If we try to generalize, in general, all my experience of acquaintance with the hulls from Aerocool, then we can say that they fully justify the name of the brand. After all, all of their chassis lines are sharpened mainly for air cooling. However, sometimes the company tries to make curtsey to the fans of the NWO. One of such signs of attention can be considered the subject of this review – the case Aerocool LS-5200. The abbreviation LS in this case means Liquid Solutions. This series specially developed for the installation of liquid cooling systems. It looks very good, but let’s not make hasty conclusions and understand in details.
The box is very simple, but very informative. It contains the most important parameters for the user-the permissible height of the processor cooler, the maximum length of the video adapter, the type and number of fans that can be put here, etc., in graphical, textual and tabular form. For this company a separate plus. Protection from damage during transportation is the most budgetary – foam dampers, plastic bags and adhesive films on the side window on both sides.
A set of fasteners is contained in a small cardboard box and looks rather laconic. There are:
The exterior of the Aerocool LS-5200 is dominated by angular motifs with sharp bevelled edges. The front panel is almost entirely composed of a translucent metal mesh with cells of medium size and all of its kind emphasizes good ventilation of this chassis. There are no external connectors for 5.25″ devices, therefore, it will not be possible to put your favorite DVD-ROM or reobas here anymore.
Below there is a silver logo of the company and a strange decorative insert, separate from the front panel, forming simultaneously a ledge and a figured hole for air intake from below.
All external interfaces and switches are assembled on the top bevelled edge of the front panel. There are two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0, two 3.5mm audio inputs for the microphone and headphones, two three-way sliders that control the speed of rotation of the two fans each. Adjustment occurs by switching the supply voltage of the propellers between 5, 7 and 12 volts. The power button of the system more like a pedal and freely “walks” in all three dimensions. It has a blue power indicator built into it, and a bit lower in the corner – a red indicator of the activity of the drives. There is no forced system reboot key.
The top panel, too, all consists of a metal grid and in many respects visually resembles the front of the chassis. On the sides behind there are two oblique cutouts in plastic that can contribute to better ventilation, but in fact are made purely for the sake of beauty.
Most of the left panel is a large fully transparent acrylic window, square, flush. The door is removed by sliding back and held by two knurled screws. There is also a stamped handle at the rear for easy dismantling of the panel.
Inside the panel is equipped with stiffeners, and the acrylic window itself looks very solid. It is fixed to the door with the help of bent metal staples. Although the metal chassis can not be called thick, the overall strength of the carcass structure and side panels is acceptable.
The right door is solid and even. It also has a stamped handle for dismantling and is supported by two knurled screws.
Inside everything is similar to the left panel. There are stiffeners, there is no noise-insulating material.
Behind all, it looks quite standard for the case with the bottom location of the power supply. The cutout in the top panel serves simultaneously as a recess for its dismantling and improves ventilation. A little lower, behind the lattice with round large cells there is a seat for one 120- or 140-mm fan. And the height of its landing can be adjusted within one centimeter. There are eight PCI expansion slots here, although there are only seven in the specifications for them. But in any case, better is more than less. Slots are ventilated and, unfortunately, disposable. Expansion cards are held by ordinary screws, and the hole for their installation is closed by a separate corner bar that is attached to two knurled screws.
The seat of the power supply allows you to orient it as a fan up and down. There is a high-quality detachable dust filter from underneath the PSU that will allow it to last a little longer, because it will be slightly more dusty with dust.
The case rests on two plastic legs at the back and one common massive stand in the front. The grille of the power unit consists of large round holes and should be well ventilated. In the center of the bottom panel there are screws, which hints at the possibility of dismantling some internal partitions in the chassis.
The total height of the legs is 27 mm, from the bottom on them are glued small rubber blots.
Let’s see, on the interior of the case.
The Aerocool LS-5200 supports vertical installation of ATX, MicroATX and Mini-ITX motherboards. The permissible height of the processor cooler declared by the manufacturer is 170 mm, although in fact all 180 mm cooling systems will fit here without any problems. The possible length of the expansion cards in all the slots is 340 mm, while there is still space left for installing standard 25 mm thick fans. The length of the standard power supply should not exceed 180 mm, since already with these dimensions there are problems with its installation and the connection of wires. Optimum limitation of conventional PSUs is no longer than 160 mm.
