Chieftec Dragon DX-02B Review

April 9, 2013 | 08:31

Companies: #chieftec

Chieftec Dragon DX-02B Review

Manufacturer: Chieftec
UK price (as reviewed):
£93.17 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): Currently unavailable

We've only looked at one chassis from Taiwanese firm Chieftec before, the Dragon CH-07. While this was almost four years ago, the company continue to market cases under the Dragon Series moniker, and with us today is one such case, the DX-02B. It currently has rather limited availability in the UK but retails for a touch under £95, which is a very competitive price point for a product of its type.

Looking at the DX-02B for the first time, we have to wonder how attracted people will be to its aesthetics. The small angled side panel windows around a large meshed area along with a hefty dose of plastic grilles and vents might not hold much appeal to those who like things to be kept simple. Looks aren't the be all and end all, though, and examining the exterior reveals that the case's build quality is very good. The frame is solid all round and the chassis is very sturdy on its feet. There's no flex to the side panels when they're attached, and only a little when they're free from the case, and likewise the plastic roof and front panels do not bend or creak under pressure.

Chieftec Dragon DX-02B Review Chieftec Dragon DX-02B Review
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At the front of the DX-02B you'll find exposed drive bay covers for the four optical drive bays, each of which is meshed and backed by dust filtering material. The covers themselves clip in and out of place so are reusable, but they can be stiff and difficult to remove. Below these is the magnetic case door which sports plastic grilles. Opening it reveals the six internal drive bay covers, all of which are accessible from the outside of the case.

Contained within the door itself is a pair of 120mm blue LED intake fans, which makes the grilles on the front all the more necessary, and the blue glow the fans emit is very soft and unobtrusive. A dust filter clips onto the back of each fan, but both of them are frustratingly difficult to unclip; we actually ended up damaging one of the filters just trying to remove it. This could prove very annoying if you live in a dusty environment and need to regularly clean the filters, or should you choose to replace the front fans.

Chieftec Dragon DX-02B Review Chieftec Dragon DX-02B Review
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The roof-mounted front panel is kitted out with a pair of USB 2.0 ports as well as a single USB 3.0 connection and an eSATA. We would have really liked to see an extra USB 3.0 port here, especially in this price range, as having two is quickly becoming the standard even for cheaper cases. Behind the connections are the power and reset buttons, the latter of which is too small to really press with a finger. Further back, angled vents on the roof provide an outlet for the exhausted air from the pair of 200mm fans below them while also shielding the case from falling dust particles.

At the rear of the case you'll find another 120mm fan operating as an exhaust. The DX-02B's array of five fans makes its £95 price tag much easier to swallow. There are also holes with firm rubber grommets for external water-cooling set-ups around back, as well as a pair of fan controllers. These are designed to control the top two fans independently, and each one can be toggled between a high and low speed or switched off completely. Though in theory you could piggy back other fans onto them via SATA connections, we'll be testing the case as it was designed. Full control for the five included fans would have been preferred, but some fan control is certainly better than none.

Chieftec Dragon DX-02B Review
Click to enlarge

The left side panel is extruded and has a pair of small windows around a large meshed area, to which another 200mm fan can be fitted (although no dust filter for this is provided). The right panel is also extruded, giving you a little more room to play with when it comes to cable management. The case feet are very large, which gives the chassis excellent balance, while the rubber on the bottom of them ensures a healthy amount of grip. There are also separate slide out dust filters for the PSU and the optional 140mm/120mm bottom fan mount, which is a neat touch.

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm) 225 x 590 x 525 (W x D x H)
  • Material Steel, plastic
  • Available coloursBlack
  • Weight 13kg
  • Front panel Power, reset, 1 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, eSATA, stereo, microphone
  • Drive bays 4 x external 5.25in, 4 x internal 3.5in, 2 x internal 3.5in/2.5in
  • Form factor(s) E-ATX, ATX, micro-ATX
  • Cooling 2 x 120mm front fan mounts (fans included), 1 x 120mm rear fan mount (fan included), 2 x 200mm roof fan mounts (fans included), 1 x 200mm side fan mount, 1 x 140mm/120mm bottom fan mount (fans not included)
  • CPU cooler clearance approx. 165mm
  • Maximum graphics card length 340mm
  • Extras 2 x 3.5-in hot swap adaptors, roof fan controller

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