In-Win GT1 Case Review: Fighting an Uphill Battleby Dustin Sklavos on March 8, 2013 9:00 AM EST
- Posted in
Introducing the In-Win GT1
If you've ever looked at a builder's guide for a desktop system on any major tech site (including this one), you've undoubtedly noticed that the first thing to get cut to make room in the budget is the enclosure. It's not hard to see why; as long as a case keeps things cool enough and runs quietly enough, for the most part it's doing its job. It's only when you look at the greater ecosystem of cases that the real sweet spot of the market ($99-$139) becomes more apparent. What this means, though, is that the sub-$99 market is very competitive, and when you start hovering between $50 and $70, it's downright brutal.
That competitive nature has forced manufacturers to get creative about fitting feature rich cases into lower price tags, and one of those cases is on hand today: the In-Win GT1. The GT1 features a hotswap bay, USB 3.0 connectivity, a semi-modular drive bay, and fan control, and comes in with an MSRP of $69. There's potential for this case, but does it offer enough to beat the incumbent in this bracket, the $10 cheaper Antec GX700?
I hesitate to say "amusingly," but it's the word appropriate for how I feel about this: amusingly, the one place you almost always have to make a sacrifice in this market is aesthetics. The Antec GX700 is a stellar performer, but it's not much of a looker. The In-Win GT1 threatens to fall into the same trap and may only appeal to a specific type of user. In-Win's strapped the bulk of features in the GT1 to a case that's inspired by racing cars.
|In-Win GT1 Specifications|
|Motherboard Form Factor||Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX|
|Drive Bays||External||3x 5.25"|
|Internal||6x 2.5"/3.5", 2x 2.5"|
|Cooling||Front||1x 120mm intake fan (supports 2x 120mm)|
|Rear||1x 120mm red LED exhaust fan|
|Top||2x 120mm fan mount|
|Bottom||1x 120mm fan mount|
|I/O Port||2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic|
|Power Supply Size||ATX|
|PSU||160mm with bottom fan / 220mm without|
|GPU||270mm with drive cage / 408mm without|
18.7" x 8.3" x 19.3"
475mm x 210mm x 491mm
|Weight||12.5 lbs. / 5.6 kg|
USB 3.0 via internal header
Dual-mode fan controller
Removable drive cage panel
Toolless drive installation
SATA hotswap bay
In-Win seems to have saved most of their scratch by only including two fans, which isn't unusual for this price range. More disappointing is opting to use 120mm fans instead of 140mm ones; Fractal Design in particular has been putting this foot forward and really, as far as fans go, bigger is usually better. The GT1 doesn't have the room for a 140mm exhaust fan, but it really should've fit one as an intake.
Unfortunately, In-Win also tags what's fast becoming one of my biggest pet peeves in case design: odd-numbered USB ports. I hate the idea that they might have omitted a second USB 3.0 port just to save a buck or two on manufacturing, and it's indicative of an old style of thinking that just doesn't fly on American shores. Designers need to realize that something like this can actually seriously hamstring a case's chances in the market; remember that Antec's GX700 features two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports.
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Sleepingforest - Friday, March 15, 2013 - linkNo, the backup shouldn't always be plugged in, otherwise whatever damage happens to the computer (fire, flood, virus, and so on) won't happen to the backup drive. If you get a good external drive, moving it while it's off has no consequences--you know, the thing people do with laptops? There are cameras with USB 3.0 because it's faster, as seen here: http://usbtips.com/nikon-d800-dslr-launches-with-s... I happen to use my phone even when I sit at a computer, so it's helpful to charge it while it's next to me.
So no, you look like the idiot here. You have a narrowly focused world view that can't comprehend usage scenarios beyond your own, you don't think through anything you say, and most of what you say is insults anyway.
dawp - Sunday, March 10, 2013 - linkwhy can't we flag obvious spam like this?
CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - linkBecause although Anandtech favors whining crybaby commentears, they do not like rude non first amendment jerks who wish to dominate and control everyone else, when it is clear you don't like it, since you wasted our time whining about it and bringing more attention to it.
I know, it's hard not to get some revenge satisfaction voting people off the comment area like a 3rd world dictator, if you want that crap go to toms - oh wait you do, then in a frenzy -20 as many people who talk sense as you possibly can, causing everyone else who doesn't have a bleeding tampon on display constantly having to go through the trouble of unhiding the often sentient comments you idiot fanboy whiners have hidden.
Now, that's why I say, and admittedly for the first time ever that may not be exactly correct, but you did ask, you power hungry evil person, and you got an answer.
keithh - Monday, March 11, 2013 - linkI'm guessing that you don't pay the electricity bill. I did the math and it was cheaper for me to decommission a bunch of smaller drives and replace them with a single 2TB drive. The cost was recovered in a couple of years. Further, the newer drives are faster, quieter, and cooler.
I second the recommendation to invest in a NAS.
CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - linkUmm, excuse me - but after "several years" of saving 5 watts per drive or so, and you've finnally "recouped your initial costs", although that isn't counting the possible REAL INVESTMENT of that added expense and the wonder of combined interest, you want to spend a wad on a very expensive rip off NAS ?
Dumb as can be, NAS is an "investment"....
Computer parts are not investments - you know maybe - if you are really goofy and you go to the raving loon retro section of ebay you could get a bit more than scrap weight price after a few years.
You aren't INVESTING, okay ?
Pass that along to the thousand other wannabe faux acting CEO's on this board, won't you ?
Spending on crap that depreciates faster than cars is NOT an investment.
keithh - Monday, March 11, 2013 - linkUh, no Director12, that would give him a whole *4* GB of mirrored data. That's more than enough for lots of applications - especially if you have your important stuff (photos & music) on the NAS in the basement.
xygtshadow - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - linkI do have a pair of 4GB drives from the 90's... But I couldn't fathom using them anymore. They're horrendously slow and my motherboard doesn't even support PATA ribbon cables.
angryblanket - Monday, March 11, 2013 - link1x usb 3.0 port and this thing looks like crap?! It would be OK without the brand naming but my goodness that huge "I U" in red makes me want to willingly gouge my eyes out.
CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - linkPlease do as they obviously are not used to read articles, thus saving you pain and suffering on your artsy fartsy doofus assessment, better for the feminine area of some girly tupperware get together.
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