A-Top AT900 Case
The computer case industry is a tough market
to be in, as there are a lot of different manufacturers building very similar
products. A-Top is one of those manufacturers, and their AT900 product is
hardly any exception for similarity.
Yet, this is the first truly tool-less case I
have worked with (I am a little behind the times), so I was fairly impressed
with just how easy it was to tear down the AT900. However, I was a great deal
more impressed with the slide-out motherboard tray, as this is the only really
distinguishing feature of this product.
- Main Board: ATX
- Drive Bays:
- 5 1/4": 4 bays
- 3 1/2": 2 (exposed),
2 (hidden) bay
- Power Supply: 250W
- Dimensions: 21" H x
7.5" W x 17" D
- Slide out main board
- Quick release FDD/HDD
- Second fan (optional)
- Snap on/off front bezel
- Quick access rail system.
First impressions are important, no matter if
you are looking at a person, or a product. As soon as I pulled the AT900 out
of the box, I was thinking "generic". The fascia of this case is
extremely bland, and therefore not to my tastes. On the other hand, looks
are not everything, and some people even
like the conservative looks of things.
A-Top calls the AT900 part of their Corporate Series, so obviously they donít
expect people to buy this case for a home computer.
This case is also very heavy, coming in at 24
pounds out of the box. When I was giving the case in initial glance-over,
I noticed a black scuff on the bottom of the fascia, but I could get it off
later with some soap and water on a rag.
After getting past my first impression of this
case, it was time to open it up. I undid the thumbscrews on the back, and
proceeded to slide off the side-cover. The thumbscrews are handy, but they
come out all the way. Some cases I have seen have thumbscrews that stay in
the hole after you unscrew them, therefore preventing you from loosing them.
actually physically manipulating this case, I could tell that the quality
of the construction was not of the highest order, especially as the side-cover
made a loud "pop" as a slid it off. Looking
inside, the first thing that grabbed my eyes was the motherboard tray. I flipped
the single tab in the back and slid it out easily. I was very impressed by
this feature, as it looked like it would make upgrading a system, or swapping
out boards very easy.
of the power supply cables were nicely tied together, and the edges in the
case were acceptably dull. There was also a good fan located on the front
bottom. As any decent case should have,
it came with drive rails, but not the fully removable type as some prefer.
These slide out for "quick access". My own drives stay put anyway.
The power supply is a 250-Watt, which is
adequate for most hardware situations. However, if you have a few big hard
drives, lots of PCI/ISA cards, and fans to keep your over-clocked CPU cool,
you better get something with 300-Watts.
Right now, there is a special
on the AT900 at pccase.com, as it is priced
at $79, down from the regular $99, which really makes it a decent deal for
sure. You also get a free second fan that apparently goes on the side of the
case. The unit I got did not have this, however I am sure it would not help
that much since this case is large and has lots of open space on the inside
to help dissipate the heat.
I would say this case would be a very good choice for server or workstation
environment, but not for the home or even the average computer guru. This
is a very large case that would barely even fit under my desk, and the 4 drive
bays are overkill for most people, including me.
However, at $79, this case offers good value
to someone looking for that type of room in a computer system. The motherboard
tray is an excellent feature that gives the AT900 an advantage over most other
cases, therefore making this product stand out from the crowd, even if its