In Win D-Frame Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on May 7, 2013
The D-Frame from In-Win is one of the most unique cases ever released for personal computers, made out of aluminum tubes and tempered glass, following the “open case” concept. Let’s check it out.
The reviewed case comes completely disassembled, and the user must build the case themself. There are two options of color for the aluminum parts, red or orange. We received a sample with red parts.
Each product is numbered, and In Win only manufactured 500 pieces in each color.
In Figure 1, you can see the box of the case. Inside its package, the case weighs 37 lbs (17 kg).
The parts come organized inside a huge piece of foam, as you can see in Figure 2.
In Figure 3, you can see the motherboard tray and the two tempered glass panels, which will become the case’s side panels.
In Figure 4, we have all other parts that comprise this case. As you can see at the bottom, the case comes with a toolkit inside a leather pouch.
Putting the D-Frame together is relatively easy – and fun. Starting with the motherboard tray (Figure 5), you need to affix the top and bottom frames (Figure 6). Then, you need to install the front and rear frames (Figure 7). By the end of this process, you have an overall idea of how the case will look.
The next step is to install the screws that will hold the glass panels. See Figure 8.
The next step is to install the minor parts of the case. This includes the support for the power supply, the hard drive cage, the four supports for fans (three at the bottom and one where the front “panel” will be), and the support for expansion cards. See Figure 9.
Other minor parts that must be installed include the 5.25” bay and the panel containing buttons and connectors.
The final step is to install the two side panels, which are made of tempered glass, as previously mentioned. See Figures 11, 12, and 13 for an overall look of the D-Frame completely built.
Let’s now discuss the features of the In Win D-Frame in detail.
The front panel of the In Win D-Frame can be seen in Figure 14. It comes with one external 5.25” bay and supports the installation of one 120 mm fan. The case comes with two USB 3.0 ports, which use an internal connector.
In Figure 16, you can see the front panel of the case after we built a system inside of it.
There is not much to discuss about the top and bottom panels of the D-Frame. One of the main highlights of this case is that the motherboard is installed rotated 90 degrees compared to traditional tower cases, so the rear part of the expansion cards are installed facing the top panel. This is a very smart idea, since the hot air generated by the video cards will leave the computer more easily, as hot air tends to go up. This is not the first case to introduce this concept, though – SilverStone has released a few cases based on the same idea (see Fortress FT02, Raven RV01, Raven RV02, and Raven RV03). This case has eight expansion slots (usually tower cases have seven).
In Figure 18, you can see the appearance of the top panel with a system built using the D-Frame.
The bottom panel has no fancy features as well, but the case allows the installation of three 120 mm fans on the motherboard tray, pulling air from the bottom panel.
In Figure 20, you can see the appearance of the bottom panel with a system built using the D-Frame.
Since the motherboard is installed rotated 90 degrees, the expansion slots are located on the top panel, not on the rear panel.
On the In Win D-Frame, the power supply is installed on the rear panel, as you can see in Figures 21, 22, 23, and 24. The case supports power supplies up to 8.7” (220 mm) deep. The power supply can be installed with either its bottom fan facing outside or inside, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside.
Let’s now take a look inside the In Win D-Frame.
Both glass panels are attached to the chassis using thumbnuts. The motherboard tray has several holes, allowing you to access the backplate of the CPU coolers without having to remove the motherboard from the case and to route cables behind the motherboard tray. The excessive number of holes helps with the primary goal of this case: ventilation.
In Figures 27 and 28 you can see how the interior of the In Win D-Frame looks like with a system built using this case.
Expansion cards are fastened using regular black screws. The In Win D-Frame supports video cards up to 12.6” (320 mm) long.
The In Win D-Frame supports a total of four 120 mm fans, three at the bottom part of the case and one at the front part of the case. In Figure 29 we show one of the supports for 120 mm fans used with this case.
The In Win D-Frame has one external 5.25” bay (located behind the motherboard tray), three internal 3.5” bays (inside a cage), and two internal 2.5” bays (located on the motherboard tray). Only the 3.5” bays use tool-less installation mechanisms.
In Figure 31, you can see the hard drive cage. To install a hard drive, you must install four special screws that are installed without the use of any tool to the hard drive, slide the drive inside the bay you want to use, and then lock the mechanism by lowering the available lever.
In Figures 32 and 33 you have an overall look of a high-end system built using the D-Frame.
The main specifications for the In Win D-Frame include:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
Generally, we particularly don’t like “open” cases. We think they are a magnet for dust and leave the PC’s internal components exposed and unprotected against physical damage. However, we think the D-Frame is a great exception. It is built with the finest materials, and its tempered glass panels protect your components really well. The only negative of this case is its price. Although we don’t recommend cases that are out of reach to the Average Joe, the In Win D-Frame deserves a serious consideration by the user who wants to build a unique-looking computer and money isn’t an issue.