan and the white edition comes with a white LED fan to match the ambience. The extra-large window will give a great view of all your components and the beautiful setup you can create inside this chassis. It is built from strong high-quality SECC steel and the unique tempered glass front will slide down to reveal the 5.25-inch drive bay.

As previously mentioned, there is plenty of room for all your components in this chassis. You can mount motherboards from mITX up to ATX with 7 expansion slots. Long graphics cards aren’t a problem either with 408mm space for this. CPU heatsinks can be up to 170mm high and there is 27mm of space behind the motherboard to hide away all those ugly and extra cables; we wouldn’t want to display those.

The front panel is kept simple, but has a backlit power button. There’s also two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port besides the obligatory two 3.5mm jacks for your headset. The sliding front panel won’t cover the ports when closed, so you don’t need to worry about unplugging everything to hide away your optical drive, fan controller or whatever you might want to put into that 5.25-inch bay.

To keep everything under proper airflow, the case features two front 120mm intake fans and one rear exhaust 120mm fan.

Internally you have another two 5.25-inch drive bays for hardware that doesn’t need front access just as there’s room for four 3.5-inch drives and two 2.5-inch drives. The 3.5-inch bays can also be used for 2.5-inch drives and the whole thing is both tool and screw-less.

You might expect this case to cost an arm and a leg, but the good news is that it won’t. It comes with a highly affordable expected retail price of just $49 USD.

In Win 707 Series Chassis at Insomnia i52

The In Win booth was a little busy last time we visited it, but they’ve been nice enough to move their S-Frame build nearer the front of the booth for us to take a couple of extra pictures and also take a closer look at some of the features on their new 707 series of chassis. The 707 isn’t entirely new, they’re in fact the GT1 and GR-One chassis with a couple of new panels. This is no bad thing, the GR-One was awesome, but the new aluminium finish front panel and 5.25″ drive bay door look stunning and the top panel has been revised to allow for better water and air cooling support.

The GT1 has been given a similar treatment, a new front and top panel that really brings them up to date and I can’t wait to take a closer look at both of them in a featured review in the coming weeks, when we’ll also be bringing you a review of their upcoming £250 mini-ITX chassis, the D-Frame Mini.

Stay tuned for more and enjoy the pictures below!

InWin Booth at Insomnia i52

Here we are at the InWin booth at Insomnia i52 and they’ve rolled out their latest and greatest products for everyone at the show to checkout and enjoy. Most notable is the S-Frame in the back, the D-Frame and their soon to be released D-Frame Mini chassis.

They’ve got plenty of games running on their rigs for people to stop by and play, while they’re on the booth they can learn about who InWin are and what products they have right now. Some really nice builds on show here and well worth checking out if you’re at the show.

That’s everything from the InWin booth for today, check back shortly as we bring you even more coverage from this weekends event.

Concept Steambox Chassis and More New In Win Chassis at Computex 2014

Computex 2014: InWin are back again with even more incredible new products in what is already shaping up to be their best year of product launches ever! We kick things off with a concept Steam Machine / SteamBox style chassis which you can see above, details are limited, but we expect to here more later this year.

The Stunning 707 Mid Tower and Full Tower are looking pretty great, borrowing from what looks like the GR-One and the 904 models, but aimed at a more mid-budget friendly end of the market.

Their previous premium grade chassis range, the 904 and it’s mini-ITX little brother 901, still a popular choice from In Win, especially with that single piece of aluminium top/front/bottom panel and tempered glass side panels giving it some incredible aesthetics.

This really got my attention today, a heavily customised H-Frame mini, with full custom water cooling, high end components and it looks absolutely stunning, wouldn’t mind having this sat on my desk.

The MS04 is ideal for those wanting to build their own NAS. The front panel has a wavey design to it that wouldn’t look out of place in the office or living room and it features four hot-swap front loading hard drive bays which support both 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/dnWkFGBM8ZM[/youtube]

Well have more details in the coming weeks about prices, release dates and of course we’ll soon follow up with in-depth reviews, so stay tuned for more.

