Enermax Hoplite ST Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on September 27, 2012


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

The Hoplite ST, also known as “ECA3260 series,” is the latest mid-tower case from Enermax, featuring an external docking bay and a three-speed fan controller. Let’s see if the Hoplite ST deserves our recommendation.

The reviewed case is available in two color options: black (ECA3261-B) or white (ECA3261-W). We reviewed the white model.

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 1: Enermax Hoplite ST case

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 2: Enermax Hoplite ST case

The case has a transparent window on its left panel, supporting the installation of two 80 mm, 120 mm or 140 mm fans. No air filter for these optional fans is available.

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 3: Left panel

The Front and Top Panels

The Enermax Hoplite ST has four external 5.25” bays, all protected by meshed covers with air filters. The front panel comes with a 120 mm fan installed. This fan has a three-pin standard fan power connector, and glows in white when turned on. No technical specifications for this fan are provided. You can install this fan to the three-speed fan controller available. There is an air filter for this fan.

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 4: Front panel

The top panel of the Enermax Hoplite ST case is meshed and has an air filter, supporting the installation of one 120 mm or 140 mm fan.

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 5: Top panel

On the front part of the top panel you will find two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, the three-speed fan controller, and the traditional audio jacks. The USB 3.0 port uses an internal connector. The three-speed fan controller supports up to four fans. One of the highlights of this case is the presence of an external docking bay for SATA devices on its top panel. The connectors are covered by a lid.

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 6: Buttons, connectors, and the docking bay

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 7: Buttons, connectors, and the docking bay

The Bottom and Rear Panels

The bottom panel has an air filter for the power supply fan. The rear panel and the interior of the Enermax Hoplite ST case are painted with the same color as the exterior – white, in our case.

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 8: Bottom panel

The case has seven expansion slots, using vented covers.

The rear panel comes with a 120 mm fan, which uses a standard three-pin fan power connector. No technical specifications for this fan are provided.

On the Enermax Hoplite ST case, the power supply goes on the bottom part of the case.

There are four holes, protected with rubber covers, for hoses of liquid cooling solutions. The two at the top are 0.7” (17 mm) in diameter, while the other two are 1” (25 mm) in diameter.

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 9: Rear panel

Let’s now take a look inside the Enermax Hoplite ST case.

Inside the Enermax Hoplite ST Case

Both side panels are attached to the chassis using black thumbscrews. The left panel has a plastic handle that makes it easier to open the case. The motherboard tray has a huge hole for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard from the case, a few holes protected with rubber covers for you to route cables behind it, and several metallic clips for you to fasten cables behind the motherboard tray using cable ties.

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 10: Overall look

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 11: A view behind the motherboard tray

Figure 12 gives you another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened using black thumbscrews. On its default configuration, the Enermax Hoplite ST case supports video cards up to 11” (280 mm) long. By removing the top hard drive cage, you can fit video cards up to 16.1” (410 mm) long. The Enermax Hoplite ST supports CPU coolers up to 6.6” (167 mm) tall.

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 12: Overall look

As already explained, the power supply is installed at the bottom of the case. Note that it can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it. As already shown, there is an air filter for the power supply fan. The case supports the installation of power supplies up to 11.4” (290 mm) long. There is no support for fans on the bottom panel.

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 13: Power supply compartment

The Disk Drive Bays

The Enermax Hoplite ST case has four 5.25” external bays, six 3.5”/2.5” internal bays in two cages, and one 3.5”/2.5” external docking bay. All devices can be installed without the use of tools or screws, except for 2.5” units.

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 14: Disk drive bays

As already explained, you can remove the top hard drive cage to fit video cards longer than 11” (280 mm), up to 16.1” (410 mm) long.

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 15: Top hard drive cage removed

Each 3.5”/2.5” bay is a small drawer that comes with pads to reduce the vibration and noise produced by 3.5” hard drives.

Enermax Hoplite ST
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Figure 16: One of the 3.5”/2.5” bays

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the Enermax Hoplite ST case include:

Conclusions

The Enermax Hoplite ST is a good mainstream case. Some competing products, such as the Cougar Challenger, offer more places for installing fans, but the Hoplite ST’s advantage is its three-speed fan controller. Its plastic parts could be of a better quality, but at this price range, we can’t complain.

Strong Points

Weak Points

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Enermax-Hoplite-ST-Case-Review/1639


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