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GMC is a Korean company which is quite famous with their outstanding designed PC cases and one of the good reputation PC case is R4 Bulldozer. After review couple of GMC PC cases, today we will proceed with another review on GMC PC case; X7 X-Station which also comes with very unique design such as multi power switches, LCD indicator, easy swap bay and so on.
GM Corporation Ltd is a manufacturer and distributor headquartered in Seoul, Korea and founded in 1996. The company offers a wide range of PC cases, power supplies, computer peripheral and service to customers worldwide. It is GMC's mission to be the best provider of the state-of-the-art products in the global market. By offering superior products and complete service, the company seeks to share the enjoyable computer life for worldwide end users.
GMC producys middle tower PC cases and HTPC cases (Home Theater PC) which supports mATX and ATX form factors. Our HTPC has a fantastic design and functions and supports up to MS Window VISTA and MCE (Media Center Edition).
- Gaming PC case (strong cooling system)
- Easy swap bay (5.25" and 3.5" bay)
- Easy front panel detachment
- Vast internal space enough for the large graphic card
- System check through front LCD indicator
- Side fan installed (fan controller included)
- front AC'97 and HD AUDIO
- front USB port 4 pcs
- Multi power switch - available for under and up the desk
- Accessory box included
Package & Content
GMC X7 X-Station comes with a pretty standard PC case packaging. The outer packaging of GMC X7 X-Station is quite attractive and informative which is important as it is targeting gaming market where the package must be able to attract buyers. Besides that GMC X7 X-Station is also protected by two standard foams and a plastic bag for avoiding scratches as well as water proof but we do hope in future better quality foams will be used as the current foams are breakable type.
Besides the user's manual, other accessories of GMC X7 X-Station is packed inside a smaller cardboard box. Those accessories that come along with GMC X7 X-Station are some colorful screws, paper rings for motherboard installation, wire tie and quick installation guide. The user's manual is only comes with black and white which is quite plain but it provides all the necessary installation step by step guidance.
A Closer Look - GMC X7 Exterior
Unlike other GMC PC cases that we have reviewed previously, GMC X7 X-Station is having different concept where it is an affordable gaming ATX PC case which comes with 425 x 420 x 190 mm (D x H x W). In term of weight, there isn't any exact weight information available but GMC X7 X-Station is a very light PC case and the weight should be very close with a normal entry PC case. Based on GMC website, there are total seven colors available for X7 X-Station; white, black, limegreen, oceanblue, hotpink, orange and skyblue.
Same with other ATX PC cases, GMC X7 X-Station is having four exposed optical drive slots and one floppy drive slot. The top ODD slot comes with built in ODD bezel but there is any ODD door for this bay so user has to fill in an optical drive else it will be ugly to leave it blank. All these ODD/FDD slots come easy swap bays where these fillers can be attached/detached from externally; very unique and useful feature.
Another unique feature of GMC X7 X-Station is the dual power buttons where there are two power buttons; one at the middle of the front panel while another one at the top panel. With such feature, the power button can be easily accessed no matter where the PC case is located; on the desk or on the floor. Right below the floppy bay, there is a LCD indicator which is used to display system temperature, cooling fan speed readings and HDD activity. This is a very nice LCD indicator with orange back light which is great for monitoring the system performance especially the system temperature (or it can be used to measure other hardware temperature as well; such as CPU, VGA).
The front I/O panel is located below the LCD indicator where there are four USB 2.0 port and audio/mic jacks. Four USB ports are definitely great as most of the PC cases only come with two USB ports so additional 2 USB ports are the bonus for the users. A small round reset button is located right below the mic jack. If you notice, there are plenty of edges at the both sides of the front panel which is basically the front air vents to draw the fresh air in to cool down the hardware inside.
Here is the left side panel of GMC X7 X-Station and there are plenty of air vents which are located at both CPU and VGA area. There is a 80mm cooling fan at the top air vent to enhance the CPU cooling performance. Basically this left side panel is exactly same with the GMC R4 Bulldozer which we have reviewed previously; it has fan speed controller and a LED indicator. However the LED indicator is not useful for GMC X7 X-Station as it was disabled by GMC for cost saving purpose since front LCD indicator is provided.
The rear panel of GMC X7 X-Station has no different compare with other standard ATX PC cases. Nothing much to talk about it except GMC X7 X-Station comes with 120mm cooling fan which is good for cooling. Besides that a padlock is included which has become the standard for even an entry PC case nowadays. At the bottom of the GMC X7 X-Station, there are high quality rubber feet for better stability.
