Review: Attractive features but expected more from it
Today we'll examine just why Skiron is Cooltek's top mid-range case. So far we've tested several cases from Cooltek and we must admit each was better than the last, so we're hoping Skiron will deliver as well.
Skiron packs all the features a modern computer case should have, including USB 3.0 connectors, modular drive cages, plenty of room for high-end components, etc. However, Cooltek has a few aces up its sleeve that should differentiate Skiron from the competition.
Standard: ATX. mATX
5,25" extern: 3 x
3,5" intern: 5 x
2,5" intern: 3 (8) x
Fans max: 10 x
Fans standard: 4 x
Height: ca. 510 mm
Width ca. 215 mm
Length: ca. 530 mm
Net. ca. 9.1 kg
Material: 0.7 mm Ssteel
Maximale Länge Grafikkarte ca. 430 mm
The box artwork shows Skiron with white mesh design, but the case is actually black and the pictures may mislead the customers. The box is tough and Skiron arrived unharmed. The box has no cutouts for easier carrying.
Cooltek made sure to ship all the needed material that users may need while setting up their pet. There is also a short but detailed manual.
Cooltek decided to offer black/white and red/black versions of Skiron, and both come with black exterior. You can see both on the pictures below.
The large mesh on the left panel caught our eye, so we'll start there.
The mesh is protruding out of the case, which allows for CPU coolers up to 175mm tall. Additionally, this provides extra room for fans. Mounting fans on the left side panel helps with CrossFire and SLI cooling. The mesh is large enough to take four 120mm fans, or a single 180/200/220/230mm fan.
The rubber grommets are there to prevent fan noise that comes from vibration.
It would've been great if there was a dust filter on the mesh, but unfortunately this isn't the case.
The opposite, right side of Skiron also has air exhausts, although they're not meant for fans. The hole in the bottom corner is parallel with the 3.5'' cage.
The bottom part of front panel is reserved for fans, while the top part has room for three 5.25'' optical drives.
Unlike Cooltek's cases we've tested before, Skiron comes with removable 5.25'' covers, the kind that doesn't require taking off the front panel. The covers have handles that you use to take it out. Many users use at least some kind of a 3.5'' device, so shipping a 5.25''/3.5'' adapter cover is a pretty nice touch from Cooltek.
Skiron comes with four fans - a large 17cm one on the top panel (max.900RPM), one 12cm fan on the rear panel (max.1200RPM) and two 12cm fans on the front panel (max.1200RPM).
In order to reach the fans behind the front panel, we must remove the panel first. The panel is taken off by pulling it on the bottom and release it from the latches. Note however that the top panel should be removed first, otherwise the front panel latches could end up broken, picture below. Cooltek did not explain it in the user's manual, so users should be careful when removing the front panel.
Beneath the mesh is a thin layer of foam that acts as pre-filter, while the real mesh filter is in front of the fan.
The fans are taken out with the filter. The black/white version of Skiron comes with whide LEDs. The LEDs are in the front panel fans and on the top panel fan.
Power and reset keys are on the angled part on the top panel, so they're easy to reach if you keep your case under the table. Next to them are two sliders that control fan RPM.
Coltek's C.A.M.V.C. (Cooltek Advanced Modular Ventilation Concept) uses two channel fan rpm regulation with support for up to six fans. Skiron comes with four fans.
Skiron has six USB connectors. The top panel holds two USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 each, as well as audio out/in jacks.
Two USB 2.0 ports are hidden in a cleverly implemented compartment. It surely can't hurt because while USB sticks are tucked inside, you can be sure kids won't even notice it and you won't accidentally hit it and damage it. The compartment was large enough to take Corsair's pretty thick USB stick, which means that you're well covered.
You should be careful while taking the front panel off in order not to damage the USB ports.
Cooltek left another open compartment behind the I/O panel and you can use it for sticks, keys or such.
