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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Monday, October 17, 2005
Sansun SN-C001 the BAT


1. Introduction

The PC case market is growing continuously larger, with a greater number of new additions from numerous manufacturers, sometimes good and sometimes not so good. Fortunately, we haven't as yet encountered a "not so good" addition and this review is no exception. the Sansun group has provided us with it's latest model and we immediately got down to reviewing it. Note here, that the BAT case or SN-C001 model, comes in four colors. Yellow, red, blue and black, which is the one that came to our labs. And so, we begin...

Ever thought of a hero-look case for your PC? Sansun is offering this with its latest PC case release, the BAT model, a Batman inspired product, as its name indicates. A standard middle ATX case, the BAT is sure to catch the eye with its design and lighting effects. As we will see later on in this review, the complete image of this PC case is exciting as are all PC case products manufactured by Sansun. For now, let us go over the main specifications for the BAT case as given by the Sansun group.

- Specifications

Model SN-C001
Type ATX Middle Tower
Mainboard Intel P4/ AMD K7, K8/ MP Dual CPU 12” x 13”
Expansion slot 7 full slot covers
Drive Bay 4 x 5.25”
2 x 3.5”
4 x 3.5”HDD
Material SECC, 0.7mm thickness
Power Supply PSII
Optional Cooling system Front: 8cm x 1
Rear: 8cm x 2 or 12cm x 1
I/O USB x 2, Audiox 2, IEEE 1394 x 1
Tool free kits Optional
Case Dimension 440D x 200W x 430mmH

At first glance, the BAT case is nothing more than a normal case with a fancy exterior. As we progressed, investigating the inner parts of the case, we found that it holds many surprises for the end user. Let's have a look at the BAT case features.

- Features

As we mentioned above, the BAT case, offers some interesting features, which are bound to impress and satisfy the potential buyer. The end buyer is presented with a complete ATX case, a fancy looking design and lots of interesting features, which are aimed at simplifying the installation process while also offering a certain amount of flexibility.

Let's have a look at the features one by one...

- Fancy Mask outside with Bat’s wing shape side panels, are the first things you will encounter upon opening the retail box. This gives and exciting look to the PC case, which will quickly draw the attention of any Batman fan as well as Case modding enthusiasts.
- Unique mirror finished treatment, makes the case even fancier, in comparison to other retail stock cases.
- Bat grill+ 8cm fan for extra ventilation
- Optional 80mm Air conductor guides the CPU heat out of the case, for complete airflow and heat management.
- Removable HDD Cage and FDD cage, for easy, tool-less installation of HDD and FDD drives
- Screw-Less Clip For 5.25" Disk and I/O (optional), another useful feature for tool-less installation
- Special I/O port on top design with dust-proof cover, the last and most useful feature which offers easy access to important I/O ports.

Now that we've covered the basics, let us move on to the rest of this review and the case itself.


2. The Case

As mentioned before, the case comes in four colors. We received a black case which is the most appropriate in this case. Well, Batman wears black doesn't he?

The front panel is revealed when you open the "panel door" which is actually Batman's mask. A chance to reveal his true identity? Nothing of the sort. Underneath, we find 4 x 5.25” and 2 x 3.5” drive bays.

Contrary to what we are used to, the BAT case has the reset and power button, as well as the exterior ports at the top of the case.

Under the sliding USB marked door, we will find the I/O ports

The side panels are rather fancy, with a bat wing-like design and bat logos.

The right side of the case.

On the left side we find the Bat wing design with a ventilation grill and and air conductor with an 80mm fan.

The left side with the Batman logo and fan.

The rear side of the case, holds the rear exhaust system slots (2x80mm), the motherboard slots, and expansion slots, as well as the power supply slot.

the rear view of the BAT case...

Now that we've seen what the Hero Case looks like, lets move on to the interior of the case and the installation.


3. The inside

Taking a look at the interior of the BAT case after unpacking the case and loosening some screws. Notice that the case does not come with a power supply, hence one is needed. Now, lets point out the most important parts of the case.