Breaking News: InWin Reveal S-Frame Chassis At Computex 2014

We’ve been eager to tell you all about this for a few days, but we had to keep it secret for just a little while. InWin recently let us into their head office in Taipei to take a look at their next special edition chassis, the S-Frame.

The S-Frame is their latest flagship product, following along from similar products such as the D-Frame, H-Frame and Tao. It’s design is incredibly unique, with the main part of the chassis being formed from a single piece of thick anodized aluminium, which is then cut and folded to create the front panels, motherboard back plate and rear of the chassis.

The left side panel and right panel are finished with tempered glass held in place with four gorgeous red aluminium screws on peg mounts. This gives a great view of the chassis interior and will certainly demand a high quality build to do this kind of chassis justice.

The sleek black frame of the chassis is trimmed with a red edge, giving a stunning premium look to the chassis from every angle.

On the interior you can see there are a few red trays used for mounting storage drives, the motherboard is mounted at a 90 degree angle meaning the GPU’s exhaust at the top of the chassis, and in the base you’ll find room for three 120mm fans or a 360mm radiator.

The chassis has a an open air design, to plenty of room for airflow around the motherboard and all your components, this could cause issues with dust, but on the other hand, maintenance should be pretty easy thanks to the easily removed side panel.

The PSU is snuggled away in the back panel fold, and there is loads of clearance here that should allow room for longer GPU designs.

There is obviously one downside, the price, the chassis will set you back a whopping $799. This is crazy expensive, but there is really nothing else quite like it and only 500 will be produced. The build quality is incredible and if you stick around we’ll be bringing you a closer look at how the chassis is made in the InWin factory as well as how it was designed.

InWin Development Suite, Exclusive Look at S-Frame Development & Prototypes

With the news about the InWin S-Frame now out in the wild, we can also share with you even more details of how the chassis was created. We stopped by the InWin head office to check out their product development suite, as well as their factory to see how they make their products. Of course, we had to cut a few bits from the tour in our coverage a few days ago, but now that the NDA is over, we can show you all these extra pictures of the InWin S-Frame. Once the team have a design in mind, they draft up the early concepts and put them on the board. Obviously the models on the left don’t look much like the S-Frame, but you can see how the design has grown into the more familiar model on the right. Here we see their design process diagram, a process they follow to guide them towards creating a complete product. I do love the final design, but some of these other prototypes do look pretty sweet. Once they’ve got a design they’re happy with, it is crafted out of paper and card, giving them a model to build their first prototypes from. The chassis frame is designed to be made from a single panel of aluminium. That single piece is huge, as you can see it’s over 6ft long and once the complex cuts have been made it requires a lot of skill to bend and fold the metal to the required shape. The tolerances are pretty tight when it comes to manufacturing, but the way each is made means that there are likely to be some very subtle differences in each folds angle from chassis to chassis, making each one a little unique, albeit by amounts so small you wouldn’t notice. In the office they have a few of the early prototypes for the S-Frame and other InWin chassis, as well as smaller samples of the components and materials used. Colour swatches for the aluminium finishings. Here we see a stunning black and gold model, I do prefer the black and red one we’ve seen, but this does look stunning. Plus this might be the first case that looks great with those gold covered ECS motherboards. Hey look, it’s the new D-Frame mini ad the full size D-Frame strutting their funky stuff! An early prototype for the H-Frame hiding away on top of a unit in the corner. A crazy pink finished H-Frame, same the camera doesn’t do the colours finish much justice. The thinking area, here they’ll sit and play around with other chassis (including those from rival brands), read books, look at comics and all kinds of crazy stuff to find inspiration for their next product. An InWin Tao, the stunning aluminium and glass construction which we reviewed a while back. One of the designers desks complete with drawing board, high quality monitor, and of course an awesome guitar setup for when he needs a little break to boost his creativity. Leaving the design room, we now return to the factory. Here you can see the H-Frame being measured with this laser measuring machine, testing the tolerances of the product and making sure its suitable to be a retail product. Once complete, the chassis are boxed up, loaded onto the truck and shipped out to retail. We’ll have the S-Frame in for review very soon and look forward to sharing even more details with you over the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more updates and of course even more coverage from this weeks Computex event.

