GELID DarkForce Review 4

GELID DarkForce Review

(4 User Comments) »

Value & Conclusion

  • The Gelid DarkForce chassis will set you back around 105 - 110 Euros, which puts it in the same price bracket as the anidées AI6 or Cooler Master 690 II Advanced USB 3.0 for example.
  • Sturdy frame construction
  • Hot-swap docking station in top
  • Includes two fans
  • Dust filter on all intake areas
  • Plastic hard drive trays that hide drives nicely
  • Single 5.25 to 3.5 inch adapter included
  • 8 + 1 motherboard expansion slots
  • Good mix of I/O
  • Plenty of cable management possibilities
  • Modular hard drive bays
  • Two fan header PCBs
  • Silent fans
  • Velcro strip to secure PSU
  • More than enough screws
  • Screwless locking mechanism for external drivebays
  • A bit pricey
  • Additional USB 3.0 instead of eSATA would have been more useful
  • Other cases of this price point include three fans
  • Screw-less system for optical bays does not hold well
  • Does not feel as good as other chassis of this price range due to materials of front/top
  • Looks may not be for everyone
Gelid is obviously trying to diversify their product range and has chosen the case market to do so. While the DarkForce has the same very sturdy frame as certain anidées or Enermax or Nexus chassis, this is nothing new, as many cases share the same genes but manage to differentiate with a completely different feature set and design. The best examples are the Xigmatek Pantheon and the Corsair Carbide 400R - same base, completely different cases. The Gelid DarkForce offers plenty of reason to go for it. On one hand you get the HDD docking station and four external drive bays. On the other hand, it does not seem to pull things off so nicely in terms of overall quality. The front and top do not feel as sturdy as the andiées variant, while the locking mechanism of the external drive bays are of inadequate strength. On top of that, the installed fans - while sufficiently quiet, are of the simpler variety.
The DarkForce is a good case overall, but it does not manage to pull off that 100+ Euro look and feel. As it stands now, it has to compete against the 690 II Advanced USB 3.0 - a tough fight any way look at it. Gelid has entered the case market with an interesting chassis, but it does not shine in any area bright enough to make people drop the established brands - nor the feature set or build offer something unique and the chassis has not entered the ring with a noticeable price advantage either - tough indeed.
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