Assembling the In-Win GT1

In-Win's GT1 gets to be the first benefactor of our shiny new testbed motherboard. Our old Z68 micro-ATX board ran into a serious problem: it wasn't splitting CPU PCIe lanes to the second PCIe x16 slot for SLI, which is the "next level" of testing. Even though I tried just as hard as I could to find another comically undersized board to install in our enthusiast cases, unfortunately I had to get a full ATX board that would be more representative of what users might build with. Rejoice, my year of spiting readers complaining about the micro-ATX board is over! (Actually, you guys were right. The added flexibility of using a micro-ATX board wasn't worth the downsides. Mea culpa.)

Because In-Win included motherboard standoffs effectively extruded from the motherboard tray, installing our new test board was actually a very simple affair. They do include additional standoffs if you're using a smaller board like the previous test board, though. Wiring the motherboard was also easy enough to do, but In-Win includes two power LED leads: one for three pin spaces, another for two, instead of just splitting the positive and negative leads.

The toolless drive installation also went absolutely swimmingly. For 5.25" drives, the toolless clamp is secure and the bay shields themselves pop in and out easily enough without being frustratingly loose. 3.5" drives fit snugly into the trays; the trays themselves are a pretty sturdy plastic with exactly enough flex, and pins snap into the side screw holes of the drives. 2.5" drives can be bottom-mounted to the trays, but In-Win also includes two dedicated installation points for 2.5" drives. The second is in the bottom of the case, beneath the last drive tray, but the first is actually at the bottom of the top drive cage. There are two wedges that slot into the side screw holes of the 2.5" drive; you angle the drive in, then screw in the other side, and it's held into place securely. You do have to remove the left panel of the cage first, though; that's held in place by a single screw.

Mounting the power supply went easily enough, but when we get to the expansion cards we see another place where In-Win cut costs. The expansion slots are covered by perforated steel instead of actual slot covers, so once you pop 'em out, they're open for business forever unless you buy some aftermarket covers. The steel In-Win used for the case is actually pretty damn sturdy, too, and I was surprised at how much force I had to apply to eventually remove the covers.

Where installing our testbed into the GT1 goes haywire, though, is the cabling. There are a couple of major problems going on here. First, there's no routing hole for the AUX 12V line, so you'll have to run it across the motherboard. Second, the routing holes that feed into a channel around the motherboard aren't just small, they're actually already mostly occupied by the case's leads.

The third problem is the biggest, in my opinion. Our review unit came with all the fans and fan controller connected incorrectly. The fan controller used in the GT1 isn't like the ones I've seen in other cases; it's a single three-pin lead connected to a molex adapter, and if you plug the chain of fans into the wrong side of the sequence, all the fans just run at full speed. That's exactly how the GT1 shipped to me, and if it hadn't dawned on me after a deep and restful sleep to go back and recheck the connection order, this review would be missing an entire set of results and the fan controller declared bunk.

Putting together the GT1 was ultimately fairly easily, but was heavily marred by the cable routing issues and the incorrectly-assembled fan control. I will tell you that with both video cards installed (along with everything else), this case gets cramped in a hurry, but that's to be expected from a mid-tower.

In and Around the In-Win GT1 Testing Methodology
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  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - link

    How did you decide "they" look bad ? Or did you ?
  • Flunk - Friday, March 8, 2013 - link

    Last time I put together a computer I bought a Lian-Li PC9-F for $89. That case looks great (to me) and is light, well built and well designed. Considering that you can now get a case that is roughly as good as a premium $300 case from 10 or so years ago for a fraction of the price really drives down the prices on lower end cases.

    A case like this looks positively overpriced by comparison. This thing shouts out "cheap" from the rooftops and it's $69. Maybe in 2002 that would have been a good deal, but not today.

    There are a lot of better cases out there in the same price bracket.
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - link

    Please point a few out, thanks.
  • sulu1977 - Friday, March 8, 2013 - link

    Why is USB 3.0 connectivity even an issue for a case? It's just a blank, empty case for heaven's sake. A USB port could be USB 1, 2 or 3 depending what wires you connect to it from the motherboard. So of you attach cables from USB 3 headers to all the ports then all the ports should be USB 3. Or am I missing something?
  • smitty123 - Saturday, March 9, 2013 - link

    "So of you attach cables from USB 3 headers to all the ports then all the ports should be USB 3. Or am I missing something?"
    obviously you are missing something,

    you need the latest ports so they'll have the necessary metal connections. USB 3.0 has more connectors in it to transfer faster.

    They are backwards compatible because it was designed that way, but not forward compatible, unless you can see in the future? heck the weather guy can hardly tell what's gonna look like tomorrow lol

    So no, you can't have just usb 1 or 2 ports anymore and make them usb 3, they just don't have the connections.

    i'd go with 4 USB3.0 ports at the front. you can't have just 2 ports side by side, the Gen 3 keys are too wide.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, March 9, 2013 - link

    Also, each motherboard header is for a pair of ports. So when the case only has one port attached to a line, but uses one of the motherboard headers, you've basically given up a port because the case designer was a cheapskate.
  • lwatcdr - Saturday, March 9, 2013 - link

    I was going to say that they should got 2 3.0 and 2 2.0 USB ports because we all know that there will be some motherboard that will not wake from sleep when you wiggle a mouse or hit a key on a 3.0 port. Except that why would you plug your mouse or keyboard into the front ports. Yea your right 4 3.0 ports is the way to go.
    I just do not get the one 3.0 port, it seems like the worst solution. If there where none then you could just get a 3.0 card reader/ 3.0 ports that fit into a drive bay. With one 3.0 port you give up one of the 3.0 ports on the header.
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - link

    Because the eggheads pretend they have multiple usb3 devices they need to connect al at once - it brags proud monied mega geek to whine about it.
    Plus, once the ponce reviewer spews his crap, the lemmings repeat like parrots - you know how when you teach something to mthe rubes about you, several week sor monts later they repeat it to you excitedly as if they just thought it up...
    At least the parrots read that part, and squealed out the agreeing whine.
  • Sleepingforest - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - link

    So, you're saying that there's no way I'd want to, say, back up my computer to a USB 3.0 external hard drive, use USB 3.0's higher voltage to charger my phone, and upload my camera's contents at the same time? Because those are all concievably concurrent needs.

    In fact, I could say you are elitist for thinking we need any front panel USB at all--a single back panel USB 1.0 was enough fifteen years ago. Why not today?
  • CeriseCogburn - Thursday, March 14, 2013 - link

    You're backup should be plugged into the back, readily available, so you aren't moving it and destroying it.
    Your cellphone has a charger, and it's slow off a computer, and you have no outlet that isn't overloaded right there?
    Your camera - not likely you have a usb 3.0 cable for your camera, you idiot.
    Three strikes you're out...
    You were saying... ? " Yes, I agree with you Cerise, you have a brain, a very big one and you think it through instead of being a dummy with a big mouth and far too willing to use it."
    Oh, that's what you were saying. Good little boy, good boy.

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