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SkyHawk Aluminum Mini-Server Case

Author: Bob Dyl
Manufacturer: General
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Specifications and Features

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 only thing "MINI" about the SkyHawk MSR4610EP-D is in its name!!! The dimensions of this unit are 490 (D) x 442 (H) x 208 (W) mm or 19.3" x 17.4" x 8.2" and it weighs in at a mere 12 lbs. The chassis is anodized aluminum alloy which means it’s non-magnetic, as well as corrosion and oxidation resistant, the outside finish is brushed aluminum.


Its capacity includes four external 5.25" drive bays; two external 3.5" drive bays, one hidden 3.5" drive bay and a hard drive rack mounted to the floor of the case for up to three 3.5" hard drives.


The MSR4610EP-D is equipped with three 80 mm fans and unlike its competitors; the fans have ball bearing mechanisms (most cases including expensive ones are equipped with sleeve bearing fans). The fans run at 2500 RPM and produce 30.95 CFM’s each at a noise level of 29 dBA’s each or a combined noise level of 35 dBA’s (rough estimate).


The photo below gives you an inside view of the SkyHawk MSR4610EP-D, it is a full view and we’ll be showing you individual area’s of interest in additional photos.





In our photo above, you’ll notice three screws on the side of the case bezel, they are used to hold in place a plastic liner that is fitted to the inside of the aluminum bezel, strengthening the bezel assembly. There really is no need to remove the front bezel, unless of course you’re like me and want to see what’s under it all!! OK, I’ll show you.


With the front bezel off the only points of interest are horizontally placed dual 80 mm fans with guards, I would have preferred if there were intake filters instead of the fan guards. For obvious reasons (preventing dust particles from entering the computer).



   


Also please note the plastic metalized feet of the case, they can be turned 90 degrees, so that they are completely hidden, making it a breeze to fit the MSR4610EP-D in a tight work space.


Like many of the newer cases available, the SkyHawk Mini-Server has front access connectors, un-like other manufactures Sky Hawk offers a number of variations of this. Below is a photo of the connectors we have available on our review model.






With that out of the way, we’ll now pay attention to some of the more unique features found inside the case.


In the first photo below, we are looking into the case with the motherboard tray removed and straight at the inside front. Here you can see the drive bays including the hidden 3.5" bay, the horizontally placed fans and the hard drive rack mounted to the floor of the case. The second photo is a close up of the hard drive rack.




Notice the positioning; the hard drive rack is directly in front of the fan on the right in our photo right and for good reason. Another brand of case has the rack centered between the fans and this causes some deflection of the airflow preventing the maximum utilization of the airflow generated by the two fans.


With the Sky Hawk setup, air is allowed to blow through the rack cooling your hard drive while the fan on the left airflow is not obstructed. Of course the wiring you see will not be there once the system is populated.






As you can see in the photo above, thumbscrews are used throughout the MSR4610EP-D and all the cases in the Mini-Server series.


Back to our photo, we are looking in through the power supply bracket towards the front of the case. Please notice the horizontal bar part way in. This serves two functions, first it’s a stabilizing bar and its second purpose is as a power supply support. This is just one of the many examples of why I loved this case; everything in it has a logical purpose with many having more than one.


One of the real pleasures to be found in better cases is the removable motherboard tray and the SkyHawk Mini-Server is no exception, but they have taken it one step further than most manufactures of aluminum cases, with their addition of a support bracket to help maintain the tray’s rigidity. Take it from someone who has been there with other aluminum cases, the back panel tends to bend outwards from the tray with repeated use, not so with the MSR4610EP-D!! Another feature to be noted in our photo below is that Sky Hawk employs standard brass standoffs for motherboard installation and gives you enough of them to install any motherboard I’ve ever come across..






We’ve pretty well covered the entire case, but there are still a few items to show you, including the front panel wiring and a neat little addition that I’ve never seen before. The photo below shows the wiring harness used to connect to the front ports of the computer (the cable with black connector on one end and a slot plate on the other).






The uppermost cable connects to the slot connector and then to your ATX connectors on the outside of the case (back of case).You can choose to use them all or just those that you want front panel access to. I connected the USB, the Firewire and the Joystick ports, as I had no reason to connect the sound ports. I’ll tell you, the Joystick port on the front panel really comes in handy when my wife wants to play her Ms Pac Man game as it’s our only game she plays that uses a Joystick, so we don’t have it cluttering up the desktop when not in use.


Finally we come to this neat little addition that I have never seen included with a case. Besides the two cable controllers (with sticky bottoms), there is the little connector (center of photo), that lets you convert a three pin Power LED case connector to a two pin connector required on some motherboards.






It may not sound important, but I’ve had one or two motherboards that required this and it was a real pain converting (changing the lead position in the connector) from three to two pin. Sky Hawk anticipated my needs!!!!

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