Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on December 2, 2008


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

A+ El Diablo Advance from Tagan is a full-tower case targeted to users worried about ventilation. It has  a big 330-mm side fan (with 300-mm blades), two 180 mm fans on the top (with 160-mm blades) and one 250-mm fan on the front (with 220 mm blades) – all featuring speed controller –, plus a thermometer. Let’s see if this is really a good case.

The new El-Diablo Advance is based on another case from Tagan, El Diablo. The difference between the two is the addition of the thermometer, the addition of one eSATA port and the two top fans on the Advance version.

All fans glow blue when they are turned on and three plastic parts where you can find “A+” written also glow blue when the system is turned on.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 1: Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 2: Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance.

Its overall looks is at the same time aggressive (with its Jet-shaped front fan) and conservative (with a very conservative color choice) and should please both gamers and professionals. The feet can be rotated for your choice of exposed or hidden feet (like Figures 1 and 2).

El Diablo Advance features a door, which is hold to the case through a strong magnetic latch.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 3: Front door.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 4: El Diablo Advance with its door opened.

Luckily the jacks and connectors available on this case are installed on the top of the unit, so you don’t need to open its door every time you need to plug in a USB drive or a headset, an error found on several cases on the market. On the other hand the power and reset switches are located behind the door, so you will need to open the door every time you need to turn on your PC.

As you can see this case has five 5.25” bays and one external 3.5” bay, all of them using screwless mechanisms to hold disk drives, as we will talk about later.

The front fan is officially a 250-mm unit, but its blades measure less, 220 mm. We really think manufacturers should disclaim the real size of the fans used, because it is really frustrating to find out that a fan is actually smaller (sometime a lot) than what the manufacturer announces.

You will find an on/off switch and a speed control knob on each side of the front fan. One set is for controlling the front fan, while the other set is to control the side fan.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 5: On/off switch and speed control knob (there is another set on the other side of the front fan).

Introduction (Contíd)

In Figure 6, you can see the top panel from El Diablo Advance with its two 180 mm fans. These fans use 160-mm blades and you can control their speed through a knob also available on the top panel (see it in Figure 7).

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 6: Top panel.

Besides the traditional microphone input and headphones output jacks and two USB ports, this case has an eSATA port and a knob for controlling the speed of the two top fans on its top panel. The thermometer is available right below them, on the rectangular black part shown in Figure 7. The two USB ports are located apart from each other, allowing you to connect two “fat” USB devices at the same time without any problem. We think this case could have come with four USB ports and a FireWire port wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 7: Available connectors.

The thermometer comes with a probe containing a thermistor that must be installed on the component that you want to monitor the temperature, like the CPU, the video card, the hard disk drive, the motherboard chipset, etc. Of course you can also use it to simply monitor the temperature inside the case.

The rear panel can be seen in Figure 8. The power supply goes on top of the case and there is a space for installing an optional 120 mm fan that doesn’t come with the product. This case has seven expansion slots and no holes for external water cooling solutions.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 8: Rear panel.

Now let’s see how El Diablo Advance looks like inside.

Inside El Diablo Advance

The side panels are fastened to the chassis using thumbscrews, which is great. Even though you can remove the right panel, the motherboard tray is permanently attached to the chassis.

This case has a big 330-mm fan (using 300-mm blades) attached to its left panel. As explained this fan has an on/off switch and a speed control knob, which are located on the front panel of the unit. The left panel is meshed, which surely helps with the airflow.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 9: Side 330-mm fan.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 10: Inside El Diablo Advance.

Daughter boards are fastened to the case using individual thumbscrews. In our opinion this is the best solution, as many screwless mechanisms for holding daughterboards use plastic with inferior quality breaking very easily.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 11: Thumbscrews for fastening daughterboards.

In Figure 12, you can see the two top fans.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 12: Top fans.

Now let’s take an in-depth look at the disk drive options from the reviewed case.

The Disk Drive Bays

This case has five external 5.25” bays and one 3.5” external bay, all using screwless mechanisms to hold disk drives. These mechanisms are based on rulers that must be attached to each side of the disk drive (no screw is necessary for this installation). The external 3.5” cannot be used by hard disk drives, because the screwless mechanism does not fit hard disk drives, only floppy disk drives and memory card readers, and the bay does not provide holes where you could use regular screws to attach the hard drive to it.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 13: Overall look from the disk drive bays.

This case also has six removable drawers for installing hard disk drives (the manufacturer website says seven, but this information is not correct). No tool or screw is necessary to attach hard disk drives to this case. No anti-vibration mechanism is used.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 14: Hard disk drive bays.

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance Case
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Figure 15: One of the drawers for installing hard disk drives.

Main Specifications

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance case main specs include:

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

Conclusions

Tagan A+ El Diablo Advance is a full-tower case targeted to users that want a huge airflow, a digital thermometer and are looking for a case that provides a good cost/benefit ratio. Here is a summary of what we found about this case.

Strong Points

Weak Points

This case provides a very good cost/benefit ratio for users looking for a fully loaded steel full-tower case. The speed control for all fans and the digital thermometer makes the whole difference when comparing this case with products on the same price range, making El Diablo Advance a better pick. Of course if you want even more features then you will have to look for a more expensive product.

The only problem you will have is finding this product at Newegg.com, because it is listed as “ABS Diablo Adv,” not “Diablo Advanced” – this string will produce no results.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Tagan-A+-El-Diablo-Advance-Case-Review/664


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