Digital Storm Custom Core i7 Gaming System

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The Digital Storm 950Si case option that was selected for our system is a Silverstone TJ-09 chassis with two small modifications.  A custom Digital Storm logo is located on bottom of the system's front bezel and the plexiglass side panel window has a 130mm Zalman fan cut into it for extra ventilation.

 

To be honest, we're not all that fond of that extra side panel fan and would have preferred the cleaner look of the case in its standard form.  In conjunction with the two large 130mm fans in this chassis, the added side fan isn't required in our opinion, but this is definitely an issue of personal preference more than anything.  Additional ventilation is available to the drive cage area of the system via the standard screened vent ports on either side of the chassis and air is pulled in with one of the internal 130mm fans. 

  

One of the 3.5" drive bays in our system was fitted with an 8-in-1 flash card reader.  Long gone are the days of the floppy drive, so it's good to see this smaller bay being put to use.  The power and reset buttons of the system have a clean, tactile feel when pushed and the power and HDD status indicator LEDs in between the buttons illuminate in cool blue.

   

It has been said that there is beauty in simplicity and the flip-up USB, Firewire and audio port panel on this case is a perfect example of a simple innovation that adds significant value but can be tucked out of the way when not in use.  Incidentally, Digital Storm made sure all ports were hooked up and functional in our system and we in fact tested the line in and out ports during test setup. 

Access and Acoustics:
The view from the backside of the system shows its toolless access design with three thumbscrews for each access panel.  In addition, external radiator tube ports are cut into this case as standard equipment and are fitted with rubbing bushings to prevent chafing of hoses in the event you set up this machine with a water cooling kit that needs external hose routing.

Finally, in the right hand shot above, you can see the various IO ports for the EVGA motherboard in the system.  Also, if you look closely, you'll noticed there is a fan speed controller knob sticking out of one of the card slot plates on the back of the chassis. This knob allowed us to dial up or down the fan speed of the CPU cooler.  On that note, this design build from Digital Storm isn't something we would recommend for the enthusiast that is concerned about acoustics.  In fact, due to the CoolerMaster V8 cooler employed on the system's heavily overclocked Core i7 chip, along with the extra Zalman fan on the side panel of the case, the system was a bit louder than we expected it to be (at its factory-shipped fan speed settings), especially given the rather quiet demeanor of the Silverstone TJ-09 case itself.
 

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