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Directron SF-201 Aluminum Mid-Tower Case

Author: Bob Dyl
Manufacturer: General
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Specifications and Internal Examination

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.


The Directron SF-201 is equipped with six well placed 80 mm fans; unfortunately they are of the generic variety and I couldn’t seem to get any CFM or dBA ratings for them, but for a six fan setup, the SF-201 runs fairly quiet. While Directron doesn’t list a weight for the SF-201 in comes in at approximately 11 lbs. without power supply, which is an option with this as so many cases today.


The SF-201 stands 18" tall, 8.25" wide and is 19.75" deep, it has four external 5.25", three external 3.5" and five internal 3.5" drive bays, for a total of twelve available, leaving plenty of space for future expansion.


Here you have the front of the case with the bezel removed. The drive bay face plates are held in position by two little nibs on each side and are easily removed. With the stealth look becoming popular as a method of hiding the front of less attractive drives, very little in the way of work would have to be done to make these useable for that purpose!!


The white plastic contraption to the right of the 3.5” bays contains the on/off switch, the reset switch and your LED’s, sorry to say their not the popular blue LED’s of today, but then, come on, we have to leave you with some modding potential!!


Below that, you have the front fan filter rack and below that your front mounted ports, our next two photos will show the fans and the filter in position.






The top photo shows the filter in place, this is where we run into a little difficulty, we could release the top two tabs, but not the bottom two, the reason was interference from the fans, which required removing them before we could completely remove the filter rack. Was it necessary to clean the filter?? No, with just the top two tabs released you can easily change/clean the filter.






Our next photo here shows the filter material removed, exposing the stamped dual fan grills. For maximum air intake and especially when using a filter, break out the Dremel or jigsaw and cut them out as they restrict much, too much air as it arrives from the factory.


Below the fan grill, you can see the self contained front access ports that are contained in a chrome finish plastic housing that has been pre-wired for you, just connect up the ones you’ll be using!!





Our next photo gives you a look inside the case from the back with the motherboard tray removed. The wiring for the front ports and the cases wiring harness are channeled along the left side in our photo with two installed, wire control clips in use.


The system speaker sits underneath the removable hard drive rack (we’ll show it to you soon). The removable hard drive rack (in front of the intake fans) is held in position by three thumbscrews and is designed for you to be able to mount five hard drives in a vertical position. Don’t worry; you’re hard drives can run with no difficulty in a vertical position.


Our first of our two photos below show the rack removed and in front on the case for easy installation of your hard drives. The tab on top in the photo on the right, attaches to the 3.5” drive rack, while the two holes in the flanged area connect to the base of the internal rack, to secure the rack back in place, just slide it into position and attach the three thumbscrews.



  


Our photo on the right shows the installed system speaker and you can see where the wiring is channeled (including the fan wiring) to the back side of the case, making for a neat and clean work area.





In the photo above you can see the 80 mm top exhaust fan mounted on its special bracket that is attached to the frame of the computer. The same type of plastic push pins that hold the fan in place are also employed to hold the bracket and can only be removed with the right side panel of the case removed. Why was this done?? The bracket serves as a frame stabilizing bar and at the same time can be removed so you can clean excess dust that may accumulate on the fan, thus serving multiple useful purposes!!


Our final two photos are of the removable motherboard tray; besides the obvious improvement of two exhaust fans rather than the one found in the two most popular brands of high quality aluminum cases, the Directron SF-201 uses standard type screw in motherboard standoffs instead of the cumbersome blood drawing standoffs that have to be squeezed into little square cutouts in the motherboard tray that the others brands employ. My hands are grateful for this feature!!



  



Unlike another brand of case, the SF-201 has two motherboard tray supports as can be seen above in the photo on the right. They ensure a firm, but yet light weight motherboard tray that will not bend out of shape with multiple uses, as some motherboard trays are prone to do, just another of those small things that are built into the Directron SF-201 to help protect your investment!!

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