Getting inside the Omega is wonderfully simple, with the removal of two external thumbscrews being all that’s required to remove any of the three case panels independently. Once inside we see the familiar interior layout, which is shared with the Mirage and before it the Eclipse - the case’s core design, originally purchased by Akasa from a small Japanese design company, is just as good now as it was over five years ago when the Eclipse launched, and the jewel at the centre of this is the Omega’s removable motherboard.
The Omega has, quite simply, the best removable motherboard tray currently available in any case. It’s an enormous chrome steel behemoth supporting mATX, ATX and E-ATX motherboard form factors; it integrates the entire motherboard tray, card mounts and rear case panel into a brilliantly designed sliding construction.
It’s perfectly possible to build your entire system, all the way up to heatsink fan and graphics card outside of the case and then simply slide it into place. The chrome effect will, as always, be down to personal preference, but we think it looks pretty damned cool despite being tricky to photograph!
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Removable motherboard trays might not be as common as we here at bit-tech would like, but they can make the build process of a system so much easier that they really should be on your list of required criteria when looking for a new case - you’ll thank us in the end!
As well as the mirror finished motherboard tray, the aluminium interior is gorgeously finished in matt black, giving a great feel of consistency in the case design and look.
The case layout for the Omega is still pretty conventional, with space for four hard disk drives behind the front 120mm intake fan and another two in the 3.5” drive bays above them. The hard disk drive rack is completely removable if you’ve only got one or two hard drives, allowing for a fair degree of flexibility in regards to case layout. With that said though, the mechanism for removing it is a little over complicated, requiring you to remove the fascia, unscrew four thumb screws, and then pull the drive cage free - a process which is still a little stiff and will require a good tug to pull the cage free.
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Why thumb screws still haven’t been used in place of the clumsy feeling popper baffles us - they’re used for everything else on the Omega after all! The problem of removing the drive cage still remains, as you won’t be able to remove it with a graphics card fitted, although the removable motherboard tray does help to lessen this problem.
There are also plenty of minor touches that demonstrate a great attention detail on Akasa's part. The front panel cables are all completely disconnectable from the case, so if you won't be using the included eSATA or Firewire cables, you can just remove them entirely rather than have them clutter up the case. There's also a removable dust filter for the front 120mm intake fan, although sadly no dust filter provisioning for the extra pre-cut 120mm ventilation holes, and plenty of adjustable cable clips included to help secure and tidy your cables away.
Cable management itself is still as easy as it was in the Mirage, with all the extra space afforded by the case’s XXL dimensions, giving plenty of space to tuck cables away. The inch of space either side of the PSU is still there, allowing you to easily stash away any extra power cables, as is the extra PSU mounting bracket for securing longer 1000W units, although you’ll need to remove it if you plan on fitting dual 120mm fans or a radiator into the top fan mounts.
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For cooling, the Akasa Omega comes fitted with a similar setup to the Mirage, with two ultra low noise 900 RPM 120mm fans, one front and one back. However, these fans are a little different to those used on the Mirage, with the nifty clear plastic fans abandoned in favour of black OEM looking affairs, although their CFM and noise levels are, as far as we can tell, identical. While the loss of the nicer looking clear fans is a shame, the important thing is that cooling ability and noise levels haven't been compromised, although those who invest in the optional side window might be a little disappointed.
Sadly there is one significant flaw with the internals of the Omega, and that's with the hard drive mounting mechanism. Many modern cases utilise rubber grommets or pads to lessen hard drive vibration and noise, but in the case of the Omega, hard drives screw directly into the mounting cage, itself secured very securely to the chassis, with no provision for vibration dampening. This means that any hard drive noise is directly transferred to, and even amplified by the case, causing some very noticable hard drive activity noise, which is audible even over the cases fans, although more on this later.