Aerocool DS200 Case Review
I have to confess that I’m really rather excited about reviewing the Aerocool DS200 case, why? Well because we have an orange one here at the pcG office, and orange just happens to be my favourite colour. Weird, I know…
The Aerocool DS200 is actually available in a range of colours (Black, Red, Orange, White, Blue and Green). The DS200 (as the name implies) is from Aerocool’s Dead Silence range, similar to the recently reviewed DS Cube. The case is a mid tower case with a built-in fan controller and an LCD display. Both of the side panels also feature noise insulation material in an attempt to keep noise to a minimum. There’s also support for both 240mm & 280mm radiators in both the front and the top of the case.
As is often the norm these days, the Aerocool DS200 came in a eco friendly brown cardboard box. On the front is an outline of the case as well as the DS200’s Features.
The back of the box is similar with the same outline of the case, this time the DS200’s specification are listed (see Specification/Features below for more detail).
Opening the box we can see that the case seems to be well packaged with hard foam surrounds and covered in a plastic bag.
Within the box there’s an additional mesh top panel (should you wish to cool via the top of the case), a User’s Manual and a box of accessories.
The box of accessories not only contains the usual plethora of screws etc, but also an auto eject bay cover and a 5.25″ to 2.5″ adapter.
At the time of review the Aerocool DS200 is retailing on Amazon for approximately £77 and comes with a 1 year warranty.
courtesy of Aerocool
- Case Type: Middle Tower
- Steel Thickness:0.8mm
- Motherboards: ATX/Micro ATX / Mini ITX
- Case Dimensions(W x H x D):210(W) x 527(H)x 485 (D) mm
- 5.25” Drive Bays: 2 (Exposed)
- 3.5”FDD Drive Bays: 1 (5.25” To 3.5”Adapter)
- 3.5” Drive Bays: 5 (Internal 3.5” HDD Tray, all compatible with 2.5”HDD/SSD)
- 2.5” Drive Bays: 2 (Internal 2.5” HDD Tray)
- Expansion Slots: 7
- Max length space available for PCI slots: 290mm (410mm – Without 3×3.5″ HDD Tray)
- I/O Ports: 2 x USB3.0 / 2 x USB2.0 / HD Audio + Mic / 1 x Temperature LCD display and Fan Controller
- Height limit for CPU coolers: 170m
- Air Cooling System: Top :2 x 120mm fans or 2 x 140 mm fans or 1 x200mm fan (Optional)
- Front: 2 x 120mm fans or 2 x 140 mm fans ( Included 1 x 140mm Black fan)
- Rear: 1 x 120mm fan ( Included 1 x 120mm Black fan)
- Water Cooling System Top : 120 / 140 / 240 / 280mm Radiator Installation
- Rear: 120mm Radiator Installation
- Front: 120 / 140 / 240 / 280mm Radiator Installation ?Both front and top can support Radiator Installation – MAX. 45mm thickness(height)
- Net Weight: 9.9Kg
- Power Supply: Standard ATX PS2 (Optional)
- Super-Silent mid tower gaming case solidly built with 0.8mm steel to block out most of the noise.
- High quality noise insulator on both side panels to further reduce noise.
- Leather coated front and top panels with smooth surface finishing (except standard model).
- Built-in fan controller on top panel:
- Controls a combined fan power of max. 25Watt with 4 speed settings (stop/low/mid/high).
- 7 backlight colors selection.
- Case temperature display (Celsius or Fahrenheit).
- Removable 3.5” HDD cage supports long graphic card up to 410mm.
- Supports either 240mm or 280mm water cooling system on both front and top panel.
- Supports max. CPU cooler height of 170mm.
- Supports max. PSU length of 220mm.
- Removable PSU dust filter for easy cleaning.
- Shock-proof rubber for 3.5” & 2.5” HDDs and PSU.
- Pre-drilled holes for cable management to reduce cable mess.
- Supports up to 5×3.5” HDD or 7×2.5” HDD/SSD installation.
- Install up to 2x12cm or 2x14cm or 1x20cm fans on top panel / 2x12cm or 2x14cm fans on front panel and 1x12cm fan at rear of case.
- Additional top cover (silence version) included for reducing noise.
- 2xUSB2.0 / 2xUSB3.0 / HD Audio+Mic
Well there’s no doubt about it, it really is orange, and not only am I a big fan of the colour orange, but I’m already a fan of the Aerocool DS200. Mainly because it’s different, I like the colour (although I may have said that once or twice already!), I like the shape and the size of the case and that control panel at the top looks pretty slick too. Let’s have a look around the outside of the DS200 and then take a look inside…
The top panel and the front panel are both covered in a leather like (ish) soft touch material, it’s good but not as good as say BitFenix’s SofTouch™ Surface Treatment. Looking at the top of the case there’s not much to see other than that impressive looking control panel (more on that later), but what’s that at the back, a switch?