Under the upper panel there is a spare of 23 mm, which, at first glance, will not suffice even for the installation of standard fans. However, all the seats are shifted towards the left panel, which means that the frames of the propellers will not touch the elements of the motherboard. Here you can install two turntable size 120 or 140 mm.
On the rear panel is pre-installed on blowing out a single complete 120-mm fan, although in its place you can put a 140-mm model. All the PCI slot plugs are disposable and flush with the rear panel. The cards are locked using conventional screws for an L-shaped bend from the outside.
The propeller is the most common, with an impeller for seven standard-shaped blades. The bearing is a sliding sleeve. The range of available speeds is from 400 to 1200 rpm. The fan can start with 3 V. The relatively quiet operation for it is 5 or 7 volts, which corresponds to 700-900 rpm and 37-38 dB (A) of noise. At the maximum speed, it is noisy by 48 dB (A) and you hear it too well. The parasitic sound of the motor is present. The power connection can be made using a three-pin connector or “Molex”, the cord length without braid is 420 mm to the first connector and another 50 mm to the second one. The electrical characteristics, model name and OEM manufacturer can be viewed on a sticker on the back of the stator.
The body is divided into two separate zones. A large casing covers the seat of the power supply unit and the storage basket. On it there are two removable carriages fixed with one knurled screw each. In the carriages, you can install one 3.5 “or 2.5” drive. Holes for wiring and connecting these discs are also available. It is not possible to remove the cover.
In the front part of the case there are seats for two 140- or 120-mm fans, or radiators of the SRO of a suitable size. The movement of air here does not interfere.
In addition, in the cutout in the front of the casing of the power unit there will be placed another 120 mm fan with a thickness of no more than 25 mm, which will perfectly blow out the accumulator baskets that are near.
This is the reverse side of the pallet of the motherboard. There is a large cut-out for the amplification plate of the CPU cooler. The space for laying the wires is 20 mm in width. Because of the pallet in the outer part of the volume of the cable body, it is possible to stretch out through the stamped notch in the center. This is a fairly simple and elegant solution in comparison with conventional rubberized holes.
After all, rubber has the ability to break off with time, and the wires sticking out in them look far from the best way. The number of lugs for fixing cable ties is sufficient and they are located in the right places. By the way, the vertical bar in the front part of the pallet is also not at all simple. For its holes can be fixed as two additional carriages for 2.5 “drives, transferring them, for example, from the front, and hook on the expansion tank of the SVO system, the benefits of this hole are provided.
Just below the cutout under the reinforcement plate, two more carriages are suspended on the thumbscrews for mounting 2.5 “drives. A basket for three 3.5 “hard drives is located in front. Its walls can be removed if necessary by unscrewing several fixing screws.
Plastic sleds can accept one 2.5 “or 3.5” disc, and if the first one is fixed with screws, then the second one is provided with quick-assembly pins, with rubberized dampers on the sides. With this sled, not everything is smooth. The lower one is quite low and the edge of the frame of the body is caught at the attempt of extraction, because of what it is necessary to get it at an angle. And if you install the hard drive in the upper slide, it can scratch the screw holding the front drive tray on the casing of the PSU.
Although the BP casing gives the system a neat appearance, it also has some disadvantages. In particular, it severely limits the space around the power supply, and complicates its installation and connection. In this chassis, the power unit seat is devoid of vibration dampers and can accept models no longer than 180 mm. If the connectors on the PSU are modular, then it is better to connect them before the installation of the unit itself.
The front panel of the case is supported by six “tulip” type fasteners and detaches easily enough if you pull it forward. The metal grating of the panel is padded from the backside with a layer of thin foam rubber, which acts as a dust filter. To remove it for cleaning does not make much sense. It is much easier to use a vacuum cleaner, and walk them on the grill outside. In addition to the metal mesh, there is also a plastic grid made in the form of large honeycombs.
