So far 2013 hasn't been any different compared to 2012 and so many people i know have a really hard time spending money on PC hardware and who can blame them with the current state of the economy? However you don't necessarily need to pay much to get something good and PC cases is perhaps the only area where casual users can cut down on the cost and not notice any serious impact in the overall performance of their systems. Personally I’ve always favored full towers because of their interior space since that means making my job/life easier when working with them (it also means that i can fit even the largest components in them) but for casual users and gamers midi towers like the latest Ostrog by Enermax which we have here with us today not only cost significantly less but can also come in handy when placed in tight spaces.
Enermax Technology Corporation is a world-renowned PC Power Supply Unit manufacturer. Since our establishment in 1990, we provide power supply products and peripherals like chassis, cooler, fan and keyboard with excellent quality and have won recognitions of consumers around the world. ENERMAX products are recommended by worldwide reviewers, and certain were granted by iF, Red Dot, Good Design and Taiwan Excellence Awards. Those are proven evidence of our top-notch quality and design competency recognized by the professionals. To develop an intensive sales network and better service customers around the world, Enermax has set up branch offices in Germany, France, U.S.A., Japan and China. We also have service offices and distributors in countries across Europe, America, Asia and Oceania. Our farsighted R & D capability is our key strength. The elite teams of Enermax always strive to come up with the best and most satisfactory PSU, thermal solution and peripheral products with cutting-edge design that meets the needs of the market and customers. We will stick to our R & D spirits of “Technology Innovation” and “Quality First” to constantly create products which transcend international standard and requirements to keep up on our product and brand value as well as competitive edge.
Ever since Enermax started the design and manufacture of PC cases they made it clear that this particular product line is aimed towards casual users and gamers and so the introduction of the rather mainstream Ostrog midi tower a while ago was not unexpected. Luckily Enermax gave the Ostrog good looks and a few very convenient and useful features such as a tool-less drive design, ability to add up to a total of 7 fans for excellent airflow levels and plenty of room for the tallest CPU Coolers and longest Graphics Cards. Features aside however the Ostrog follows the typical size limitations most midi towers have and so it's ATX/M-ATX compatible and has a total of 7 PCI expansion slots. But let’s take a closer and more in-depth look on what the budget oriented Ostrog (ECA3250) midi tower by Enermax has to offer.
SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES
PACKAGING AND CONTENTS
The Ostrog arrived inside a plain cardboard box with the product name (right beneath what seems to be the top of a tower) and the Enermax logo at the lower left corner of both the front and rear.
The model version and color included in the box can be seen on the right side.
Moving at the left side we see the specifications table.
As expected the Ostrog is placed inside a plastic bag and between two foam spacers.
Six 3.5" drive brackets, 8 cable ties, 2 cable straps, extra PCI expansion slot shield, user's manual, case speaker and a bag with all the necessary mounting screws and standoffs.
THE OSTROG EXTERIOR
Much like most PC Cases nowadays the Ostrog comes in black mate color and looks quite good if i might add.
Instead of featuring a window on the left side panel our particular sample is focused on airflow over looks (there's also a version available with a side window).
So here you can actually install two 120/140mm intake fans to drastically improve the airflow inside the case (the window version has room for 2x120mm ones).
The front fascia is well designed with several edges that give the case an somewhat aggressive look.
The Enermax logo is present on the top front of the fascia.
The Ostrog features four 5.25" drive bays and one 3.5"/1.44FDD bay something we don't see much (most midi towers only have three 5.25" bays).
A white meshed frame surrounds the front fascia adding to the overall looks of the unit (the same frame is also available in black, blue and red).
The product name and logo is placed on the lowest end of the front fascia.
The top I/O features one USB 3.0 port, 3 USB 2.0 ports, reset button, power on/off button, power LED, activity LED, headphone and microphone 3.5mm mini-jacks and the Enermax logo (placed right above it).
At the top of the Ostrog you can also install up to 2x120/140m exhaust fans.
As usual the rear of the case also features a black color but i was surprised to see a handle for easier removal of the left side panel.