InWin Factory Tour Computex Part 3

Welcome back to our tour of the InWin factory in Taiwan, we’ve already looked at how InWin create their plastic chassis moulds and metal components in the last two parts of the tour. Now we move on to some of the finer details in the production line.

As you can see in the picture above, the panels are ran through a special spray painting machine which gives them the first part of the final finish. This is done in a sealed room and protective breathing gear must be worn while working here.

Once sprayed, the panels are laid out on trays to cool and dry, making them ready for the next step in production.

Some of the panels are also run through an oven to help seal and dry the paint work, and given that Taiwan is already a hot place, you can imagine it’s pretty hot here, we suspected it was around 45c and we were only there for a few minutes.

Our favourite feature of the factory wasn’t the cool products we saw, it was these air conditioning units on the wall, we spent way longer than InWin would have liked staring at this while enjoying the cool air it provided.

The final details of the builds require a more hands on approach, printing techniques are used to put logos and other designs onto chassis panels, each one done one at a time.

Smaller components require bigger production lines, allowing finer details and cleaning of parts such as the 5.25″ drive bay covers, buttons and front panels.

Once all the parts are complete, having gone through their extensive manufacturing processes, they’re bolted together. Here you can see a team of people screwing together the H-Frame mini.

A final few screws and a clean, they’re wrapped and placed in their boxes.

Leaving the final product ready to go to retail.

One of the super computers used to run the production lines, nothing major, but we love a good giggle at old computers.

Here you can see the two banks of tooling machines we saw in part 2, it’s a huge line up of machines at full speed we find that InWin can turn out around 1 million cases a month here!

All the products are then stacked up neatly, ready to ship out around the world for resale.

And here we see InWin loading up a fresh batch of the finished products. All of which were designed, manufactured and dispatched from this factory. From the smallest parts to the biggest panels, InWin do it all themselves and we’re very grateful they let us in to see how it all comes together.

InWin Factory Tour Computex 2014 Part 2

Welcome to part two of our InWin factory tour, we’ve already seen how they produce their tooling components and injection moulds to create the plastic components of a chassis, so what’s next? Well since some of the biggest parts of a chassis are the panels, which come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but also consist of many other small metal components such as hard drive bays, motherboard backplate etc, you need a lot of big machines to create them.

CNC machines are a big aspect of this and InWin have some pretty powerful ones that offer a multitude of cutting techniques, although the most popular here is certainly the laser cutters such as the one below.

The CNC machine above is churning out metal components, which are then stacked in these bays ready to work their way further down the production line.

The cut panels are still in the early states, but if I’m not mistaken, these are going to become server chassis.

Further down we have some even more impressive CNC machines, these two giant cutters can perform 64 different cuts thanks to its huge tool bank, allowing it to produce complete components and several of them at any one time.

Here you can see one of the parts it has made, which looks like a hard drive bay before it has been bent into shape. The giant machine has used multiple tools at once to cut the multitude of shapes required for this design.

There are a lot of tools needed for each production run, which are all kept on hand here. Obviously there are a few missing, since they’re in the machines which are currently cutting.

Here are even more tooling components which are used as templates for chassis components, just like the moulds we say in the first part of the tour, they’re huge and heavy, even those used for small components are likely a 100lbs and above.

This is one of the technical aspects of the production line, metal sheets are folded in a press by an engineer. Each fold has to be lined up by hand and done one at a time, so more complete chassis designs can take quite a while to perform.

