In and Around the IN-WIN BUC

I'll come out and say it: while I don't think it's anywhere near as ostentatious as a lot of gaming-oriented cases can be, the IN-WIN BUC could probably stand a little more understatement. There's no glossy plastic to be found anywhere on this chassis except for a light trim at the top and small side accents, though, and thankfully the lighting is in no way overpowering: the front logo glows red (this can be disabled), and the front fan glows blue. The color scheme is two-toned, with most of the case in black and assembly grommets and trays in a kind of neon yellow-green.

Build materials are the standard plastic and SECC steel one would expect in the price range, but the case feels sturdy and not liable to snap or break anywhere in particular. As we get into this, you'll see places where IN-WIN cut corners to keep costs down and generally speaking they're fairly smart with their approach.

The first thing that struck me when I started playing with the BUC was that it's a largely toolless case design. This is something I think some manufacturers even at the upper end of the field forget we actually appreciate, and what you're going to find is that there's an awful lot of thought given to practicality, ease of use, and flexibility when it comes to this case. The front covers for the 5.25" bays all snap in and out relatively easily, but they're secure enough so they don't rattle and have a squeeze-clamp kind of design that I actually prefer to the drive bay covers I've seen on more expensive cases like Antec's P182/P183 and Corsair's 600T. Practicality is king here.

When you go to open the case up, you'll find that instead of even thumbscrews, IN-WIN has adopted plastic clamps that work surprisingly well. If these aren't to your taste, you can remove them and just use conventional screws/thumbscrews to secure the panels. What I was really pleased with, and a couple of you are going to nod knowingly, is the fact that the side panels slide on and off with a minimum of fuss. I've used a few inexpensive cases where side panels didn't line up quite right or required a lot of force to budge once they were stuck in place.

The main side panel also features ventilation and mounts for two 120mm fans; clearance in the bottom mount is fine for video cards, but there wasn't enough room to put a fan in the top mount with our Zalman CNPS9900 CPU cooler attached. There's a smaller removable piece in the bottom right of the panel that uses a conventional case key; this gives you access to three of the hotswap bays. NewEgg cites the enclosure as having four bays, but that's not entirely true; only the first three can be accessed with the door and the fourth is only accessible if the entire side panel is removed.

Popping open the BUC reveals a largely toolless interior. 5.25" drives are secured by popping out the neon green knobs, sliding the drive in, and then popping the knobs back in--and you only have to do this on the main side of the enclosure. There's a single knob for the external 3.5" bay, and then there are five 3.5" drive trays, four of which connect seamlessly to a SATA backplane.

The motherboard tray has the standoffs for a full ATX board more or less built in, and amen to that. It's been a long time since I've seen a motherboard that uses any kind of nonstandard standoffs, so not having to install those is welcome. Above the motherboard area is an opening where an additional 120mm fan can be installed; two plastic clamps flex open as you insert the fan, and then it more or less locks into place. This felt a little bit loose to me and is definitely vibration prone.

Finally, the expansion bays include one actual removable slot cover, with the rest essentially needing to be bent and snapped off. That's disappointing, but on the bright side each of these have a clamp that rotates outside of the case: no screwing in expansion cards, and our GTX 580 was remarkably secure using these clamps.

Introducing the IN-WIN BUC Assembling the IN-WIN BUC
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  • Ammaross - Monday, May 9, 2011 - link

    "Oh yes, they must be stealing content. No one ever backups their DVD or BR collection, no one ever edits HD video"

    I fully agree. A single blu-ray disk takes up to 30GB to take a 1:1 copy. My DVDs run up to the 8GB range. Taking my entire DVD/BR collection easily fills a couple 2TB drives. It all used to be scattered on 1TB/1.5TB drives until I upgraded to a couple 2TBs. Where are the other drives? I left them in the machine for scratch disk and future storage. Yes, I do have home videos and the like that I keep too. Not quite to the space requirements of BR disks, but I don't like to store my videos in DiVX or such bad-quality formats (as opposed to lightly-compressed 1080p MPEG4).

    Oh, and the comment regarding photos, I'm a bit of a shutter-bug, and even my modest 8.1MP camera takes 3.4MB pictures. Pass them through Photoshop, saving the original of course, and saving in a 90% quality can bloat those to 6MB after touchups. I'd say there's a good 3GB per event I save. It all adds up.
    Reply
  • bji - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - link

    Is it legal to 'back up' DVDs and BR discs in this way? I doubt it since it requires circumventing encryption mechanisms. I agree that it doesn't seem ethically wrong to back up something you own even if it is technically illegal.

    That being said, what's the point? Are these discs really so important that they need to be backed up? I've never backed up a DVD or Blu-Ray disc in my life and I've never lost or broken one either. I can't imagine wasting my time (and money) spending it backing up DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.

