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Re-Printed From SLCentral

The Liteon FS020 Case Review Part 1
Author: Sergio Santos
Date Posted: February 2000
URL: http://www.slcentral.com/reviews/hardware/cases/liteon/fs020

Introduction

This review is intended to give you a good idea about the FS020, such as construction, operation and features. I will also elaborate on my own reasons for purchasing this case as well as hint at my overclocking plans for it. The performance aspects of this case will not be included here, they will be included in an article later on, including the mods I made to this case to further increase airflow and cooling.

Why the LiteON FS020 you may ask? Well, my intentions for this case are to create a self contained peltier watercooling rig. My reasons for making it self contained is due to the fact that I wish to take it to LAN parties. You know, so I can brag of course ;). No really, my last machine (who’s housing is that modded enlight 7237 you see next to the FS020) Is an overclocked PII 333 to 400, not quite the most powerful thing out there for serious Q3A gaming. I really wanted to make the jump to a system which centered around a CPU that could take me into 2001. I originally intended to get an Athlon system and overclock it using conventional methods like a modded Alpha P3125 or such. I was interested at that time to have a nice quiet system, and since any good conventional cooling via heatsink would demand loud fans, I didn’t like the sound of that (hehe). I started reading some watercooling articles online and it dawned on me that a watercooling system would be much better suited for cooling a CPU as well as removing heat from the case. I later decided to go peltiers, but that’s another story all by itself.

Why This Case?

Okay, so I need a case which could house all the stuff needed for my proposed watercooling rig. This includes a radiator, tubes, little tuperware container and pump. Now for the radiator I wanted to cool it using fans, and I thought to myself, why not use the exhaust fans to cool the sucker? This way all the heat is going to be going right out of the case! If you remember my previous stipulation about a quiet case? Well, that would lean me towards big fans, namely the Panaflow 120mms’. These fans push ~70cfm (depending on model) at ~32dba (nice and quiet). Well if you take a look at the back of the LiteonFS020 you will see this:

Oh my!! Two (count ‘em) 120mm fan mounts!!! Hog heaven let me tell you!

I looked further at the case and really liked it’s size. For this project I really was gonna need some extra size, but I was not going to need a whole bunch of 5.25 bays, so a server case wasn’t really for me. The FS020 is nice and wide, a good height and it’s fairly deep. It just seemed like a well rounded, large Mid-Tower case.

Okay, this sucker is BIG! (no not that, I meant the case ;) I opened the box and looked inside and my jaw dropped. I knew it’s dimensions for quite a while, and compared the dimensions to my venerable Enlight 7237 but I never imagined it to be as big as it is. Here’s a pic of the difference for you all to gander at.

Quite a difference eh? (PS, never mind the trash can ;)

Here are some more pics with a cd case. What cd case?! The Q3A cd case!! What else!!!

ahh gotta love those thumb screws.

Ahh, Quake... ;)

Features

The powersupply bay kind of impressed me, nn my enlight 7237 the PSU is held up b y it’s 4 mounting screws and a 2” or so lip as seen here:

But, on the FS020 it has it’s own bay:

Real nice. This takes the stress off the case paneling, somewhat important if you have a heavy ATX powersupply like me. Another thing which I noted, and am unfamiliar with is that it came with a panel, which is in stalled in the above shot:

With housing panel:

I have no idea what PSU would fit that! It measures out to be 100mm, a 92mm fan perhaps? Man ‘o man! A PSU with a 92mm fan! Gotta have one! ;) If you do know of a PSU which fits that cutout please post it in the forums.

Features

The Expansion Slot Bays. Check this out! Screw mounted expansion bay covers! A definate plus for those constantly moving stuff around in their system. No need to contend with flimsy things like this:

Or even worse, those Slot Covers which are just metal cutouts and are still attached to the case, like you would see in real cheap enclosures.