This was easily one of the coolest things on the tour, a simple metal sheet starts its life here and is picked up by the suction cups above, before being passed along to the machine on the left.

It is then drilled, stamped, pressed and beaten by one machine at a time before being passed onto the next one in this long line. Each has their own job to perform and the final component is put in a stack all the was at the end of this row of machines.

More tooling once again, this machine here is used to drill the motherboard screw holes into the motherboard back plate.

Smaller components require finer machines ad continual die stamping is used to create thing such as PCI slot covers, brackets and covers.

Metal roll is fed through the machine and literally stamps out the shapes and components needed.

Check out part 3 of the tour here.

InWin Factory Tour Computex 2014 Part 1

We’ve been very fortunate this week, as the eTeknix team were invited along to a special tour of the InWin factory in Taipei, allowing us a first hand look at every aspect of product design, development and production. InWin have proven themselves time and time again over the last few years with their special edition cases such as the H-frame and D-Frame, that they have a passion for engineering great products. So let’s get started and take a quick look at some of the aspect of how InWin produce these products.

The first room we entered was filled with high-end machines that construct and test various components. This included CNC equipment, an EDM (electrical discharge machine), laser measuring systems and more. In here they can create the various tooling components needed for moulds, presses, stamps and other manufacturing components required.

the laser measuring system checks the tolerances of a component against its intended specifications, as things need to be absolutely precise before going into mass production.

Multiple devices are required to complete the early manufacturing processes as some machine can cut edges, others can only cut rounded shapes and devices such as the wire cut can create perfect square edges, which when combined can produce the various components moulds and tools required for the production of a chassis.

Here you can see the tooling mould for a chassis, the lines down the left side of it are what will later for the PCI expansion slots on the back.

Each one of these components is a tool, used by the larger machines in the factory as a guide to cut and stamp out USB ports, audio jacks and other bumps, grooves and cuts; can also confirm they’re freaking heavy to hold too.

In the next room we have the next step in creation some of the incredibly complex moulds that are needed to create a PC chassis, right from the high-end models that InWin make, right down to their small budget and OEM models.

These two huge moulds way hundreds of pounds and are used in an injection moulding system to create the little chassis front panel you can see on display in front of them.

Again here we have two more huge moulds, these two are used to form that intricate little front panel cover you can see on the table.

There are often hundred of parts to each mould, taking a huge amount of engineering to create using the tools in this room, as well as the cutting and measuring equipment we saw in the previous room.

These moulds are huge and InWin have a huge amount of them stacked up and ready to go for each product they create, while also keeping older models on hand should they need to produce a revision or re-use components.

Two huge lines of massive machines use plastic, which is injected under high pressure and force into the moulds, then released down a conveyor belt to be prepared and stacked, ready for the next step in production.

The plastic used for the moulds starts out as simple plastic chips, any left over or waste plastic trimmed from the mould is later recycled back into these chips so that nothing is wasted.

We will be back very shortly with part 2 of the tour, stay tuned.

Update: Read part 2 here.

InWin D-Frame Mini Revealed at Computex 2014

InWin look set to take the chassis market by storm once again with the release of their latest chassis, the D-Frame mini. The D Frame is already a pretty incredible chassis, but it was a limited edition product, unlike its new, smaller brother which will be available as a mass produced product.

Aimed at the enthusiast LAN gaming market, the chassis features a handle on the top, meaning you can pick it up and easily transport it. It’s smaller and lighter than the original D-Frame, but still has plenty of room for a great gaming system.

With support for mini-ITX motherboards, 3.5″ or 2.5″ x 3, 2.5″ x 2 hard drives, USB 3.0 and HD audio connections, room for ATX PSU’s of up to 220mm, a dual slot PCI card, and best of all it’s open air design will support two 120mm fans in the base or a 240mm water cooling unit.

The whole thing has been constructed using a combination of aluminium pipes, metal plate and gorgeous tempered glass that will be ideal for those who love to show off their build.