The first time I saw the front panel skeleton, for some time I could not understand what was wrong with him. After a couple of minutes came “illumination” – this front panel is turned upside down. At the bottom there are two rudimentary notches under the nonexistent 5.25 “compartments, covered with a bar, on which the fan can be fixed. That is, Aerocool took this element of construction from another housing, thus deciding to save on the production of individual parts. On the landing holes, you can install a series of three 120-mm fans, or a combination of two 140-mm propellers on top and one 120-mm bottom. The space between the metal part of the front part and the plastic cover is 30 mm, because from this side it is even possible to install a narrow radiator SVO.
The upper panel along the internal structure is completely identical to the front and is dismantled in exactly the same way. Wire is attached to it, therefore before disconnecting it should be disconnected and freed from cable ties.
This is the metal grille of the upper panel. The elongated mounting holes assume two mounting options for two 120mm fans, allowing them to be placed closer or further away from the motherboard. 140-mm propellers of such variation are devoid of and have a single mounting option – close to the left edge of the body. The space between the panel and the plastic overlay is also 30 mm, so between them you can install both propellers and a thin radiator.
The set of wires includes a USB 3.0 shoe, USB 2.0 connector, system start wires, drive activity and system activity indicator, HD-Audio shoe.
The speed regulators have four three-pin connectors for connecting fans (two for each) and are connected to the power supply by an individual through-type molex connector.
Let’s proceed to the assembly of the system and the heat test.
The assembly of the system in the case of the Aerocool LS-5200 is burdened with some minor complications. In particular, the connection of the processor power with the installed tower cooler is complicated by a small margin of space at the top. Installing the power supply in a confined space under the casing will also require considerable patience and skill. And stacking multiple cables can make it difficult for an inexperienced user. Nevertheless, in the finished form everything turned out very well, and even the rear door closed without much effort, despite a pile of cables under it.
The inside of the system can be seen through the side window and look neat.
The LED of the power button glows dimly blue, and the drive activity indicator blinks bright red. However, if you do not look at it at a right angle, then the effect of blinding is not observed.
Let’s move on to the heat test.
To test the cooling performance of the components in the Aerocool LS-5200, the following configuration was used:
Thermal load was created by simultaneous work of stress tests LinX 0.6.5 with 6144 MB of dedicated memory and MSI Kombustor 126.96.36.199 for 10 minutes after temperature stabilization. The load on the hard disk was made by the program Crystal Disk Mark 5.2.1 x64. At the end of the test cycle, the system operated for 10 minutes in idle mode to determine the minimum thermal performance. The ambient temperature was 24 degrees Celsius. The fan speeds of the CPU cooler and video card are fixed at maximum RPM. Peak power consumption of the system was 436 watts. The testing was carried out in a single comparison mode with an open stand. As additional fans, there were installed: at the top behind the hood a 140-mm Noctua NF-A15 PWM propeller; Ahead on the blow-in – two 140mm and one 120mm fans be quiet! Pure Wings 2. All body fans during the test worked at maximum speed.
Since the body of the Aerocool LS-5200 comes with just one complete fan, it was decided to install four additional propellers on the Aerocool LS-5200 and check its ventilation in “full mincemeat” conditions. And it should be noted that everything turned out very well. To an open stand, this chassis is only one degree below the CPU temperature and five in the cooling of the video card. For the rest of the temperatures we have a parity. This, perhaps, is one of the best results among all the Aerocool cases I tested. The ventilation scheme of Aerocool LS-5200 is excellent, provided all necessary fans are installed. And if you use the system, you can achieve an extremely low noise level of the system.
Aerocool LS-5200 is a good and modern enclosure. Its main advantages are a neat appearance, an excellent ventilation scheme and high capacity, which will allow the user not to think about the dimensions of the installed components. In addition, the chassis is equipped with dust filters and step speed controllers. Installing CBO circuit here also did not cause any problems.
Is not devoid of Aerocool LS-5200 and some disadvantages. They are connected mainly with the use of traditional fine for Aerocool metal and “Chinese” quality control of some screws and connections. In addition, for effective cooling components users need to purchase and install here at least three additional fans.
In general, Aerocool LS-5200 can be recommended for purchase as the best budget housing with good ventilation for a powerful and completely “non-budget” system.