Anidees AI Crystal XL Review
The Build and Cooling
Published: 2nd April 2018 | Source: Anidees | Price: |
The Build and Cooling
So large is the AI Crystal XL that it makes it look like we've stuck an M-ATX board into a standard sized case. Nope, this is actually our normal board we use for builds inside one of the the largest cases we have ever reviewed. As we saw in the Technical Specification, this case will actually take HPTX, XL-ATX, E-ATX and SSI CEB, as well as the usual ATX, M-ATX and M-ITX. There are plenty of cable management holes, but they are mainly spaced for the larger rads, leaving big gaps around the motherboard. It's also worth noting that none of the management holes on the main panel are rubber grommeted, which we think is a bit of an odd decision given the full glass nature of the case, and given that the case comes with a remote control, it's hard to believe that the grommets were left out from the point of view of a cost saving. As usual we've palced our Havik 120 in the case for comparrison purposes, but with 190mm of CPU cooler headroom on tap, like the rest of the hardware, the Havik is somewhat lost.
If you're going to be investing in the Crystal XL, you might also want to consider that due to the sheer size of it, standard PCU length cables can't necessarily be run in nice straight perpendicular lines, but instead have to reach directly as the crow flies to their destination. This we feel will make the cable management job at the rear look not quite as tidy as we'd like it to, but is something that's easily remedied with some cable extensions, or even custom made cables.
With the regards to water cooling, the possibilities are some of the best we've ever come across. For starters, the roof of the case will accept rads up to 480 or 420mm, and with a 65mm gap between the motherboard edge and the top of the case that means there's room for a 40mm thick rad of any flavour. Stick with the 120mm fan based rads however and you can make best use of the off-sets in the roof, which, motherboard allowing ups the available room to a potential 100mm
The front of the case is also able to accept both 480 or 420mm rads, with the false floor cut out allowing for an overall depth of 100mm of both 120mm and 140mm based rads. If you're craving something bigger there are a few options open to you, the first of which is to opt for a 360 or 280mm rad which stops short of the false floor boundary, with the second option being to remove the false floor completely. Doing this pretty much makes the sky the limit, with a gap of 140mm before you encounter the plastic management hole cover, and a total of about 240mm before you reach the cables themselves. It must of course be remembered that the thicker you go with the rads and fans, the more you're reducing the room for the length of the GPU, but with a total of 530mm available for the GPU, we don't think this is really worth worrying about. The other caveat is that the front fans can also be mounted outside of their current position, and although this allows for a potential additional 25mm of room, the likelihood is that their ability to suck in air will be greatly diminished
To help bring the sheer scale of this case into context, we've placed our usual 360mm XSPC rad in the front. Now it's not unusual to see us do this, we do it for every case that will accept a 360. What is unusual is to see just how lost it looks, how much space it has around it, and how much scope there is for longer and fatter rads. Just stop for a minute and take another look. That's a decent thickness 360mm rad! Just how small does it look in this case!!!
Most Recent Comments
What kept distracting me was the Grommet cover and the lines (gpu holder) I'd have to replace that with a flat panel for a cleaner look also the extra HDD holder holes need to be coveredQuote
To start on the case... Manufacturers should decide on which consumers are cases targeted. To have options is good but too many options ruin the product.
Why is there 10 cm of space under the motherboard, and only 6 cm on the top? If you target your case for water cooling why reduce top radiator clearance? I don't remember seeing XL boards in any recent times. Why support them?
PSU shroud. Shrouds make sense only on budget builds. Then you have extensions and you want to cover default PSU cables. On expensive "flagship" models at least give the option to remove them.
Front fan mounts are disaster. If you have glass make indentation for fans, like on be quiet Dark Base 900 so there are no metal bars over RGB fans.
What the hell is going on with that "GPU holder"?
And those punch through holes for HDD cables... Cmon... Put some plastic plugs in them. It will at least look like you made an effort.
I will use the Top Gear analogy from episode when they reviewed Chinese cars. It is like someone described them modern cases over the phone, and they bogged something. It looks to me like they have tried to have all the features from the modern flagship cases, but they either lack the resources, or were done buy incompetent people. Everything is cramped, and rushed.
It is like they had a list from the accountants of the features they need to put in the case, and no one checked were they aesthetically pleasing, or actually functional. It just needs to say on paper that we have those.
The one thing I agree with Tom is that it could be a good project case. If the price is around 200 tokens you can dive right into it with dremel and drills. Not as much to make it yours, but more to correct the mistakes.Quote
In its default configuration of storage alone I am sold, 6 3.5" + 3 2.5" with this amount of water cooling support is rather amazing.
Amazon shows 210 USD for the fan-less version right now, so that is a 40 USD premium for 5 fans, again a good sale for those who might want to use the bundled fans and call it a day.
I wish, though, the fan controller up top would be completely gone from the lite version of the case as, is also the same with the non-software controllable rgb stuff, many people prefer software based solutions nowadays.
Little stuff though. Overall, I could very easily fit in a huge reservoir with extra fins on the pump in the bottom + vibration dampeners with a 360 + 480 rad setup. The case can easily store an HBA + battery bank + sound card + 2 graphics cards in there.
Huge, insanely huge and versatile. I like it and is rather well priced for a case that can store this much.
If there is a couple of things to modify, though; I would take that PSU cover out and mod it until just the farthest pump mount remained and the cabling grommet moved to align with the graphics cards. Not much else is there to do.
Great review guys, in depth as usual. This just might be my next case.Quote