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In Win is one of the innovative vendors in computer peripheral industry and they let us realise that there are plenty of ways to further enhance those products that we always see, touch and use. Today we will bring you their latest mid-tower chassis BUC. In Win BUC has a very unique selling point where it comes with hot-swappable HDD module and easy access HDD panel on its left panel.
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.
• Easy Access to HDD Bays on Side Panel
• SATA HDD / SSD Hot-Swap Module
• Supports Multiple High-end Graphic Cards (Maximum Length of 30cm / 11.8inches)
• Supports USB 3.0 Super Speed Transfer Interface
• Up to 9 Drive Bays
• Cable Routing Space
• Tool-Free Design
• Removable Anti-Dust Filter
Package & Contents
In Win BUC comes with a standard chassis packaging; nothing fancy but the chassis is well protected to against most of the moderate dropping. Normal foam is used instead of unbreakable foam since In Win BUC is not a heavyweight chassis like Maelstrom or Dragon Rider.
In Win BUC is mainly for mainstream market with affordable price hence it is only equipped with basic accessories. Bundled accessories are user manual, keys for the easy access HDD panel, installation screws, wire ties, internal beeping speaker and a Molex to 3-pin connector.
A Closer Exterior Look On In Win BUC
In Win BUC is the most common chassis form factor; mid-tower which supports ATX, Micro-ATX board. The overall weight and dimension of In Win Buc are 485 x 210 x 506 mm and about 7KG; pretty standard and not too heavy. Besides that quality matte black paint is used on In Win BUC.
Unlike most of the In Win chassis, In Win BUC only comes with three 5.25" exposed bays and one 3.5" exposed bay. However these 3+1 bays are sufficient for most of the modern usages. At the bottom of the exposed bays, there is a ventilation area for drawing in fresh air into the chassis.
All the front exposed bays can be removed externally which simplify the drive installation. On top of the exposed bays, there are front I/Os which consists of two USB 2.0 ports, eSATA port and two audio jacks. In Win Buc comes with a USB 3.0 port too but it is located at another more strategic location.
Here is the USB 3.0 port which is placed within the gadget storage tray for delivering faster transferring speed; 10x faster than USB 2.0. A 120mm exhausting cooling fan is located at the rear portion of the top panel which works very effectively to lower down the overall internal temperature.
Here are the both left and right panels of In Win BUC and both of them are equipped with tool-less locks; thumb screws are not required at all. Besides the tool-less locks, there is a large air vent on the left side panel which can support up two 120mm cooling fans; an optional upgrade item.
This is the unique selling point of In Win BUC where it allows user to access the internal HDD quickly; just like HDD docking station (both 2.5"/3.5" HDD are supported). This panel is lockable with the provided keys and up to four HDDs can be accessible via this window; a absolutely fabulous idea.
In Win BUC's rear panel has no much difference with other modern chassis where the PSU is located at the bottom for better internal ventilation circulation. Although In Win BUC is a mainstream chassis but two rubber grommets are available and sufficient for light to mainstream water-cooling setup.
Since In Win BUC is a light weight mainstream chassis hence it is equipped with normal chassis feet instead of wheels for easier chassis relocation. A quality dust filter is attached on the PSU air vent to keep the PSU as clean as possible; the dust filter has to be cleaned on timely basis.
A Closer Interior Look On In Win BUC
The interior part of In Win BUC is also fully painted in black which is not only great but also has better corrosive resistance. Besides that there is a huge cutout on the motherboard plate for simplifying CPU cooler installation with back plate; removing the motherboard is no longer required.
In Win BUC supports four 5.25" ODD, one 3.5" FDD drives and five HDD drives. Tool-less installation kits are available on In Win BUC although it is a mainstream chassis and In Win did a very smart job to highlight these tool-less kits in sharp green color; knobs, HDD trays and PCI locks.
As we mentioned at above, In Win BUC can support up to five HDDs but only four of them can be can be accessed without opening up the side panel. Two 120mm exhausting cooling fans (ordinary fan for most of the In Win chassis) are pre-bundled on In Win BUC's rear and top panels.
Same with the tool-less kits for the ODD and HDD, In Win BUC is also equipped with tool-less PCI locks. This tool-less PCI kit is pretty unique as it can be unfastened and kept behind the rear panel if screw is more suitable to secure any PCI card; especially those heavyweight graphic card.
