Closer Examination: External view & Top compartment »


The GIGABYTE 3D Mercury ships in a huge package! I have never seen anything like it. As you can see on the picture above the package is absolutely huge, approximately three times the volume of my Antec P182 case.
The reason for the package being so large is of course the fact that it's protecting a full tower case from being harmed during transportation. It lies neatly cushioned in some Styrofoam.

After you have removed a piece of Styrofoam you get to see just how large the case. I initially thought that they had used more Styrofoam, but this didn't turn out to be the case. It's simply because the case itself is so large.

The 3D Mercury case comes with a pretty decent bundle. In it you get two 600 ml bottles of premixed coolant, all the stuff you need for installing your hardware, and some thermal paste. The entire bundle, except the coolant and MOSFET cooling fan, is contained in the small black plastic box you can see at the top of the picture, this can be mounted in two vacant 3.5" internal drive bays if needed. For example you can use it to house some screws and screwdriver when you are going to a LAN party. Even though most PSUs today have SATA power connectors GIGABYTE ships two molex to SATA power adapters, which is nice if you plan on using this case with an old PSU.

The CPU block for the water cooling is mounted in the case. GIGABYTE’s motherboard plate has four holes that match the dimensions of those on a LGA775 board. The water block is mounted using the same fittings that you need when you install the block on an LGA 775 system.

GIGABYTE's very own 3D Galaxy water cooling system has a simple mounting system for LGA 775. All you got to do is install the back plate pictured above so that it aligns with the holes on your LGA 775 board. For AMD systems the installation process is even simpler, all you got to do is strap the water block on with a small plastic spring mechanism.

The 3D Mercury ships with two bottles of premixed coolant. GIGABYTE calls their coolant mixture "GBT Coolant". It doesn't say what it contains, but I think judging from the clear blue color that we are talking about some blue dyed distilled water with one or more anti algae and corrosion fluids. The dye used isn't UV reactive which I think is a shame, with a UV additive in the water spotting a potential build up of air or a leak much easier. Of course this means that you have to invest in a couple of UV spots or cold cathodes, but if you got the money for a case with liquid cooling you should be able to come up with an extra $20 for some lighting. The tubing used in the 3D Galaxy system is, however, UV reactive which means that you could get a nice effect by just adding some UV lights to the chassis.

One of the interesting options that the Galaxy water cooling system offers is the addition of a MOSFET cooling fan. The fan clips on to the water block and helps to cool motherboard components around the CPU socket. It seems to be a nice way to improve air circulation around the socket and will definitely help to cool down the power phases around the socket. When using normal air cooling, the CPU cooler will create some airflow around the CPU socket, cooling the MOSFETs. With watercooling this would be missing and there could be a risk of your MOSFETs overheating.

The 3D Mercury case has a non scratch proof surface. It is covered with a plastic overlay from the factory making sure that all of the plastic or acrylic parts arrive in mint condition, nothing worse than receiving a case where the window is scratched.
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