A Closer Look - Outside
Taking a first look at the chassis, considering the price tag of 60 Euro it looks rather spiffy, but in terms of quality, it is nothing mind boggling. While there are cases out there with a sturdier frame and the same price, you will be hard pressed to find a case with red interior and four fans inside it on top of that.
The entire front is made up of drive bays - nine to be exact. The metal mesh covers are in a darkish red color - not quite the bright red one would expect. Peeking at the rear it becomes apparent, that the entire interior is of that same color as well. Considering the price tag of the chassis, it has quite the good paint job as it is thick enough to withstand some torture. The main side of the chassis has a large, extruded X shaped window made of red mesh as well. This adds to the overall look and goes well with the name of the case series, but may be mistaken by some for the Xigmatek X. I would have liked to see a bit of shaping on the other side panel as well, just to keep things uniform and add a bit of additional room between motherboard tray and side panel in the process.
Taking a closer look, the only thing telling you that this is an Aerocool chassis is a tiny logo on the very bottom drive bay cover. Each of these have a dust filter in them to protect the insides of the case. Two embedded strips in the center of the case will light up red when the system is turned on. A Strike-X logo has been placed on the top of the chassis, much more prominently than the company logo itself.
In the rear, we have the mentioned PSU bay in the bottom, which has two sets of holes so that you may mount the unit with fan facing down- or upward. Above that are the seven expansion slots, each protected by individual, metal mesh covers. Aerocool has placed two large openings for water cooling tubes just between these and the 120 mm exhaust fan. This cooling unit comes equipped with red LEDs and pulls air out the back of the chassis.
Before I continue, there are two things that should be noted in this area of the chassis. The good: Aerocool has applied handles to both side panels, making it quite easy to pull them off once the thumb screws are removed. The bad: there are two definitive weak spots within the case structure. Other manufacturers cut, fold and tool the rear out of one sheet of metal, with the mainboard expansion slots usually added separately. Aerocool does things differently, with rivets and a separate little metal sheet used to connect two individual pieces together.
The Strike-X Advance comes with a very basic set of plugs, consisting of the usual audio plugs and someone weird choice of I/O as one USB 3.0 and one 2.0 variant is highly unusual. Considering that either header on the motherboard is intended to drive two connectors, Aerocool should have gone with two of the newer version instead. Two small LEDs on the right side are used for power and HDD activity. The one for the power is not really needed due to the two large red lights embedded into the front.