Price will be $349.99 and will be available at retail at the end of Computex 2014. The price is high, but we’ve had a quick play around with the chassis and the build quality and materials used are second to none, so you can expect to get what you pay for.

We hope to have a sample in the office very soon and we look forward to telling you even more about the very cool new chassis.

In Win G7 Black Mid Tower Chassis Quick Look

Six months ago we took a look at the budget friendly In-Win G7 Mid Tower Chassis, it was a nicely balanced gaming chassis that offered enough room for a mid to high end gaming rig, without all the usual visual noise that often plages the low-mid budget gaming chassis market. Many manufacturers are quick to put huge windows, a rack of LED lighting, bright colours and more into their mid budget models and while that is ok, not everyone wants a disco ball in their gaming chassis.

Sure we’ve already reviewed this case, but In-Win were kind enough to humour my interest in the case again. I didn’t much go for the grey colour scheme of the one we reviewed, it isn’t a common colour in the market and it isn’t even a colour that is available here in the UK.  In-Win wanted to show us that the black model looks even better, so we were hardly going to turn down the opportunity to take another look.

AS you can see from the specifications below, the G7 packs a nice range of support that is more than capable of packing in a few graphics cards and a decent amount of air cooling, so lets get right too it and take a look at how good (or bad) this black edition looks.

The chassis comes nicely packaged in a relatively standard box. There are a few technical details on the front that detail the 365mm GPU support, EZ-Swap dock and USB 3.0 ports.

Out of the box we can see that the case is identical in design to the grey one, with the blatantly obvious exception being that this on is black. Already I think it looks better, as the metal work better matches up to the tone of the plastics used on the top and front panels. There’s plenty of ventilation on the side panel, perfect for mounting a pair of 120mm fans for even more airflow.

The right side panel may not have the embossed In-Win logo that we see on the left, but there is a large raised section that provides the chassis with extended cable routing space.

The fake brushed aluminium effect on the chassis looks a lot sleeker in black, the lines catch the light a little better and you can see more detail overall compared to the grey edition. The chassis has a really clean looking front panel, with the I/O ports at the top and a sneaky Turbo fan controller button in the top right.

Around the back we see the black paint job continues to the removable components, the expansion slot back plates are all treated with the same lightly textures paint job.

The interior is easily the biggest improvment, the black panels really clean up the look and while the cables do offer a bit of a cheap and bright contrast, they can easily be tucked away through the cable routing areas.

Price

For just £54.99 from Box.co.uk you’re going to be pretty hard pushed to find a more sensible gaming chassis that still packs all the features and support needed for packing in loads of storage, as well as a couple of graphics cards.

Overview

If you’re looking for something a little more grown up, without endless windows and lighting effects then the G7 ticks all boxes. The added benefits being that In-Win bundle three pre-installed fans with one in the front, one in the back and another in the top, all hooked up to an integrated two speed fan controller.  USB 3.0, dust filtering in the front and bottom of the chassis, cable management, slide out semi-modular hard drive bays and a tidy black paint job all add to the overall value.

Of course, this chassis has a lot more to offer than just a black paint job and we invite you to check out the full review of the chassis here.

Pros

  • Great air cooling support
  • Three pre-installed cooling fans
  • Integrated fan controller
  • EZ-Swap HDD dock
  • Dust filters

Cons

  • Limited water cooling support (single 120mm in rear)
  • Only one USB 3.0 port

In Win H-Frame Mini mITX Aluminium Chassis Review

Introduction


We have another funky little chassis in the eTeknix office today, and while it was only a couple of weeks ago that we took a look at the truly epic H-Frame from InWin, we now have something a little smaller, lighter and less expensive, the H-Frame Mini. The mITX sibling of the Aluminium monster that is the H-Frame looks set to offer a similar design ethic, but with a much reduced footprint, making it ideal for those short of space or in need of something more portable.

mITX has undergone a rebirth this last year, with mITX chassis proving more and more popular we have seen hardware manufacturers put out some of the greatest small components, especially when it comes to motherboards and APUs that are capable of giving smaller form factors some impressive graphics performance. Yet much of the attention goes towards the larger mITX chassis such as the BitFenix prodigy, but there is a market out there that wants all the premium build quality and design they can get in a much smaller form factor.