Press this switch (it’s a little hard BTW) and the orange top panel can be removed. This allows you not only the ability to fit a 280mm radiator and its associated x2 140mm fans, but you can also fit another set of fans inside the case for the ultimate push pull configuration.
Once you have installed your radiator/fan assembly you’ll not want to put that orange panel back on (for obvious reasons), that’s what the optional (supplied) lack mesh panel is for, simple! 😉
There’s not too much to talk about when is comes to the DS200’s side panels. Both are removed by the way of two thumb screws and a quick tug (of the panel). Note the use of noise damping material on the inside of the panels; these side panels are thick and heavy too.
Looking at the base of the case there’s plenty of ventilation (which is always good to see) and four rubber feet. At the front you can see the grab hold to remove the front panel, please don’t carry it here as that could end in disaster. At the back there’s also a removable PSU dust filter.
The front of the case is covered in the same soft touch material as the top and has support for two 5.25″ drives. At the bottom of the front panel there’s a rather small Aerocool logo, definitely subtle! 😉
Now let’s take a look at this rather impressive looking control panel. The panel features a central LCD display, surrounded by 4 buttons. This in turn is flanked by Power, Reset and Audio ports on the left and x2 USB 2.0 & x2 USB 3.0 ports on the right. The central LCD displays temperature (both Celsius & Fahrenheit) by way of the attached temperature probe (this can effectively be placed anywhere you like). In addition to this it also displays fan speed setting (Off, Low (50%), Medium (75%) & High (100%)) by way of three dots. The colour of the LCD display can also be cycled through the following colours (Red, Green, Yellow (luckily it looks orange), Blue, Magenta, Cyan, White & Off).
The front panel is removable via a tug at the base of the panel, allowing you to take a look at the pre-installed 140mm intake fan and its associated dust filter. Another radiator (240 or 280mm) can also be installed here, but first you must remove the upper drive cage by way of just two screws. Removing this cage also allows the DS200 to support longer Graphics Cards up to 410mm. The radiator can now be placed on the inside of the case and an additional 140mm fan added to the front. Screws are provided to go through the fans and into the radiator, securing everything in place.
Removing the left side panel, by removing the two thumb screws allows us to take a look inside the Aerocool DS200. As you can see there’s a good deal of room in here. Features of note are the large CPU cut-out, cable management holes with grommets (that don’t fall out!) and 3.5″ and 2.5″ drive bays with associated quick release sleds. Also note the two pre-installed fans 140mm front and 120mm rear, and their rather disappointing coloured cables.
Removing the right side panel reveals that the Aerocool DS200 sports around 20mm of cable management space. You can also see the plethora of cables (black) for the front panel. There are also some cable tie points, but not as many as I would have liked to have seen.
|Case||Aerocool DS200||Power Supply||Corsair AX760i|
|Motherboard||MSI Z87 G45 GAMING||CPU||Intel Core i7-4670K|
|CPU Cooler||Raijintek Themis||RAM||Kingston HyperX Beast 8GB 2400MHz|
|Graphics Card||MSI R9 290 GAMING OC Edition||SSD||Kingston Fury 120GB SSD|
The installation of our test Rig into the DS200 was nice and straightforward. The first job was to install the Corsair AX760i power supply, a simple enough job using the four screws provided with the DS200. After installing an additional seven stand-offs using the handy plastic stand-off socket supplied (better than the normal metal ones as this one could be used by hand!), now it was time for the motherboard. I removed the motherboard assembly (MB, CPU, RAM & CPU Cooler) from the Test Rig case (Cooler Master HAF XB) and placed it straight into the Aerocool DS200 (well actually I did this twice as I forgot the I/O shield the first time!) ;). Next it was time for some wiring, this was again simple enough and all cables could be installed with the motherboard in situ. I was a little disappointed to see the use of a Molex as a power connector for the fan controller though, I would have much rather seen a SATA power connector as these are now more commonly used.
The next job was to install the drives, in this case I installed x1 SSD and x1 HDD to give you some idea of the setup for both. Both use quick-release mount systems (no screws needed) and both are easily slid into their respective drive cages. The final task was to install the test Graphics Card (MSI R9 290 GAMING OC Edition) and wire it up, again a simple enough affair.
It was at this point that I decided where to place the temperature probe, this of course can go anywhere in the case and can even be stuck to an object if you so wish. I opted to attempt to keep an eye on the case’s internal air temperature, so the probe was mounted middle (ish) of the case near the GPU.
At pcGameware we use Prime95 and CoreTemp to evaluate CPU temperatures and we use MSI Afterburner to evaluate the GPU temperatures. Of course Prime95 being a CPU stress test also helps to generate heat for us to check the case thermals. We also use UNiGiNE Heaven 4.0 for GPU temperature testing.
