Gigabyte 3D Mercury Case - Get Into Liquid
Although Gigabyte is most widely known for its line of mainstream and enthusiast oriented motherboards, they also have been manufacturing other computer hardware as well. They sell graphics cards, power supplies, CPU coolers and computer cases. Today we will be looking at their latest incarnation and find out if the 3D Mercury Pro is worth the hefty price tag, or if the integrated water-cooling system simply can't take the heat of the competition. The cooling system is comprised of similar components found in their 3D Galaxy II cooler, but with the 3D Mercury Pro, everything is ready to go right out of the box. Simply add some hardware and water . . .
First Look (Big, Big, BIG):
I got a call from Dallmann Computers saying that there was a rather gianormous package being dropped off by UPS, and that I should come quickly because it was scarring the small children. I was unavailable, so my wife headed off to grab the latest case from Gigabyte. Although Dwayne may have been exaggerating about it scarring children, the box was still freakishly huge.
Two or three, 5 year old kids could fit inside the box. My son is not a small 5 year old, as far as 5 year olds go, and as you can see, the box is very large when compared to him. The box is well-done with graphics and information on what is inside. You can read the products specs and the pictures show off many of the features.
Thankfully the large box is designed to protect the contents, and true to form, UPS delivered this case with the usual damage. One corner was smashed and the box had been handled so roughly that one entire corner was torn loose from top to bottom. Thankfully, there is a lot of protective packing, and the case arrived without a scratch.
3D Mercury Pro - First Look:
Once we unpacked all the goodies, we were able to unearth the actual case. This is one of the nicest looking cases I've seen in a while. The features show class - not a lot of flash, but it looks good in my opinion.
The case looks pretty tall, but has four retractable feet to help with stability. I like the slots at the top (sides), they are actually intake vents for the liquid cooling system.
If you didn't get an idea of how tall this case is before, take a look at the back of the unit. Above the expansion slots are two 120mm fans, above those is where the power supply gets installed, and above that is the exhaust for the liquid cooling system. Not only is this case tall; it's also very long front-to-back and wide. The front, sides, back and frame of this unit are aluminum. It's not as thick as the Zalman Fatal1ty case, but it is still very sturdy. In the middle picture above you get your first look inside this case. It looks like there should be plenty of room to work.
The picture above and right shows the top-fill reservoir as well as some of the front controls and connections. We'll look at those a bit closer as we carry on.