IN-WIN BUC: Just How Much $100 Can Buyby Dustin Sklavos on May 9, 2011 4:28 PM EST
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Introducing the IN-WIN BUC
When building a new machine, it's often easy to pass by certain manufacturers in favor of old standbys like Antec, Cooler Master, SilverStone, or Thermaltake. Whenever another company becomes a contender it's usually because they made a big splash at the top of the market and let the halo effect strike the way Corsair did. However, there's great engineering going on with smaller firms, and in the case of IN-WIN and their new BUC enclosure, you'd be surprised at just how much actual value can be crammed into what seems at first glance like a mid-range enclosure. If you're the type to tinker religiously with your desktop, the BUC may just be the case for you.
I'll admit I was a bit skeptical when the BUC arrived. Good enclosures can be difficult to find, and my initial perspective was that the BUC was going to be "just another gaming case". Thankfully my job requires more than snap judgments: I have to actually use the case, build a computer with it, and really get a feel for it. In the process, I found a lot of very pleasant surprises.
Keeping things moving with our new set of case reviews, the BUC is our first full-sized ATX case and as such it's the first case to take advantage of our full-sized ATX testbed, which I'll talk more about when we get to the thermal and acoustic testing. Once again I ask that if you have any suggestions for how we handle future case reviews, please feel free to let us know. Now, on with the show!
|IN-WIN BUC Specifications|
|Motherboard Form Factor||ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX|
|Drive Bays||External||3x 5.25", 1x 3.5"|
|Internal||5x 3.5"/2.5" (three hotswap)|
|Cooling||Front||1x 120mm intake fan|
|Rear||1x 120mm exhaust fan|
|Top||1x 120mm fan mount|
|Side||2x 120mm fan mount (tested with extra included fan mounted)|
|Front I/O Port||2x USB 2.0, headphone and mic jacks, eSATA|
|Top I/O Port||1x USB 3.0 (with routing cable)|
|Power Supply Size||Standard ATX|
|Clearance||250mm (PSU), 12" (Expansion Cards), 170mm (CPU HSF)|
|Dimensions||19.9" x 8.3" x 19.1"|
I whipped out the tape measure to give more exact figures of just what you can expect to fit in this enclosure, but generally speaking just about any standard CPU cooler or power supply should fit. As far as video cards are concerned, fitting anything the size of a Radeon HD 5970/6990 is going to be a tight squeeze, but other than that you should be good to go. Our GeForce GTX 580 was able to fit comfortably and easily with room to breathe.
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Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - linkMy gaming drive alone is 585GB, and that's all legitimately purchased content.
My scratch drive, where I put video I'm editing, has nearly a terabyte of video on it.
My desktop has, on the whole, four hard drives (two in a RAID 1 and two in a RAID 0) and two SSDs (two in a RAID 0).
So no, you don't have to steal content to fill that much space. You can get by just fine by making your own.
dagamer34 - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - linkYou can never have enough hard drives for backups.
FSWKU - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - linkBecause anyone who needs a lot of space MUST be stealing content. That's the ONLY possible explanation. Lets see how much space I actually NEED:
Windows Folder = 11.8gb
Steam Folder = 17.3gb
Music Folder = 31.3gb (all ripped from CDs that I own)
Disc Images = 20.9gb (several flavors of Linux, Backtrack, and a few versions of Windows downloaded from my TechNet subscription to use in the VMs I develop on.)
Video Folder = 50gb (all projects I've worked on or DVD's that I've backed up from my collection).
Documents Folder = 20.4gb (Pictures, application files, training materials, savegames, misc drivers, voiceover projects, VHDs for the VMs I mentioned earlier)
Thats 151.7gb, and I don't use my computer for nearly as much as most other people do. I keep most of my space free because I dabble in video editing. But this just means my 320gb (297gb once all is said and done) is just barely enough for what I do. But of course I MUST be stealing content if I feel like I need more space than the 80gb you limit yourself to...
