First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Gigabyte 3DAurora 570
- Very light, plenty of space, excellent cooling
- 5.25in drive bays are very tight, noticeable flexing when installing motherboard cables and RAM
While we do have a couple of issues with its construction and design, the large size and excellent cooling of the 3D Aurora 570 make it a decent case if you want to build a high-end gaming PC. Its light weight means that you can also lug it to LAN parties fairly easily.
Price$ 240.00 (AUD)
Constructed out of aluminium, Gigabyte's 3D Aurora 570 PC case is light, yet it's also roomy and has plenty of space for high-end components to be installed. Due to its aluminium construction, it's not as rigid as most cases and its drive bays are a tight fit, especially when installing a DVD burner.
The 3D Aurora 570 is a tall ATX form factor case that has space for six 3.5in drives and five 5.25in drives, and all drives can be installed without the use of any tools. You can install a hard drive in a 3.5in bay by using the supplied plastic rails, which snap into place on each side of a drive and allow it to slide, albeit tightly, into the bay. The hard drive bays face outward, instead of rearward, which makes hard drive installation very easy.
To install a DVD burner, you don't even have to attach rails. You can just slide it into the drive bay and lock it into place using the sliding mechanism that's already attached to the drive bay. We found the 5.25in drive bay to be a very tight fit for our DVD burner, though.
The case has plenty of space between the drive bays, the power supply and the motherboard base, so it's very easy to install a system in this case. When installing RAM and attaching cables to our motherboard, flexing of the aluminium base was a concern. We would have liked some reinforcement behind the base in order to minimise its flex. The supports at the top of the case, where the power supply rests, also exhibited some bending when a large Enermax power supply was installed.
The first time we installed our DVD burner, we found the front panel of the case hard to replace. The front panel has to be removed in order to take off the metal plates on the 5.25in drive bays. The front panel is held to the case using a series of clips and pins, which are fixed to the panel. It's quite difficult to align all the pins with their holes and a flat-head screwdriver may be required to guide some of them in to place. The front panel also has a heavy door to hide the drive bays and this door is held closed by magnets. On our sample case, one of the magnets, held to the inside of the case using glue, come loose. While the front panel isn't something your likely to take off and put back on too many times, we still think it could have been made a little easier to re-attach.
As we've touched upon, the case is essentially tool-less. The hard drives reside on rails and DVD drives fit snugly into their drive bays, where a sliding mechanism locks them into place. Likewise, all the expansion cards are held in place by a single bracket. This means you don't have to screw them in. If you have many expansion cards installed, for example, two graphics cards, a TV tuner and a sound card, then it can be tricky to align all the cards properly in order to lock the single bracket.
For cooling, Gigabyte has installed three large 12cm fans. One is at the front of the case and sucks air into the case to keep the hard drives cool, while the other two are installed at the rear of the case to extract warm air from the case. Mesh-like venting is employed at the front of the case to help feed the fan with cool air, but its holes are fairly large and it can be a passageway for dust if you have a carpeted room.
The side-panel is also, essentially, a large vent, so if you have plenty of hard drives and graphics cards with audible fans, the noise will escape. The fans that Gigabyte supplies are very quiet, so for a typical system with one or two hard drives and a single graphics card, noise shouldn't be a problem. If you want to implement liquid-cooling, the 3D Aurora 570 has mounting holes in its chassis that can be used to route pipes from a Gigabyte liquid cooler, such as the 3D Galaxy II.
Connectivity is ample at the front of the case. There are two USB ports, a FireWire port, a microphone port and a headphone port, but their location under the lip of the front-panel's door makes them hard to access when the case is placed on the floor. The front panel also has a high-powered LED that can be customised to project names and logos using a special film and a bracket that Gigabyte supplies. This can really make you stand out at LAN parties.
While the 3D Aurora 570 does have a few construction and design issues, it's not a bad choice if you want a roomy ATX case to build a high-end system. Its cooling features are great and the ample space inside the case means that cramping will not be an issue when installing your components. Furthermore, the light weight of the case means that, although it's big, it can be relatively easily carried to LAN parties.
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