If you go shopping for a case, the first thing you’ll notice is that there is a dizzying array of boxes from a great many vendors. However, the seemingly limitless choice can be confusing, and picking the right case for your needs is tricky. A big budget makes case shopping easier of course, but if you’re looking for something at a reasonable price, you need to do your homework. Shopping for budget cases carries a few gotchas to look out for, because the old adage “you get what you pay for” applies. Look out for shortcuts in the overall design of the case (like edges not being folded) and perhaps most importantly, the quality of the power supply.
We will be looking at a case targetted at the budget market , the Golden Field 6127U with a 400 Watt PSU. It is competitively priced, looks pretty good, but is it a sweet deal for the budget case shopper?
The case is made out of 0.7mm SECC weighs the same as most non-aluminum cases. The side panel has a specially designed “X” type window with a tri-coloured case fan situated in the middle. The fan has a “biohazard” grill and a secondary “chicken wire” fan grill for added protection. The silver buckle locks that secure the side panels to the case caught my attention right away. This is the first time I have seen such a locking mechanism used for a screwless entry case. The locks are easy to operate, and a big plus for those who fiddle a lot inside their computer cases. Very nice, and an unusal feature for a budget case.
Board installation is the same as in most PC cases. Included are the normal bits and pieces that goes with a standard case like the metal stand-offs used for mounting the motherboard in place. The only gripe is that they were quite thrifty with as they included only six standoffs. Most standard ATX boards would be using more than this. In the board that I used, I needed seven.
The GF 6127U case doesn’t have a slide-out motherboard tray. Most “budget” cases don’t come with one so I wasn’t expecting Golden Field to include such a feature.
Not so good was the lack of a Power-On LED wire, however. This is actually hard wired into one of the Molex connectors suppplying power to the lights in the centre console, and I spent quite a while figuring this “feature” out. Another thing that I didn’t like was the front USB connectors. I’m sure most of you will also hate how they make this very hard to connect to the USB headers on the motherboard. Each set of wires is separated so it is a pain having to squeeze the 4 wires into the board’s USB headers. Perhaps it’s a bit unreasonable to expect this in a budget case, but I would have liked a single USB connector block instead. Some vendors provide cables with USB connector blocks for the two most common header pin layouts, and I don’t think doing so would add much to the price of the case.
With a RRP of NZ$120-140+ (US$60), the Golden Field 6127U is definitely great value for money. The high quality power supply alone is what you pay for the case, but you also get front USB and audio ports, plus the neat silver buckle locks.
As for looks, well, as always, they are in the eye of the beholder. If you like funky looking cases, the GF 6127U is for you. You get the side panel window with a tri colored fan plus the multi-light center console as well. A good word to describe this case is “pimpy” rather than “understated”.
All in all a very good case at an excellent price.