In Win BUC's HDDs is hot-swappable because it comes with a SATA & power module where the HDD can be plugged into HDD cage directly once it is mounted on the HDD tray. This is not a new design as it is very common in server industry but it is our first time see it in the consumer PC industry.
Besides the two exhausting fans, here is another In Win BUC's cooling fan which is placed in front of the chassis to pull in the fresh air; dust filter and easy mounting bracket are included too. No physical dust filter on the left side panel but the provided mesh is good enough to do the job.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Installation and setup for chassis are not so complicated but it takes time so patience is an important factor to lead a successful installation besides skill and experience. This is same for In Win BUC but thanks to its tool-less installation kits which simplifies the installation especially the easy access HDD panel and module. There is not a standard installation procedure for chassis but most of the time motherboard will be installed first or else other components will be obstructed. Micro-ATX motherboard will be the most suitable form factor for such mainstream chassis which gives extra internal space.
CPU and CPU cooler could be the next items to be installed. This step is a bit tricky if tower type of CPU cooler is used but it is no longer an issue with the large cutout on the In Win's motherboard plate; furthermore this cutout is useful during CPU cooler maintenance either due to dust cleaning or thermal paste replacement. So far we didn't encounter any issue up to this point but it is advisable not to use a tower CPU cooler which is too tall as it will block the left side panel from being closed.
Next installation will be the DIMM, graphic card, HDD, ODD and so on except PSU. We like the In Win BUC's tool-less kits as some of them are really well designed and even better than those expensive chassis. The ODD tool-less knobs secure the installed drive and pull up the knobs to release the drive. The HDD trays are working very well too as neither SATA nor power cables are required to connect manually with the HDD as these components are pre-setup at the other side of the HDD tray. This is a very useful feature and we hope more chassis will be deployed with such kits whether it comes with easy access HDD panel or not. For heavy and bulky graphic card, screw will be more appropriate tool to secure it rather than the tool-less lock.
Lastly will be the PSU installation and the most tedious setup is the PSU cable routing as messy cabling setup will affect the internal ventilation circulation badly where the system's performance will be affected directly. Luckily In Win BUC comes with some cable management holes and the SATA & power module for HDD hence the cable management could be managed much easier. FYI the PSU could be installed in both directions on In Win BUC but it is always good to let the PSU's fan facing downward so that its cooling performance could be isolated from the system temperature. That it is for the installation and setup for In Win BUC and overall we did not encounter any serious issue.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3/Gigabyte G31M-ES2L
Heatsink: Noctua NH-C14
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 BUC
HDD Cage: Icy Dock MB994SP-4S
PSU: OCZ ZX 850W
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 are the performance results that we obtained from In Win BUC chassis; tested components are processor, graphic card, hard drive and system. Most of the mainstream chassis with adequate cooling fans and well cable management will deliver similar results and this is same for In Win BUC where it is equipped with one intake fan at the front panel and two exhaust fans at the rear and top panels; this is a pretty economic but efficient method; widely being used by other chassis vendors too. Graphic card's temperature could be further improved if additional cooling fans are manually added on the left side panel; have to make sure the CPU cooler will not be blocked. Overall we are pretty satisfied with the In Win BUC's cooling performance and noise is not a real big problem here as the supplied cooling fans are pretty silent (low noise fans); additional fan speed controller could be added to further enhance the noise level while maintaining the system's performance.
We always love In Win products as they always surprise us with their innovative and creative ideas. In Win BUC is another good example where it is not only come with hot-swappable module with pre-integrated SATA and power cable but also the easy access HDD panel on the left panel; HDD docking station is no longer required anymore. Furthermore In Win BUC is also equipped with advanced features like USB 3.0, tool-less installation kits, dust filters, gadget tray on top panel and so on. For a 110USD chassis, In Win BUC is not really expensive but it could be more competitive since there is a huge market competition especially for mid-tower chassis. Anyway if the hot-plug module and easy access HDD panel are much preferable to have then getting In Win BUC is the only choice; at least at this moment with affordable price.
+ Quality & performance chassis
+ Large cutout on motherboard plate
+ USB 3.0 & top unique
+ Hot-swappable SATA & Power module
+ Easy access HDD panel
+ Easy for cable management
+ Tool-less installation kits
+ Performance fans & dust filter
+ Water-cooling ready
+ Support 2.5" HDD
- Glad to see if fans are bundled for side panel
Thanks to In Win for providing this sample for us to review.
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