|Tagan CS-Monolith Mid Tower ATX Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Ronald Tibbetts - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 09 October 2007|
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Borrowing off a design by XClio, the CS-Monolith has had a lot of engineering thought put into its design. Regarding its cooling scheme, the twin 250mm fans will create a lot of air pressure inside the case. Guaranteeing a constant source of fresh air and pushing hot air up and out of the many vent holes. This method though could potentially interfere with some CPU/GPU coolers on the market that require uninterrupted airflow. However, the brute force approach to cooling might just be the ticket for Overclockers and those who worry about more then CPU temps, but the chipsets, voltage regulators, RAM, and other components that are subject to heat. The CS-Monolith is also an off-the-shelf solution for those who just don't want to worry about heat. There is only one issue, as I see it, regarding fans that move this much air. Dust. I don't think it would have been to much more to include some filters.
The lighting effects are done very well. The contrast between the bright blue LED and matte black defiantly adds a visual appeal that many will find irresistible. And gives multifunction to the front door. There is no standard power light, unless you consider the lighted Aplus logo. But there is a blue LED HDD activity light (not pictured here) discreetly located below, and to the right of the logo. I very much like that you can turn off the lights on the front door. It's too bad the same idea wasn't given to the fan lights and controls while still keeping the fans on.
A side window above the fans would've been great, but not having a side window, and rocking two giant fans, means you don't have to worry about cable management at all. Although there are no windows to see in, the vent holes are open enough to see the black finish is not extended to the inside of the case. A minor detail, but something to keep in mind with future releases.
It's always good to see needed ports added to the front of a case, saving a lot of hassle as you know. The ports on the CS-Monolith are more than what the average user will need. Even throwing in a Firewire. However, I would have loved too see an eSATA port, and the front I/O ports moved more to the top of the case.
The inclusion of a storage box is a thoughtful touch. Truly goes to show Tagan is keeping their end user in mind giving you a place for all the spare parts. I would have liked to seen the box re-located to the 3.5" drive bay though, since few use the floppy and you'd still have access without removing a side panel.
The tool-less install of the drives was the easiest I have ever experienced. With the rest of the tool-free perks, and ample work space, there's no dread in doing future upgrades. I can just imagine the time and hassle saved already.
Packaging is top notch here: A clearly labeled box, with plastic handle on top, two hand holds on both side, with protection from double foam inserts and a poly bag. Ensuring your purchase arrives, and is undamaged, while allowing you to move it yourself. The fit and finish on the CS-Monolith is exactly what you'd expect. A flawless paint job, giant fans, and brilliant lighting all lend to a look that will leave most peoples mouths hanging open. Whether in awe or horror the CS-Monolith leaves its mark. Made of all steel, means the main body of the Monolith is virtually indestructible. And no sharp edge means it won't destroy you either. The front bezel is made of rugged high grade plastic, same as all the plastic components. As a creative touch most of the front end, save for the mirrored door, is coated in a rubber material that's silky to the touch. The benefit of an over-the-top cooling system, with two giant 250mm fans, is exactly what some have been looking for. Making the whole thing tool-less only sweetens the deal all the more so.
Based off the nearly identical design by Xclio, while costing $10 USD less The CS-Monolith's only competitors in its price range are other Tagan cases. At NewEggs Price of $119.99 you truly get a lot of real estate for your dollar with this big case. Along with a powerful cooling solution, and good looks.
To sum it all up, there are a lot of things I like about Tagan's CS-Monolith. Their full-blown approaches to cooling, one of a kind look, hassle free installation, and managing to package it all in one helluva big case. There are some minor adjustments to be made in my eyes. But nothing that in any way handicaps the many features you'll get.
+ One-of-a-kind looks with lighted front panel design
- No lock on front door or side panel
Final Score: 9.05 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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