- Packaging and Specifications
- External Impressions
- Internal Impressions Part 1
- Internal Impressions Part 2
- Installation Experience and Conclusion
Once you remove it the front panel, its pretty flimsy. I would have said “what can you expect such PC cases” if I haven’t evaluated Bitfenix Merc. Matte finish front panel but a very good quality plastic was used in that case, even the 5.25″ may covers was of solid built.
Behind the front panel’s mesh, there is a thin piece of foam clipped on the front panel that will be used as a dust filter. I prefer nylon dust filter over foams anyday. Much easier to clean and foam eventually develops a sheet of dust more quicker as far as I’ve seen- hence doing more harm than good. Then again, Dust filters should be cleaned regularly. Its more of a preference really.
The front panel header on the frame with the help of a plastic bracket. There are 2 things that I don’t like: there isn’t much space between the USB ports so I don’t believe you can use 2 thick USB device next to each other at the same time. Second is that it comes with a USB 3.0 routing cable- not a header. I don’t hate the fact that Coolermaster provided a single USB 3.0 port. Rather if they provided a header, I would question why didn’t Coolermaster make an effort to provide 2x USB 3.0 all the way? What I am really disappointed is that they mention that its a USB 3.0 via a routing cable- and it wasn’t mentioned on the Advertised specs or on the product profile.
I know- its a no brainer that one who will put a system together, at the point of writing its highly unlikely that one who buys a motherboard with USB 3.0 headers will go cheap and grab such case because as of now the motherboards with USB 3.0 headers come at a certain premium. Only advantage of a routing cable? Assuming your motherboard atleast has USB 3.0 port on the rear I/O you don’t need to go behind the case and plug it in.
The case comes the usual audio headers, a USB 3.0 re-routing cable, 1(and a 1/2) USB 2.0 headers powers 3 USB 2.0 ports, the usual front panel headers and both the fans come with a 3 pin-to-Molex connector.
I would have preferred 4x USB 2.0 because the 3rd USB 2.0 port uses a part of the USB 2.0 header- the top 3 pin part of the USB 2.0 header. Going behind the case to use your USB 3.0 device makes a lot more sense than wasting half the USB 2.0 header pins on the board.
There’s barely any space between the motherboard tray and the right sidepanel- you get about 1 cm.
There are 7 cable tie clips, but I really doubt it can hold all the cables of TX750. Then again, these cases are designed for power supplies with maybe 1 Molex Power cable, couple of SATA Power cables- each having 3 SATA power connectors and by max a single 6 (or a 6+2) PCIE Power cable- low cost ~400-500w power supply units. Lets not forget TX750 has a very thick wiring especially on the 24-pin connector.
But you get a generous space of 1.5″ between HDD bay and the right side panel. That’s not all, you get these cable management between the HDD bay and the motherboard tray, making is much easier to route the SATA cables- and hopefully the SATA Power Cables too. There’s also a space space between the 3.5″ external bay and the motherboard tray as well. Every bit of it counts!!!
If you didn’t read Bitfenix Merc Alpha Review, they provided atleast 2 reusable PCI slots-vented! They even had more HDD bays (some of which cannot be used if you are using a longer card). But 311 Plus comes with these routing holes that can be seen easily as stated above. To be honest, if it had 4x USB 2.0 instead of having a single USB 3.0 routing cable- and maybe better front panel quality- and maybe a hole on the motherboard tray to route through the 4/8 pin EPS Power connector I would be somewhat satisfied with the case for what’s worth.