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Let There Be ENlight
There are cases of all sizes, shapes and colours, but what exactly is a "gamer's case"? What attributes does a case need to have before it can puff out its chest and proudly declare itself a case designed with gamers in mind? Does it need to be decked out in bright colours? Be designed to be less stuffy than a "serious" server or workstation case? Have more fans or more efficient cooling? Be light and portable so it can be carried to the nearest LAN party without leading to hernias or slipped discs? Whatever a "gamer's case" may be, the case we're reviewing today claims to be one.

Click to enlarge The ENlight EN-4203 eXtreme gaming case has a distinctive look that perhaps isn't as evident in pictures as it is in the flesh. In fact when I learnt one was on its way and went hunting for photographic evidence of its existence, I was left with the distinct feeling that I was about to get to play with yet another plastic monstrosity that attempts to hide its lack of substance behind acres of brightly coloured plastic.

Though the EN-4203 is undoubtedly built from plastic, and lots of it, it doesn't suffer too badly for it. In fact it feels quite sturdy when compared to similar looking cases I've handled. Along with the blue-black edition Iím looking at here, there is a silver-black trim available too.

There were a few minor and barely perceptible faults in the finish of the blue parts which to their credit looked very slick. Not quite an automotive finish but generally very good, on our sample at least. The matte black areas are actually more charcoal grey than black but it didn't spoil the effect too much.

Apart from the "X" shaped moulding on the front, the metallic styling also extends along the top of the case where it forms the upper decorative face of the moulded carrying handle. Sat in a recess in the unusually deep and space-consuming top panel is a blow-hole behind which sits an 80mm cooling fan.

Where ENlight seem to have screwed up is in the placement of that top fan. Either it needed moving to the other upper of the case top panel which would admittedly take it a little close to the handle, or it needed moving forward a few inches. As it stands there are very few modern power supplies that will fit this case without removing both the fan and its mounting cradle, which in turn involves stripping down the top of the case.

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You have just short of 6 inches between the rear of the case and the top fan in which to fit your power supply. If your PSU is any longer than this, and most of the units I have here are, then you'll need to strip the top of the case down and remove the fan and its mounting cradle to accommodate it. I did raise this issue with ENlight who replied stating that any power supply which conforms to ATX specifications will fit, and that's fair enough, but when I looked into the ATX specs they specify a PSU that's no longer than 140 mm.

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That's fine for a dull, beige workstation but this claims to be a gamers' case, and gamers tend to use quality, high performance power supplies very few of which come in at anything like 140 mm in length. As an example, the Tagan TG480-U01 is 160 mm long, as is Tagan's popular i-Xeye. Antec's PurePower Click to enlarge TP II 480 is 150 mm long, as is the Hiper Modular. OCZ's PowerStream 520ADJ is a mighty 175 mm long, and as you've probably guessed none of these PSU's I've just named fit this case. ENlight may be in step with the ATX specifications but many performance PSUs are not. The chances are if youíve spent a lot of money for your PSU it wonít fit in the ENlight without removing itís top fan.

The back of the case holds no surprises. The gaping hole should by now have made you realise the case comes with no power supply, an inconvenience if you don't have one but a wise choice in general as bundled power supplies are rarely worth the space they occupy.

The rear fan vent is fairly open and should let plenty of airflow through.

All that blue plastic is related to the quick-release card retainers which we'll look at when we move inside the case. The left hand side panel is secured using a pair of rather large and easy to grip blue, anodised thumb screws. They compliment the blue trim and work well.

It's not often that a window-less side panel strikes me as particularly nice looking, but this one just pushes the right buttons for some reason. In fact I'd almost forgo my usual insistence on a windowed panel for this one.

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A windowed panel is available, and it's not your usual boring rectangular affair. ENlight did send a windowed panel for us to look at, and unlike a couple of the cases we've handled recently it was pretty well put together and more importantly, clear. Both the windowed and standard panels come with fans fitted, a 92 mm ducted unit on the standard panel and a monster 120 mm unit in the windowed panel.

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If I'm being picky I'd suggest the side panels are a little on the thin side, though they don't resonate or vibrate (yet) to be fair. In fact both side panels are a little on the lightweight side. Even the "plain" side features the eXtreme logo pressed into it.

Next up, a closer look at the front of the ENlight.