Gigabyte Mercury Pro Case
By Gabriel Torres on May 8, 2007
How about buying an all-aluminum case with a built-in water cooling system? Meet Mercury Pro, the latest release from Gigabyte. Besides coming with a built-in water cooling system, it also has three 120 mm fans, two at the rear and one at the front. Check it out.
As you can see in Figure 1, Mercury Pro has seven 5 ¼” bays and two 3 ½” bays (plus five internal 3 ½” bays). However, as the first two top bays are used by the water tank from the water cooling system, there are only four 5 ¼” bays available. The small window you can see on the top two bays is for you to control the water level of the system.
Mercury Pro is all manufactured in aluminum, has a replaceable side panel – you can choose between using a transparent side window or a meshed panel, both options come with the case – and is available in two colors, black or silver. As you have already noticed, we took a look at the black model.
The water cooling parts are located on the top of the case and we will show them in a minute. But first let’s take a look at the switches, LEDs and connectors available on the top of the case. As you can see in Figure 2, you will find on this case the following items: power switch, reset switch, HDD LED, power LED, fan speed control knob, water flow indicator, four USB ports, headphone jack, mic in jack, and a FireWire port.
Since this is a high-end case, we think it could have come with an eSATA port as well, since this feature is starting to appear on high-end cases from other brands.
As you can see on Figures 1 and 2, there is a big knob on top of the case. By removing this knob you have access to the water tank, to fill it with coolant.
Let’s now explore the water cooling system that comes with Mercury Pro.
As we mentioned, all components from the water cooling system are located on the case top. By removing the top panel you have access to them.
In Figure 5 you can clearly see all the components: radiator with two fans attached, pump and water tank. One interesting thing to notice is that the hoses used are car-grade hoses (black) and not thin transparent hoses like used by other water coolers. The hoses used to connect the blocks to the water cooler, however, are standard transparent hoses used by water coolers.
This water cooling system comes with just one block, for the CPU. It is 100% made of copper with a very smooth base, as you can see in Figure 6.
If you want to use this water cooling system to cool down you video card and/or your motherboard chipset you will need to buy a GPU block and/or a chipset block and their respective hoses. In order to promote the release of this new product, Gigabyte is also including the VGA water block on the package during a limited amount of time.
Nevertheless this case already comes with two splitters for you to install these extra blocks.
One of the splitters is for providing cooled water to the block and the other splitter is for returning hot water to the cooler.
In Figure 8, you can see Mercury Pro rear panel. As you can see, it comes with two 120 mm fans on its rear (which glow blue when turned on) and it has seven expansion slots. You can also see that there are two holes for hoses, so you will be able to add external water cooling devices. If you want to install a power supply that is longer than normal (e.g., Enermax Galaxy 1,000 W) part of the unit will be left outside the case, and this case comes with a frame to correctly fasten this type of power supply to the case.
In Figure 9, you can see inside the rear panel from inside Mercury Pro. You can see the two 120 mm fans, the water splitters and the CPU block.
In Figure 10, you can see inside Mercury Pro.
As you already know, this case has four 5 ¼” bays, two 3 ½” bays and five internal 3 ½” bays. As you can see in Figure 10, these internal bays are 90º rotate compared to traditional cases, making it easier to install hard disk drives on this product.
On Mercury Pro there is a tool box installed on two of the internal bays (see Figure 11), so if you want to use more than three bays you will need to remove this box.
Mercury Pro case main specs include:
If you are looking for a high-end all-aluminum case with a built-in water cooling system, Mercury Pro from Gigabyte may be a good option for you, as you won’t have to go through the hassle of assembling a water cooler kit yourself.
We liked the fact that the water cooling kit that comes with this case uses car-grade hoses (thick black hoses) instead of thin transparent hoses, the fact that it comes with two water splitters already installed and also its all-copper CPU block. But, of course, that is what you would expect from any high-end water cooling product.
The bad side is that this case doesn’t come with a GPU or a chipset block – it should, especially when you think about its price. Gigabyte, however, is including the GPU block as gift during their launch campaign for this case.
The major problem with this case is its price tag. With a maximum suggested price of USD 400 in the US, we think this is way too much. It should cost at least USD 100 less to make sense – Thermaltake Kandalf LCS, which is also an all-aluminum case with a build-in water cooler can be found by USD 290 on the market. Of course you can save even more by buying an all-aluminum case from a different brand (starting at USD 100) and installing a good water cooler by yourself (for example, Bigwater 745 from Thermaltake costs around USD 120) – that is a huge difference.