Review of AeroCool Vx-E Pro desktop case

Summary: The AeroCool Vx-e Pro is directed towards the gaming market with outstanding features such as the advanced cooling system with an integrated cooler controller and of course the aggressive design.


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AeroCool has been around for quite a while. They are well known for their cooling solutions, their multifunction front panels and their cases. Their most recent launch is the “PGS”-series (Performance Gaming System) which includes a total of 5 families of products: VALUE; Professional; Aluminum; Ultimate Gaming and Compact. So far only the “VALUE”-series is official with 5 different models.




INTRODUCTION

The case that AeroCool has sent us is one of the more extreme gaming cases in the VALUE line, the “Vx-e Pro”. With the VALUE-line, AeroCool tries to reach out to advanced users by providing them with complete solutions of quality but with a reasonable price tag. Let’s take a look at the specifications of the Vx-e Pro:



AeroCool Vx-e Pro (PGS VALUE Series)

Size

Normal tower

Dimensions

452 (height) x 196 (width) x 539 (length) mm

Materials

Steel SECC 0,5mm, ABS

Compatible motherboards

ATX and MicroATX

Expansion bays

5×5,25” external
3×5,25” internal
1×3,5” external
4 adapters are provided to install units of 3.5” in bays of 5,25”

Expansion slots

7

Maximum size for PCI cards

307mm

External ports

2 USB 2.0
Microphone
3.5mm (Audio AC97 and HD)

Cooling system

Front: 140mm fan with blue LEDs, 1500rpm, 25,3dbA
Side: 200mm fan, 800rpm, 24,2dbA
Back: 120mm fan, 1500rpm, 25,3dbA
Top: 2 120mm fans (Not including with the box)

Extras

Pins for liquid cooling, controller for 3 fans


The specifications for this case are interesting to say the least. What really caught my attention was the extra room given to PCI cards. With a free length of 307mm we will be able to install any of the currently available high end cards on the market.



FIRST IMPRESSIONS

OK, so let’s take a quick look at the packaging. The case comes in a quite discreet cardboard box. On the backside, AeroCool has printed some of the specifications of the case in different languages.


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When we opened the box, we found the case perfectly protected by the usual white protective material and a plastic bag. The box arrived to us without any marks or bruises so this protection seems to be enough for postal transport.


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The accessories that AeroCool has included with the case are not much to speak about, a mounting kit (5.25” to 3.5” adapter), three bags of screws in different sizes and a manual.


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AEROCOOL VX-E PRO: OUTSIDE

At first sight of the case, my first thought was the aggressive design of the case. It really brings me then years back in time, when cases looked somewhat like this. Extra everything. But that is not to say it looks out of date or anything, in my opinion the design is quite is nice.



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The front has a total of 5 external bays, 4 of them are 5.25” and one is 3.5”. Below the expansion bays, AeroCool has placed a 140mm fan with blue illumination with the looks of an airplane turbine. The fan is slightly tilted which gives it a nice touch and also helps the air flow to go slightly upwards into the case. This should help the circulation and the overall cooling performance, excellent idea.


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In the upper part, above the expansion bays, AeroCool has installed another entry point of air, but I guess it will have little effect without any dedicated fan drawing air into the case from it. The top of the box has the Power and Reset switches and the fan controller. The fan controller has three modes: “Off”, “60%” and “100%”. They have also placed to very convenient USB 2.0 ports and a microphone and a headphones outlet. Behind these controls, they have placed a grid which should give provide some dust filtration for the two 120mm fans placed below them.


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Moving over to the left side of the case (viewed from the front), we find a generous opening for the 200mm fan installed on the interior side of the side panel. If you flip the case over and take a look at the bottom side, you will find two more fan openings, one for the PSU and one for a 120mm fan. Sadly, if the PSU is of normal size, it will prevent us from installing the 120mm fan.


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AEROCOOL VX-E PRO: INTERIOR


OK, so let’s take the clothes of this baby. When completely disassembling the box, we see the hollows for the two 120mm fans (or one of 140mm), which can be installed in the ceiling of the case. The cables from the top panels come out from a small hole next to one of the fan slots in the ceiling of the case.


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Behind the front panel I noticed that there is a free space, i.e. possible space for liquid cooling radiator. Of course, the amount of DVD-drives and hard drives you install will perhaps limit the possibilities for this.


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Because the PSU is placed at the bottom of the case, the possibilities of distributing the wiring are quite interesting with this case. Another one of the interesting aspects of this case is the hole which lets us change the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard, great!


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In the back side of this case we found a pretty standard distribution of holes for PSU, motherboard, a 120mm fan and the PCI expansion slots. As we mentioned earlier, the only thing that’s abnormal about the backside of this case is the placing of the PSU. The fastening of all the installed expansion cards with only one screw is new to me.


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Given all the extra components of this case, we are talking about a lot of wires. This means it will be difficult to get a clean install that lets the air flow through the case.


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MOUNTING THE SYSTEM IN THE VX-E PRO

The assembly of the system was as easy as with most ATX cases, thanks to the good spacing. The only problem I had was with the wiring. On the right side of the case the free space between the bottom plate and the right side panel is totally insufficient to pass larger cables, which forced me to leave them just hanging on the inside.


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I really liked the space available for graphics cards, since for example the Radeon HD 2900 XT that I used in the assembly has sufficient free space.


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Check out the pictures above to see what the case looks like in action when it’s dark. The fan control system works very well and I like the placement of the buttons on top of the case for easy reach. The 3 fans standard to the AeroCool Vx-e Pro are rather quiet as long as you don’t run them in the max mode.




CONCLUSIONS

AeroCool has succeeded in producing a nice looking and good performing gaming case with a cheap price tag. I did find some annoyances which I hope AeroCool will fix for their next series. One must remember that this case is from their “VALUE” line with a price tag around $80 (50 Euro), which means there is room for much improvements for their next level series.



To me, the Vx-e Pro is aesthetically excellent, with a nice finish and giving me both an aggressive and sober impression at the same time. The internal distribution of the box is very good. I was especially pleased by the extra room given to large graphics cards and the possibility of putting a liquid cooling solution in the front of the case. One thing I didn’t like was the wiring in the case; I just didn’t find it to be well thought through.


Overall, this is a very good case; especially the price/features (price/performance) ratio is impressive. I am really looking forward to see more from Aero Cool’s PGS series.


Strong points

Weak points

Design and quality

The cable management must improve

Spacious


Cooling system


Illumination


Price



AeroCool Vx-e Pro

Packing

0,5/0,5

Accessories

1/1

Quality and finish

1,25/1,5

Extra features

1/1

Space

2/2

Noise level

1,5/2

Price

2/2

Total

9,25/10


The final score is 92.5 out of 100 owls, and we give the “AeroCool Vx-e Pro” our Editor’s Choice Award.


TestSeek Labs Editor's Choice 2009 Award


 

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Thanks to AeroCool for letting us review this case.



Author: Manuel González Fernández

Translator: Vince Emiloz Sanderson

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