By Oneslowz28 at 2009-09-15 04:15
The Enermax Staray is an interesting mid tower case geared towards gamers. Sporting 3 of their Apollish 120mm fans this case is sure to keep your heat-producing components cool. Fans that display light animations are relatively new in the custom computer market and Enermax has just raised the bar by installing 3 of these fans into the Staray.
The Enermax Staray arrived in a pretty plain cardboard box. Stuck to the side was is a "fragile, handle with care" sticker. This must have done the job because the box did not have so much as a scratch on it.
Removing the Staray from its box reveals form fitted Styrofoam along with a plastic bag to prevent scratches.
With the Styrofoam and bag removed we can see that Enermax further protected the high gloss plastic trim with lightly adhesive plastic strips.
From the rear we can see the conventional top mount PSU slot, 2 holes fitted with grommets for exiting your water cooling loop from the case and a fan grid capable of supporting fans from 80mm to 120mm in size.
Looking at the front we can see that it is entirely covered by mesh. Under the five 5.25" and two 3.5" drive bays we see the front I/O panel, and finally under that is the front 120mm intake fan.
The front I/O panel contains: two USB 2.0 ports, one HD audio port, a microphone port, and a button to change the led pattern on the front fan.
The side panel has a single opening covered with mesh. Behind this mesh are two 120mm Apollish fans.
Behind the left side panel are two 120mm Enermax Apollish fans.
The fans are lit by a strip of LEDs that encircle the fan blades.
Here is another shot that shows you the little buttons that allow you to change the light show on the fans.
From this angle you can see the 120mm Apollish fan that serves as an intake fan.
Pressing the light button on the front once gives you a steady lit pattern.
Pressing the light button on the front a second time gives you the clockwise rotation pattern seen below.
The side fans operate in the same manner. Push the buttons once for constant light and twice for the rotation.
The left side panel on the staray is secured from the factory with black thumb screws while the right is secured with normal chassis screws.
Here is a closeup of the water cooling loop exit holes. These will accept tubing up to 3/4" in diameter.
With the door off we see the accessories bag, tool-less drivebays, and the front panel I/O cables.
From this angle we can see the tool-less PCI slots.
To add or remove PCI addon cards all you have to do is push up on this tab and swing it out.
Pushing up on this tab allows it to swing out.
Here is a close look at the tool-less 5.25" drive bays. Turn the knob to the top to unlock and back to the right to lock it again.
The 3.5" bays, and HDD racks operate in similar fashion. Turn the knob down to unlock and turn it back to the left to lock.
Installing a HDD
To install a HDD we first need to remove the tool-less devices. Unlock them by turning the knob to the bottom and pulling. The whole piece will come out. Repeat the process on the other side.
With the tool-less device removed you can see that it locks the HDD in place with 2 pins that will fit perfectly into the HDD mounting holes.
Slide the HDD into the cage until the holes line up.
Then place the tool-less device back, aligning the pins with the holes in the HDD. Turn the knob back to the locked position and you are finished.
Installing an optical drive.
The first thing we need to do is remove one of the mesh drive bay covers. This can be done without removing the front of the case. I removed it for photographic reasons. To remove the bay cover just push this little clip inward and at the same time push outward on the bay cover.
The bay cover will pop out and this is what the front of the case will look like.
Just like we did with the HDD installation, we need to turn the red knob to the unlock position, and pull the tool-less device away from the drive cage.
Again we can see the pins that hold the drive in place.
Now slide the optical drive into the drive cage from the front. Slide it in until it is flush with the front of the case.
Replace the tool-less device and turn the knob to the locked position and your optical drive is now secured.
The accessory bag contains: the user manual, 2 bags of screws including all the motherboard standoffs and enough drive and case screws to use if you do not want to use the the tool-less devices. Also included are some zip ties, a ziptie mounting block, and 2 enermax hook and loop cable wraps.
In conclusion I think the Enermax would be an awesome case for the gamer on a budget who is looking for a nice edgy case that wont break the bank. The tool-less drive mounting options are something not normally seen in midtower cases. The Apollish fans are a nice touch and give the case even more character. If I could change anything about this case it would be to add 2 more buttons to the front of the case to control the light display for the side Apollish fans. It might become tiring to frequently change the light show when you have to remove the side panel each time. I am giving the Enermax Staray a 4/5 rating because of this. Other than that small thing the Staray is everything Enermax says it is and then some. I would recommend the Staray to anyone looking for a solidly built case with edgy aesthetics.
You can purchase the Enermax Staray at Newegg for around $77
3 Enermax Apollish fans
Water cooling provisions
2 USB 2.0 front ports
HD Audio front port
Tool-less drive bays
Tool-less PCI slots
Have to remove side panel to change lighting effects of side fans