InWin look set to deliver to those who want such a design, giving the H-Frame Mini an aluminium and tempered glass finish, something that goes a long way to explaining the price tag of £161.99. That is expensive for something this small but it does features an integrated 180w PSU, and if the build quality is anything like that of the £260 H-Frame (full size) then it may not be such a bad deal after all. So lets get right to it and see just what this chassis has to offer.

In the box we found a simple user guide, a bundle of extra cables for the PSU and all the usual nuts and bolts required to install our components.

In Win GT1 Mid Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


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.

In Win Tou Tempered Glass Special Edition PC Chassis Review

Introduction


In the eTeknix office this week we have something a little different, ok a lot different! We have the super rare, expensive and exclusive In Win Tou PC chassis and we feel very lucky indeed.

The In Win Tou is part of the premium range that In Win have been building, this means it sits alongside unique products such as the H-Frame and the D-Frame, both of which are pretty insane in their own right, but it looks like In Win are pushing the boundaries of what we think of as a PC chassis even further than before.

“tòu in Chinese means transparent. The design concept comes from glass building, we use 3mm tempered glass together with aluminium structure. With special glass coating if you switch on the LED you can see the components inside. When the internal lights are off, the chassis is pretty much just a mirror.” – In Win

The Tou, which I’m told is pronounced “toe or tow”, is made from glass and lots of it! Set upon an aluminium frame and at first glance it resembles more of a display case than a pc case. The concept behind the Tou is based around modern architecture, much like we see on fancy glass faced office blocks and as you can see from their concept design are work there are some unique inspirations that you don’t really see in PC chassis designs… until now at least.

Tou concept art

The chassis is fairly well equipped and supports a single 5.25″ drive, 2 x 2.5″ drives, 3 x 3.5″ drives, a PSU of up to 220mm. There is also full USB 3.0 support, room for 7 expansion cards and there are four 120mm fans included (pre-installed), with room for water cooling radiators of up to 360mm.

As you can see from the specifications above, the Tou isn’t a small chassis and is about on par with other premium full-tower chassis, although I suspect this product wasn’t really intended to be tucked away under a desk where it can not be seen, it should still fit into most under desk spaces.

We normally fire on with a look at the packaging here, but since we had a non retail box I shall pass over that bit. In the box you can expect to find a few extras, these including the usual booklet and screws you will find some screw down cable ties, these are great for keeping things tidy and cable management will be extremely vital in a build of this type.

Glass is a fingerprint magnet, so when you have a nearly all glass exterior on your chassis you are going to need to keep it clean, fortunately In Win provide a good quality microfibre cloth to help with maintenance.

Finally we have these squeezable suction cups, these can be joined onto the side panel windows and will assist you in lifting the glass panel away from the frame. You can use your hands, but it’s obviously good to keep finger prints away from the shiny PC case.

That’s the accessories out of the way, now let’s get right into the cool stuff and take a look at the chassis up close.

In Win Tòu Goes Official

In Win’s Tòu chassis certainly turned a few heads at Computex including that of our own Peter Donnell who wrote an extensive story on the In Win Tòu as part of our Computex 2013 coverage. TechPowerUp reports that the In Win is finally official Tòu.

The In Win Tòu uses glass panels which are made from 3mm thick tempered glass with a transparent coating. The frame these glass panels attach to is made from 2-4mm thick aluminium created by “Sand Casting”.

The In Win Tòu is a full tower case supporting ATX size motherboards and smaller. It is capable of storing up to four 120mm fans and supporting for a 360mm radiator at the top.

