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Chieftec Dragon CH-07 Review

Chieftec Dragon CH-07

Manufacturer: Chieftec
UK Price (as reviewed): £79.99 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $149.99 (exc. Tax)

A lot of important things happened in 1999. The Euro was introduced as a valid currency, Boris Yeltsin resigned as the president of Russia, and NASA lost the Mars Climate Orbiter and the Mars Polar Lander.

That was rather careless of them, we feel.

However, these events pale into insignificance next to the major event of 1999 as far as PC enthusiasts were concerned: the release of the original Chieftec Dragon. The Dragon was the first true PC enthusiast's chassis, offering superior cooling, a side panel window and a choice of colours. It was a brave new world indeed. And finally, after an epic ten years of service, we have an updated Chieftec Dragon case, the Dragon CH-07.

The new Dragon has some very big boots to fill, but it passes the first hurdle of build quality in true Chieftec fashion; its predominantly steel and built like a tank. There's a fair smattering of plastic throughout the case, but the heavy steel that accounts for the chassis’ bulk ensures that it feels sturdier than Saint George's breastplate. Despite the overall build feeling super strong, there's a couple of nagging points about it.

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There's a lot of plastic used for example. Going some way to compensate is the steel exterior's black finish which helps to camouflage it, as all the plastic used is also black. The inside is finished in a pale grey, which is less attractive, but as the side panel window of yore has been removed, this criticism is somewhat irrelevant despite our disappointment, though at £80 the price is eking towards the Antec Nine Hundred Two which features a silky black finish throughout.

The side panel window from the original Dragon has been replaced with a large side panel fan. Rather than having the fan placed inside the frame work of the chassis to keep the side panel flush Chieftec has opted to slap a perforated metal bulge on the side. This saves the fan getting in the way when installing oversized CPU coolers.

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More perforated metal has been used on the fascia to accommodate airflow and ventilation. We presume that the unusual ridges along the top of the case are supposed to resemble heatsinks but unfortunately they are actually made out of plastic and therefore possess little to no heat dissipating properties.

When we originally heard that the new Dragon case was en route, we all inflected with a relatively serious bout of ‘kids at Christmas’ syndrome. We were surprised to find though that that the exterior of the case bared little resemblance to the original Dragon. In fact we were pretty disappointed with un-Dragon like quality of the whole shebang, with the CH-07 seeming more like an entirely new case than an updated version. They could have used it as a basis too. The original Dragon is a pretty inoffensive design considering it was conceived at a time when ‘We’re going to Ibiza’ by the Vengaboys was number one in the charts.