The front fascia is also a bit of a mess and manages to combine the snake skin plastic trim with glossy plastic 5.25” drive blanking plates and one of the strangest (and arguably superfluous) doors we’ve encountered. While the door (and the rest of the aluminium plate fitted to the front of the RA X10) is very solid, its design, incorporating a deep cut down its centre removes much of its purpose as well as resulting in a consistent “V” of dust on your blanking plates from the air drawn through it and into the case.
It begs the question as to why the door is there in the first place as it doesn’t really do anything other than get in the way and give the case a smoother front appearance. Sometimes a case’s door will be well thought out and incorporated into the design, like it is on the Akasa Omega, but sadly this isn’t one of those times.
The roof panel however is much better, finished in quality smooth black plastic and featuring the most well equipped front panel we’ve ever seen. With quad USB 2.0, dual eSATA, Firewire 400, microphone and headphone ports built flush with the panelling towards the front of the case it’s an impressive inclusion, and is topped off by a nifty Ikonik branded rubber front panel cover, secured by a small but sufficient magnet. While the reset button is conspicuous in its absence, the bright power LED and the ability to press the power button through the rubber cover shows good attention to detail.
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So while there are some rather cool inclusions in the form of switchable side panelling and a monster front panel, as we’ve seen so many times before, the plastic panelling lets the case down with some notable build quality problems and tacky plastic trim.
Opening up the case’s side panels involves three thumb screws for each panel as well as plastic push button catches to hold the panel in place in the short term. They’re certainly pretty unconvincing alone and the panels will rattle if you don’t make use of the thumb screws.
Sliding the aluminium side panels off reveals the vast, cavernous interior of the RA X10. It really is on par size wise with even the largest of cases and packs plenty of goodies into the generous space provided, as well as offering plenty of hiding places for unneeded power supply and front panel cables.
Unlike the exterior which was marred with dodgy plastic trim the interior is a 100 percent aluminium delight, with the entire core chassis, support bars, drive bay system and motherboard tray all made of the lovely silver shiny stuff. As as always with bare aluminium though, fingerprints will be an issue as we found throughout our time with the RA X10 by coating much of the interior in ours.
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As eye catching as the shiny silver interior is though, it’s the ludicrous cooling setup of the RA X10 that’s the real eye catcher here, with Ikonik cramming no less than thirteen (yes, 13!) separate cooling fans inside the case. With two 120mm cooling fans mounted in the front as intakes with appropriate dust filters hidden behind the lower front fascia, a single 120mm and two 80mm exhaust fans at the rear and eight 80mm fans arranged into the right side panel in an unusual top bottom, intake/exhaust configuration it’s an ambitious choice from Ikonik, although whether it’ll pay off is another question.
The general idea is that the front intake and rear exhaust fans act as they would in a normal chassis in a push/pull configuration, with the side mounted array of 80mm fans sucking cool air in at the bottom of the case and then exhausting hot air at the top. In principle it’s a sound plan, hot air rises after all, but we’re worried that the two separate airflows will interfere with each other to some degree. One of the strengths of the Antec Nine Hundred Two we looked at a few weeks ago was its simple straight line cooling layout and we’re worried that the intricate airflow system in the RA X10 might end up being too complex for its own good.