In-Win GRone gaming PC case review

Reviews Leo Waldock Feb 17, 2013

A sci-fi styled case with an odd name

If you recall the start of the original Star Wars movie, you can picture the enormous Star Destroyer spaceship that captures Princess Leia in her tiddly corvette. The Star Destroyer is colossal but we doubt it's much larger than the In-Win GRone tower case.

This behemoth costs £89.99 in standard form or £99.99 with a huge window in the side cover that exposes the innards of your PC to an admiring world. It's entirely possible that the GRone would look slender and svelte in a shiny white finish, but we were sent the gunmetal grey version, which looks positively industrial.

It's the size of the GRone that catches the eye - that and the absurd name. We cannot help but read Gee Arr One as Groan. The GRone can house an E-ATX motherboard, so it's necessarily cavernous inside. Even so, it comes as a surprise to realise there are no less than five 140mm fans installed in the case, with two at the front, one in the roof, one at the rear and one behind the tower of hard drives. That sounds like more than enough cooling for any sane person, but you can shoehorn in three more 140mm fans (two in the floor and one in the roof) or you can go completely mental and install a closed loop water cooling system in the top of the case with a 240mm or 360mm radiator.

With the side panels and the front panel removed, you lay the chassis bare. You cannot completely lift away the front panel, because it's tethered by the cables that connect to the various ports and switches, which consist of USB 2.0, USB 3.0, headset jacks, power button and a flick switch for fan control, with two positions that consist of Silence and Turbo.

It isn't immediately obvious that the front panel only includes three optical drive bays, as it appears there are no less than eight bay blanks all the way down the front of the case. In fact, you can touch the lower panel of five fake drive bays and it pops out in a single piece to reveal the mesh cover over the front fans.

On top of the case at the front there's a flat section with a SATA connection that is protected by a rubber cover. In-Win calls this connector EZ-Swap, and the idea is that you can simply rest an internal hard drive on the case and slide it into place to make a connection. It works well enough but is a touch crude and could do with some guides that ensure the drive docks neatly first time, every time.

There are three external 5.25" drive bays as well as one internal bay that sits behind the USB ports which doesn't have any obvious function. All four bays have tool-free mounts that simply click in to lock a drive in place. Below the optical drives you have a tower of eight hard drive bays that are fixed in place. The drive bays are tool-free and have a slide-out tray that loads to the side. Each tray can accommodate a 3.5" drive without fasteners or you can install a 2.5" drive using screws to mount the drive. This means you can install a total of eight drives in any permutation of the two sizes, but it seems safe to say that no one really needs as many as eight drives.

The GRone is an impressive case that is a superb basis for building your next gaming PC and we thoroughly recommend it.

Details:

• Price: £99.99
windowed, 89.99 plain
• Manufacturer: In-Win
• Website: www.inwin-style.com
• Required spec: E-ATX, ATX or Micro-ATX motherboard

Scores:

Quality: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Overall: 8/10