The front panel I/O, located at the bottom of the front panel, includes a touch control fan controller. This allows you to change fan speeds, adjust lighting levels or turn them off completely.

The In Win Tòu uses a unique visual effect where if the internal lights are turned off the case is entirely mirror-like and opaque but when the lights are turned on the case becomes fully transparent. There is no words on pricing and availability, but we can no doubt assume a huge price tag and very limited quantities.

General speciications:

  • Metal Structure: 2~4mm Aluminum
  • Case Panels: 3mm Tempered Glass
  • External Drive Bay: 5.25 ” x 1
  • Internal Drive Bay: 2.5″ x2 and 3.5″ x 3
  • M/B Form Factor: ATX and smaller
  • Power Supply: ATX 12V, PSII Size (Up to 220mm)
  • I/O Port: USB 3.0 x 2, HD Audio
  • I/O Expansion Slot: PCI-E/PCI/AGP Slot x 7
  • Graphic Card Size: Up to 380mm
  • Thermal Solution: 120mm Top Fan x 3 and 120mm Front Fan x 1

Images courtesy of In Win

Insomnia i49 – Summer 2013 Live Gallery

Introduction


We’re back again it Multiplay’s Insomnia gaming festival, the biggest of its type in the UK and its a big one alight. With over 3000 BYOC gamers (Bring Your Own Computer) booked in to come and play some of the biggest games (as well as some of the lesser known games) on one massive gaming network, whether it be for fun or for the pros – for the cash!

Those with a keen eye will see that GamesCom over in Germany has conveniently clashed with this summers LAN event, but that has not stopped us from getting a slice of the action. Whilst Andy and Peter are over in Cologne seeing what’s new in the gaming world, I’m here getting the latest coverage from the forefront of the gaming scene with those that play the games themselves.

For those that have been to, or have seen our coverage of Insomnia before will know some of the major highlights of the weekend – apart from the tournaments – include the grand opening ceremony with tons of swag (including boxes) literally being thrown out for everyone to get a bit of; or in some cases they may have to work a little for their goodies. On top of this there is also the exhibition hall with a wide array of manufacturers and vendors showing off some of the latest and greatest kit, including Overclockers UK who will be yet again offering their delivery to your desk option for hardware purchases – for free!

One of the biggest staged events of the weekend has to be the world famous pub quiz the takes place on Saturday night, and don’t worry if you’re not here as you can take part yourself via the live web feed through the iSeries website.

So all in all there is a lot in store for those that are here as well as those who are visiting, but fear not as we will be here getting a slice of the action to show back to you.

Computex: InWin Reveals Serenity Series Power Supplies

Although InWin’s cases have been stealing the show at Computex 2013, namely the King Size H-Frame and Tou Glass Case, their new Serenity series of power supplies didn’t go unnoticed by us. We went on over to check this new power supply out and it features a chrome brushed steel finish. As you can see from our pictures by the time we got around to it the unit was ravaged by finger print marks so its worth considering this if you want to buy it – definitely handle with gloves to keep it in pristine condition.

The power supply internals are rated for 80 Plus Platinum and offer full range APFC. They have a single rail 12 volt design and common PSU protections like OCP/OVP/OLP/UVP/SCP and various certifications for regions like the ErP lot 6 2013 for the EU. The units are approximately 18cm in length and are semi-modular.  The 20+4 pin motherboard connector, 4+4 pin EPS CPU connector and a pair of 6+2 pin PCI express connectors all come pre-fixed.

The rest of the modular cables provide two to four 6+2 pin PCI express connectors and up to 22 peripheral connectors (16 SATAs and 6 Molex). The Serenity series does support Haswell C6/C7 power supplies and it is cooled by a 120mm double ball bearing fan.

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more Computex coverage in our Computex section.

