The Aqua Blue Mid-Tower Case
With Apple's BIG introduction
of the iMAC in late 1998, many computer manufacturers, especially case makers
decided to expand the fashion with a classy colored new look for personal
computers. Just a few months later, computer makers had the genius? idea of
applying the fashion to the PC market. Apple didn't like it when a company
designed a PC in the exact same shape and design as the iMAC. Meanwhile, not
everyone will actually like iMAC's design. In comes Rainer inc., a pc case
based company in Gardena, California. They don't just paint cases; they use
high quality construction material and apply an artistic polish. They have
a product line of over 25 cases with all kinds of flavors, ranging from penguins
to devils. Rainer inc. supplied us last month with the Aqua Blue case, so
let's take a closer look.
with ATX I/O Shield (Back Plate)
Panel Access Toolless Case
Easy To Install the Standard ATX Motherboard
Heavy Duty Steel
Extra Fan in the Front
of Electromagnetic-wave Blocked
For Those Seeking Very Cool Artistic Case
For Its Quality Craftsmanship
At the first glance, the
Aqua case doesn't have anything in common with iMAC's look and couldn't be
compared to anything in today's market. I personally expected a standard looking
case with a blue painted bottom. But I ended up being wrong. The case has
an amazing good and solid look; the artistic polish is definitely a job well
The floppy drive isn't
inserted directly from the exterior, but instead it must be inserted from
the back, which is covered by the case's front floppy deck. This is mostly
due to the case's exterior look not being 100% flat. It's more like a 1/3
of a sphere. I personally think that the floppy deck is a very good improvement
on the design.
Another interesting feature
is the plastic covers, they are extremely easy to remove and re-mount. No
more metal covers and screwdrivers are required. The covers are mounted using
2 brackets on each side of the case, which makes the exterior screw-less.
The Aqua Blue weights
in at a heavy 22 lbs., without the power supply. The main front panel comes
with 2 buttons, a big (power up/stand by) button and a little, or should I
say, tinny reset button. It also includes 2 colored LED's (red and green):
the green one for the power status and the red for the hard drive status.
The newer ATX 2.X specs
demand proper airflow. Physics people know very well that cold air (more dense)
falls and hot air (less dense) rises. The Aqua Blue makes particularly good
use of this simple principle with its venting. The bottom front comes with
an 80mm cooling fan, adjusted to blow out the air out of the case using the
rounded hole on the front side. The fan doesn't create any extra noise, surely
Expansion slots these
days have become somehow more important in a computer case then back in the
old days. The Aqua blue doesn't cause any problems in that scene either, as
it comes with a total of 7 drive bays, three external 5.25", two external
3.5" and two internal 3.5" bays. This is considered as a standard in the mid-tower
market. The drives are mounted using two screws, a mounting mechanism applies
a force on the right side of the drive, which replaces the need for extra
screws and at the same time saves your precious building time.
The Power supply
with four different power options, the first is a basic solution for the basic
user, a 250W ATX power supply (KME or other Generic brand). It comes with
a total with 7 connectors: one main board connector, four power connectors
(IDE or SCSI), and two power connectors (floppy, etc.). While not approved
to work with the AMD Athlon, this may not fit the needs for some.
The second choice is another
generic power supply, one with 300W output power. Basically, it's a very similar
unit to the first one. This may be a better solution for users using many
devices or drives and using another CPU other than the AMD Athlon.
The third choice is the
300W Fortron power supply with the smart fan feature. A true 300W continuous
output, suitable for full tower, workstation or a mini-server requiring extra
power. It features a total of 10 connectors: two different types of motherboard
power connectors (20pins or 6pins), six power connectors (IDE or SCSI), and
two power connectors (floppy, etc.) Another interesting feature is the thermally
controlled cooling fan. The fan's speed varies automatically depending on
the inside temperature of power supply. Depending on the temperature, the
fan moves faster for maximum cooling or moves slower for less noise. At the
same time it's Athlon approved by AMD. The extra-invested money is definitely
The fourth and last choice
is no power supply. This may be an interesting option for people that already
own a power supply or simply want to buy something of their own choice.
Being sold at an estimated
150$USD with the 300W Furtron power supply, this is not the cheapest price
you can find for a mid-tower. On the other hand, you know exactly where that
money goes. First off, all the biggest expense is the design, which makes
this case unique from its competitors.
I saw many good looking
colored artistic cases in the last few months, but when time comes to compare
the inside construction quality, 90% of them will end up being off the mark.
The Aqua Blue is built using the highest quality construction methods. The
case ends up being a very interesting solution for people with money searching
for a cool looking case and at the same time high quality construction.