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Aerocool Strike-X Air - An Exotic-Looking Bench Table

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An exotic-looking bench table, but is it as good as it looks?

There are a number of bench tables available at the moment, but Aerocool's Strike-X Air is certainly the most dramatic-looking. Its partly modular drive cages and cable-routing holes make it more of a case than a bench table, and it's much larger than an average stack-design table too.

The motherboard rests in a large open-air compartment, while a swiveling lid with a 200mm fan blows air into the main section. This lid can be closed or held open at various angles by using a latch that works like a car's bonnet-stay. There's enough room for the largest CPU air coolers, and the lid rotates completely out of the way too - useful if you're dealing with water-cooling or liquid nitrogen pots.

Description: Aerocool Strike-X Air

Aerocool Strike-X Air

Speaking of water cooling, there's little else in the way of support for pumps or reservoirs, but various mounting holes at the rear of the chassis enable you to install 120mm or 140mm radiators. A120mm mount is also located next tothe3.5in bays to keep your hard disks cool.

To the left of the motherboard tray is a section of various cubby holes that house the 5.25in drive bays, tool-free 3.5in/2.5in drive bays and PSU mount. Most are the usual affairs that you'd find on a standard case although the PSU clips into place at the rear, with a large hole in front of it for routing cables underneath the table to the motherboard. The only issue we had here was the distance - our 8-pin EPS12V connector only just reached the motherboard, and had to do so over the top in an unsightly fashion.

Meanwhile, other noteworthy features include a USB 3 port, four rubber grommets at the rear, and front-mounted power and reset buttons.

However, our main gripe with this otherwise straightforward product is the build quality. The plastic sections felt cheap and, while a fair amount of it is made from 0.7mm steel, the chassis has a considerable degree of flex in it. That said, it sits firmly on a desk and, unless you're prone to taking the nearest big stick to it when your overclock fails, its lack of rigidity is no major cause for concern.

Description: Aerocool Strike-X Air

Aerocool Strike-X Air

Performance

With our usual case testing gear installed, the Strike-X Air managed a load CPU delta T of 48°C - a good result that's on a par with the Cooler Master HAFX and Antec One Hundred. Our graphics card, meanwhile, topped out with a delta T of 45°C. This isn't a great result, and is likely due to the fact that there's no fan to mimic a case's front intake fan-only the top 200mm fan blows air in the direction of the motherboard.

Conclusion

Aerocool's Strike-X Air is a very mixed bag. It looks better than the bland metal tables from Lian Li and Cooler Master, but the latter's tables are cheaper, stronger, less cumbersome and do exactly the same job (Cooler Master's Lab Test Bench costs around $67.5). Unless you love the Air's quirky appearance, we'd advise shopping around for a superior design instead.

Pros and cons

Offence: Easy to use; good access to motherboard; good CPU cooling

Defense: Large; mediocre GPU cooling; average build quality

 

How much?

Price: $135 inc VAT

SKU Number: CA-030-AE

 

In detail

Dimensions (mm): 613 x 525 x 340 (W x D x H)

Material: Plastic, steel

Available colors: Black

Weight: 9kg

Front panel: 3.5in/2.5in, power, reset, USB 3,2 x USB 2, stereo, mic

Drive bays: 3 x external 5.25in, 3 x external 3.5in or 2.5in.

Form factors: ATX, micro-ATX

Cooling: 1 x 200mm top fan mount (fan included), 1 x 120mm side fan mount (fan included)

CPU cooler clearance: Unlimited

Maximum graphics card length: 295mm

Extras: Tool-less 3.5in bays, 120mm and 140mm radiator support

 

Scores

Cooling: 22/30

Features: 12/20

Design: 22/30

Value: 13/20

Overall: 69%

 

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