3R System from South Korea is a new manufacturer that makes cases and cooling gear. Their R700 ATX tower is a medium-priced case which 3R Systems calls the “BadGuy” — we’re not quite sure why, but let’s see what it has to offer.
Dimension(Chassis) : 196(W) x 405(H) x 440(D)
Dimension(Total) : 196(W) x 428(H) x 480(D)
Drive Bays : 5.25″ x 4ea / 3.5″ x 7ea (Hidden : 5)
Form Factor : ATX, Micro-ATX
Weight : 6Kg
Colors : Silver, Black
Expansion Slots : 7 Slots
Front Fan : 120mm Low-noise
Rear Fan : 120mm Low-noise
Port : USB 2.0 x 2ea / IEEE1394 / MIC / SPK
Intel CAG1.1 Certified: Duct with 1*80mm fan on side panel for CPU cooling / Additional vent for GPU cooling (PCI Express – ready)
Fan Controller (standard) : Easy control via fan speed control dial
Digital Thermometer Included.
Home Theater PC – Ready with (Optional)
Power Supply not included
The BadGuy is made of steel with plastic fascia and corners — nothing wildly exciting there. Luckily, 3RSystem avoided the wild design excesses sometimes seen and the BadGuy is actually fairly stylish. We got the black version, and it looks pretty good.
You get a small box with the case that contains not enough screws and a single-sheet paper manual in Korean only. All right, so you’re not going to need a War and Peace thick book to assemble a system into an ATX case, but an English manual would’ve been nice.
Inside the case, the edges are nice and smooth in most places so as to avoid hand injuries.
Unfortunately, 3RSystems spoils the good work by using twist-off blanking backplanes for the expansions slots. Once twisted-off, they leave sharp edges. Screw-on blanking backplanes are included with the case, so we’re wondering why 3RSystem put the twist-off ones there in the first place.
The motherboard sits on push-in standoffs on a non-removable tray. The standoffs are cheap and a pain (literally) to put in. As you can see from the picture below, there are plenty of cables inside the BadGuy. This and the lack of routing holes in the case makes it hard to do a tidy job of the cabling, even with the usual zip-tie magic. Also, the IEEE 1394 and front-panel audio plugs are for rear-panel connectors, and not motherboard ones. That means you have to run these cables thru the included “special” screw-on backplane and hook it to the ports at the back. This makes them useless for most people. Another gripe is the use of a non-user friendly motherboard USB connector for the front USBs. Instead of a single block connector design, this case employs a series of seperate wires that needs to be correctly configured and attached to the board’s USB header. Could be frustrating at times.
You can also see the 12V supply with Molex connectors for the fans, plus the thermal probe. Fan speed is regulated via a front panel potentiometer but of course, there’s no way to monitor them via software. Here you will also see the LED readout which displays the temperature generated from the thermal probe.
If you’re thinking of slipping the thermal probe between say the CPU and heatsink, don’t: it’s slim, but not that slim and would ruin the contact between the two, causing overheating.
You can leave it in the case to measure ambient temperature there, but we don’t know how accurate it is.
Mounting a Albatron 925XE motherboard with an Intel 660 CPU onboard, a Gigabyte 6600GT PCI Express video card, 1GB of Mushkin DDR-2 and dual 120GB Maxtor SATA drives in the BadGuy was pretty painless. The front panel looks almost impossible to remove, but you don’t need to, luckily. Only both side panels need to come off during installation. Thumbscrews were used to keep the side panels in place.
It’s not a tool-less case of course, but everything fits in OK. The exception is the drive cage, where the front 120mm fan intrudes into the space for the drives and pushes them too close to the motherboard for our liking. Still, the 120mm fan cools the drives, so that’s probably a compromise worth making. Some rubber bushings/grommets for the drives would’ve been nice to reduce vibration noise transferred to the case.
The final result ended up looking pretty good, as I used an Asus DVD drive with a black fascia and a floppy drive in the same colour.
When it comes to the thermals, the BadGuy was able to keep the 660 running at the expected 50-60C using the stock Intel HSF. Case temperature according to the motherboard sensors stayed in the 35-40C range.
Noise, well, with all those low-noise fans — two 120mm, and one 80mm side one, the BadGuy isn’t that quiet. At full whack the 120mm jobs roar, and as the case is designed to sit on your desk (otherwise the front panel ports at the bottom are unusable), you’re not going to be happy. However, we discovered that the different sensors only reported a maximum of 2°C reduction in temperature with the fans spinning at full rate, so keeping them at low speed was the deal, and then the case was acceptably quiet. It’s a bit loud to be a home theatre/media PC case, however.
The 3R System R700 “BadGuy” is a mixed bag o’tricks. It doesn’t look too bad and it’ll handle hot Prescotts while providing a fair amount of space for devices.
But, for the price and especially considering that the BadGuy doesn’t come with a PSU, we expected better overall quality and more features. If you can find the BadGuy for less than NZ$100 (US$70), it’s worth looking at. For more than that, there are better choices available.