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::>Cases > 2014 > 05 > Chieftec MESH CQ-01B-OP

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10-05-2014


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CHIEFTEC MESHCQ-01B-OP case review and testing

More than 20 years of experience in the development of CHIEFTEC cases is embodied in today's lineup of its products. Its current range comprises more than fifty models. Of course, the manufacturer can offer a number of more affordable cases which are quite suitable for building of game initial and even mid-level configurations.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

One of these solutions is the case CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP. And today we plant to test it. It differs by affordable cost, while the manufacturer did not save on build quality, but made the product very simple in terms of modern buildings. So, here we have the top position of the power supply, there are no preset fans and the number of the 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch slots is limited to two and four respectively. Reading our review you will learn the other capabilities of this product.

The specs:

Producer

CHIEFTEC 

Model

MESH CQ-01B-OP 

Case type

Middle Tower

Form-factor for motherboards

microATX / ATX

Color

black

Cells

2 х 5,25 inch (external)

1 х 3,5 inch (external)

3 х 3,5 inch (internal)

Slots for expansion cards

7

Max. length of graphics card, mm

250

Max. height of CPU cooler, mm

120

Sockets

2 x USB 2.0

2 х audio outputs (headphones, microphone)

Fans

Installation opportunity:

  • On front panel - 1 х 120 mm
  • On side panel - 2 х 120 mm
  • On back panel - 2 х 80 mm

Power supply unit

No

Material

Front panel: plastic

Metal part: steel with thickness 0,52 mm

Side panels: steel with thickness 0,6 mm

Dimensions, mm

428 х 160 х 410

Weight (net), kg

4,5

Warranty, month

12

Producer/distributor website

CHIEFTEC
Product page  

Packaging and content

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP case is supplied in carton box with indication of model name as well as performance way. Thus, the tested solution is available either with power supply unit (model with the prefix OP) or with PSU capacity of 350, 400, 450 or 500 W. The first version came to us for testing. The absence of a power source we refer to the advantages because in this case the buyer can pick up more suitable device for specific purposes.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

Supplied set of this model includes a package with screws, washers, stands and system speaker, which will be sufficient to build a system inside the case.

Design 

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

Design of CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP is quite simple and completely devoided of any decorative elements. Nevertheless, for many users the exterior of the system unit does not really matter. Also, some users will refer this kind of design to the advantages, because a variety of delights affect only the cost of the system, but not its performance.

The sidewalls and also the top and bottom of the case are painted in black color. The paint is matte therefore, fingerprints are hardly noticeable.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

Front panel and the entire case is an example of strict functionality. It is made of plastic, and seats for one 3.5 and two 5.25-inch devices are closed with metal plugs with small perforations. The same metal mesh is present at the bottom. It covers the spot to installation of 120 mm fan and allows the cool air to flow to the drive sections. We would like to note the presence of synthetic dust filter from the back side of panel either in the lower part or the upper plugs slots.

A small case thickness is an attractive item of the product. It is only 160mm that slightly exceeds the width of 5.25 inch modules.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

In addition, the front panel is notable for the presence of two ports of USB 2.0 standard, two 3.5 mm audio jacks (headphone and microphone), silver power and reboot buttons, as well as green and red indicators (power and operation of the drive respectively). Last items are clearly visible and do not have excessive brightness.

The usage of two USB 2.0 ports may seem archaic, while this fact is positively reflected on the cost of the final product. If the presence of USB 3.0 ports on the front panel for you is obligatory the manufacturer has a model CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP-U3 which is completely analogous to the tested solution except the usage of last version of USB on the front panel.

The very front panel is fixed with standard latches and if necessary can be removed without problems.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

The back side is remarkable by the presence of two seats for the 80-mm fans. This solution is quite original (usually there is only one place for 120mm fan).

But the top position of the power supply unit cannot be called original. Moreover, such an approach is considered as out-dated, although it is often used in the available solutions.

As you can see, the rear part of the case as the entire inner frame is not painted. There is only a primer coat.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

We want to note the fixation of side panels with convenient screws that are provided with plastic head with notches that allow access to the inner case without the usage of additional tools.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

The bottom panel has four legs with height of 5 mm and a diameter 27 mm. Their material resembles very dense foam rubber. Taking into account the small case weight (4.5 kg) and an affordable price this solution can be considered as reasonable.

There is also an inscription indicating the country of origin (China).

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

The right side panel is an entire steel sheet. The left side is remarkable by the presence of two seats with corresponding perforation for 120mm fans. Thus, the upper seat is designed to remove air from the space near the CPU; the bottom is used to take away the air from the graphics card or other expansion cards.

The thickness of the side walls of the test solutions is 0.6 mm. They can be easily bent under own weight. Due to the absence of the ink layer the metal part is thinner (0.52 mm), while the body has a good stiffness. Quality of edging is quite high: clearly sharp edges are absent. As for the quality of casein general, all the parts are well matched and there are not any gaps.

Internal device

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

Model CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP is designed to install mainboards of most common formats microATX and ATX.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

This model has two seats for installation of 5.25-inch devices. Someone may consider this quantity as not enough, but in most case PC building excludes the usage of optical drives, and these sections remain unclaimed.

Below there are four bays for 3.5-inch solutions: one external and three internal. If the external is not used according its purpose, it easily can be used as an internal hard disk or other device.

Mounting of drives and other devices is carried out by means of screws. Any devices for non-screw mounting are not provided.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

Stand with bays stretches to the bottom, allowing to increase the overall rigidity. At the bottom of the front panel there is a place to install the front 120mm fan.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

Due to the small width of the case there is a height limit of the CPU cooler. The manufacturer indicates that this parameter should not exceed 120 mm, so be careful when choosing a compatible model. Of course, you can use the more cumbrous solutions, but in this case you will need to refuse the installation the side cover.

In the lower part of the case there are seven slots with non-permanent plugs to install expansion cards. Fixing of these devices is possible to the most ordinary way using the screws.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

To connect control buttons, ports and front panel indicators the long multicolored cables to the appropriate symbols are used. To connect the audio ports there are either modern HD Audio socket or off-date AC’97. The last one allows to connect the frontal audio panel to the older motherboard.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

On the motherboard tray you can find round holes that can help hide the thin cables on the front panel.

In case of cooler installation with amplifying plate the motherboard has to be dismantled.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

The actual installation of the system into the case CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP is simple and doesn’t special skills. We note a general simplicity of the test solutions performing and the lack of gaskets at fixing drives and power supply units which is dictated by the corresponding cost of new items. Nevertheless the presence of dust filter on the front panel is useful.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

An important item is the length of installed graphics cards, which in our case is limited by the dimensions of the case at around 377 mm, though on the official page the manufacturer does not recommend use adapters longer than 250 mm. In case of big length of graphics adapter the stand with the drives can prevent the connection of power cables. In our case we didn’t have any problems with the installation of the reference model AMD Radeon HD 6970 length 275 mm.

CHIEFTEC SDC-025 adapter

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

Producer and type

CHIEFTEC SDC-025

Slots

1 х 3,5 inch

Possible drive installation

2 х 2,5 inch

Material

anodized aluminium

Dimensions

102 х 25 х 117mm

Product website

CHIEFTEC SDC-025

Also adapter CHIEFTEC SDC-025 designed for mounting of 2.5-inch drives into 3.5-inch slot fell into our hands. It is supplied in a simple cardboard packaging together with package of 12 fixing screws.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

Adapter as well as the tested case is painted in matt black color. However, it is made of anodized aluminum. Its distinctive feature in comparison with similar solutions is the ability to install two drives.

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP

CHIEFTEC MESH CQ-01B-OP


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