In Win Griffin Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on March 23, 2010


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

In Win has just released an inexpensive mid-tower case, Griffin. Although focused on the value market segment, this case brings some interesting options.

In Win Griffin case
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Figure 1: In Win Griffin case.

In Win Griffin case
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Figure 2: In Win Griffin case.

The external appearance of this case is really impressive for a product that comes with a recommended price of only USD 44. On the model we reviewed the front panel was yellow, but Griffin is also available with this part in black, if you prefer a case with a more discreet looks. Its left side panel features a big mesh with a 220 mm fan attached (with blades that actually measure 205 mm; no technical information about this fan is provided). This fan uses a regular peripheral power connector, so you need to connect it directly on your power supply. You can, if you want, remove this fan and install up to two 120 mm fans.

In Win Griffin case
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Figure 3: Mesh from the left panel.

Introduction (Contíd)

Griffin doesn’t have a door and has four external 5.25” bays and one external 3.5” bay. The covers used  on the 5.25” bays are meshed and have air filters, which is great. The case comes with a place for installing a 80-, 92- or 120 mm fan between the front panel and the hard disk drive bays.

In Win Griffin case
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Figure 4: Front panel.

The reviewed case comes with two USB ports, an eSATA port and the traditional earphones and microphone jacks hidden. To have access to them you need to press the front panel where the In Win logo is located. The addition of an eSATA port was a surprise on a case from this price range.

In Win Griffin case
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Figure 5: Connectors.

In Figure 6, you can see the rear panel from this case. It follows the standard ATX design, with the power supply on the top and seven expansion slots. The slot covers are vented, what can improve the airflow inside the case. Griffin comes with a 92-mm fan on the rear panel, as you can see. This fan uses a small three-pin connector, so you have to install it on your motherboard, being able to monitor its speed. If you pay close attention you will see that this case has holes (that come closed) for attaching a serial port and an eSATA port on the rear panel.

In Win Griffin case
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Figure 6: Rear panel.

Now let’s take a look inside In Win Griffin.

Inside In Win Griffin

We were surprised to see that Griffin uses a screwless mechanism to hold both side panels (see Figure 7). In Figure 8 you have an overall view from inside Griffin while in Figure 9 you can see the case from behind the motherboard tray. The absence of holes on the motherboard tray for installing the CPU cooler backplate and routing cables reminds us that this is an entry-level case.

In Win Griffin case
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Figure 7: Mechanism that holds the side panel.

In Win Griffin case
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Figure 8: Overall look.

In Win Griffin case
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Figure 9: A view from behind the motherboard tray.

This case allows the installation of video cards up to 11” (28 cm) long.

Expansion cards are fastened using regular screws, which are fastened from outside the case, not from inside.

In Win Griffin case
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Figure 10: Overall look.

If you pay attention in Figure 10 you will see that the motherboard tray comes with the motherboard standoffs built in.

The Disk Drive Bays

As mentioned, Griffin from In Win comes with four 5.25” external bays, two featuring a screwless installation mechanism. In also comes with five 3.5” bays, featuring two screwless mechanisms for hard disk drives and one for floppy disk drives. The top 3.5” bay can be used as an external 3.5” bay for installing a floppy disk drive or a memory card reader.

In Win Griffin case
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Figure 11: Disk drive bays.

As mentioned before, the case comes with a place for installing a 80-, 92- or 120 mm fan between the front panel and the hard disk drive bays.

Main Specifications

In Win Griffin case main specs include:

Conclusions

In Win Griffin is an exceptional case for its price tag, providing an excellent value for users on a tight budget that want a decent case with a big side fan and an interesting looks. Of course if you want more options you will need to pick a more expensive model. We are giving Griffin our Golden Award seal because of its terrific cost/benefit ratio.

Strong Points

Weak Points

Could have come with a 120 mm fan instead of a 92-mm one on the rear panel.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/In-Win-Griffin-Case-Review/952


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