The CDI Alaska Cool-Case
Divine Intervention or Invention ?

Updated 3/6/00

Installation / Setup With the Alaska Cool-Case
Wired for sound.

Set up and access with the Cool-Case is excellent for the most part.  You can gain access to the inside by backing off two screws from the side panel and sliding it back and off. 

(click images)

Once inside, the case gets a little cumbersome with all of those wires going around.  If you plan to use all those fans make sure you take the time to tie them off neatly, so they just aren't flapping in the breeze inside (literally).  You do get a fair amount of extensions and added cabling with the case, to hook your fans up.

The motherboard compartment is fairly roomy although a bit short and shallow compared to some premium cases.  It is nice to have 2 - 3.5" bays available in addition to the three 5.25" bays.  One more 5.25" bay would have been perfect but then again this IS a Mid ATX case, not a Full Tower.  There are Full Tower models available as well from CDI.  The metal used in the construction of the case, is a decent gauge and has smooth edges so you don't go cutting your digits off while trying to install components.

The fans used in the case are all of decent quality.  I have never heard of "Life" fans but that doesn't mean much anyway.  They seem to be at least 4K RPM fans.  Individually, they are fairly quite fans.  Fire them all up in unison and this thing sounds like it is going to fly away.  It wasn't too overbearing.  However, if you need to be stealthy, this isn't your type of case.  I would hope that most of you folks looking at this case would be more interested in it cooling performance versus acoustics.  On the other hand the mesh is attached with clear tape and card board which leaves something a question of doubt as to durability in the long haul.

The power supply seems also to be of good quality.  It was a 300 watt unit from a company called "Star".  Again, I am not familiar with them but it seems to be a well built unit.

So, how does this custom turbo-prop driven Hot Rod perform?


Test System
Fully Loaded

Mid-Tower ATX Case Alaska Cool Case from CDI  w/ 300W PS, Pentium3 -500E Overclocked to 750MHz.(Provided By OutsideLoop Computers), Soyo SY-6BA+IV motherboard, 128MB of PC133 HSDRAM, WD 18G 7200RPM DMA66 Hard Drive, Elsa Erazor X AGP with 32MB , Kenwood 72X CDROM, Plextor 8432 CD-RW Drive, 56K Modem, TV Tuner Card, Sound Blaster Live Audio Card


I don't want to speculate on the relative performance of the case within a given environment.  I can only tell you what our experiences were with our particular setup.  Ambient air temp in our room was about 70F. The case temp while idle and running was 76F according to Motherboard Monitor and other utilities for PC Health Monitoring, that we used.  Once under the strain of an hour long gaming session, things started to heat up a little bit but not even close to where we see most cases with the standard 2 fan set up. The case hit a max internal temp of 82F.  This obviously would be higher if ambient temp was higher but 12 degrees over ambient with fan cooling is excellent. 



Casing the joint...

I am not sure what impressed me most about the Alaska Cool-Case, the incredible amount of cooling fans or the slick paint job this baby has.  The quality of the components was good as was the functional characteristics of the case itself.  I would have preferred a little more room in certain dimensions like depth for a wider motherboard mounting area but it was still very workable.  On the down side, the  quality of the fan mounts inside the case was a little rough a were the mesh grill attachments.  The price on this case, as we received it "with Color and Cool" was $275.  That is a little steep for a case but remember, 9 fans in all, a 300 watt power supply and a killer paint job.  Is it worth the dough?  That is your decision. 


We give it a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of....

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Tags:  case, CD, Cool, K, Ask

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