Anidees AI Crystal Mid-Tower Case Review
Anidees tells us, "It's not just a case with glass side panel." Fair enough, and most enthusiasts know they either want to be able to peek inside and feel the satisfaction of their handiwork. Assuredly though, now days you need more features than just a glass door to satisfy system builders.
As demonstrated by the results of our temperature testing, the triple 140mm intake fans feeding a single 140mm exhaust fan proved to be extremely effective at removing heat from our test system, but now it is time to find out what kind of acoustic performance we can expect from this chassis.
We took sound level readings from four feet from the case with two off-the-shelf dB meters. On the lowest fan setting, the Anidees AI Crystal registered 29dB, from two different angles. With the fans on the highest setting, the AI Crystal registered 36dB. Hopefully the video clip below will give you some idea of the sound levels and sound profile produced by this chassis.
As demonstrated by the video above, the chassis fans, when set to high, made an audible sucking sound as the triple fans pulled the air through the vents lining both sides of the front fascia. With that said, although it was noticeable, it wasn't annoying or bothersome.
The question of whether or not a case is a good candidate for modding is highly subjective and varies on a case by case basis. As modders ourselves, more often than not, a plain case that offers a "blank slate" to express our creativity is preferable to a case with large pre-cut side windows, pre-installed 200mm LED fans and so on. It has been our experience that, aside from some very specific projects, most modders prefer not to spend extra money on features they are simply going to cut off and remove anyway.
When it comes to modding, this is definitely not a chassis you would buy to mod. End users might want to take advantage of the tempered glass side panels and add custom lighting or some other cosmetic mod but that's about it. The entire reason you buy a chassis such as this is for the way it looks right out of the box.
The Anidees AI Crystal is a great looking chassis and, overall, we are very pleased with its performance but that isn't to say it doesn't have a few minor drawbacks. First of all, the cable management area is very narrow. Combined with the smaller than average pass-through holes makes cable management more difficult than it should be. Also, using pop rivets to secure the PSU cover makes it harder to route power supply cables so we definitely recommend using a modular PSU with this chassis. The fact that three sides of the AI Crystal is made of tempered glass, it goes without saying that it is a fingerprint magnet.
The fact that the AI Crystal is obviously built on a multi-purpose chassis is a bit odd but, it is neither a plus or minus when it comes to this evaluation. During our research of this chassis, we found that it is almost identical to another chassis from Rosewill. The good news is that the AI Crystal is the same chassis only $10 - $30 less expensive.
Anidees decision to include filters on all the intake fan mounting locations, and the addition of the magnetic filter on the top of the chassis, was a great design choice and will keep dust from building up in this crystal clear case. The washable plastic filters in the front and bottom do a great job and are very easy to clean. While the filter in the base of the case might is a bit difficult to remove once your system is in place, that has no impact on its ability to filter dust.
Enthusiasts are in and out of their cases more than any other group we know. We are constantly upgrading our hardware, troubleshooting or just trying different configurations. The cable management system of the AI Crystal is restricted by the lack of room behind the motherboard tray but, with a little planning and a bit of patience, you shouldn't have any problems with cable routing.
The cooling performance of the Anidees AI Crystal is right up there with the best cases we've ever tested. Not only were the overall system temperatures impressive, individual component temperatures were great, and more importantly, extremely consistent throughout the system.
Normally we don't talk too much about the looks of a case in the conclusion of our evaluations because the aesthetic appeal of a chassis changes greatly from person to person. With that said, aside from the great cooling performance, the main selling point of this case is its fantastic looks. If you are the type of person that likes to show off your system in an elegant fashion, the Anidees AI Crystal should be on your short list.
The Bottom Line
Surviving our enthusiast testing process isn't a chore to be taken lightly. Every case that comes through the HardOCP labs is thoroughly examined, pushed to the limit, and tested in ways that we feel gives you an accurate assessment of the product's ability to perform in the manner you would use it at home. The Anidees AI Crystal is a good chassis on the verge of greatness. With a few refinements, this chassis could easily move from an Editor's Choice Silver Award to an Editor's Choice Gold Award. As it sits, with its great looks and impressive cooling performance, we have no problem recommending this chassis.
The Anidees AI Crystal is available from Amazon for $139.99 with free Prime shipping.