The front panel holds on optional fan, that can be used to produce sufficient airflow to cool the HDD and FDD (depends on were the clips are screwed on).

The optional front fan clips ...

The HDD and FDD cages, as the Sansun group describes them, are removable, based on a sliding mechanism, so installation of HDD-FDD drives is rendered tool-less.

The HDD and FDD cages can be easily removed with the least amount of effort...

The expansion slots (used for PCI and such) are completely tool-less, thus, any future additions can be done easily and without any significant effort. Note that the plastic lock clips located above the expansion slots, are used to lock PCI devices for example, in place without the need for screws. Note also, that before any further installation, the plastic locks must be removed with some cards, especially large ones like 6800 and 7800, and then put back on.

Screwless slots for easy assembling

Lets take a look at the I/O ports located on the top of the case...

From left to right, we have : 1394 (Firewire), two USB 2.0 compatible ports, a mic port and a headphones port, all of them easily accessible as they are located on the top of the case and not near the bottom front panel were most cases have them.

Taking a look at the fan included in the BAT case, the side fan is an 80mm standard fan with an additional plastic "pipe" which helps air ventilation. When the left side is sealed off, the "pipe" hovers over the CPU cooler. Interesting addition.

You can add your own fan in this position. Maybe one with coloured leds would provide a different approach :-)

You'll have to remove the plastic pipe first, which is fairly easy, but afterwards there are nine more screws to take care of. The fan's screws are accessed from the outer side so you'll have to remove the plastic bat-cover from the side panel. A lot off work for nothing, better keep the stock fan :-)

Now that we've seen the most important parts of the BAT case, let us move on to the installation of the PC parts and complete this review with an overall conclusion...


4. Installation

The installation is rather simple, as with most of the PC cases out there, so we will only cover the important parts here. First thing first, we installed the Power Supply and Motherboard. The power supply was a Thermaltake ........ and the motherboard used was the ......

We encountered some difficulties in installing the motherboard ports backplate in the PC case and we had to improvise...

Not a Bat-Hammer but it will do...

Even though this was most probably a motherboard related issue, one must take care of the insertion of the backplate...

The motherboard and power supply installed in the case...

Next to be installed was the HDD. Note here that the HDD must be installed before the graphics card (or cards in the case of SLI) because of the lack of space (the slide-in HDD cage won't fit past any installed graphics cards. This can be considered as a flaw in the BAT case design. Note also, that with hard disks and other similar devices, screws must be used in order to secure the drives to the PC case and not clips, hooks, or similar ...

The HDD slots and the sliding rail devices...

As mentioned above, SLI card owners will find themselves in a bit of trouble if they try to unhook any HDD drives, or install them after installing the graphics cards. This is due to the HDD cage sliding out towards the motherboard rather than upwards, as seen in the screenshot below...

SLI card problem is one of the major flaws of the BAT case...

Moving on to the graphics cards, the installation is quite easy, though some un-screwing must take place. As shown in the previous page, the plastic lock above the expansion slots must be removed with the three screws which reside on the exterior of the case, and then the expansion slots will become free. We then install the PCI devices (and AGP) and we put the lock back in place...

The GPU cards installation, after removing the Plastic lock...

Now we put the lock back on the PCI devices...

Three screws hold the plastic lock in place on the back of the case...

Unfortunately, the procedure did not end as expected. The plastic lock did not lock into place thus holding down firmly the PCI card, as seen in the picture below. Note here that this problem occurred with the graphics cards but we believe that with other PCI devices, it would most probably not be a problem...

This can be expected with PCI-E and AGP Graphics cards....

Another drawback was the HDD orientation, which is restricted by SLI graphics cards due to lack of space. With a little effort, the cards and drives will all fit in, even though you must take care with the IDE and power supply cables...

Limited space is another flaw of the BAT case (SLI users only)

After installing the Power Supply, Motherboard, HDD and graphics cards, we moved on to the extra USB and the rest of the I/O slots...

Plugging in the necessary Power/Reset buttons as well as the USB - 1934 - and Mic/Headphones ports is the easiest part...
Notice how the Power and Reset switches light up...

