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In Win Maelstrom was launched in year 2009 and this gaming chassis has gained pretty good reputation due to its cool designs, decent thermal solution, integrated tool-less kits, acoustic absorbers and etc. Today we would like to introduce the successor of Maelstrom; Dragon Rider which is even much interesting, let us deep dive this chassis together and you will be amazed by its features.
IN-WIN Development Inc., an ISO 9001 manufacturer of professional computer chassis, power supplies and digital storage devices, is the leading provider of enclosure solutions to system integrators worldwide. Founded in 1986, IN-WIN provides high quality chassis that conform to all safety regulations, as well as unsurpassed customer service.
In Win was well trained to become a top-notch manufacturer of core technology to enhance internal core competence to meet what customer and market needs constantly. Top Management has been executed four major elements to reach our growing goal: Innovation, Service, Speed, Value, Safety, Warmth, Faithful, Diligence in order to remain our leading edge position and differentiate with other players.
Package & Contents
Same with Maelstrom, In Win Dragon Rider is also packed with a huge but sturdy box. Besides the outer box, two strong unbreakable foams and a plastic bag are used to enhance the protection on In Win Dragon Rider against shock, vibration as well as scratch-proof.
In Win Dragon Rider's Accessories are packed in two small bags which are being kept within the foams; pretty cost saving design. In Win products are always come with detailed user manual which provides clear installation guide; a good reference guide for newbie.
The bundled accessories for In Win Dragon Rider are installation & setup screws, cable clamps, cable ties, additional PSU stands, motherboard onboard speaker, 3-pin to Molex fan converters and an ATX 12V 8-pin cable extender.
A Closer Exterior Look On In Win Dragon Rider
Same with Maelstrom, In Win Dragon Rider is a full tower gaming chassis which is having dimension of 556 x 239 x 578 mm (H x W x D); slightly higher, wider but not as deep as Maelstrom. The net weight of In Win Dragon Rider is about 12KG so a complete functional In Win Dragon Rider can easily go up to 20KG so it is definitely not recommended for portable usage.
There are total six 5.25" removable bays on In Win Dragon Rider but only five drives can be installed on it as the bottom bay is just for display purpose only. The top bay on In Win Dragon Rider is also acted as an 5.25" to 3.5" converter cage so that 3.5" device can be supported like floppy drive, simple fan speed controller, card reader and etc.
The whole front panel together with the removable bays are come in mesh design for better air flow circulation. These removable bays can be removed out easily by loosen its clips but the front panel still has to be removed for any exposed drive installation. Just like Dragon Slayer, In Win Dragon Rider is also equipped with an eye-catching In Win Logo; powered by a bright blue LED.
The left side panel of In Win Dragon Rider is a great selling point for those are looking for insane thermal solution. This mesh window is pre-equipped with a 220mm cooling fan but the good news is not stop there as this 220mm cooling fan can be replaced by up to six 120mm cooling fans; no manual case mod is required and all the mounting accessories are provided.
An obvious improvement from Maelstrom to In Win Dragon Rider is the right panel 120mm cooling fan. This 120mm cooling fan is a blue LED fan but its LED cannot be turned off like left panel. Anyway this cooling fan is quite an unique feature as it helps to further cool down the motherboard components such as MOSFET, capacitors, VRM and etc for better reliability.
Top panel of In Win Dragon Rider is pretty similar with Maelstrom where the front I/O is located at the front portion and followed by two air vents for 120mm cooling fans; one active and one passive. These two 120mm air vents could be replaced by a 240mm radiator if water cooling is used. USB 3.0 ports are added for In Win Dragon Rider besides the e-SATA, Firewire, USB 2.0, audio jacks.
Here are the bottom and rear panels of In Win Dragon Rider which looks pretty identical with Maelstrom except the grommets (water tubing holes) are located at top area instead of bottom area. The chassis stands can be extracted out for better stability since In Win Dragon Rider is a full tower chassis; hopefully wheels will be added as an option in future for better mobility.
The four grommets are designed for water cooling setup but it could be used for cable routing as well like connecting the front USB 3.0 connectors with the motherboard rear I/O. Currently such cable routing is required for most of the desktop with USB 3.0 setup as most of the motherboards do not provide internal USB 3.0 connectors yet.
A Closer Interior Look On In Win Dragon Rider
The interior design of In Win Dragon Rider is almost identical with Maelstrom except with couple of changes; bigger motherboard tray hole, improved PCI lock, additional PSU filter and 2.5" HDD supportability. Both of the interior and exterior chassis are painted with mesh black for better corrosive resistance, easier maintenance and fingerprint-proof free.
ATX size is the most common standard for motherboard, followed by Micro ATX. However In Win Dragon Rider is able to support up to E-ATX (extended) motherboard which might not required but still nice to have especially if server type of motherboard is used. Kindly refer to Wiki page for further details about the ATX explanations.
One of the complaints about In Win Maelstrom is its motherboard tray hole (not big enough) and CPU cooler installation could be not done inside the chassis if the CPU cooler's back bracket is too big. However this problem is no longer appeared on In Win Dragon Rider because the motherboard tray hole has been enlarged to support all kind of CPU coolers.
Tool-less PCI lock is another improvements over Maelstrom and it is spacious enough to slot in bulky PCI card and holding it firmly. A PSU dust filter is added which helps to reduce the dust from being sucked into the chassis. Additional two PSU stands are provided for those PSU with long chassis (mostly 1000W & above) so that it can be placed securely on the ground.
In Win Dragon Rider comes with plenty of front I/O cables which could be troublesome to manage them properly but good thing is these cables of In Win Dragon Rider can be unplug from the front I/O panel. Five 5.25"/3.5" drives are supported by In Win Dragon Rider which are pretty sufficient unless plenty of those fancy devices (fan speed controller, temperature monitoring) are installed.