Here’s a pic of the Slot Covers for the FS020:

Drive Bays; the LiteON FS020 has space for 2 external 3.5” bays, 4 internal 3.5” bays and 4 external 5.25” bays. Here’s a gander at the entire case:

Features

Here is a nice pic of the drive basket, or cage, whatever ;) Now this basket will rest about 2-3” above your CPU, depending on the motherboard layout. So it does get a little bit tight in there, it should be ok however as long as you can keep cable clutter down to a minimun. Since I am not going to be needing those 2 drive bays, I simply left the entire cage out.

To remove this guy, you’re gonna have to screw out 2 screws, and then it slides out as per the picture above. Notice the holes drilled in the side, an apparent attempt to improve cooling.

The main drive bay requires that you remove 3 screws:

Again note the plethora of holes in this main drive cage, as LiteON keeps up their cooling theme. As you see above the second external bay has a cover for it, and you can remove it by taking out 2 screws, like so:

Features

After removing the 3 screws the main drive bay cage slides out like so:

Again (like the 3rd time so far) you can see the holes drilled out on the side to improve cooling potential.

Fan Mounts; as you have seen above, there are two 120mm fan mounts on the back, in case you have already forgotten, maybe this pick will stir your pot of grey goo:

As you may notice the lower 120mm fan mount is obstructed. I find this to be a rather nice detail, LiteON so kindly included a cover for this mount, incase you only have 2 120mm fans at your disposal. Maybe the folks over at LiteON understand the need to strictly control air flow within a case to properly cool it... just maybe... ;)

To remove this cover you need to push out the pins, use your finger, it won’t hurt

Then grab a screwdriver and pop it out,

The other place for a 120mm fan (even though you can use an even larger one) is at the bottom front of the case:

The 120mm fan is mounted in a fan cage, removing it is pretty easy, just unclip it and she’ll slide out nice and easy, just like so (the fan cage folks, stay with me):

Here’s pic of it taken out:

Features

One thing to note about the stock 120mm fan is that it comes with a 3 pin plug. This might make it more convenient for some of you, as you can plug it in right to your motherboard, but I have also heard that it is not too good of an idea to be plugging big fans into the motherboard on account of their current draw, now for (guess what!) another pic (surprise!):

With that out of the way lets move onto an issue which is relevant to everyone who buys this case. Removing the front Bezel. One must pay attention to two items, a hidden tab and a screw.

You are going to need to remove this screw, which is directly to the left of the fan cage.

Also be aware that you are going to have to press this tab which is somewhat hidden, right between the top right edge of the fan cage and the wire outlet.

What I suggest is that you remove the screw and get the bottom loose by pulling the bottom of the bezel away from the case. Now while pulling gently from the bottom of the bezel depress the tab shown above and the entire bezel should now come off after you get the top part free. The first time it might be a little bit hard, but as you take it off and on it gets easier to do so.

Another thing which you are going to have to remove to install the motherboard and periphs’ is that crossbar which span the length of the case. What you are looking for is a screw on the back side of the case, here:

After removing this screw let the spar drop like so:

and pull up on the other side, the front side of the case that is, it should come right off.

Conclusion

The way I look at this case and think of what I am paying for, it seems that I am paying for a wide, well built, nicely designed case. For those who are not phobic of cutting metal you shouldn’t necessarily focus on this case for it’s built in 3 120mm fan mounts. You should look for any case that you can easily modify to meet your needs. Having said that, I still recommend this case to both the metal cutting friendly camps and the not so metal cutting friendly camps. As it is simple just a well built case. Another thing to know is that this sucker is very heavy, the metal used is perhaps 1.75 - 2 times thicker than the metal used on my Enlight 7237. Making it quite cumbersome to move around. But that’s all good, it’ll give you a chance to shape them biceps.

Hopefully this will serve as a guide for people who are interested in this case and perhaps attract people who have never heard of this case before. I certainly recommend it. If you have any questions please do not email me, rather post them in the forums under ???? for all to see. I will check there frequently.

Keep an eye on this site for subsequent articles/reviews as I will have modded pics of this case as well as a hefty amount of Athlon Overclocking info.

Re-Printed From SLCentral