Drive installation is quite easy and a tool-less procedure, and within a few minutes, both our drives were in place. Two plastic clips (one on each side of the device, two on each of the three 5.25" slots) which come with the BAT case...

The installation clips are a very useful addition to the BAT case...

The drives were hooked on in less than a few minutes as mentioned above. Note that in order to put the clips on both sides, both side panels must be removed. But since the case offers the hand screwed solutions for side panel removal, the task was actually much easier.

The drive and Power supply installed....

Another point of interest during installation was the side fan, which as discussed in the previous page, helps increases the effectiveness of the CPU cooler. The side fan draws cool air over the CPU fan.

We plugged the side fan and then we closed the side panel...

The Side fan is designed to go right on top of the CPU cooler. For this review, we used the Golden Orb II from the Tt Golden Orb series which is quite big. Fortunately, there were no problems...

The Side fan will hug the CPU cooler...

The side fan will increase flow as expected, especially as the tube "hugs" the CPU cooler, literally...

Perfect fit... increased ventilation..

If you are about to install a larger CPU cooler than the Golden Orb II, you'll probably have to first remove the plastic tube over the fan, in order for the side panel to close.

Last but not least, we plugged in an extra 8mm fan at the rear of the BAT case. An akassa 12db was used and was installed in short time without any problems whatsoever...

The outcome is really impressive....

And so the case is complete and ready for use...

Another view of the rear fan...

As we've seen in this page, the BAT case is a pretty versatile case in terms of installation. Even though we encountered some problems with the HDD and SLI enabled motherboards, the BAT case still remains a good choice as a PC case.

Up 'n working...

And now we move on to the conclusion...


5. Conclusion

In one word, the Bat case could be described as "Fancy". The exterior design and looks of this case are its primary features, with ease of installation and flexibility coming second. The Bat case, a middle ATX PC case for both Intel and AMD based motherboards, clearly targets Batman "fans" and PC case enthusiasts. If making an impression is the primary concern of the Bat case, then it has certainly succeeded.

The mask shaped front panel, along with the winged side panels as well as the Bat-logos on both sides, which by the way are quite polished and reflect, are a truly nice touch. If you add the bright eyes that light up (optional) when the case is powered on, then we would say that we have an overall impressive outcome, even though transparent side panels are not available. Additional lights can be installed, as seen in these pages, were the power supply and a colored fan along with the cooler gave a blue like glow to the inside which was visible from the "Bat-grills" as Sansun refers to them, located on the sides and the back of the case.

A useful feature on this case is the location at the top of the case, of the extra (exterior) USB 2.0, Firewire, Mic and headphones ports. Their placement there makes them easily accessible, as well as that of the Power and reset buttons which are located next to the ports. It isn't immediately apparent just how useful this placement really is.

The downside is the interior space which doesn't always make for easy installation. Installation is described as "tool-less", though this is not always the case. For the HDD and FDD installation, even though the case follows on the footsteps of "new age" cases with sliding HDD cages that don't require unplugging, we encountered some problems during the procedure. The orientation of the cages did not offer any assistance in HDD loading and unloading, where the HDD cage along with the HDD were blocked by the graphics card(s). In the case of SLI cards, which we installed initially during this review, the problem becomes even more complicated.

On the "tool-less" side, we have another important quirk to point out. The PCI expansion slots, require the unscrewing of a plastic lock which holds down any PCI and AGP cards installed. The plastic lock, as we saw in the review, doesn't sit properly, thanks to the size of some of the latest release graphics cards (PCI-E). These are two important points that need to be taken into account. Other than that, we found the installation fairly simple and quite enjoyable (we were impatient to see the eyes glow blue).

What we ended up with at the end of the day, was a nice looking and rather impressive PC case, a change from all the cases we've become used to, which will satisfy all potential buyers if design and impressive looks are your primary goal.

The retail price for the Sansun SN-C001 BAT case, at the time of the review, is $70. For more information visit http://www.sansungroup.com.tw.



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