With today's flooded chassis market, we are often forced to focus on the more unique options offered by Cooler Master, Corsair, Lian Li, Antec, Silverstone, and a few other top brands. Over the years we've had the pleasure of handling many cases but none from the folks at In Win – a surprise considering they've been in the game since 1985.
No in-win cases caught our attention until last year. That changed when we discovered the open-air X-frame in mid-2012. Although the X-frame was quite strange and extremely expensive, its unusual construction turned out to be interesting enough to win over many enthusiasts. After the success of the X-Frame, In Win introduced the H-Frame – a similarly unique and just as expensive chassis with a list of functions containing eleven diamond-cut aluminum plates.
Although we didn't rate these products, they piqued our interest so much that we had to pick up the D-Frame, In Win's newest open-air chassis and, in our opinion, its best creation to date. The D-Frame presented at CES 2013 will only be available in a limited number of 1,000 units – half of them red and the other half orange.
The aluminum tube and hardened glass construction of the D-Frame offer a unique user experience as the housing must be assembled before the components can be accommodated. Building the case is a little time consuming and the instructions are sometimes difficult to follow, but the process is so simple that most people should be patient with it. Plus, we think if you're spending $ 400 on a computer case, you probably don't mind getting a little extra to touch.
Upon arrival, the D-frame looks like this …
You will receive the following fully assembled:
At this price, In Wins Newcomer brushes the shoulders with some of the best enthusiast cases out there. Given that there are no fans, hot-swappable drive bays, or almost any other feature you'd normally expect from a high-end chassis, it seems like the D-Frame has to rely on the novelty factor, to attract buyers and that certainly managed to impress us as we had mixed experiences with other open air solutions.
In and around the D-frame
With the In Win D-Frame assembled, we essentially have the skeleton of a computer case – albeit a pretty cute skeleton. The D-frame measures 19 "x 12" x 26.3 "(482 x 305 x 668 mm) and can accommodate power supplies up to 220 mm in length, graphics cards up to 330 mm and CPU heat sinks with a Can accommodate heights of up to 160 mm.
From the front, the D-Frame shows a plate with five diagonal bars and a slot that allows access to the connections on the front panel.
The connectivity on the front includes two USB 3.0 ports as well as two audio jacks for headphones and a microphone. In addition to an operating display, the control panel also contains small power and reset buttons.
Given the price of the D-frame, In Win could have included a much more impressive panel and maybe done something more creative with the on / off switch. As boring as the front I / O is, it still blends in nicely with the design of the case.
The top is pretty similar to the front panel, except that there is no connectivity, fan mounts, or anything else other than four rubber pads that protect the case if you place it upside down.
The base plate is different in design from the top plate, although it has the same four rubber pads.
The back is the most unique as it is designed to be powered. There is no access to the rear motherboard as the board is side-mounted, much like in the Silverstone Raven cases.
The D-frame supports three 3.5-inch drives as well as two 2.5-inch drives and a single external 5.25-inch optical drive. It also includes four 120mm fan brackets, but the fans must be purchased separately.