Taft12 - Monday, May 9, 2011 - link<i>There's a lot you can do to mitigate it by using quiet fans and employing fan controls, but it just doesn't have a whole lot to really keep all that noise in and with a video card like the GeForce GTX 580 it might get a little louder than you'd like.</i>
Fortunately, a PC case at this price point is unlikely to see a GTX580. A GTX 560 or 6870 is much more likely. This really sounds like the best option for a wide window of PC budgets and it sounds like you'd need to double the price you pay to get a case that is a definitive improvement.
Great review Dustin!
fraginader - Monday, May 9, 2011 - linkWould be nice to have a labelled diagram detailing various terms like 5.25" bay, SATA backplane etc. Newbies like me would appreciate it.
micksh - Monday, May 9, 2011 - linkOne foot distance for noise measurement is actually too close. Towers are mostly standing on the floor so the distance to ears is rather 3 feet.
This results noise from front fan contributing to overall system noise way more than it would contribute from 3 feet distance.
One foot distance to front fan means two feet distance to video card. With doubling the distance noise pressure decreases 4 times.
Let's imagine video card and front fan generate the same amount of noise. This method will result 6 decibel added to front fan noise comparing to video card noise.
Whereas registering sound from 3 feet would make difference in distance negligible and amount of noise would be almost the same from both.
Same thing happened in December in review of Silverstone GD04 case. Sound meter was too close to case fan and the case fan noise was artificially inflated in dBA measurement. And CPU fan noise was suppressed by difference in distance. This resulted incorrect conclusion that the case was loud. If you read Silentpcreview.com review of the same case they regarded GD04 case as quiet. But they measured it from 1 meter and they used very quiet components so their methodology should be more accurate.
And I highly doubt that noise floor in silent apartment at night is 32dB. It's probably sound meter limit.
Better sound meter is needed in order to get accurate readings.
Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - linkActually my tower is about two feet at most from my left ear. Some peoples' mileage may vary; I have a friend whose tower is on his desk. The fans in the BUC aren't the issue, and the system runs very quietly at idle from a subjective point of view. The BUC doesn't have much in the way of soundproofing, and that's why noise levels go through the roof when the GTX 580 gets stressed.
32dB is actually pretty quiet. I'm sorry I don't live in a quieter area, but you'll also find the rated noise floors for most sound meters $300 and below is between 30 and 40dB.
At the risk of being unprofessional, I'm getting tired of SPCR being brought in here as the bible by which all other reviews must be judged. The GD04, without proper fan control, is audible. SilverStone's engineers will even admit to that, and I think SilverStone tends to engineer their designs towards performance first. Then, when you employ fan control, you find that their cases are so well-engineered that they're able to handle considerable thermal stress without requiring substantial active cooling.
As I told Tony at SilverStone when I met him at CES, I bought the GD04 with my own money, of my own volition, after having explicitly researched the case including your vaunted SPCR review. It was audible even across the room, where I had it stationed next to my television. It NEEDS fan control.
micksh - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - linkSure, fan control is needed, I don't argue with that.
If a single case is going to be utilized for two scenarios - high performance system and quiet system, it's better to use fan control for quiet scenario.
I'm not questioning this review of BUC case. I'm just pointing that measuring noise so close may offset results in the future, for other reviews.
You just need $2000 sound meter, then you will be all set.
Spivonious - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - linkAgreed. I'd like to see both 1ft and 3ft measurements. And 32dB noise floor in a nighttime apartment does seem high. I'd expect a level of 20-25dB, unless the meter is under the air conditioning vent, or the neighbors are having a party.
JFish222 - Monday, May 9, 2011 - linkI'm not familiar with specific of using sata backplanes but assume they use some form of voltage control and/or bridge chip.
Can you go into further details about how this works (ie: if a bridge chip is used, supplier/model) and specify if it supports SATA rev3 (6Gb)?
Thanks for another great article.