The folks at Enermax have decided to put a little fire in your system with the new Volcanus midsized tower case. Whether you like it subtle or bold, they have a Volcanus that is guaranteed to add a bit of Hot Rodder style to your case. The Volcanus semi gloss black exterior comes adorned with a subdued set of gloss black flames, but this case is not all show and no go. It's got plenty of airflow, so the performance matches its snazzy exterior.
Enermax is probably better known for making power supplies, but they also make cases too. I recently received their new Volcanus case in the mail, and I was anxious to take a closer look. The case arrived in a sturdy cardboard box and had ample padding in the form of Styrofoam to keep it safe during transit. It was also wrapped in plastic and had a plastic protective sheet on the front panel to keep away any unwanted scratches from the factory.
Once removed from its packaging, the Volcanus is quite striking. It's black satin paint job with gloss black flames are very well executed. The graphics are clean and distinct. Further investigation reveals 5 front 5.25 inch optical drive bays, and 5 side facing hard drive bays. All drive bays are tool-less, although the hard drives require mounting brackets to be snapped on to the sides of the drives. The front 5.25 covers are made of mesh for ventilation, but also include filter material on the inside. The case will accommodate either a standard ATX or microATX motherboard, and has 7 expansion slot openings at the rear of the case.
The expansion slots have a quick style clips so that cards can be secured without screws. Next to the expansion slots, Enermax has also included a couple of grommets, which can be used for external wiring or water cooling tubes. Also worth noting is the PSU mount at the bottom of the chassis, and has mounting holes that allow your PSU to be mounted normally or inverted. This is handy if your PSU has a top or bottom mounted fan. On the subject of fans, the Volcanus has spots for 5 of them. The Volcanus includes a 140mm front fan that features its Red/Blue Combo-LED fan, and also a 120mm exhaust fan mounted to the rear of the chassis. For more cooling power the Volcanus provides additional fan mounting locations in the form of a top mounted blow hole style, and 2 more placed on the left side panel. All the fan locations give the option of using either 120mm or 140mm fans.
Moving on to the front panel, the Volcanus sports a pair of USB ports, audio jacks, and even an eSATA port. Red LED's are provided for power and HDD activity. There is your standard power and reset buttons, but along with those there is a new an interesting third button... the light control. This magic button controls the Red/Blue Combo-LED fan. Each press of the button will advance the LEDs through 5 patterns for each color and then finally to off. Patterns include: all on, blink, rotate, fill, and Vegas. Most are pretty self explanatory with the exception of Vegas, which is where the fan will cycle through the other 4 patterns automatically. Unfortunately the Vegas mode will only cycle one color at a time, so there is no intermixing of red or blue.
For installation, I decided to move my now ageing C2D system into a new home. Its previous home was an Antec Sonata II case that was purchased for its quiet case selling point. The Sonata II had very poor airflow due to its "quiet" design. Unfortunately the Sonata was also not really very quiet either. Enough about the Sonata II and on to newer pastures. The side panels of the Volcanus are attached using the standard tab and slot method, and are secured by thumb screws located on the back of the chassis. Inside the case one set of brass standoffs were preinstalled that would accommodate a mATX motherboard. A bundle of wires that were attached to the front panel, and a small box of accessories resided inside the chassis. The box contained all the necessary mounting hardware including the additional brass standoffs for an ATX motherboard, screws to attach the motherboard, screws to attach the power supply, screws to attach and additional fan, a case security lock tab, a couple of wire ties, a couple of Enermax Velcro strips for wire management, a ferrite torrid, 5 sets of 3.5 inch HDD mounting rails, and a pc speaker.
PSU installation was uneventful as well as the ATX motherboard. When I got to installing the Nvidia GTX 260 things got a little more interesting. The card did not want to fit at first. I finally was able to go through a series of angle adjustments and coax the card into place, but it is a very tight fit. Once the card was seated I proceeded to snap the tool-less clips into place to secure the card. This was a bit easier said than done. The first clip finally snapped into place after a fierce but brief fight. It took a lot more pressure then I was expecting. Thinking I had the secret down, I proceeded to tackle the second clip. I was just about to get it locked in when all of a sudden the clip pretty much dematerialized. It must have shot out of the case but as far as I can tell it has vanished. Luckily Enermax still provides good old fashioned screw holes, so with the quick addition of a thumb screw, the video card was secured (without a snap).
Hard drive installation was quite easy. Just snap a pair of the provided rails onto the sides of a hard drive and slide it into hard drive rack until it clicks into place. Optical drive installation was painless as well. It did require removing the front fascia in order to pull out one of the 5.25 bay covers. This was accomplished by grasping the front of the case at the bottom, and gently pulling forward. The optical drive slid into place and was secured by sliding a lever into the lock position on the side of the drive rack. I was a bit concerned with it only be locked in on one side, but the drive is held firmly in place.
Enermax provided the Volcanus with several wire management holes into the motherboard tray. These came in very useful to keep the wire mess down and promote airflow through the case. In some instances, I am not sure if the case was to blame or my motherboard, but some of the wires had to make some pretty tight turns in order to use the holes. They were still usable and made for a very clean installation.
The Enermax Volcanus is a solid built performer with great looks to boot. The air flow with just the 2 provided fans are very adequate in keeping my system temperatures well below any red zones. As an example my CPU temps are 10 degree C less than they were in the Sonata II, and my GPU is a good 12-14 degrees C less as well. It has a great feature set for a sub $100 case. In fact the Volcanus is well under coming in at $74.99 from Newegg. So if you’re a sucker for ghost flames and flashing lights like me; I can give the Enermax Volcanus a very solid recommendation.
Striking gloss on statin black flames.
Very clean paint finishes.
Tool-less Hard drive and Optical drive mounting.
Red/Blue Combo-LED front 140mm fan included.
Room for 5 120mm or 140mm fans.
Comprehensive front panel ports including eSATA.
Well under $100
Satin black finishes make fingerprints harder to just wipe off.
PCI tool-less clips are a bit stiff and therefore unpredicatable.
Wire management holes could be spaced and lengthened to make hiding wires easier.
The product was provided free of charge, by its manufacturer for the purpose of review.