A Closer Look - GMC X7 Interior
Here is the interior view of GMC X7 X-Station; everything is pretty standard for an ATX PC case. Same with other ATX case, GMC X7 X-Station can support full ATX motherboard and ATX PSU; previously we have reviewed C70LCD where only micro PSU is supported so it is advisable only get those cases that come can support ATX PSU. GMC X7 X-Station is a deep case with 425mm so it has no problem support high end graphic card such as Nvidia GeForce GTX280 and ATI Radeon 4850.
As we mentioned previously, GMC X7 X-Station has four exposed 5.25" optical drive and the first bay need to be occupied by optical drive as the ODD eject bay is provided. Besides that there are two 3.25" FDD bays and four HDD bays. No special tool-less rail is included for GMC X7 X-Station which is a disadvantage as it is a trend to have such tool-less feature for today PC cases especially gaming machine.
One of the most important features for a gaming machine is the cooling and hence 120mm cooling fan is used for front (intake) and rear (exhaust) ventilations which provide better air flow and lower noise compare with 80/92mm fan. In term of cooling setup, GMC X7 X-Station is quite perfect but if a top air vent is included the it will be the best cooling setup; intake (front, side) and exhaust (rear, top).
Same with the ODD/HDD installation, the PCI slot of GMC X7 X-Station isn't come with any tool-less device to simplify and shorten the installation process. Anyway tool-less is just an additional feature which is nice to have but it will not stopping users to get it if the case is really worth for it. There are plenty of cables inside the GMC X7 X-Station for fan, front I/O, sensors and etc. The sensor can be used to measure CPU, HDD, VGA and system temperature but a proper setup is required especially for processor.
Here is the 80mm side panel cooling fan and the black cable needs to be connected to the front panel so that the fan speed can be controlled where the fan needs to be connected with the incoming front panel fan connector). All the front panel cables are not hard soldered on the front panel PCB so these cables still can be removed which is good for maintenance.
Installation, Testing & Performance
PC case is the most troublesome hardware when comes to installation as all the hardware needs to be disassembled from previous setup and install again on the new case for those migrating setup. However if the PC case doesn't have any space constraint then the overall installation process should be much simple. Overall GMC X7 X-Station doesn't give us any installation trouble although we have installed a Nvidia GeForce GTX260 with Artic Cooling giant VGA cooler. However for such setup, the usable HDD bays will become two only as the first two bays are totally blocked by the graphic card. Anyway the FDD drive still can be used for HDD if they are not yet been used.
After all the setup, we have powered up the GMC X7 X-Station with our test rig and we are absolutely impressed with its LCD indicator which is pretty charming. The temperature sensor and fan speed reading on the LCD indicator are quite real time without any significant delay. Besides that, the fan speed of the connected fan can be adjusted through the built in fan speed controller but since the fan speed controller is a digital controller, user needs to keep on press it until the desired speed is achieved.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3
Heatsink: Noctua NH-U9B
Memory: Kingston HyperX DDR2 6400/8500
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: Galaxy GeForce 9800GT Low Power
PSU: In Win Commander 750W
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Optical Drive: DVD RW HLDS
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: SteelSeries 3H
Operating System: Microsoft XP Pro SP2
Benchmark Software: HDTech, CrystalDiskMark
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
In term of the performance of GMC X7 X-Station, basically it perform quite well compare with other entry PC cases which may contributed by its dual 120mm (front & rear) and 80mm cooling fans (side). Since all these fans are standard value fans which do not generating large amount of airflow hence no loud noise is produced which is great although most of the gamers will not really have any concern on noise as what they want is just the best gaming performance and experience.
Looking at GMC X7 X-Station, it remind us their R4 Bulldozer which looks like a transformer case and X7 X-Station has the similar concept except without the vertical ODD insertion. X7 X-Station is the first gaming PC case from GMC and overall we are quite satisfied with the design as well as the performance. The major selling points of GMC X7 X-Station is the LCD indicator which gives temperature and fan speed readings for monitoring the system performance in more efficiency way before the system breaks down due to poor maintenance. GMC X7 X-Station is a budget gaming ATX PC case which only costs around 109USD and we will recommend this case to you if you are looking for a budget case with decent cooling performance as well as stylish design.
+ Good cooling performance
+ Awesome LCD indicator with thermal & fan speed readings
+ Fancy & outstanding design
+ Spacious interior room
+ Dual power switches
+ Easy swap ODD/FDD bays
+ Comes with 4 front USB2.0 Port
+ Front AC'97 & HD AUDIO
- No tool-less feature
Thanks to GMC for providing this sample for us to review.
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