Anidees AI Crystal XL Review
Published: 2nd April 2018 | Source: Anidees | Price: |
It's quite normal in the conclusion of a case review for us to go through all of the technical specifications to bring you up to speed on what the limits and proportions of the several parts of the case are. The Anidees AI Crystal XL however, is not a "Normal" case. It is in fact, far far far from Normal. It is though, by any stretch of the imagination, quite extraordinary. On the surface it might look like just another large tempered glass case, of which we've seen so many. Dig a little deeper though and you'll find that unlike other manufacturers, Anidees have pushed out the physical size of the case just a little bit. But it's that little bit that enables the Crystal XL to do what others can't. So many times we've criticised manufacturers for not adding those few extra millimeters that would have made all the difference. So what is this "little bit" we speak of? Well, those few extra millimeters on the chassis enable the XL to accept pretty much any motherboard known to man. And when we say any we mean any: HPTX, XL-ATX, E-ATX and SSI CEB, as well as the usual ATX, M-ATX and M-ITX. I think that about covers it. Let's now turn our attention to cooling. The XL comes with 4x120mm RGB enabled fans on the front, and another in the rear, but will also take an additional 4x120mm in the roof. If you lean more towards 140mm fans then of course the case will take 3x140mm in the front, 3x140mm in the roof, and 1x140mm in the rear. From a water cooling perspective, the XL will find a home for a 480 or 420 in either the front or the roof, with very few caveats with regards to thickness, basically the AI Crystal XL is a water cooling enthusiasts wet dream come true. Ah, I here you say, but what about storage? Well, obviously there's an interplay between storage and water cooling, but you can still have up to 8x3.5" drives and 3x2.5" drives with all of the above water cooling options. If you're willing to sacrifice a bit of front rad area then the sky is quite literally your limit, and, if we're honest, we're hard pushed to think of a situation where you'd need as much HDD or SSD storage as the AI Crystal XL can provide.
So what have we got? well we have one quite large case that will, in very simple terms provide for your every need. We usually like to find a bit of a negative in order to provide a degree of balance, and although it can't be denied that the XL isn't cheap, there are many, many cases that offer less than it does, at a lower quality, and at a higher price.
From an awards point of view, if we did an "I'm having this" award, the Anidees AI Crystal XL would win it hands down. If I was in a position to keep this case, and I had the hardware, time, and money to make it great, and to build a genuinely awesome water-cooling rig into it, i'd be hanging on to it with every ounce of strength I had. What more can I say. there doesn't come any greater recommendation than that.
You can discuss your thoughts about the Anidees AI Crystal XL on the OC3D Forums.
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