Image(s) courtesy of eTeknix at Computex

Computex: InWin Show Off Their KingSize H Frame, D Frame & H Frame Mini Chassis

KingSize H Frame Open Air Chassis is a complete and utter behemoth, it has a presence that is unmatched and it looks completely dominating on the display stand. This really isn’t going to be for everyone of course and it is very extreme but with features like six front USB ports, extreme ventilation and a huge glass side panel window its still impressive, just don’t expect it to be cheap!

  • Support ATX, EATX, HPTX, XL-ATX, SSI-EEB, SSI-CEB Motherboards
  • 1 x 5.25-inch drive bay
  • 6 x 3.5-inch bays, can be configured to 4 x 3.5″ & 2 x 2.5″ bays
  • 11 Expansion Slots
  • 8 USB 3.0 ports (six on the front, two on the top)
  • 3.5″ hot-plug SATA bay
  • 42 cm GPU Support
  • 2 x 140 mm front, 140mm rear, 140mm bottom fan mounts

The D-Frame was also on show, one of last years InWin special editions that was styled on a Ducati Motorbike, still very funky and I do love the bright colour scheme.

The H-Frame Mini is one of the more unique mITX chassis I’ve seen at the event, the side panel glass is an included option, but it comes with a compact PSU with a slow RPM 40mm fan that should keep things nice and quiet and can handle loads of 180w at peak load, more than enough for a APU based system.

Here we see the H-Frame mini again, this time with a hard metal panel on the left side, still looks very cool but a little more understated, if only by a little bit.

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more Computex coverage in our Computex section.

Image(s) courtesy of eTeknix at Computex

Computex: InWin Tou Glass PC Case, Is This The Best Looking Case Ever?

InWin have set the standard for crazy cases, some great, some awful (sorry InWin) but all of them truly unique and while I may love and hate some of them, others will love and hate different ones and it’s this uniqueness that makes them so special.

Ever six months, InWin set out to make a brand new limited edition chassis, more often than not they’re expensive but you do get some exceptional design, unparalleled build quality and a case that uses the best materials on the market, now InWin have simply out done them selves, because the Tou is in a league of its own.

As you can see it features a tinted glass exterior bolted onto an aluminum frame, giving it the look of an executive sky scraper.

It looks even cooler thanks to the colour matched water cooling and Gigabyte motherboard they’ve fitted.

I erm, well, just look at this thing, a picture says a thousand words and when it comes to chassis design, this thing just steals the show!

The bottom of the chassis features the I/O panel and the optical drive bay.

This chassis is pure art and I can’t wait to see what can be done in terms of mods, case lighting and more. I just don’t think I would enjoy trying to keep it clean!

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more Computex coverage in our Computex section.

Image(s) courtesy of eTeknix at Computex

InWin G7 Mid Tower Chassis Review

In the office this week I have the latest budget friendly chassis offering from InWin and while they are earning quite a lot of fame and reputation for their, shall we say, slightly crazier chassis designs such as the D-Frame and H-Frame, its easy to forget that they make normal cases too.

InWin is well known in the industry for making some unique chassis and respectable power supplies that have earned them a loyal fan base over the years. The new G7, much like the other recent InWin release (the GT-1) is aimed at the mid market. It’s not about blowing you away with insane features, huge chassis, big price tags and flashy lights. This is a part of the market where most people actually spend there money, your average system builder needs something reliable, that packs all the features they require but that also doesn’t cost too much money and the big question here today is, have InWin struck the right balance between those three aspect.

As you can see from the specifications below its a fairly modestly equipped chassis, but its not exactly lacking in features either. With support for 7 x 120mm fans, 6 hard drives, three optical drives or similar devices, USB 3.0 and even a SATA EZ-Swap bay.

The G7 is budget friendly, so it doesn’t come in any kind of fancy packaging, but it does feature a very dark contrast image of the chassis that gives you a good idea of its general design. There wasn’t much in the box either with only a few basic screws and bolts required to install your components, although that really is all you need anyway.