The top panel holds a 17cm fan (max. 900RPM). We got the fan mounted inside the case, but you can easily do it outside, in scenarios where you may need more room for a large CPU cooler.
Removing the top panel is done by pulling the back of the panel upwards. We were afraid we'd break something because the latches wouldn't let go easily.
On the bottom of the case, underneath the PSU slot is a removable filter. The second hole you see on the bottom of the case is another fan exhaust with a mesh over it.
Skiron has seven expansion slots. The expansion cards need to be screwed down and Cooltek provides thumb screws. The back panel comes with a 12cm fan.
Skiron packs plenty of room. It will take a CPU cooler up to 175mm and graphics up to 430mm long. If you leave the HDD cage inside, graphics can't exceed 311mm, but this is more than enough for today's high end cards. The case support ATX and mATX boards. The CPU backplate cutout is large enough and was compatible with several motherboards we've tried. The motherboard tray has a few cable management holes, but there isn't much room left behind the tray. The right side panel is 17mm away from the tray.
The grommets in the holes aren't fixed well and fall out easily when routing cables. Back of the motherboard tray could use a few more cable management anchors, since cabling must be fixed well due to restricted room; otherwise, the right panel cannot be closed. There is room left between the motherboard tray and the HDD cage. This may come in handy when using a wider motherboard that may close the cable management holes.
The cable hole next to the PSU should be wider. In fact, it didn't help us at all with our quite long 19cm Sapphire Pure Power PSU. PSUs up to 14cm long will not block the first cable hole.
The PSU stands are tiny, picture below. We'd love to see wider stands that will support longer PSUs. One rubber pad already came off when mounting our first PSU.
Below the PSU is a removable filter.
The fan on the top panel is placed right above the CPU power cable hole, so the cable is pretty difficult to pull through. The grommet on the hole fell out while we were pushing the cable through. Note that the fan can be mounted outside the top panel if it gets in your way.
Optical drives don't need crews and the toolless mechanism is quite nice. The same mechanism is on the back of the case as well.
The brackets holding 3.5'' drives are made of metal and come with rubber grommets to prevent vibration noise. The same brackets hold 2.5'' drives. The middle drive cage can easily be taken out and can be mounted on the bottom of the case.
The 2.5'' cage is unusual and perhaps even obsolete since the 3.5'' drives take 2.5'' ones as well, and all standard graphics cards already fit inside Skiron.
On the bottom of the case, below the HDD cage are air exhausts. If you choose to mount a fan there, the metal part can easily be removed.
All the fans are on 3-pn connector cables linked to fan regulators. As far as noise goes, Skiron is pretty quiet. Its cooling performance is satisfactory and if we are to pick hairs, we'd say that the cables are a bit too colorful for our taste.
Lowering the fan RPM dimms LED lighting as well, although the change won't be that noticeable.
The price range where Skiron resides (the lowest priced is currently 77 euro) lists many quality cases and Cooltek's job isn't the least bit easy. Some users prefer the looks, others look for performance or room, while most look for a quality mixture of the three.
If you choose Skiron, you won't have to worry about CPU cooler or graphics card compatibility - this is a large mid-tower case that will take anything. The case offers seven expansion slots, four stock fans and a fan RPM regulator.
Coolng performance is good but nothing remarkable. Still, we could say that the company made a good compromise between noise and performance. Besides, users who aren't content with the stock solution can always upgrade the case themselves, since it has room for additional six fans.
You can connect internal USB 3.0 cables to the motherboard's external I/O panel or you can use included converter for internal USB 3.0 connectors, which doesn't come with older USB 3.0 cases. Another thing we really liked is the front compartment with two USB ports, which is quite practical and came in really handy. Namely, you can keep your USB stick plugged in without fear of accidentally hitting it and/or breaking the port or stick.
Skiron is a well equipped case but its build quality didn't quite impress us. The chassis is tough enough but there are a few points where the company could've perhaps done better. Still, seeing as how they are not thigs of key importance, we would recommend Skiron as a case that will definitely do a good job.