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Installation and testing

I didn't have a WTX board to mount this unit. But I don't consider that to be a problem since I think the vast majority of these cases will have ATX boards mounted in them. I used an Abit BX6r2 motherboard because it is a large, and somewhat wide, motherboard. I had two available 92mm fans to add to the standard 92mm intake fan so I went ahead and tossed them in. I mounted a normal array of peripherals.

Upon inserting the additional fans I noticed the only way to mount the innermost 92mm fan is to unscrew its mounting bracket, place the fan in it, and then restore the unit with the mounting screws. All other fans are easily accessible and pop into their brackets quite easily. This case features the same drive rails that I liked so much in the 7896A. What sets these apart is that they are made of thick metal that is screwed onto the drive and simply screwed into the case from the front of the case. Most other cases feature flimsy metal drive rails or worse, plastic rails that are screwed in from the sides. Mounting screws in the front not only speed installation, but they end a lot of the hassle of moving a drive from one bay to another.

The Abit board went in without a hitch. The case features a standard plate for ATX motherboards with knockouts for boards that have onboard sound. While it is an adjustment to see your board sitting in a case upside down the four exhaust fans definitely show why this layout is desirable. Placing all the expansion slots higher in the case leaves a substantial amount of room for mounting those exhaust fans. Dual processor boards will definitely benefit from the cooling layout of this case. I was wishing for a large dual CPU board like the Tyan Tiger, or even an Abit BP6 to place in here. With so much room inside I wanted to see just how large a board would have to be put in there to make it look cramped.

Front Cover
Front Fans
Inside Back
Rear Cover
Rear Lock

Addtronics provided their 300W power supply. I think that anyone who is considering this case should opt for this power supply. The ATX power connector is extra long, and when fully stretched, can sit about 4 inches outside the case! Depending on the layout of your particular board a normal power supply may not have a long enough ATX power connector. This power supply also offers extra long wiring with seven Molex connectors and two floppy power connectors. All those connectors definitely come in handy when you begin filling in all those fan brackets. I mentioned before that I recommend the optional luxury casters for this unit. The reason is very simple: this case empty weighed more than one of my mid-towers with all the components inside. Due to the amount of metal and sheer size it doesn't take long to get up to 50 or 60 lbs. with a lot of components inside. While the 7896A will only sit alongside my desk the W8500 just clears under it. That's with the luxury casters mounted. That in my mind is another consideration for anyone who doesn't want a large tower taking up valuable floor space. You'll need a deep desk since this unit will have difficulty not protruding out due to its added depth from the rear plastic cover and its already deep dimensions.

Pros: Cons:


  • Impressive cooling accommodations
  • Can accommodate any board you throw in it
  • Lots of power connectors with the 300W power supply

  • May be too deep to fit under some desks


Obviously, a case like this isn't going to go cheap. Addtronics will send it out the door for $309 USD with the 300w power supply. You can get it for as low as $259 without the power supply. The luxury casters are $15.

The 7896A still holds a special place in my heart, but it has been superceded by the W8500. Losing one internal and one external 5.25" bay is an easy tradeoff for the superior cooling and interior volume of the W8500. I never ran short of room with the 7896A or had problems reaching my components, but with the W8500 I have so much more room it is nearly beyond description how much easier it is to work inside this case. One of the things that I liked the most about the W8500 was the placement for a lock on the rear of the case. Combined with the cylinder lock on the front of the case this produced a very impressive security arrangement. Not only is it difficult for people to get in your case, but they can't mess with your cable connections on the rear of the case. That'll keep the guys in the office from trying to steal your new 18" flat panel or trade out video cards.

The W8500 features the best construction I've ever seen in a case. It is purpose built for those who want a serious case and don't want any frills. The styling isn't bad, but it wasn't designed to compete with an attractive case like the Hansan Systems Explorer III. The W8500 features the best out of the box cooling potential possible. If you care more about design and quality than fashion, I highly recommend you consider the WTX W8500 case.

Due to its construction, massive cooling potential, security, and the ease of working inside of this case, I am awarding the Addtronics W8500 WTX case the TargetPC Editor's Choice award. Anyone who is considering an ATX full-tower should stop and consider this case strongly.

Victor Oshiro


Web Target PC


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