Mountain Mods H2gO Aluminum Cube Case
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 03-08-2008
Provided by: Mountain Mods

As I unwrapped the H2gO, the first thing that came to mind was how extremely light this case is. Mountain Mods claims 11 pounds empty, which actually seems overstated judging by how it feels in your hands. The sky white paint is very smooth and glossy, the kind of quality finish you only get from powder coating, and initial impression is that it should hold up to abuse pretty easily. I also love the way an aluminum case sounds, or rather doesn't sound, as in that tinny metallic ring you get from a steel case. Tap on any of the H2gO panels and you'd think they've applied some sort of sound deadener, or that the case is made entirely of plastic, all you hear is a drum-like thump, thump coming from inside. There are three window panes, two in the top of the case and one in the front, which will show off the top chamber of the case where the motherboard resides. The windows have sort of an odd shape to them, but I suppose it's more aesthetically pleasing than plain rectangular openings.

Upon closer inspection of the finish I began to notice some blemishes. A chip here, a scratch there, and some thin spots in the paint where some of the underlying metal is showing through. You have to get up very close in order to see any of it, from more than a few feet away the color looks fantastic. I contacted Mountain Mods to let them know about the minor imperfections and they explained that the case sent to me was sort of a "scratch-n-dent" unit that they had left over. While I certainly don't blame them for sending their best stuff to paying customers, I thought it a bit strange they would choose to offer up this unit for review. But no matter, they assured me that if you purchase a case from Mountain Mods, you should receive one with a near-perfect finish.

As mentioned previously, the H2gO is typical of a Mountain Mods design, with a two-chambered interior separated by a sheet of thick, clear acrylic. This serves as the motherboard tray and accepts any standard ATX or Micro-ATX size. Holes are cut in the ends for 120mm fans, a total of four in the top chamber for straight-through airflow, and two in the lower section to help keep the less-heat-producing drives and power supply cool. The lower bay will accept up to three 5" devices and the H2gO ships with brackets to mount up to three 3" internal drives. Additional brackets are available if you need more drive space and can be mounted behind the fan opening on the opposite end of the case. The included accessories are very spartan, there's not even a manual, although I was told they'll soon be releasing a second version of the H2gO with a couple of improvements and are in the process of rewriting the manual. More on that later.

Are you as anxious to see some hardware in this thing as I am?

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