In Win D-Frame Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on May 7, 2013


Introduction

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).

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Figure 1: The product box

The parts come organized inside a huge piece of foam, as you can see in Figure 2.

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Figure 2: Parts inside the box

In Figure 3, you can see the motherboard tray and the two tempered glass panels, which will become the case’s side panels.

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Figure 3: Motherboard tray and glass 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.

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Figure 4: The other parts of the case

Building the D-Frame

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.

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Figure 5: The motherboard tray

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Figure 6: Top and bottom frames installed to the motherboard tray

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Figure 7: Front and rear frames installed to the case

The next step is to install the screws that will hold the glass panels. See Figure 8.

In Win D-Frame
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Figure 8: Case with the screws for the side panels installed

Building the D-Frame (Cont’d)

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.

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Figure 9: Case with minor parts installed

Other minor parts that must be installed include the 5.25” bay and the panel containing buttons and connectors.

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Figure 10: Case with minor parts installed

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.

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Figure 11: In Win D-Frame case

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Figure 12: In Win D-Frame case

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Figure 13: In Win D-Frame case

Let’s now discuss the features of the In Win D-Frame in detail.

The Front Panel

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.

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Figure 14: Front panel

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Figure 15: Buttons and connectors

In Figure 16, you can see the front panel of the case after we built a system inside of it.

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Figure 16: Front panel

The Top and Bottom Panels

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).

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Figure 17: Top panel

In Figure 18, you can see the appearance of the top panel with a system built using the D-Frame.

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Figure 18: Top panel

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.

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Figure 19: Bottom panel

In Figure 20, you can see the appearance of the bottom panel with a system built using the D-Frame.

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Figure 20: Bottom panel

The Rear Panel

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.

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Figure 21: Rear panel

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Figure 22: Power supply bracket

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Figure 23: Rear panel

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Figure 24: Rear panel

Let’s now take a look inside the In Win D-Frame.

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.

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Figure 25: Overall look

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Figure 26: A view behind the motherboard tray

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.

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Figure 27: Overall look

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Figure 28: A view behind the motherboard tray

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.

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Figure 29: Support for a 120 mm fan

The Disk Drive Bays

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.

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Figure 30: Disk drive bays

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.

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Figure 31: Hard drive cage

A System Built Inside the D-Frame

In Figures 32 and 33 you have an overall look of a high-end system built using the D-Frame.

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Figure 32: System built using the D-Frame

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Figure 33: System built using the D-Frame

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the In Win D-Frame include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

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.

Strong Points

Weak Points

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/In-Win-D-Frame-Case-Review/1771


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