An 120mm exhaust fan is present on the rear of the case right beneath two water cooling grommets.
Here we see the usual 7 PCI expansion slots.
Moving to the lower end of the rear as expected we see the power supply space.
Both plates are held in place with rubber coated thumbscrews.
Taking a look at the bottom of the case we see two a large removable air filter placed right beneath the PSU spot and 4 round rubber feet.
THE OSTROG INTERIOR
The interior of the case is also black in color and quite roomy, for a midi tower that is.
As you can see there all four 5.25" bays feature tool-less locking mechanisms (which are quite sturdy btw).
One of those bays comes fitted with a 5.25" to 3.5" adapter.
Right beneath we see the 3.5" drive bay which can either be used for a floppy drive or an 3.5" drive (also features the same locking mechanism).
As usual the 3.5" drive cage is placed right beneath and can support up to 3 drives.
One of the good features Enermax gave the Ostrog is that you can use even the longest graphics cards by removing the HDD cage as seen above.
By doing that you still have room for two 3.5" drives and if you decide to use the Floppy space and one of the 5.25" bays that adds up to 4 drives (who needs more and gets a midi tower?).
The normal ATX size mainboard spacers are pre-installed onto the motherboard tray and aside the quite large CPU hole there are 2 more present for cable management purposes.
Cable management is obviously not its strong card but we've seen worse in the past.
The rear exhaust 120mm fan is regular and comes without any type of protective grill.
All 7 PCI expansion slots are secured via regular screws or thumbscrews (so the Ostrog is not entirely tool-less in design).
The power supply unit sits ontop of 4 rubber anti-vibration feet and right next to it you can mount yet another 120mm intake fan.
Unfirtunately you can't mount a radiator at the top of the case due to space limitations.
BUILDING THE SYSTEM
As always the purpose of this section is not to build a fully working system but rather to showcase what you can expect from the case at hand in terms of interior space.
Not much room for anything other than an ATX mainboard in the Ostrog (just like with most midi towers).
You can mount even the largest CPU Cooler inside the Ostrog but you should pay extra attention if you also decide to add fans at the top and on the side.
If you decide to use an mGPU solution inside the Ostrog you will have to remove the drive tray.
Fortunately you can use even the longest PSU inside the case (however not recommended).
NOISE LEVEL TEST
After giving it much thought we decided on performing noise tests with each PC Case we receive by placing our ExTech HD600 vertically ontop of each case to measure the noise levels emanating from the pre-installed fans at both 50% and 100% with the help of a fan controller. Since however the single pre-installed fan found in the Ostrog features a Molex power connector we only measured it at full speed.
Overall the Enermax Ostrog is a nice midi tower PC case not only because of its design, potential airflow (providing you add extra fans) and space for even the longest graphics cards and tallest CPU Coolers (if you don't use the top side fan) but also because of its surprisingly good build quality and seriously tempting price tag. Granted there are countless PC cases out there better than the Ostrog but if you don’t want to spend more money on the case than you will on the interior hardware components then the Ostrog is a very decent offering. Now i would like to see a front pre-installed 120mm intake fan and a tool-less locking mechanism for the 7 PCI expansion slots but as i always say we just can't have it all.
Moving to the price of the Ostrog well it's just like i said (tempting) and so it currently retails for a price of USD49.99 inside the USA (Amazon) and at around 45Euros inside the EU. So what we have here basically is a midi tower that combines a very nice design, spacious interior, a few convenient features, great airflow potential, nice build quality and a killer price tag, what else is there for anyone to ask? Of course if you plan on spending a reasonable amount of cash on a PC Case then there are better and larger ones out there with more features but for all of you wanting to get your hands on a low cost but worthy midi case then i really doubt you can find anything better, not at this price range.
- Build Quality
- Spacious Interior (Longest GPUs/Tallest CPU Coolers)
- Removable Drive Cage
- Room For Up To Seven 3.5" Drives
- Airflow Potential (Up To 7 Fans)
- Only 1 Pre-Installed Fan
- Not Entirely Tool-Less