Smooth Creations Broodling: Exterior
The Broodling uses the Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 full-tower case--popular with do-your-selfers and custom-builders alike for its sturdy construction and spacious interior.
If there is any doubt as to where the "Smooth" in Smooth Creations' name comes from, all you have to do is run your hand along one of their painted cases. Your fingers skate across the smooth, painted surface as if it were ice that a Zamboni had just cleaned. This is a system you'll want to touch as much as you'll want to use it for gaming. Even with sturdy handles at the top and bottom of the case, the heft of the system is enough to deter you from carting it around to LAN parties. Which is a shame, as the impressive paint job is intimidating enough to scare your opponents before they even log on. You'll just have to host the LAN parties at your own house.
The Broodling's front panel is conveniently located on the top of the system--ideal positioning for under-the-desk placement of the system. The front panel includes power and reset switches, four USB 2.0 ports, one firewire port, one eSATA port, headphone and microphone jacks, and power and hard disk activity lights. Unlike some system designs we've seen, this reset switch is actually functional. An optional setting in the BIOS allows the audio out to the speakers to automatically cut out when headphones are plugged into the front headphone jack. The back panel of the system includes two PS/2 ports, four USB ports, one gigabit Ethernet jack, and six programable audio jacks with 7.1-channel surround audio support. A toggle switch on the backplane resets the CMOS memory--making it much easier for overclockers to push back BIOS settings to their default without having to open the case to access the motherboard's CMOS reset jumper. The HDCP-compliant, Diamond Viper Radeon HD3870 X2 graphics card has two dual-link DVI-I ports and a proprietary port for a variety of video-out functions.
The system's 1,250-watt Cooler Master Real Power Pro power supply is more than enough to power the system's components. Which means that anyone looking to add more components can rest easy knowing that the power supply has the juice to power just about anything you can throw at it. The power supply has a non-standard connector, designed to be used only with the supplied heavy-duty power cable.