CPU performance testing is carried out using Prime95 to stress the CPU. Each run is timed for 15 mins and the maximum temperature is recorded for all cores and then the average core heat is taken. Testing was carried out at 4.0GHz courtesy of MSI’s OC Genie with a CPU Core voltage of 1.2 volts.
GPU performance testing is carried out by running UNiGiNE Heaven 4.0 for 15 minutes and then by recording the maximum GPU temperature.
* All case fans (x2 in the case of the Aerocool DS200) and the CPU Cooler (Raijintek Themis) are ran at 100% throughout testing.
|Case||Ambient Temperature||Max CPU Temperature (core average)||Delta Temperature|
|BitFenix Shinobi XL||22.50||65.00||42.50|
|Cooler Master Cosmos SE||19.50||63.00||43.50|
|BitFenix Phenom (Micro-ATX)||21.00||66.50||45.50|
|Cooler Master HAF XB||19.50||68.00||48.50|
|Aerocool DS Cube||25.50||74.25||48.75|
Seems like the cooling of the DS200 is not as poor as one might think, as it only has two case fans! The CPU Delta temperature of 45.50 degrees is pretty good, probably helped by the uncluttered case interior aiding good air flow. We have come to see this more and more here at pcG, that a cool case is often not due to the number of fans, but down to the amount of air within the case itself.
|Case||Ambient Temperature||Max GPU Temperature||Delta Temperature|
|Cooler Master HAF XB||27.50||86.00||58.50|
|BitFenix Shinobi XL||22.50||81.00||58.50|
|Cooler Master Cosmos SE||21.50||86.00||64.50|
|Aerocool DS Cube||25.50||94.00||68.50|
|BitFenix Phenom (Micro-ATX)||21.00||94.00||73.00|
We use the AMD R9 290 as we know it’s one hot GPU, it starts throttling at 85 degrees, yet we’ve seen it as high as 94! Again the Aerocool performs relatively well, thanks to its uncluttered interior with a Delta temperature of 64.50 degrees Celsius. But there’s still no stopping the R9 290’s heat build up, as we still saw GPU throttling within 15 minutes.
Of course the big thing about the Aerocool DEAD SILENCE 200 is the noise, or lack there of. With the two fans at full speed courtesy of the fan controller, the DS200 outputs a quiet 33db. Thanks in part to the low speed fans and the sound deadening material on the side panels. Turn the fans down to Low (50%) and this drops to 30db. You can even turn the case fans off if you like, perfect for when you’re just browsing the web…
As I have said my favourite colour may well be orange, but there is a lot more to like about the Aerocool DS200. It’s one of those cases that (to be fair) does everything well, and if you like silence, the Aerocool DS200 certainly makes a case for itself.
I have really rather enjoyed my time with the Aerocool DS200 and I will actually miss it when it’s gone; as for the time that it was here, it really did brighten up the office here at pcG towers! The case came well packaged, and it’s well made too (from 0.8mm steel in fact). It has a good feature set, with its soft touch surface, sound deadening material, dust filters and a (30W) fan controller. In fact the whole top control panel etc. is really rather smart. I could bemoan the temperature sensor as it’s only a thermocouple that you can place somewhere in the case, but I actually found it to be useful. Of course it helps not to have a side window in this case, as you can’t see the unsightly wire dangling within! With support for two 5.25″ drives, five 3.5″ drives and two 2.5″ storage is well catered for also. Then there’s support for up to two 280mm radiators and the additional mesh top cover, it really is all impressive stuff.
Installation was also a simple thanks to a well laid out interior with plenty of cable management holes and cable tie points (although there could be a few more if I was being picky). The supplied fans unfortunately come with un-braided coloured cables which is a bit of a let down as these are easily spotted within the build. There’s also a couple of slightly ill fitting parts here and there like one of the front drive bay covers doesn’t seem to fit as well as it could, but again here I being overly critical given the cost (approximately £77) of the DS200.
Performance wise there’s good and bad news’; the bad news is that due to the case’s desire to remain silent there are only two pre-installed fans (x1 140mm & x1 120mm) meaning that temperatures can get kind of high. I managed to measure an internal air temperature of 43 degrees while GPU testing! CPU performance was quite impressive though, especially given the lack of fans. The good news of course is the acoustics with the Aerocool DS200 being probably the quietest case I have ever tested at just 33db with all the fans at full speed.
Overall the Aerocool DS200 has proved itself to not only be a well made, good performing, quiet case. But due to its design and the colours available, it’s desirable too…
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Where possible we always use Amazon’s price for Value…
Many thanks to Aerocool for providing this sample for review