    But I guess that's beside the point; I asked for legitimate ways to fill up large amounts of hard disk space and I got at least one answer of something that is technically probably not legal but not so immoral in any case.

    So am I to believe that the vast majority of people who claim to need 8 or 10 hard drives in their computer do so because of backing up DVDs and Blu-Ray discs? It's not hoarders of pirated movies and software?

    JarredWalton kind of made my point for me I think; four years of his work on a technology site only uses 70 GB of his disk and all of his personal photos take 30 GB more. That's only 100 GB. Even with the addition of a 1024p24 video camera, it sounds like a 500 GB drive would buy years of video storage at a reasonable rate of accumulation thereof.

    Add another 500 GB drive for his Steam games and with a grand total of 1 TB it looks like JarredWalton, certainly a 'power user' if there ever was one, is completely covered in storage needs.
    Reply
  • mXan - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - link

    A WTV movie recorded from TV is about 8GB.
    A Linux distribution is about 4GB.

    Every ISO of Windows, Office, Visual Studio, etc. is about that, and I can legally own them, since I'm an MSDN subscriber.

    GoG games downloads often range in the GB region, sometimes ~4GB (while other times they are 1MB! depends on the game).

    Every Virtual Machine you install requires a virtual hard drive, go figure 30-50GB each.

    I currently have 4TB storage at home, perfectly legal.
    Reply
  • JMC2000 - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - link

    My Steam folder (which is on a 320GB drive) is almost 100GB, and that is just for 18 game and a couple of mods (Stalker: CS, Stalker: COP, Street Fighter 4 and UT3). If I was to install the 57 other games that I have purchased on Steam (publisher packs ftw!), I would more than likely take up more than 2/3 of the drive.

    Some of the space is occupied by legally backed up GBA/DS/GC games that I had, but were stolen.

    It is entirely possible to fill up even a 2TB with legally obtained material.

    If I had the space, I would back up all of the movies I own and stream them from a server, that way, I can keep the discs safely stored.
    Reply
  • kkwst2 - Monday, May 9, 2011 - link

    Please don't feed the trolls! :) Reply
  • bji - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - link

    Well I admit that my comment was somewhat inflammatory because it presumed that most people could not legitimately fill up a drive without stealing content. I just could not imagine needing that much space for legitimate reasons but clearly I missed:

    1. People who 'back up' huge collections of legitimately owned DVDs and Blu-Ray discs. I can't personally imagine why you'd go through the trouble but I admit that for people who place high value on these items, having a back up is not an unreasonable way to use hard drive space.

    2. People who buy and play tens of games per year and have to keep them all on their hard drive all the time.

    3. People who collect huge digital home videos

    I think that most people don't fall into any of these camps but on an enthusiast site, certainly you'd find more people in one or more of these categories.
    Reply
  • DJMiggy - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - link

    640K ought to be enough for anybody. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - link

    They back them up for quick access and so their kids don't ruin the disc. Heck, what ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?" Reply
  • Jalek99 - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - link

    "clearly I missed:"
    People who don't do things as you do.

    "most people don't fall into any of these camps"

    More assuming that YOU are the norm others should be measured against. Could it be that you are the outlier?

    People who play Warcraft alone likely have 15+ gb of space tied up at least before they add to it, and there seems to be quite a few current or former players who probably still have the thing installed. Add in any of several other games at 5-10gb and the numbers just climb.

    The less technical the user, the more likely it is that installed games or old programs will never be uninstalled.

    I started using a media server long ago and found it to be incredibly convenient with children and relatives' children as no media gets damaged or misplaced moving from room to room. When you purchase a television series on 35 DVD's or more, do you really want to keep those sorted instead of ripping them all and selecting from menus?

    As for the geekier side, website backups and developer database, ebooks (some of which cost as much as a bound book), scanned records (paperless office to the extent possible), and then email backups of receipts and registrations, and somewhere in there there's a photo or two and a partially complete thesis with copies of supporting documents. Between utilities and MSDN downloads is at least another 100gb.

    I also have shelves of DVD's and CD's, though I prefer not to have to access those. The books I'm not about to scan myself so if there's no digital alternative, they're also on a shelf.

    Shall I also explain my 60x40 shop contents and why it's full to the rafters or is that acceptable in your view?
    Reply
  • bji - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - link

    OK well I officially stand corrected.

    I had always had this apparently ill founded belief that most people who had huge hard drive collections did so so that they could hoard downloaded movies, but I can see that there are many other legitimate uses that require huge amounts of space. I still don't know what the result would be if you polled all users instead of just computer enthusiast readers of Anandtech, but certainly for a not insignificant segment of the computer user space, large amounts of space are clearly useful.

    Sorry to have stirred up such a ruckus, I kinda knew I shouldn't have started in with an inflammatory comment like that.
    Reply

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