Maximum six 3.5" HDDs can be mounted on In Win Dragon Rider plus one 2.5" HDD or SSD; right on top the 3.5" drive cage with the help of an unique holder. 2.5" HDD/SSD supportability is quite common for mini chassis but not for mid/full tower chassis. It is definitely glad to see such supportability in In Win Dragon Rider as SSD is one of the upcoming "most wanted" product.
Most of the premium chassis nowadays do come with tool-less kit and this is same for In Win Dragon Rider where both of the 5.25"/3.5" drives and HDDs are provided with mounting rails to simplify the installation method; these rail kits are being kept within a 5.25" cage. Another drive cage is the 5.25" to 3.5" converter cage which is used to store the 3.5" device firmly.
Here is the right and front interior views of In Win Dragon Rider. Besides the big motherboard tray hole, there are few more smaller holes and 2mm clearance between right panel and motherboard tray which are intended to be used for cable management for better internal air flow circulation. This cable management requires skill and patience but it really helps on internal airflow circulation.
The white box on the front panel of In Win Dragon Slayer is used to brighten up the In Win logo and do not underestimate the function of this white box as it is able to reflect the In Win logo sharply with just a small LED. Right underneath the white box, there is a 120mm front cooling fan with a cage holder so that maintenance and dust cleaning are simplified.
A switch is availabe for the 220mm cooling fan so that its blue LED lightning can be controlled. Rubber washers are added on the left panel for both of the 220 and 120mm fans so the operating mechanical noise could be minimized. Acoustic absorbers are pasted surrounding the left panel for noise reduction or noise absorbing; another think-of-the-box idea from In Win R&D team.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Rail kit installation on HDD and ODD are pretty simple for In Win Dragon Rider; just clip on it and no tool is required. No extra set of these HDD & ODD rails are given but thanks to the in-chassis cage for keeping these unused kits for minimizing the misplacing chance. However screw installation is required to fasten the 2.5" HDD/SSD on its holder; not really a problem since it is simple task.
Here is our In Win Dragon Rider with complete setup and overall the installation has gone through smoothly; no major deadly compatible or installation issue is found. To improve the cable management, modular PSU is much preferable and those rarely used cables can be routed behind the motherboard tray such as 24-pin ATX cable, 8-pin ATX cable, front I/O cable and etc.
The tool-less PCI locks of In Win Dragon Rider are working fine as there is no problem to secure our heavy dual PCI-slot GeForce GTX260+. The HDD cage is facing proportional with the side panel which helps to minimize the compatible issue with the graphic card but the 2.5" HDD/SDD installation might probably get blocked by performance graphic card due to longer PCB.
Here is our USB 3.0 cable setup where the front I/O USB cable is routed to the rear panel through the grommets. There is only one problem we found with In Win Dragon Rider where tower CPU cooler might get block by the 220 cooling fan. This is a pretty sad news for air cooling system as most of the full tower chassis will be equipped with insane cooling and tower CPU cooler is one of the components.
Besides the standard optical drive, we have installed another dual slots LCD device on In Win Dragon Rider for fan speed controlling and temperature monitoring. There is a minor problem for fixing this device firmly on the chassis as the provided rails are not designed for such short panel device. However this issue can be solved easily by some simple tricks; we use double-sided tape.
Last but not least here is the powered up In Win Dragon Rider and the In Win logo looks absolutely charming and attractive. This blue LED logo is teaming up with the 220mm (left panel) and 120mm (right panel) blue LED fans to create a eye-catching rig. If lightning mod is preferable then maybe additional one or two CCFLs could be added to enhance the beauty of this chassis.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3/Gigabyte G31M-ES2L
Heatsink: Noctua NH-D14
Memory: Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR2 8500
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX260+
PCIe: Aten IC320U USB 3.0
Casing: In Win Dragon Rider
PSU: Aerocool V12XT-800
Optical Drive: HLDS DVD RW +/-
Controller: Aerocool Touch 2000
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: SteelSeries 3H
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Operating System: Window XP Pro SP2/Win 7 HP
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
Here is the thermal performance of In Win Dragon Rider (220mm cooling fan was replaced by three 120mm cooling fans due to compatible issue with our CPU cooler) and overall its performance is pretty close with Maelstrom except the CPU temperature; thanks to the 120mm cooling fan on the right panel. Seven 120mm cooling fans for a desktop right might look a little bit too much but in fact it is not that noisy as what we have expected; thanks to the acoustic absorbers and the rubber washer to absorb and minimize the operating noise.
Once again In Win has proved their ability to deliver such amazing full tower gaming chassis; a real cool successor of Maelstrom. Most of the In Win Dragon Rider's selling points are not unique but combining them just makes In Win Dragon Rider a dream chassis. The retail price for In Win Dragon Rider is about 140USD which is still much cheaper than those branded chassis so if you are able to source this toy in your area then you should really consider about it especially if you are using or planning to use water cooling setup for your rig.
+ Pretty affordable chassis
+ Great design & well built
+ Decent thermal solution
+ Tool-less PCI locks & rails
+ Simple installation method
+ Charming In Win blue logo
+ Dust filter & acoustic absorbers
+ Water cooling ready
+ 2.5" HDD or SSD ready
+ eSATA, USB3.0, Firewire
+ Complete user's guide
+ E-ATX MB is supported
+ Great room for cable management
+ Mesh painting; fingerprint-free
+ 4 x Grommets for WC
+ 240mm radiator is supported
- Need more room for tower CPU cooler
- Prefer wheels are bundled as an option
Thanks to In Win for providing this sample for us to review.
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